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Golden Raspberry Awards: 1994

Razzie 1994

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The fifteenth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 1994.  The Lion King and Forrest Gump were the highest-grossing movies that year.  David Letterman introduced Oprah Winfrey to Uma Thurman at the Oscars which was a showdown between Gump and Pulp.  Tom Hanks won his second consecutive Best Actor Oscar which set the tone for a Forrest Gump sweep.  The Razzies introduced a couple of new categories which allowed them to spread the love around.

Worst Original Song

  • “The Color of the Night” from Color of Night, music and lyrics by Jud J. Friedman, Lauren Christy and Dominic Frontiere (also nominated for a Golden Globe)
  • “Marry the Mole!” from Thumbelina, music by Barry Manilow, lyrics by Jack Feldman
  • “Under the Same Sun” from On Deadly Ground, written by Mark Hudson, Klaus Meine and Scott Fairbairn

Winner: “Marry the Mole!”

I don’t know a lot about music.  I’ll be the first to admit it.  But then again, I don’t think Razzie voters knew any more than I did.  Case in point, our first nominee for Worst Original Song is “The Color of the Night” by Lauren Christy from the movie Color of Night.

Sexy video.  Song seems all right to me.  The Golden Globes liked it too.  It was nominated for Best Original Song which it lost to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”.  I am going to side with the Globes on this one.  The only reason this song was nominated was that it was from the Color of Night soundtrack.  That movie was very deservedly nominated in several categories, but this wasn’t one of them.

Incidentally, Christy went on to be one of the co-founders of The Matrix.  No, not the one with Keanu Reeves.  The group that wrote and produced hit albums for Avril Lavigne, Jason Mraz, Shakira, Liz Phair, Korn, David Bowie, Christina Aguilera, Rickey Martin and Britney Spears among others.

Let’s say it’s the early 90’s and you are making an environmentally-themed action movie.  You need a band to write a theme song.  Who do you call?  If your answer was the Scorpions, congratulations.  You made the same as Steven Seagal.  I suppose it’s reasonable that you would want to tap the band that had a hit with “Wind of Change”.

The winner was the song “Marry the Mole” from the Don Bluth animated feature, Thumbelina.  How bad could it really be?  The music was written by Barry Manilow who, love him or hate him, knows how to craft a catchy tune.  Unfortunately, he seemed to be having a memory lapse when he wrote “Marry the Mole”.  Worse still, the song was sung by a warbling Carol Channing.

You can see why The Lion King went on to become the highest grossing animated film of all time when this was the competition.

Next: Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst New Star

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Posted on January 21, 2016, in Awards, Movies, Razzies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 45 Comments.

  1. As a two-for-one, here’s the double whammy of Siskel & Ebert, and the Nostalgia Critic reviewing North (1994)

    Siskel & Ebert: North (1994)

    Nostalgia Critic: North (1994)

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  2. The Flintstones was far from good. But it wasn’t excruciating to watch the way a few others from that year were. Same with Color Of Night. It was dumb as a post. But it was never boring. The excruciating to watch list from 1994 would include

    North
    IQ
    Mixed Nuts
    The dismal remake of Angels In The Outfield
    Blankman
    Clifford
    Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
    Trapped In Paradise

    But by far the absolute worst movie of 1994 was one that got no Razzie notice because luckily few people saw it. I refer to the horrid, atrocious, abysmal, abominable, excruciating, oh god make it stop It’s Pat The Movie.

    Of movies based on SNL sketches there have been TWO good ones (of course those are the original Blues Brothers and the original Wayne’s World). Coneheads is passable. The rest range from mediocre (Macgruber) to flat out abysmal (A Night At The Roxbury). It’s Pat is the absolute bottom of the barrel. If one’s looking tor an easy way to beat ISIS, here’s one. Lock them all in a room with It’s Pat playing. In a few hours they will have all killed themselves.

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    • Don’t worry Jeff, It’s Pat will make its appearance next week, just you wait.

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    • Yep, It’s Pat is coming. The internet has it listed as a 1994 movie, but it was actually released in 1995.

