Eric's Bad Movies

Weekly columns written 2008-2014 for Film.com and GeekNation. The point was to be funny rather than fair, and they're full of spoilers, so I don't consider them "reviews." What do I consider them? Delightful. (I'm posting them -- all 252 -- in the order I wrote them, newest on top.)

Eric's Bad Movies

Weekly columns written 2008-2014 for Film.com and GeekNation. The point was to be funny rather than fair, and they're full of spoilers, so I don't consider them "reviews." What do I consider them? Delightful. (I'm posting them -- all 252 -- in the order I wrote them, newest on top.)

Cutthroat Island

If you're Renny Harlin, the problem with being married to Geena Davis is that she might suggest you direct a pirate movie starring her as the lead pirate. If you're Geena Davis, the problem with being...

Virus

Ever since man first gazed heavenward and sought to explore the outer reaches of space, he has been troubled by one forbidding thought: What if an alien life form commandeers our spacecraft, uses our ...

The Island of Dr. Moreau

"The Island of Dr. Moreau" begins with three men adrift on a life raft, dying of thirst. Two of them fight, stab each other, and fall into the ocean, where they continue fighting until a shark arrives...

Exorcist II: The Heretic

"The Exorcist" contains one of the most chilling accounts of demonic possession in all of history, but there is another incident even more disturbing. It is reported that shortly after the film was re...

Rambo III

After the success of "First Blood" and its sequel, "Rambo: First Blood Part II," Sylvester Stallone was stymied. His character, monosyllabic killing machine John Rambo, had already defended himself ag...

The Apple

Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus are a pair of Israeli cousins who have turned up frequently in Eric's Bad Movies, thanks to their uncanny ability to make awful films very cheaply and very quickly. They...

Baby Geniuses

Sometimes we gaze into the eyes of an infant and wonder what secrets lie in its precious, innocent little mind. Perhaps babies hold the keys to all life's mysteries, if only we could become more child...

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

Unlike "Friday the 13th," which was lousy from the beginning, the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise started out scary. Who wouldn't be afraid of a prune-faced man who visits you in your dreams and m...

American Ninja

Everyone knows that ninjas were super-stealthy spies and assassins who operated in Japan hundreds of years ago. But what if there were ninjas TODAY? And what if one of them were -- stay with me here -...

Jaws 3-D

"Jaws" is an entertaining and suspenseful blockbuster from 1975 about a shark that is punished for acting like a shark. The film is very scary. Afterward, many people were afraid to go anywhere near R...

Heartbeeps

Today Andy Kaufman is best remembered as a stand-up comedian who specialized in finding ways to annoy or confuse his audience rather than amuse them. Evidently this was a lucrative career path. But th...

Hercules (1983)

One of cinema's most enduring characters is Hercules, the lovable Greek strongman who was the son of Zeus and had the special power of being able to lift heavy things and unscrew stubborn lids. He has...

Body Rock

September 1984 was an uneasy time in our nation's history. The breakdancing movie "Breakin'" had been released, but its follow-up, "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo," was still three months away. "Beat S...

House II: The Second Story

In the 1980s there was this weird trend of making sequels that had nothing to do with the movies they were supposed to be sequels to. "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" was entirely separate from th...

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation

In discussing "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation," it would be easy to dwell on the film's failure to include even one chainsaw-related death. So let's do that. Three people die in the movi...

Superman III

"Superman III" may be a terrible movie, but I admire the way the filmmakers stuck to their guns. Many of us, given the opportunity to make a Superman film, would be tempted to include some scenes of t...

D-War: Dragon Wars

Every year, hundreds of low-budget films are released on DVD without having played in theaters first. This is usually due to theaters not wanting them. "Ew," the theaters say. "A horror sequel with no...

Night of the Lepus

Ever since someone figured out that small things could be made to appear large by putting them closer to the camera, movies have featured giant animals. Audiences can't get enough of oversized beasts ...

