Best Worst Picture Bracket Game Winner


travolta - battlefield earth 2

Most of our bracket games run for a couple of weeks, but this one is a little different in that it ties into the completion of a series that ran for nine months.  As such, crowning the winner feels like we have come to the end of a lengthy journey.  As you can see from the picture above, the title of Best Worst Picture has been awarded to John Travolta’s ultimate vanity project, Battlefield Earth.

What does that mean exactly?  I’m not sure I know.  When I started writing about the Golden Raspberries, one of the things that interested me was that in some ways, it is actually harder to define a bad movie than it is to define a good one.  After examining 36 years of the Golden Raspberry Awards, it’s still unclear what the purpose of the awards is beyond self-promotion.  While the winner of Worst Picture is almost always a bad movie, they are almost never the Worst.  Often times, there is an argument to be made that the winner isn’t even the worst of the five nominees.

Ideally, I think you want to see Worst Picture go to a movie that isn’t just bad.  It has to be bad in a memorable way.  You forget a run-of-the-mill bad movie pretty soon after you see it.  But a good Worst Picture sticks with you for a while.  We’re still talking about movies like Mommie Dearest, Showgirls and Battlefield Earth decades after they were released because all these years later, we still can’t believe how bad they are.

In a weird way, there’s something special about that.  Good or bad doesn’t matter so much when a movie delivers a rare viewing experience.  People see a great Worst Picture and they tell their friends “you have got to see this movie”.  It’s probably not the reaction the filmmakers were hoping for, but in a way it beats being a middle-of-the-road movie that no one remembers five years after its released.  Battlefield Earth may live on in infamy, but at least it lives on.

Based on the comments over the course of the bracket game, voters don’t seem overly enamored with the movie.  I left the voting criteria up to you guys.  With a title as vague as Best Worst Picture, readers could justify their votes a number of ways.  My impression is that the majority focused more heavily on the “worst” than the “best” singling out Battlefield Earth as the biggest misfire of all the movies Razzie voters have ever piled on.

You’ll get no argument from me on that assessment.  The movie is a train wreck.  It’s the kind of bad movie that can only be made when everyone involved is supremely confident of success.  To make Battlefield Earth, you need an A-list ego fueled by the belief that he is fulfilling some kind of divine providence.  Hollywood is filled with hubris, but rarely does a big star throw all of their weight behind a project as misguided as this one.  You pretty much have to be brainwashed to think anything about this movie was a good idea.

If you haven’t actually seen Battlefield Earth and you’re the type of person who enjoys a good bad movie, you should definitely check it out.  There are things in this movie that just have to be seen to be believed.  I promise you won’t be bored which is more than I can say for a lot of competently made movies.

This brings to a close our on-going look at the Golden Raspberry Awards.  But only temporarily.  The ceremony is an annual event and I’ll be back to cover future Razzies as they happen.  Thanks go out to all of you for making the last nine months of bad movies a hell of a lot of fun.  Hope you’ll stick around for what comes next.


Posted on June 25, 2016, in Awards, Bracket Game, Movies, Razzies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Good synopsis; I think, in grand Razzie tradition, it would’ve been fitting if the voting ended in a tie.


  2. You are right though, Lebeau, a film like Battelfield Earth may be remembered because it was so awful, but at least it’s remembered. How many films have we seen in our lifetimes that were decent entertainments but we forget about them 10 minutes after we walk out of the theatre and never talk about them again? Happens all the time.

    Funny thing is, the same year that Battlefield Earth came out (2000) I skipped that but I remember going with a few friends to go see the Nicholas Cage/Angelina Jolie film Gone In 60 Seconds. It was mildly disappointing and we walked out of the theatre making a few disparaging remarks as we walked through the mall but literally by the time we were driving away from the movie theater 10 minutes later, the film was instantly forgotten and I’ve never talked or even thought about the film again. Probably because it was just an average, run of the mill movie that left no impression. It wasn’t even awful enough to be remembered or talked about later. I’m sure Battlefield Earth is a 100 times worse than Gone In 60 Seconds was, and that’s why we’re here still talking about the movie now. In retrospect, I probably would have been better off going to see Battlefield Earth instead of Gone In 60 Seconds that year.


  3. Wow, I haven’t thought about “Gone in 60 Seconds” in a while. I think I have the last half-hour recorded because it aired before a film I wanted to record (I think it’s 1983’s “Bad Boys”; I’ll have to look. For all the hype that the 60 seconds film initially received, it really didn’t leave much of an impression, but it has its fans.


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