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What is Grudge Match?

The Scenario

Billy Crystal walks on stage to applause.

"Now it is time for Worst Director Oscar medley ... to which I say, &^$# this! You know, this was amusing when I did it for talented people. Now those &^$#%*@ empty suits in the front office have gone too far. What did I do to deserve this? I admit that Analyze This wasn't great, but still. Do I not make you laugh? Do I complain when Arnold Schwarzenegger, who can't speak proper English and hasn't had a hit in five years, still gets paid more than me? Do you see me whining when that hairy baboon Robin Williams, and Whoopi Goldberg, the black hole of comedy, win Oscars and I all I get is some stupid MTV Music Award given by a bunch of Hanson wannabes??? NO! Well, I've had enough. &^$# the medley, &^$# the Academy, and &^$# YOU!" Before storming off, he says "Here to present the award for Worst Director are two other morons, completely devoid of talent, Keanu Reeves and Tori Spelling."

He flips the crowd the bird, then disappears behind the scenery.

Keanu pauses, blinks, and pauses. "Dude! He like totally freaked out."

Tori leans forward and squints. "Great job, Billy. You are a credit to Hooly... holy... what's that word, Kino?"

"Whoa! Hollywood, I think. Hey, wasn't there supposed to be some sort of singing thing? What can we do with all this free time?"

"Well, we can do what we did in the actress school my daddy sent me to. Let's pretend to be trees! I was good at being a pussywillow."

" Bitchin'!" The two wander off stage.

Returning from backstage, carrying a bottle of malt liquor, Billy Crystal rolls his eyes. "Well I guess I have to do everything around here. The nominees for "Worst Director" are:

William Shatner for Star Trek V, The Final Frontier
(Movie clip plays: Kirk and Bones tipsily sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" by a campfire. Spock looks on in puzzlement.)

Ed Wood for Plan 9 from Outer Space
(Movie clip plays: Colonel Edwards recounts a previous experience with flying saucers: "For a time we tried to contact them by radio but no response. Then they attacked a town, a small town I'll admit, but nevertheless a town of people, people who died.")

Paul Verhoeven for Starship Troopers
(Movie clip plays: Earth spaceships orbit Planet Klendathu, remaining in a very tight formation. Naturally, this makes them extremely easy targets, and are shot down by what can only be described as "insect rectal emissions". Horrific losses result.)

Kevin Costner for Waterworld
(Movie clip plays: Mariner is on a boat. He pees into a machine and out the other end comes water. He drinks it.)

Joel Schumacher for Batman & Robin
(Movie clip plays: Pan in on an unbelievably lavish "charity diamond auction" Batman and Robin are holding to entrap the bad guys. Batman and Robin converse sotto voce. Poison Ivy enters and makes and utters every conceivable "plant"-related cliche. Mr. Freeze enters and utters every conceivable "cold"-related cliche. The villains grab the diamond. Exeunt villains.)

And the loser, er, winner is...

Academy Award: Worst Director

William Shatner, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Ed Wood, Plan 9 From Outer Space Paul Verhoeven, Starship Troopers Kevin Costner, Waterworld Joel Schumacher, Batman and Robin

The Commentary

SHANE: Let me relate a personal anecdote. I'm a Star Trek fan. I've seen virtually every episode of every series. I bought dozens of the novels. I once dabbled for a few months in learning the Klingon language. There are more devoted fans, but I'm pretty good.

Back in 1990, I bought the first five Trek movies in a box set, and promptly watched them all--save one. Star Trek V remained in its original cellophane wrapper until about two weeks ago, when I sat down to view it as research for this match. (And I haven't slept right since then.) If a die-hard Trekker will avoid one of the movies for ten years, you'd be out of your Vulcan mind not to know it is BAD! And the auteur of record, the captain of this cinematic Hindenburg, is William Shatner.