The Pagemaster

Books can take you to magical, far-off places, to lands you've never dreamed of, allowing you to experience all manner of excitement and wonder. I guess movies can do that too, but you wouldn't know i...

Wizards of the Demon Sword

I can't find any evidence that "Wizards of the Demon Sword" was ever screened in an actual movie theater. It seems unlikely. That's like wondering whether the answering-machine tape at your dentist's ...

Cool World

Ralph Bakshi is best known for making "Fritz the Cat," a 1972 film that holds the distinction of being the first animated feature to receive an X rating. What's surprising is that it took until 1972 f...

Firewalker

Surely the hand of fate has guided Chuck Norris throughout his career. When he agreed to star in the film "Firewalker" in the mid '80s, he couldn't have known that several years later he would star in...

Jack Frost (1997)

There were two films released in the late 1990s under the title "Jack Frost." One was a sappy family comedy in which Michael Keaton dies and is reincarnated as a snowman, all the better to first terri...

Frogs

Frogs appears to be a movie about killer frogs, and yet -- and I cannot overstate this -- at no point in the movie are any frogs responsible for the death of any person. There are a lot of frogs in th...

Jack

While some people manage to take bad-sounding ideas and turn them into good films, it's comforting to know that some ideas are so bad they're beyond redemption. Like "Jack," for instance. It's about a...

On Deadly Ground

When the subject of Steven Seagal trivia comes up -- and one could argue that all Seagal-related matters qualify as "trivia" -- even a beginner knows the basics. His first film was "Above the Law"; he...

Dracula 2000 (Eric’s Bad Movies)

I know that in previous columns I have demonstrated a tendency to obsess over a film's title almost as much as its content, and while I strive to overcome that impulse I can't let it go in the case of...

Volcano

"Volcano" is a very famous movie because it happened to come out two months after "Dante's Peak," which was also about a volcano but which, lucky for the makers of "Volcano," hadn't used the word "vol...

Surf Ninjas

Let's say you write a weekly column about bad movies, and that this column is extraordinarily popular and has made you beloved the world over. (LET'S JUST SAY.) Then let's say someone suggests as fodd...

King Kong Lives

Our film this week is from 1986, and it is called "King Kong Lives." "What??" you're saying. "No he doesn't!" King Kong fell off the Empire State Building in 1933, or off one of the Twin Towers in 197...

The Next Karate Kid

If there is one thing we learned from Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid," it's that you can heal a broken leg by rubbing your hands together and then touching it. Countless lives have been saved with this...

Death Wish: The Face of Death

In 1974, movie audiences were enchanted by "Death Wish," a delightful romp in which a man named Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) goes on a killing spree after his wife is murdered and his daughter raped....

Leonard Part 6

For every George Clooney who makes the transition from a successful TV career to a successful film career, there are a hundred Bill Cosbys who never manage to do anything other than star in self-title...

Meteor

In the very likely event that you have not seen the 1979 disaster film "Meteor" and do not wish to have the entire plot spoiled for you, please avert your eyes from the following paragraph! A five-...

Two of a Kind

You can imagine how excited people in Hollywood were after the enormous success of "Grease" in 1978. "Wow!" they must have thought. "We can make millions of dollars just by sticking John Travolta and ...

Stone Cold

Brian Bosworth was a football star at the University of Oklahoma in the mid 1980s before spending two disappointing years with the Seattle Seahawks. He followed this with a disastrous movie career, st...

Sleepaway Camp

I never went to summer camp as a kid. Neither did anyone else I knew. As far as I could tell, it was one of those things that movie adolescents did that real kids didn't, like showering after high-sch...

Troll

One of the hazards of renting an apartment instead of owning a home is that there's a chance you'll move into a building where there's an ancient troll living in the laundry room. This is common knowl...

Krull

It is absurdly difficult to make a good movie about sword-wielding medieval types who cast spells and wear tunics. It is even harder when one of your main characters is a magician who turns himself in...