      I agree with some of your excruciating list. There are always worse movies to choose from. But the Razzies tend not to take notice of a little turd like Clifford or Trapped in Paradise. Now, if one of their targets had appeared in them, sure. But unless Stallone or Demi Moore pops up, they will let those movies pass.

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      • In yesterday’s bracket game I had commented that to my knowledge Tarantino has only done uncredited rewrites for other people twice in his career, for Crimson Tide in 1995 and The Rock in 1996. Here’s the thing: I completely forgot about It’s Pat. Tarantino has admitted that he was pals with Julia Sweeney (she even pops up in Pulp Fiction as Harvey Kietel’s gal) and he helped with an uncredited rewrite on It’s Pat. It looks like even a great screenwriter like Tarantino couldn’t help fix that mess.

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        • Not even Shakespeare could’ve saved it.

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        • There are very few SNL sketches that can be stretched to 90 minutes. Pat was obviously not one of them.

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        • This is by no means a defense of It’s Pat, but when I think about it in retrospect it’s surprising to me that Universal Pictures gave Dan Akyroyd, John Belushi and John Landis $30 Million dollars to play with to make The Blue Brothers as a major motion picture. Looking back at it in retrospect I would never have guessed that the best SNL-based movie of all time would originate from two such thinly-drawn characters as Jake and Elwood; up to that point they had only appeared a few times on SNL purely in musical bits on the show, there was nothing to suggest that they could hold together a two hour big budget comedy and deliver one of the biggest box office hits of 1980 to boot. In theory, if the Blues Brothers could knock it out of the park with so little to work with….. no, even going this far in the analogy I still can’t pretend that It’s Pat could have turned out to be a good movie. Sorry, I did try. At least Belushi and Aykroyd brought natural charisma and bundles of talent to their film, I can’t say Pat was ever anything more than an amusing sketch for the first two or three appearances. There was never any reason to make an It’s Pat movie.

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        • I think the Blues Brothers worked precisely because it was so thinly drawn. On SNL, the Blues Brothers wasn’t even so much a sketch as it was an act. The joke, if one can say there even was one, was that these two funny looking white guys were doing a blues act. And they were doing it completely straight-faced. On the other hand, It’s Pat was a very clearly defined sketch. Every time they did it, they hammered hom the same joke until you were sick of it. Pat was so androgynous that it drove everyone around them crazy. Sustaining that for even five minutes was difficult. It just doesn’t lend itself to an hour and a half runtime.

          As for why Universal made Blues Brothers, there are a few reasons. One, after Animal House, Belushi was a massive movie star. He and Aykroyd together were a very bankable pair in spite of 1941. They had taken the Blues Brothers on a very successful tour in between seasons of SNL and had a hit blues album at a time when blues albums didn’t sell.

          As you probably know, Aykroyd’s original concept for The Blues Brothers was every bit as off the wall as his original concept for Ghostbusters. It involved all kinds of sci fi concepts and would have cost a small fortune. John Landis had to scale him back in a major way. And what we got was still outrageously over the top. But I think that shows how open-ended the Blues Brothers concept was. The characters were so open to interpretation they could have done anything as long as they wore the suits.

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        • I did oversimplify why the Blues Brothers got a big-budget theatrical. Belushi and Aykroyd were huge in the late 70’s, and the Blues Brothers even had a #1 Platinum selling album with “Suitcase Full Of Blues” in 78, I believe. And yes, there turned out to be somewhere to go with those two thinly-drawn characters too, and Aykroyd was wise enough to not just make the movie about them, but to include a heaping helping of some of the biggest names in music like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and others to fill things out. It’s still amazing that Universal took a $30M gamble on it though, as in 1980 $30M was a tremendous amount of money. Even The Empire Strikes Back, the sequel to the biggest movie ever back then, was originally greenlit at just $18M; it wound up costing double that due to overbudgeting, but still the sequel to the biggest movie ever was at least going to make its money back. Blues Brothers never had that kind of guarantee at that budget, no matter how popular Belushi and Aykroyd were. That’s just the way I think about it.

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        • You’re right about that. $30 million bucks on a musical comedy, even with Aykroyd and Belushi, was rolling the dice in a major way.

