Collecting Trash: Memorabilia from Razzie Award-Winning Movies
2003 was not a great year for Ben Affleck. His relationship with Jennifer Lopez attracted constant tabloid attention, earning him the reputation as the “world’s most over-exposed actor”, and he starred in three high-profile failures within the space of 12 months: Daredevil, Paycheck and Gigli. This trio of relative stinkers was enough to win Affleck the Worst Actor award at the 2003 Razzies. Of the three, Gigli is the only truly terrible movie – the story of a vain mobster and a lesbian hit-woman who together kidnap a mentally-challenged Baywatch fan, and fall in love along the way. However, Daredevil suffered in the Affleck-backlash and is not well remembered by comic book movie fans. Affleck himself stated “the only movie I actually regret is Daredevil. It just kills me. I love that story, that character, and the fact that it got f*cked up the way it did stays with me.” Fans may not have loved the film, but at least one loved Affleck’s screen-worn costume – paying $50,000 for it during a Profiles in History auction in 2008. And in 2015, having directed a series of critically-acclaimed films including the Oscar-winning Best Picture Argo, Affleck was given the very first Razzie Redeemer Award for turning his career around.
Attack of the Clones (2002)
Anakin Skywalker may have been annoying in The Phantom Menace (“Yippee!”), but Attack of the Clones managed to make him annoying and creepy. Christensen plays Anakin Skywalker as a psychotic teenager, in turn sulking that life isn’t fair and then ranting about how he slaughtered entire families of Sand People. He also stares at Natalie Portman like a convicted stalker, and woos her with lines like “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and irritating and it gets everywhere. Everything here is soft and smooth.” Featuring line readings so flat they’re horizontal, tortuous dialogue and absolutely zero chemistry, the relationship between Anakin and Padme is one of the least-convincing screen romances in film history. The only relief is in knowing that at some point in the future, Anakin gets his arms and legs chopped off and turns into James Earl Jones. Christensen won himself Worst Supporting Actor at the 2002 Razzies, and five years later his screen-used Attack of the Clones lightsaber sold at profiles in History for $40,000.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Michael Bay’s sequel to the 2007 original features even more ‘robots smashing into other robots’ action along with a plot that makes even less sense. The film lurches from one incomprehensible action sequence to another, punctuated by almost constant explosions, slow-motion running away from explosions, gunfire, shouting and racist stereotypes. Noted critic Roger Ebert called it “a horrible experience of unbearable length”, with TIME Magazine adding “the whole experience is like having your nose pressed into Bay’s manly armpit for 2½ hours” and a Guardian critic suggesting it was “like watching paint dry while getting hit over the head with a frying pan”. Despite the overwhelmingly negative reviews, the film proved that ‘giant robots relentlessly punching each other’ is a fairly critic-proof concept. It made $836 million worldwide, and spawned a further two equally terrible and bombastic sequels. The film was nominated for seven awards at the 2010 Razzies, winning three: Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay. A year previously, shortly after the film’s release, the hero costume worn by Shia Leboef throughout most of the film had sold at Profiles in History for $2,000.
Hudson Hawk (1991)
Bruce Willis co-wrote the screenplay for Hudson Hawk – his first and last foray into screenwriting – and then proceeded to sing and smirk his way through the 1991 box-office flop. He plays the eponymous Hawk, a cat burglar who gets involved in a world domination plot involving the Vatican, the CIA, the Mafia, the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci and Sandra Bernhard. Featuring surreal, cartoon-like violence, unnecessary musical numbers, pointless running gags, stupid character names and scene-chewing performances, the film confused audiences and infuriated critics. A review in Rolling Stone claimed “a movie this unspeakably awful can make an audience a little crazy. You want to throw things, yell at the actors, beg them to stop.” Rumours abounded that Willis had ordered an effects team to paint in his bald spot, adding to the film’s already-huge budget. The film ended up with a domestic box-office figure of around $17 million, far below its cost of $65 million, and remains a byword for bad movies to this day. The da Vinci-designed glider flown by Willis in the film’s climax sold at Profiles in History in 2010 for $3,750.