The Arrival

There was a time when Charlie Sheen was a charismatic and likable actor. Several years after that period ended, he made "The Arrival." I heard he's now on a popular and long-running TV sitcom, but I h...

Cobra

"Cobra" is a cool title for a movie, sure, but the coolness is diminished by the fact that it has nothing to do with the movie it's the title of. The main character is named Cobretti, and "Cobra" is h...

Surviving the Game

The rapper-turned-actor Ice-T is so awful in every performance he gives that I'm amazed he doesn't appear in more bad movies. Think about it. If you're trying to make a bad movie, your job is half-don...

The Good Son

Friday night, Craig, Gina, Jess, Stacy, Joe, Mari, and I went to see "The Good Son." It was amusing in its badness, and then we went to Denny's. -- Actual entry in my diary, Sept. 26, 1993. Mov...

Teen Witch

In all the Harry Potter talk that we've been inundated with the last few years, one thing that the mainstream media has consistently failed to report is how J.K. Rowling stole all her ideas from the 1...

It’s Pat

You can choose almost any movie based on a "Saturday Night Live" character and use it as an example of how not to make a movie. The "SNL" films are good for that. Someone should compile them into a te...

The Care Bears Movie

Imagine a terrifying world in which bears have the power of speech and can shoot lasers out of their chests as a punishment against those deemed "uncaring." Imagine these bears barging into your home ...

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

In the mid 1990s, America was attacked by a foreign enemy known as "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," a Japanese TV show about costumed heroes who spend their free time beating the suck out of evildoers....

Red Sonja

As an actor, you should take it as a bad sign when you play the title character and appear in every scene of a movie, yet you get second billing under someone who only has 15 minutes of screen time. T...

The Neverending Story III

"The Neverending Story III" is a dumb kids' movie, by which I mean it is a movie for dumb kids. Do you know any dumb kids? Then plop them down in front of "The Neverending Story III" and watch them ti...

The Ice Pirates

According to Wikipedia, "The Ice Pirates" is "considered to be a cult classic by many science fiction and B-movie fans." This is followed by "," which I couldn't have phrased better myself. Who are th...

The Other Sister

It's tricky to write about "The Other Sister," because it's about two young mentally handicapped people who fall in love, and that subject is very sensitive, and the word "retarded" is often used as a...

The Forbidden Dance

Do you remember where you were on March 16, 1990? Of course you do. That's the day that two -- yes, TWO -- movies about a sexy dance called the lambada hit theaters, and you had to choose which of the...

The Wizard

(Note: This movie contains no actual wizards.) "The Wizard" is both a tender family comedy about a 9-year-old boy mourning the death of his twin sister, and a Nintendo commercial. You might have th...

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

A confession: I am almost entirely a "Star Trek" virgin, and not in the way that virginity is usually associated with "Star Trek." I've seen only clips from the original series, even less from the spi...

Howard the Duck

Sometimes movies get reputations they don't deserve. Gigli was heralded as a new low in disastrous filmmaking, but there were at least a dozen films the same year that were worse. Ishtar is a famous f...

The 13th Warrior

Here are my main complaints about "The 13th Warrior," starring Antonio Banderas as a 10th-century Arab Muslim who goes on an adventure with Norse Vikings: - It stars Antonio Banderas as a 10th-cent...

Showgirls

It is my belief that "Showgirls" was conceived on a dare. Dutch director Paul Verhoeven and Hungarian screenwriter Joe Eszterhas had collaborated very profitably on "Basic Instinct" and, as a follow-u...

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie

The hottest toy in the mid-1980s was the Cabbage Patch Kid, a line of ugly plush dolls that were each "unique" and came with individual "adoption papers." The designer of the doll, Xavier Roberts, tat...

Hudson Hawk

Before he became a big-time action star, Bruce Willis was just the smirking wise-cracker on TV's "Moonlighting," which was a great show, on the rare occasions that Willis and Cybill Shepherd could be ...