          And what makes the movie for me is the musical performances you referenced. That’s why I can still watch the movie over and over again. The over the top car chases that ran up the budget actually get a bit tedious. But the musical interludes are gold.

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        • One of my favorite moments in Blues Brothers is when Belushi and Aykroyd visit the greasy spoon diner, and they just sit there on their stools while Aretha Franklin makes a big musical number out of “You Better Think”. Even when I was an eight year old kid when I saw it on the big screen and didn’t know anything about who Aretha Franklin was, I understood that Belushi and Aykroyd were getting out of the way to let the woman do her thing. With those amazing pipes, I would get out of her way and let her do her thing, too.

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        • I would have been nine when I saw The Blues Brothers. We went to a drive in and it was showing with Jaws 2. My parents expected me to fall asleep in the back of the station wagon as all my siblings did, but I was riveted by the movie. I had no idea what to make of it. It was very strange. I didn’t know who any of the musicians were and I was only barely aware of Belushi and Aykroyd. I did recognize Princess Leia when she showed up. And Steven Spielberg. I’ll say this, the movie made an impression.

          Franklin’s number is great of course. People complained that she didn’t perform Respect instead. So she did in Blues Brothers 2000 and it turns out it wasn’t nearly as good.

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    • We continue our discussion on #SaturdayNightLive films with WAYNE’S WORLD, WAYNE’S WORLD 2, CONEHEADS and IT’S PAT!

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  3. It seems to me that the Razzies tend to heap more abuse on movies or performers who exhibit hubris or at least seem to be overestimating their own quality or appeal. Obviously anybody who is slumming gets a smack also.

    These approaches certainly explain both their continued criticism of Stallone and the sudden appearance of Seagal when he had been making empty-headed action movies for a while by that point. On Deadly Ground indicated that he was starting to take himself seriously and that was a sin that needed punishment. I can’t say I really disagree with them.

    The emphasis on Wyatt Earp seems to be hubris related. It’s a big bore, but the kind that should be easily identified and ignored.

    Yeah, I was wondering what your reaction to Culkin’s nomination was going to be. By this point he was being made into a product and that’s always worth a pie in the face. Maybe they should have nominated his parents.

    O’Donnel is an odd case. She had enough moxie and appeal to make a good comedy sidekick, but she kept making bad career decisions like Trapped in Paradise and the Flintstones. She’s the sort of performer where a littt goes a long way. She seems to crave positive reactions, but has trouble making the choices that would have that result. The nice guy routine never seemed to fit her in my eyes and I kind of wished she’d gone for being a female Don Rickles.

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    • I think you’re on to something with regards to the Razzies and hubris. They definitely don’t like it when someone tries to rise above their station. If an athlete, pop star or model attempts to act, they will get nominated. If an actor attempts to write and/or direct, they will likely get nominated unless they just knock it out of the park. If you are known for anything other than the job you are doing, the razzies probably won’t approve.

      They also are attracted to infamy. If you are in the tabloids, the Razzies are watching you. In fact, they have a special category coming up specifically to deal with tabloid stars.

      I would much rather see Culkin’s dad nominated than Culkin himself. But that nomination didn’t bother me the same way it does when they go after a kid who will probably never star in a big movie again. Culkin was already a Hollywood vet by the time he got his first Razzie nomination.

      I remember seeing O’Donnel as a stand-up and thinking she was funny. Most of her movies didn’t appeal to me, but I usually didn’t mind her when she popped up in something I saw. Yeah, small doses. My sister was a big fan of her daytime talkshow and the Queen of Nice persona, but like a lot of her fans from those days, she hates political O’Donnel. It was funny to me to see middle America turn on her so strongly. That has to have been intentional on O’Donnel’s part.

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    • Your point about hubris is spot on here, particularly as to why Steven Seagal finally got recognized by the Razzies. Beyond it being an awful film, On Deadly Ground was full of hubris and bloated ego on Seagal’s part both as director and star. No wonder Seagal finally got Razzied. Having seen the film, I can safely say he deserved the Razzie.

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    • The Flintstones (1994) : What’s Up With Rosie Being Cast As Betty?!