"But is it really all his fault?" you may ask. Consider these facts: after his dragfest Glen or Glenda?, Ed Wood still gave us Plan Nine from Outer Space. After wounding the Batman franchise, Joel Schumacher got a second chance to kill it. Verhoeven's Showgirls led not to unemployment, but to Starship Troopers. Costner won Best Director once(!), and was thus encouraged to inflict Waterworld and The Postman on us. Hollywood's institutional cluelessness is enormous ... but not so big as to let Shatner direct another movie, ever. He crossed Hollywood's threshold of pain. He broke the stinkometer.

Shatner won't have to shop on Priceline to get an Oscar. This one's on us.

HOTBRANCH: This contest was over as soon as the nominations were made public. Nobody's "terrible movie making" light shines brighter than one Edward D. Wood Jr. NOBODY! As wretched as the other nominees are, they aren't even in the same league as that transvestite hack, Ed Wood.

Ed Wood is to directing what the Buffalo Bills are to the Super Bowl. He has been (quite rightfully) anointed the title of worst director of all time. Plan 9 from Outer Space is considered the worst movie ever made, and that was the PEAK OF WOOD'S CAREER. At least all the other nominees had some degree of professional success and recognition before they sullied the title of director. Heck, even Shatner had semi-believable special effects. Wood used hubcaps and string...

Wood was a talent vacuum, managing to suck the life and talent out of anyone related to his projects. Bela Lugosi was smart enough to die after making two movies with Wood. Nevertheless, that didn't prevent Wood from using the few seconds of footage he had just to get a "big name" on the marquee of Plan 9. Wood then replaced the legendary Dracula with his wife's chiropractor who was taller than Lugosi, and who had to hide his face with a cape for all his scenes.

All of Wood's oeuvres are execrable, but Plan 9 is ample proof that in a competition of bad directors, Wood is without peer and the only choice for the Oscar. If there were an Oscar for lifetime underachievement in film direction, he'd take that in a walk as well.

PAUL: Anyone who survived both Showgirls and Starship Troopers knows that Paul Verhoeven is the worst director imaginable.

The director is supposed to be the creative artistic force behind the movie. The only thing Paul Verhoeven has in common with "artist" is the letter "a". How can you not give the award to the man who picked the moderately attractive but brainy (relatively) Elizabeth Berkeley to play a nude dancer and the gorgeous but talentless Denise Richards to play a chaste ship pilot? His special effects out-acted his Tori Spelling wannabes. And his plot is full of holes, including the absurdity of a race with no space travel managing to shoot a meteor faster than the speed of light.

This would be forgivable if his movies had a point. But they don't. Don't take it from me - check out the user reviews for Starship Troopers at IMDB. After weeding through the first 60 reviews or so, the fans of this film had over 20 different distinct explanations of the "inner message." Whatever his point was, it came over as clear as Passaic River water. As for Showgirls, most porno films have more depth.

His competition look like Cecil B. DeMille in comparison. William Shatner the director can be excused for his disaster since he was contractually obligated to direct William Shatner the actor performing dialogue written by William Shatner the writer. Ed Wood was competent enough to get movie legend Bela Legosi for his films. As for the others, they can only hope to make blood and boobs as boring.

I beg of you. Give this man the Oscar. And then shoot him.

BRENDAN: A valiant effort gentlemen and Paul, but we all know that this award can only go to Kevin Costner.

Admittedly Dances with Wolves wasn't too terrible if you didn't mind losing the six months of your life it takes to get through it, preachy and melodramatic certainly but not to terrible. However, Costner was not done with us yet.

Perhaps motivated by some desire to horribly punish Western civilization for its treatment of the Indians, but more likely just displaying colossal directorial ineptitude, Costner embarked on his next project, the creation of the biggest, most expensive, and most terrifying bomb in all of human history. A bomb that would push the atomic and hydrogen bombs into utter insignificance. A bomb called Waterworld. (Atomic and hydrogen bombs may be able to destroy all life on Earth, but only Waterworld can make that seem like a good idea). And even this atrocity (which was so bad that he was mysteriously uncredited for his work) was not enough to satisfy Costner the Terrible.