Waterworld

"Waterworld" is notorious for being a big-budget flop and an embarrassment to the otherwise pristine and unimpeachable career of master thespian Kevin Costner. But there's something that gets overlook...

Shanghai Surprise

You kids might not know this, but there used to be a very popular singer named Madonna. Her gimmick was to dress, talk, and act like a common street whore, and in so doing, to empower women. (It didn'...

Orca

Any film that achieves huge success inspires copycats in Hollywood, but few people realize what a burden this is on the imitators. For example, when the Harry Potter movies came around, everyone else ...

Congo

(Note: This column uses the words "ape," "monkey," and "gorilla" interchangeably, even though it is technically incorrect to do so. The author apologizes in advance for not caring if this bothers you....

Street Fighter

The film "Street Fighter" contains surprisingly little fighting, and none of it takes place in the street. The end. What, you want more than that? Oy gevalt. Look, today we know that if a film is b...

Zardoz

It's common to say, when observing a terrible film, that the people who made it must have been on drugs. Surely this nonsense could only have seemed rational to people whose minds had been altered! Th...

Judge Dredd

Sylvester Stallone has made so many bad movies that the United Nations once considered filing a resolution against him. (It was only after a day of tearful testimony from Talia Shire that they voted t...

Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold

Like most popular things, the Indiana Jones movies have inspired many copycats and rip-offs. The most recent was something called "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," in which an 80-year-old Harrison Ford ...

Supergirl

Anyone who watches "Supergirl" should feel insulted by it, but women have the most cause for offense. The title character has all the same powers as her cousin Superman, with the addition of being abl...

Timecop

Jean-Claude Van Damme IS ... Timecop! He's the guy they send when you're wasting time! TIMECOP: Hey, you! Quit loitering there! You're wasting time! CITIZEN: What are you, the "time police"?! TIM...

The Beastmaster

It is no surprise that "The Beastmaster" is goofy and lame, as this is the case with about 95 percent of movies involving swords, wizards, and/or loincloths. A film producer who sees an expenditure fo...

Xanadu

The 1980 musical/romance/fantasy/trainwreck "Xanadu" is now famous primarily for being one of the few films to start with "X," which is very handy if you're playing Scattergories. But when the film wa...

Ernest Saves Christmas

As a comic actor, Jim Varney's only major flaw was that he wasn't funny. He had energy to spare, he could make silly faces, and he was really good at convincing viewers that he was a clueless redneck ...

Silent Night Deadly Night

With regard to "Silent Night Deadly Night," two things are indisputable. One, it's a great title for a horror film. I would also suggest "It Killed Upon a Midnight Clear" and "Deck the Halls with Boug...

Jack Frost (1998)

I've written before about how some movies had a chance at success and just turned out bad, while others were obviously going to be bad from the moment they were conceived. "Jack Frost" falls into the ...

Inspector Gadget

My personal theology allows for the existence of Movie Hell, a fiery place where bad films go when they die, to be torn apart and ridiculed for all eternity by movie critics, who of course also go the...

Kull the Conqueror

"Kull the Conqueror" answers the question, "How bad does a movie have to be for Arnold Schwarzenegger to turn it down?" For you see, it was originally intended as a third Conan movie (after "Conan the...

The Avengers (1998)

At no point in "The Avengers" does any avenging occur. This is remarkable on its own, and yet it is surpassed by another curious fact: The movie does not contain a single interesting moment. You could...

Gymkata

I don't know about you, but I've always felt that the one thing missing from gymnastic events at the Olympics was violence. What's the point in having all that upper-body strength if you're not going ...

The Mangler

The basic concept of many horror movies is that there is a monster of some kind, and the heroes have to destroy it or be killed by it. Sometimes the monster is something that's obviously frightening, ...

High School Musical

The Walt Disney Company is unparalleled in its production of inexpensive, medium-quality films that appeal to its two major target audiences: the young, and the easily amused. Many of these films are ...

