The Razzies aka the Golden Raspberry Awards are annually given to the rottenest (non-)achievements in cinema, but occasionally the line between good and bad might be blurred a bit, seeing as some of their Worst Pictures winners are car crashes that I actually enjoyed. I wouldnt be so bold as to suggest that all of the following 10 films should have won the Oscar, but maybe they should have at least been nominated? Hello?
Cant Stop The Music (1980)
Nancy Walker (you know, the quicker-picker-upper lady from the Bounty commercials) directed this badly received musical, which tragically came out just when disco was heading toward life support. It starred the Village People, a fabulous musical group of swish queens dressed as macho stereotypes, with campy support from Valerie Perrine, Bruce Jenner, Steve Guttenberg, June Havoc and Tammy Grimes. The Milkshake number is better than the Leatherman singing Danny Boy, but overall, I dont find the whole thing to be that bad. Then again, my idea of a really fine restaurant is Chipotle.
Mommie Dearest (1981)
After I caught a screening of this look at the demented later years of screen gargoyle Joan Crawford, I called a friend squealing that Id just seen the most riveting thing in years. It works on every level, with snappy dialogue, brilliant performances and chilling horror to go with the healthy doses of glamour and shoulder pads. Is it campy? Damned right! But Joan Crawfords life was campy. To me, this film is a documentary, and Faye Dunaway is even better as Joan than Joan herself was.
The Lonely Lady (1983)
Eighties punchline Pia Zadora plays an up-and-coming screenwriter whos raped with a garden hose en route to the top in this bizarre but sort-of enjoyable adaptation of a Harold Robbins novel. Pia is spunk personified, and in the movie, her Oscar speech is an absolute riot. She should have been allowed to give a real Oscar speech for this. Maybe.
Under The Cherry Moon (1986)
This black-and-white film was savaged for being idiotic, but I remember thinking it wasnt half bad (if no “Purple Rain”) when I paid to see it at an empty theater. Prince plays a gigolo trying to woo a wealthy gal (Kristin Scott Thomas in her motion picture debut), but falling for her hook, line and stinker. It was indeed idiotic, but theres lots of comic relief, nice scenery, and Ive seen way worse. Like Shanghai Surprise, a Worst Picture nominee from the same year!
Indecent Proposal (1993)
In honky-tonky Las Vegas, a down-and-out couple played by Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore are offered a million bucks by a high-roller (Robert Redford) who wants to sleep with Demi. The result wasnt exactly “The Earrings of Madame De,” but critics went overboard in ripping it to shreds, viciously claiming it was silly, ridiculous and basically the end of civilization. The truth is that, while the film was hardly profound, its a perfectly watchable entertainment. Whats more, the Redford character was offensive, but the media acted as if the movie itself was. And no, no one paid me a million bucks to say that.
As I’ve noted before, this glossy piece of trash demeans women at every turn in order to create an alleged tale of female empowerment. It follows Vegas dancer Nomi Malone through all kinds of personal drama, bitchery and underwater blow jobs until shes earned the title of the casino revue shes in Goddess. Sound kind of good? Well, it is. And the film amuses every step of the way, often intentionally. Something this campily enjoyable cant be bad.
Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
Comic Tom Green was annihilated for this shock comedy about an unemployed cartoonist who moves back in with his parents and brother. Many found the jokes about wheelchair-bound oral sex, prostates, penises, animals and a dead baby swung around by its cord to be deeply offensive. But they were darkly funny, too, with Green forcing you to confront the dark side of comedy while making fun of the idea that entertainment has to be inspirational. Freddy got underrated, but I may be the only one who feels that way.
Swept Away (2002)
This nervy remake of Lina Wertmullers 1974 classic in which a rich bitch is cast adrift on an island with her swarthy employee sucked all the sociopolitics out of the project, thereby flattening it like a pancake. Whats more, the video-style fantasy of star Madonna doing Come on-a My House was ghastly bad, but critics overdid the abuse, claiming the movie was rotten from top to bottom. It was actually OK (this was no Shanghai Surprise), and Madonna did well as the monster woman hubby Guy Ritchie directing her to be nastier and nastier for reasons only a therapist could guess.
Jack and Jill (2011)
The name “Adam Sandler” seems to only excite Razzie voters these days, but I happened to find this brash comedy hilarious at least in parts. Sandler plays a family man named Jack Sadelstein and his obnoxious twin sister Jill, who wont leave after her Thanksgiving drop-in. Youll want to leave right away if the thought of two Adam Sandlers makes you cuckoo, but give this thing a chance.
Movie 43 (2013)
A lowdown producer is seen pitching bizarre movie ideas, which leads to a series of star-studded short films depicting what his projects would amount to. Theyre supposed to be outrageous and out-there and completely unrealistic. And a few of them happen to be quite funny. Thats my opinion and Im sticking to it. So eff you, Razzies. And if youre going to start picking on Exodus, beware the wrath of God.
The 35th Golden Raspberry Awards will be held Saturday, Feb. 21.
Michael Musto is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.