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109813/board/flat/63021558?p=1

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    • Where did The Flintstones go wrong? Den Of Geek sheds some light on the troubled production of the forgotten blockbuster.

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  4. This reminded me of how hot Anna Nicole Smith used to be. Ah! The good ol’ days! And I don’t remember ever watching THE COLOR OF NIGHT all the way through. I just fast-forwarded to the nudie parts. There were worse movies that didn’t even have good nudie parts.

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  5. Speaking of Flintstones I am surprised after that movie being Goodmans only leading hit his lead roles ironically dried up after that. I guess Roseanne typecast ed him,

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  6. Baby’s Day Out was that year? Wow. I have to say it’s kind of a unique, or at least limited appeal, movie. I’ve had to sit through it quite a few times but thankfully not in recent years. Basically, it’s targeted towards a very specific audience: Toddlers and babies who have developed enough to recognize what’s happening on a screen. After kindergarten, maybe early elementary school, the parent won’t have to watch again. It’s a great movie for the intended audience.

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    • Baby’s Day Out illustrates a view I’ve long had: that John Hughes career could be divided into two eras, Pre and Post Home Alone. Pre Home Alone, he made Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science and Planes Trains And Automobiles. Post Home Alone, he tried to follow that formula to increasingly diminishing returns. Sad that his last directorial effort was that terminally cutesy Curly Sue.

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      • John Hughes, for all his talent, was a factory. If something worked he would crank it out over and over again until absolutely no one had any interest left.

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      • what sets Baby’s Day Out apart, in my view, is that aside from one scene (the lighter in the shorts) there is very little to entertain the parent. Parental enjoyment will be from their kids’ reaction to the movie, not the movie. If you are not a parent of a little one there is absolutely, positively no reason to watch it. As soon as my kids tired of it, I chucked the disc in the trash.
        Planes, Trains and Automobiles, on the other hand, has a place in many DVD libraries as a comedy classic.

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  7. Poor Anna Nicole Smith. 😦

    Naked Gun 33 1/3 is definitely a step down from the previous two movies but Anna Nicole was basically only asked to look pretty and succeeded in that.

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  8. Thanks for another good Razzie article. I’ve seen quite a few of these films at one time or another.

    Wyatt Earp did not belong in the remake/sequel category, as you note. In fact, it can make the claim to be the first attempt at an actual biopic of Earp, as most previous Earp films center on his time in Tombstone and the Gunfight (that wasn’t really) at the OK Corral. However, it can’t claim much else in its favor–it’s not quite the worst film ever about the Earps and Doc Holliday, but it’s not very good.

    I can also agree with most of the targeting of On Deadly Ground. As daffy said above, there was a lot of hubris in this one; it’s been a little while since I saw it but as I recall director-producer-star Seagal is attempting to pound viewers over the head with the environmental message, but is really pounding us with how virtuous his character (Forrest, or Mary Sue, or whatever the name was) is. I agree that there’s nothing in Joan Chen’s performance that warrants a Razzie nod; I wonder if it had anything to do with her being a Chinese-American actress portraying an Eskimo.

    I’ve commented here previously about the specialist, in the Sharon Stone WTHH article, where I said more or less that it’s not great but it’s competently done. There’s nothing here that screams “Razzie bait.”

    Finally, I actually rather like the remake of The Getaway, and Kim Basinger’s performance in particular. I found her a much better Carol McCoy than Ali MacGraw in the original. Unfortunately, Alec Baldwin was no Steve McQueen.

    Incidentally, did anyone else note that when Basinger made The Getaway, it was the second year in a row she starred in a heist film, playing a character named McCoy? She also played the lead in 1993’s The Real McCoy, which actually has a plot that’s quite a bit similar to The Getaway.

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    • In the infamous 1991 movie “The Marrying Man” (where it was reported that Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin behaved really badly on the set), Kim Basinger’s character’s name was Vicki, which of course, was also her name in 1989’s “Batman” (for the case of “The Marrying Man”, Basinger’s last name was Anderson instead of Vale as it was in “Batman”).

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  9. ‘m sorry but when you consider the fact that 35 seperate professional writers worked on The Flintstones and that’s all they could come up with, then yes it’s a pretty awful film. How could 35 writers not come up with something at least modestly entertaining?