Now, we all know that the Hollywood conventional wisdom is to imitate success through the profusion of endless copycat movies and sequels. But Costner had a grander vision, he would not be like all the other hacks and imitate success, no he would do the unexpected, he would imitate failure. And thus we got yet another thrilling romp through a post-apocolyptic warzone, The Postman, the one movie that can make Waterworld look like Citizen Kane.

The Oscar has to go to Kevin Costner, he deserves it, and if he doesn't get it, he'll doubtlessly be back in the studio trying again. Do any of us truly believe that humanity can survive the follow up to The Postman? Buy off Costner now by giving him his precious Oscar, the consequences of him making another movie are just to great.

JOHN: Good Lord Almighty, boys, where's the debate here? Schumacher single-handedly ruined the Batman franchise. A nice, film-noir approach to the first couple of films, one that had proven quite successful, and what does Schumacher do? Drown it in colour, fer chrissakes! I don't think I've ever seen colour used in such a destructive manner as it is in these films. MY EYES! MY EYES! And the unending series of puns and cartoonish behaviour - if it was intended to be an hommage to the DC comics Dark Knight, it's a shameful, insulting mockery (to borrow a phrase), and if it's nodding to the 60's TV show, then by all means, let's bring back Adam West! From the dead if necessary.

And it's not like he didn't have a lot to work with. He managed to lose money with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey and Uma Thurman, fresh off of some of their biggest successes in film. And how hard is it to make a film unentertaining when you have Alicia Silverstone™ up on the screen? Hint, Joel: close-up on Alicia...hold for 1.5 hours...fade to black.

And if you needed one final example of Schumacher's ineptitude, try this on for size, pancho: DC CAB! Despite having MR. T. in a lead role of a film, he made a piece of crap that stunk so bad, it couldn't draw flies to opening night. Truly, in Grudge-land, this is an offence worthy of execution. So give the man the Oscar and a firm handshake, then take him out back and feed him into the wood chipper.

Thanks to Spydormonkey and Vermin Boy, as well as many other people, for suggesting this match.

Related links for further research

The Bad Movie Review -- "A website to the detriment of good film." If a movie was a waste of celluloid, you'll find it here.

The Results

Joel Schumacher (650 - 44.2%)

goes "direct to video" ahead of

Ed Wood (245 - 16.7%)

William Shatner (245 - 16.7%)

Kevin Costner (225 - 15.3%)

Paul Verhoeven (105 - 7.1%)

Joel Schumacher wins!

Thanks to Charge Man for capturing the award presentation in ink and pixels.

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Voter Comments

Once again, volume and quality have forced us to employ the Iron Fist™, including the
Iron Thumb Down™. Keep it up, gang, and you're shoo-ins for Best Fans next year.


Never have I been more physically angry at a movie than at Batman and Robin. Based on preliminary voting results, I am far from alone. Those other movies were mostly cinematic vomit, but none of them brought me to the red hot levels of ire that B&R did.

  • Star Trek V was the worst of the lot (although Insurrection's up there the more I think about it), but giving Shatner a theological space opera is like inviting the Stooges to your cocktail party. What the hell did anyone expect?
  • Plan Nine is one of the all time great stinkers, but they were working off of absolutely no budget. At the end of the day, those hubcaps went back on Ed's car. Don't yell at a snail for losing the Daytona 500.
  • Starship Troopers had big exploding bugs, which was what I paid my money to see. Good movie.
  • Waterworld was actually directed by Kevin Reynolds, so that whole Costner argument is moot. Told ya to stop drinking that bleach.

(Editorial Interruption: We got a lot of grief from people making this point, so we hereby refer you know-it-alls to IMDB'S listing for "Waterworld". Yes, Costner not only directed, but he tried to deny it. See what you can learn when you check out the IMDB, and scroll down!? (compulsively takes the sedative we had finally bought for Vlad) Okay, back to abusing directors.)

But Batman and Robin had me screaming repeatedly. Never have I wished so much for an All Mangled and Killed button on my VCR remote. I honestly believe every thirty seconds of film Schumacher paused, sat down, thought "What's the absolutely worst thing that could happen now" and then filmed it.

