“The only thing worse than watching a bad movie is being in one.” –Elvis Presley
Liberty falls, literally, in SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE (1987)
Box Office Buzz blog recently posted a list of worst films in the categories of Sci-Fi, Superhero, Musical, and Drama. The author also encouraged readers to submit their own lists.
Inspired by that post, here are my least favorite entries in my otherwise favorite movie franchises.
Worst Superman Movie… Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)
Superman’s cinematic history dates all the way back to 1941 with the excellent Fleischer Studios Superman cartoons. Taking all of the animated and live-action features into account, the worst entry thus far was also unfortunately Christopher Reeve’s last appearance as Clark Kent/Superman, 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.
The film suffers from script, budget, effects, and editing problems, among other issues. In some ways, I feel a recount is in order, though, for I at least find Superman IV watchable. 2013 delivered the somber Man Of Steel, Warner Brother’s attempt to “reboot” Superman in the style of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. While it is a better constructed film than Superman IV, this darker version of the character and his origins strays too far from the heart of Superman for me.
Though I plan never to watch Man Of Steel again, I will continue to revisit Superman IV from time-to-time.
Worst Elvis Movie… Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966)
With hits like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,” “Hound Dog,” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” Elvis Presley shot to international superstardom in 1956. At the end of the year, he appeared in his first movie, Love Me Tender, and the “Elvis movie” franchise was effectively born. He went on to make a total of 31 movies as an actor.
While Elvis displayed talent in roles such as King Creole (1958) and Flaming Star (1960), his true acting potential was never fully realized. By the mid-1960s, Elvis movies had become cheap, formulaic messes. They were usually fun, though, and to this day offer entertainment for the whole family.
There are many bad Elvis movies from which to choose, but the worst of the worst came in 1966 with Paradise, Hawaiian Style. It plays as an unofficial sequel to Blue Hawaii (1961), except not nearly as entertaining. Paradise, Hawaiian Style also boasts two of the worst-ever Elvis songs on its soundtrack, “Datin'” and “A Dog’s Life.”
Worst Star Wars Movie… Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
Star Wars became a cultural phenomenon upon release of the first film in 1977. Ever since The Empire Strikes Back continued the story in 1980, fans have been comparing the merits of every installment. As a child of the 1970s and 1980s, I will always prefer the original trilogy of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return Of The Jedi (1983). However, I am no hater of the prequel trilogy, and I find plenty to love about The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack Of The Clones (2002), and Revenge Of The Sith (2005).
Where Star Wars blew it on the big screen for me was the 2008 animated entry Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This poor film acted as an introduction to the Cartoon Network television series of the same name. I suffered only once through this movie, which, no kidding, is about the kidnapping of Jabba the Hutt’s son, Rotta the Hutt. I was never able to make it through a full episode of The Clone Wars TV series, which Disney wisely cancelled soon after acquiring Lucasfilm. I would much rather watch Ewoks or Droids.
Worst Star Trek Movie… Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Star Trek’s cinematic journey began with the lifeless Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. For years, this reigned as the worst Trek of them all for me. At least the often-maligned Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) was fun. The crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation finally managed to take their well-earned spot at the bottom in 1998 with Star Trek: Insurrection, a movie where android Data acts as a flotation device and Klingon Worf grows a zit. Though I have given this one “another chance” a few times since first seeing it in theaters, I have since vowed to never watch it again. Life is too short.
Data (Brent Spiner) pops out of the hay in STAR TREK: INSURRECTION (1998)
Thank you to Box Office Buzz for the post idea, even though drudging up memories of watching some of these was painful at times.