Golden Raspberry Awards: 2007
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 twenty-eighth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2007. Two threequels, Spider-Man 3 and Shrek the Third, were the highest-grossing movies that year. The Coen brothers won Best Director for No Country For Old Men which was also named Best Picture. At the Razzies, La Lohan played twins and Eddie Murphy played everyone else.
Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie
- Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
- Captivity (Lionsgate)
- Hannibal Rising
- Hostel: Part II
- I Know Who Killed Me
Winner: I Know Who Killed Me
It’s special category time. Last week I talked about how the Razzies had dedicated quite a few one-off categories to movies aimed at young people. Whether this was intentional or not (and I suspect it was unintentional) Razzie voters used these special categories to nominate movies they wouldn’t ordinarily mess around with in the regular awards. For the most part, the Razzies don’t bother nominating family films, action movies or horror flicks. These one-offs allowed them to take a shot or two at movies that would have otherwise been off their radar.
This year, the Razzies decided to take on horror movies. This is exceptionally uncommon. Most years, Worst Sequel or Prequel would be dominated with cheap horror movies. By this point, horror reboots would probably also dominate Worst Remake or Rip-off, because remaking slasher movies had become very trendy. Rather than see the Golden Raspberries turn into some kind of horror/action movie awards, voters typically just turned a blind eye to these kinds of movies.
So why take a detour into creepy territory this year? Lindsay Lohan was in the process of publicly destroying her once promising career. Mostly, this was happening in the tabloids which were filled with stories of her legal problems, wild partying and bad behavior on set. Hollywood can be very forgiving of that kind of behavior when an actress is able to sell movie tickets. But Lohan’s latest release, a would-be erotic thriller/torture porn horror movie, was a career-killing train wreck.
As it turns out, I Know Who Killed Me will dominate the awards this year. So the special category isn’t so much being used to nominate a movie they otherwise would have ignored. Instead, it’s a way to pile on a movie like never before. While Showgirls still holds the record for the most Razzie nominations with a whopping thirteen, I Know Who Killed Me had a very respectable nine nominations and a record-breaking eight wins. We’ve got a lot of room to discuss this turkey, so I’ll save the details regarding which record it broke for the Worst Picture Category.
For now, let’s take a look at the other nominees for Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie in 2007. First up is Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. This is the sequel to the first monster movie mash-up which was nominated for Worst Sequel or Remake back in 2004. The first Alien vs. Predator movie was written and directed by auteur Paul W. S. Anderson. Anderson is best known for writing and/or directing most of the Resident Evil movies. In fact, in 2007 he wrote and directed the third movie in that franchise, Resident Evil: Extinction.
That left a the Alien vs. Predator sequel without a director. Fox ended up replacing Anderson with Colin and Greg Strause. The siblings, who collectively went by the name The Brothers Strause, were very successful special effects supervisors. But they had never directed a movie before. They had previously pitched the studio on an idea for a movie set in outer space which would have served as a prequel to the original Alien. But Fox had already committed to a script set on Earth. The brothers decided to make the movie anyway in the hopes that if it was successful Fox would allow them to use their own script for the third film.
It didn’t work out that way though. AVP 2 became the lowest-grossing movie in either the Alien or Predator franchises once adjusted for inflation. It wasn’t a flop, per se. But Fox decided it was time for the sci-fi series to go their separate ways.
The horror genre at the time was largely defined by “torture porn”. I would venture to say that Eli Roth’s 2005 horror movie, Hostel, took the subgenre into the mainstream. And two years later, Roth’s follow-up, Hostel Part II, was among the nominees for Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie. Like the first movie, the sequel is about a group of unsuspecting tourists who are punished for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Another entry in the genre was Captivity. Elisha Cuthbert, who was trying to break into movies at the time but was still best known for playing Kiefer Sutherland’s annoying daughter on 24 and appearing on men’s magazine covers, played a model best known for appearing on men’s magazine covers who gets drugged, kidnapped and tortured. In the movie, she bonds with another prisoner played by Daniel Gillies. I haven’t seen Captivity, but I have a pretty good guess how it ends. Potential spoilers: I’ll bet a shiny nickel that Gillies is actually Cuthbert’s captor.
The Silence of the Lambs made Hannibal Lecter into one of the most iconic villains in movie history. Anthony Hopkins was unforgettable in the role. Less memorable were the follow-ups in which Hopkins reprised his star-making role. In 2001, ten years after the original, Hopkins played Lecter again in the sequel, Hannibal. The following year, under a ton of make-up, Hopkins played Lecter again in Red Dragon which takes place prior to Silence of the Lambs despite the fact Hopkins had clearly aged over more than a decade.
After that, it became clear that Hopkins would do well to stop tarnishing his legacy. But there was still money to be made off of a sophisticated cannibal. Author Thomas Harris was more or less blackmailed into writing an origin story for his famous creation. Producer Dino De Laurentiis admitted “I say to Thomas, ‘If you don’t do Hannibal Rising, I will do it with someone else… I don’t want to lose this franchise. And the audience wants it…’ He said, ‘No. I’m sorry.’ And I said, ‘I will do it with somebody else.’ And then he said, ‘Let me think about it. I will come up with an idea.'”
After Hannibal failed to rise, the movie series ended. But the character’s story continues to be told on the critically acclaimed TV series, Hannibal. Apparently you just can’t keep a good cannibal down.
As you can probably guess, these weren’t necessarily the worst horror movies of the year. There were plenty of low budget movies that quickly faded from theaters on their way to home video. Movies like Wrong Turn 2: Dead End or Lake Dead. Critics are rarely kind to movies in this genre, so it’s hard to know which ones are really the worst. These were just the five worst horror movies that caught the attention of Razzie voters.