Described as “arguably the worst superhero film ever made” by the Orlando Sentinel, Catwoman has almost no connection to the Batman universe and stars Halle Berry as Patience Phillips – a meek artist who dies and is brought back to life by a magical Egyptian cat. In 2005 the film won four Razzies: Worst Picture, Worst Actress, Worst Director and Worst Screenplay. Berry is one of the few winners in the ceremony’s history to receive her award in person. She collected it, holding her 2001 Best Actress Oscar for Monster’s Ball in her other hand, and began her speech: “First of all, I want to thank Warner Brothers. Thank you for putting me in a piece of sh*t, god-awful movie… It was just what my career needed.” Berry’s screen-worn cat suit from the film fared slightly better, selling for $13,000 at Profiles in History in 2009.
Howard the Duck (1986)
Almost 30 years on, Howard the Duck remains a three word punch line for jokes about bad movies. Based on the satirical Marvel comic book by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik, the film became a weird mess of special effects and risqué jokes that confused pretty much everybody. In the words of critic Gene Siskell, “Who was this stupid film made for?” The weird tone of the film combines hammy performances and giant aliens with sexual innuendo and cinema’s first (almost) love scene between a woman and a duck. Following a test-screening, two Universal executives were rumoured to have attacked each other after arguing about whose fault the movie was. Director Howard Schyuck never made another film, and many of the actors struggled to work for years afterwards, tainted by their association with the project. The film received seven Razzie nominations in 1987 and won four trophies, for Worst Screenplay, Worst New Star (anyone in the duck suit) Worst Visual Effects and Worst Picture, which it won jointly with the Prince gigolo musical ‘Under the Cherry Moon’. One of the ill-fitting, screen-worn duck masks from the film sold on eBay in 2011 for $1,525, but there were unsurprisingly no takers when this highly creepy animatronic Howard puppet came up for action a few weeks later.
Battlefield Earth (2000)
Devoted Scientologist John Travolta used his post-Pulp Fiction influence to make this adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction novel, playing a nine-foot alien with dreadlocks named Terl. Featuring borderline insane performances, crater-sized plot holes, terrible production values and some of the worst dialogue ever committed to film, Battlefield Earth was described as “breathtakingly awful in concept and execution”. And just to make things worse, almost every single scene in the film is shot using Dutch angles, meaning it can make you feel physically as well as spiritually ill. Roger Ebert stated the film was “like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It’s not merely bad; it’s unpleasant in a hostile way.” The film swept the 2000 Razzies, winning seven major awards including Worst Film, Worst Actor and Worst Screen Couple (Travolta and “anyone sharing the screen with him”). It was also voted ‘Worst Picture of the Decade’, and the ‘Worst Drama’ released in the award ceremony’s first 25 years. One of Travolta’s screen-worn costumes sold in 2012 at Premier Props for the princely sum of $1,000.
Jack and Jill (2011)
Following his self-aware turn as a comedian-turned film star in ‘Funny People’, Adam Sandler decided to revert to type with the high-concept, low-everything else Jack and Jill. Described as “impossible to recommend on any level whatsoever”, the film stars Sandler as both Jack and his monstrous, shrieking sister Jill, who manages to attract the romantic attentions of Al Pacino (playing himself). A reviewer for Time Magazine claimed “More than 24 hours has passed since I watched the new Adam Sandler movie ‘Jack and Jill’ and I am still dead inside”, and New York Times reviewer A.O. Scott added “As for Mr. Sandler, I have always been interested in what he would do next, and I suppose I still am, especially if what he does next is retire.” Jack and Jill set a new record at the 2011 Razzies, collecting ten awards and sweeping every category. This costume, worn by Sandler in drag during his ‘Worst Actress’-winning performance, sold at a ScreenUsed auction in 2014 for $150.
Written by and Published with permission via PiCollecta visit https://www.picollecta.com/