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    • Consider that the movie is about 90 minutes long. On average each writer is contributing less than 3 minutes of material. That’s no way to write a script. There’s no cohesion. No vision. Just a bunch of voices shouting over each other.

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      • The only thing that I will give the Flintstones movie any credit for is that casting John Goodman as Fred Flintstone and Rick Moranis as Barney Rubble was a stroke of casting genius. Now, if only the film had been as good as that casting decision….

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        • Spielberg produced the movie because he believed Goodman needed to play Fred. They had worked together on Always and Spielberg decided it must be so.

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    • When I saw The Flintstones I found it aggressively mediocre as opposed to aggressively awful. The fact that it didn’t totally suck is surprising. It wasn’t godawful in the way that the atrocious Scooby Doo movie was. but when you have 35 writers nothing original can emerge and that pretty much guaranteed it wasn’t going to be any better than average. Indeed, I sensed that nobody really had any idea about how to do an original Flintstones movie. They were so determined to make something that was reverential to the original show yet could stand up in the 90s. That meant nothing was going to work. If they had tried to spoof the original show like The Brady Bunch movies, it might have worked.

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      • I actually prefer aggressively awful to aggressively mediocre a lot of the time. Awful can be a lot more entertaining than mediocre. Honestly I would put Flintstones on the exact same level as the Scooby Doo movies.

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      • I am glad to see a positive nod towards the Brady Bunch movies from the mid-90’s, though. They were a pleasant surprise back then. Much funnier than I expected, and they introduced me to the wonders of Gary Cole, which can only be a good thing.

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        • Yeah those worked quite well. I wasn’t a fan of the Brady Bunch TV show at all. That’s why I enjoyed the movies, because they spoofed the show and the characters and pulled it off well.

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  10. I have to say that the Lauren Christy song “The color of The Night” song reminds me of the 1980’s Brenda K. Starr song “I Still Believe”.
    Boy, “Color of Night” has really been shredded for years, but I wasn’t aware of studio interference, so I’ll give it a break.
    Yeah, it it clear that The Razzies were a little bit confused on what constitutes a remake. As Lebeau pointed out, there wouldn’t too much confusion nowadays.
    I don’t know, I think films like “Wyatt Earp” and “The Specialist” aren’t half bad, it’s just The Razzies doing their thing. “Exit to Eden” though is craptubular for sure , but I didn’t mind Brad Pitt and the Cruise cruise together in “Interview With The Vampire”, although that film didn’t really do it for me (Its kinda-sequel, “Queen of The Damned” is a real stinker in my book though).
    I’m picturing an imaginary writing bull session scenario for “The Flintstones”: all the writers in one room, one pen, one piece of paper. One writer writes a line, passes to the next, and they go right down the line until they start the sequence over from the beginning. I say why not?

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  11. A duo of Nostalgia Critic reviews of Macaulay Culkin’s Razzie-nominated turns in The Pagemaster and Richie Rich.

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  12. Side Note about “The Pagemaster”: Phil Hartman voiced Tom Morgan, one of the pirates. This was also one of the few projects he was in without his frequent SNL collaborator and real life best friend, Jan Hooks.

    Also, Hartman, Hooks, and Mike Myers were the only ones from the 1986-1995 SNL group who did not make appearances in Adam Sandler movies (I’m only counting movies where Adam Sandler headlined them, not ensemble projects like “Coneheads”.) The reason for Myers is he likes to headline his own movies. The reason for Hartman and Hooks is they weren’t really good friends with Sandler and never appeared in his movies while they were still alive.

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    • Starting with Worst Actor Kevin Costner- Kevin Costner was in “Field Of Dreams” with Gaby Hoffman who was in “Uncle Buck” with Macaulay Culkin who was in “The Pagemaster” with Phil Hartman who was in “So I Married An Ax Murderer” with Mike Myers who was in “Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery” with Elizabeth Hurley who was in “Bedazzled” with Brendan Fraser who was in “School Ties” with Chris O’Donnell who was in “Batman Forever” with Val Kilmer who was in “Top Gun” with Kelly McGillis who was in “North”!

      Whew!

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