Howling II: …Your Sister Is a Werewolf

"Howling II: ...Your Sister Is a Werewolf" is such an awful film that I almost feel bad making fun of it. Surely this was not a real movie that was really released in real theaters where real people w...

I Know What You Did Last Summer

The problem with movies about psychopaths who kill people as an act of revenge against some prior offense is that these psychos almost always wind up going off-message. They'll be focused on their tar...

Leprechaun

Oh, dear. You know I don't like to criticize movies, but I'm afraid there are a few things about Leprechaun that I simply cannot let pass. First and foremost: The title character, an honest-to-goodnes...

The Wiz

When "The Wiz" debuted to great acclaim on Broadway in 1975, it represented a significant achievement in African American arts and culture. The show was a retelling of "The Wizard of Oz" with a cast, ...

Mac and Me

Hollywood has had an impact on consumer trends ever since the early days of film. Our history books speak of Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp" character being so popular that it inspired millions of pe...

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

"Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" is 94 minutes long, including 12 minutes of closing credits. That's a lot of names for a movie that doesn't contain a single intelligent thought or coherent story element...

Anaconda

The phrase "so bad it's good" is a misnomer. What we usually mean by it is that we found a movie's particular brand of badness entertaining. But just because we've gotten enjoyment out of it doesn't m...

Cocktail

The fact that "Cocktail" was able to make $78 million at the box office in 1988 is a testament to the star power then wielded by Tom Cruise. In the heady days after his success in "Top Gun," audiences...

Jaws: The Revenge

There are two creatures seeking revenge in "Jaws: The Revenge," the fourth episode in the fish-centric soap opera. One is Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary), whose life has been disrupted by one shark after ...

Double Impact

"Double Impact" takes its title from the fact that Jean-Claude Van Damme plays two characters in it. The strange thing is, contrary to all the prevailing theories of mathematics, the impact of having ...

Grease 2

The only way I can imagine enjoying "Grease 2" -- short of medicating oneself into a passive stupor, I mean -- is to look at it not as a sequel to "Grease" but as a screeching, hideous parody of it. ...

Masters of the Universe

If you want proof that boys shouldn't play with dolls, you need only look at the movies based on those dolls. "Transformers" was a debacle, and I'm pretty sure I know the upcoming live-action "G.I. Jo...

Over the Top

"Over the Top" is about the glamorous, highly competitive world of professional arm-wrestling. Its failure to connect with moviegoers in 1987 can probably be traced to the virulent anti-arm-wrestling ...

Batman & Robin (Eric’s Bad Movies)

Comic book fans are notoriously hard to please, and I don't mean sexually. (That's actually easy.) The movie adaptations of their beloved superheroes' exploits, which have been arriving in theaters at...

Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend

Since the beginning of cinema, filmmakers have had a keen interest in at least two things: stories about dinosaurs, and exploiting Africans. "Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend" is a 1985 exercise in bot...

Patch Adams

In a good movie, the hero faces difficulties that the audience can recognize and identify with, and he overcomes them through his own strength and tenacity. That's in a good movie. In a bad movie -- s...

Kazaam

Upon hearing that a professional basketball player is going to take the lead role in a major film, a normal person's response would be something along the lines of "No thank you" or "That sounds terri...

Bio-Dome

Pauly Shore's parents were Mitzi and Sammy Shore, showbiz pros who founded The Comedy Store, L.A.'s famous stand-up club, in 1972. Those connections explain how Pauly was able to get his first job in ...

Glitter

Mariah Carey is a lot of things. Famous, for example. That's a thing she is. Another thing she is, is an Aries. There's no disputing that. She was born March 27, so she's an Aries. You can take that o...

The Adventures of Pluto Nash

The continued success of Eddie Murphy is a mystery that has puzzled scientists for centuries. Sure, he's talented. He was funny during his "Saturday Night Live" stint -- and not funny in the way that ...