Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst of the First 25 Years

Razzies 25 Years

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.

As part of the twenty-fifth annual ceremony, the Razzies got retrospective.  Despite the fact that they had just done a 20-year recap five years prior, they decided to issue another set of special awards covering the first 25 years of their rich cinematic history.  They also took the chance to give an award to a frequent nominee who had never won before.

Clarkson - From Justin To Kelly

Worst “Musical” of Our First 25 Years

  • Can’t Stop the Music (AFD) (1980)
  • From Justin to Kelly (20th Century Fox) (2003)
  • Glitter (Columbia / 20th Century Fox) (2001)
  • Rhinestone (20th Century Fox) (1984)
  • Spice World (Columbia) (1998)
  • Xanadu (Universal) (1980)

Winner: From Justin to Kelly

The Razzies love retrospectives.  It’s only been five years since the last time they looked back at their own history, but they decided to do it again anyway in honor of their first 25 years.  This time, the categories are broken down a little differently.  They chose to highlight the worst offerings in three different genres.

If you are limiting yourself to three genres, musicals might seem like an odd choice for inclusion.  It’s not like the modern musical has dominated cinemas.  The musical has been declared dead more times than I can count.  But without bad musicals, there wouldn’t be a Golden Raspberry Award.  As the story goes, founder John J. B. Wilson came up with the idea after sitting through a double feature of Can’t Stop the Music and Xanadu.  So it makes sense that the Razzies would consider musicals an important part of their history.

It probably didn’t hurt that they had so many truly awful musicals to choose from.  Apparently, the Razzies felt the musicals of the last 25 years were so awful that they nominated 6 movies in this category instead of the 5 nominees in the comedy and drama categories.

Does anybody think that any of these six musicals are not deserving?  I know Spice World has its fans.  And at least one reader has defended Xanadu in the comments section.  Personally, I will happily listen to the soundtrack as long as I don’t have to sit through the roller disco snoozefest.

Let’s take a look at some of the musicals which had previously been nominated for Worst Picture but were not quite bad enough to be the worst of the first 25 years:

  • Annie – 1982
  • The Pirate Movie – 1982
  • Under the Cherry Moon – 1986
  • Graffiti Bridge – 1990
  • Cool as Ice – 1991
  • Newsies – 1992

The award went to From Justin to Kelly which was the most recent nominee and probably the freshest on their minds.  It’s hard to argue with their decision.  From Justin to Kelly was a cheap, quick and cynical attempt to cash in on the sudden success of American Idol.  It very nearly went direct to video.  It’s hard to make a decent musical built around two leads with no acting or dancing experience.  Kelly Clarkson would go on to be a successful pop star, but at the time she was still an amateur singer who had won a reality TV competition.

Despite all of this, From Justin to Kelly didn’t win Worst Picture in 2003.  Most years, it probably would have.  But that year was so bad it spawned to winners on this list!

Next: Worst Comedy


Posted on April 1, 2016, in Awards, Movies, Razzies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I feel kind of sorry for Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. It was a very personal project she was passionate about, and she had an over-the-top performance coaxed out of her that was later used to advertise the movie up as a camp comedy. I’ve heard similar rumours that Elizabeth Berkley was convinced to overact in Showgirls, which again was later played up and called her own bad acting. Though one can find much better evidence for Faye’s acting talent than Elizabeth’s.


    • I actually like “Mommie Dearest” (without thinking of the camp value; the whole business with Joan Crawford and her children seems both sordid and mysterious anyway) and it bites that this film led to a respected performer’s career downfall (other than “Barfly”, she barely had a moment of peace after this film).


  2. All worthy “winners”.


  3. Is it just me or does Arnold’s picture look like Weird Al making an O-face?


  4. The losers are a fascinating bunch, especially the (now revered) Angelina Jolie. I still think Life or Something Like It is one of the most interesting performances in her career, despite the film not being interesting and the performance not being good, simply because it is so different from most her roles. As I said before Jolie usually plays a more than mortal glamorous figure and even when she isn’t (as in Changeling for instance) she’s always read as a deep character. Lanie Kerrigan is nothing like that; she’s shallow and unlikable (before learning an important lesson of course.) It isn’t a success and as I said before shows the limits of Jolie’s range but for a forgettable film it’s an interesting failure.


  5. I can’t argue with the choice of winner for Worst Musical, but The [Awful] Pirate Movie should have been one of the nominees


  6. Showgirls isn’t so bad it’s good. It’s just bad. Horrible. Men don’t want to admit that they like it for the porn. It was intended to be porn, not any kind of satire. Where is the element of satire? What are they satirizing? The director wanted to bring porn to the big screen, and he did just that, ruining any hopes of a career for Berkeley, although strangely enough, it didn’t destroy MacLachlan. Then again men usually aren’t stigmatized for nudity and sex on screen.
    The cinematographer was good – apparently they wanted to best, to capture all the details of all those perfect body parts (and/or silicone). A nice byproduct of that was some enjoyable camera footage of Vegas. Which you can get from other movies without having to sit through this garbage.
    From the very beginning, the overacting Berkely hitches a ride from a guy in a cowboy hat driving a pickup. She’s hostile and pulls a knife on him immediately. Of course, a guy in a pickup doesn’t have a gun. They get to Vegas and he leaves her in the casino with a few bucks and goes to check in the room. He’s going to get her an audition with someone he knows, you see. She wins a bunch of money and then loses it immediately. By the time she notices he’s gone, he has stolen her suitcase. What the hell could be in her suitcase that he’d give her 20$ for? Her clothes aren’t worth much.
    So she goes out in the parking lot and vandalizes a car in anger. The car’s owner, a young African American woman, instead of kicking Berkeley’s ass, gives her a hug, buys her dinner and lets her stay at her place with her. This is not so bad it’s good, this is just puke worthy.
    And it also brings up a disturbing racist aspect. 2 black people, one, the aforementioned goodhearted black girl who helps out the white girl, gives her a place to say, helps her get a job – and ultimate pays for it by being brutally beaten and raped. The other black character is a sex addicted dancer. I can’t imagine the African American community being thrilled with these portrayals.
    So bad it’s good means you can laugh at it and drink beers to pass the time. This movie isn’t in that class. And there is not enough alcohol to numb the revulsion you will experience when you are forced to view Gina Gershon’s lip injections.
    Sadly, I think this movie served as inspiration for the equally smutty and violent Black Swan, which also featured bad plastic surgery (Barbara Hershey) a victim (Portman) a hospital scene with an aging diva (Ryder), violence, dancing, perfect bodies, and graphic onscreen sex scenes. Only that time, Aronsky (sp?) managed to get his movie into the Oscars instead of the Razzies where it belonged.
    Movies like that need a lower category. How about the Festering Landfill award? Or the Resistant Bacterial Infection award?


  7. Sure, the lists skews a little young in film, but stinkers like “From Justin to Kelly”, “Gigli”, and “Battlefield Earth” earned their “win”.


  8. Lebeau have you considered doing a Razzies bracket game once all of the years to date have been covered? I’d suggest Garbage Pail Kids as one of the most obviously awful movies the Razzies have nominated.


    • It’s a good idea. But right now, I’m concentrating on getting to the finish line! What comes after that, I don’t know. If you have any interest in running with that ball, by all means. Please do.

      Once the Razzies 2015 article posts, I have some WTHH stuff I want to focus on for a bit.


  9. 8 People You Won’t Believe Won Razzie Awards

    An absolutely terrifying clown. And Ronald McDonald.


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