Top ten reasons why:

1. The title's all wrong. Robin was introduced in Batman Forever, which should be B&R. Batman Forever, having the word "Four" in the title, would be the logical choice for a fourth movie.
2. It╣s not hard to make a decent Batman story. The cartoon show has over a hundred under its utility belt, every single one better than B&R. (Yes, even that mining episode where Bruce Wayne gets amnesia.) There's tens of thousands of comics, and each and every one of them is better than B&R, simply by not having Schumacher involved in their production. Even those Hostess ads had entertainment value.
3. It's not hard to make a good cheesy Batman. See Adam West on this one. Don't bust a gut with a serious plot scene, because in a goofball movie, that can be death (see any scene in Strange Brew without Bob and Doug), and don't bother with anything believable if they're going to be whipping out a Bat-credit card five minutes later. Even the mixing of stupid and real through the Scooby Doo guest spots turned out watchable.
4. Arnold Schwarzenegger has spent entire English-speaking years speaking nothing but two and three word catch phrases. Although he can't shake that pesky accent, he can put a bit of uumph into them. But on every single occasion, Schumacher seems to go with the flattest take. In particular, when he says "Chill out" he practically yawns between the words.
5. Uma Thurman makes a "sexy" entrance wearing a gigantic pink gorilla suit. She keeps the damn thing on the whole scene.
6. Schumacher tried the half camp/half real trick in Batman Forever, and it sucked donkey ass. Everyone knew it, and it instantly became the world's worst Batman. It currently holds second place for WWB, and if Schumacher doesn't obey the 300 foot restraining order against all future Batman productions, it'll go to third.
7. The underusing of Bane. In the comics, he was a serious badass who freed everyone from Arkham and then broke Batman's back. Great storyline, great steroid-pumping villain, and he gets turned into a dumbass mute henchman from the Adam West days. He might as well have been wearing a black shirt that said Across or Down.
8. The underusing of Arkham prison guard Jesse Ventura. Much like Mr. T, if you've ever spent a little time in the ring, he ignores you for five minutes of a flourescent helicopter.
9. There is no neon in Gotham City. Period, end of story.
10. Bat-nipples on all the males, but when it comes to a gender who has a practical use for their nipples, out comes the bat-rubber sander.
11. (There's way more than ten here) The puns. The **radio edit** puns.
12. Any future Batman movies have an anchor chain around them because this horse turd is how the last movie turned out. As previously stated, this killed the lucrative Batman franchise, which not even Val Kilmer could do.
13. Jumping through a skylight is no longer unexpected. Having three skylights for Team Batman to go through just brings unsatisfied hope that a shard penetrates a jugular.
14. The close up of the Bat-butt in the suiting up montage. (It was balanced out by similar scenes with Alicia Silverstone suiting up, but lingering man-ass just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.)
15. Whoever put all the giant statues in Gotham should have given them dialogue, since they could have delivered it better than the moving cast.
16. Gangs wearing face paint was cool in the Warriors, but when it becomes day glo body paint, necessitating three gang members to carry around a blacklight and a jug of Tide for touchups, it gets silly.
17. By all laws of physics, a falling Batman should have his arms ripped off after coming to a complete stop after an extended freefall. Even a shoddily computer animated one.
18. Batman has no emotions. He's an archetype that other characters play off. That's why villains are more fun to play than Batman. Giving him an unneeded moral dilemma weighs down a melodrama heavy trash heap with more melodrama.
19. Arnold got 25 million for that movie, a million a minute he was on screen. Do you know the number of movies someone like Kevin Smith or Robert Rodriguez could make with that? Literal thousands of new good movies got poured down the crapper so Arnold could have a Humvee parked in every state.
20. Considering the amount of money and effort that went into it from so many otherwise talented people, it is unarguably the worst movie EVER MADE. Hands down, no contest, we have a winner, that is my final answer.

And I gotta stop at twenty, because otherwise I'm going to punch my monitor out. Damn Schumacher; there just ain't a horse whip big enough for him.

- Kilgore Trout

Silver Grudgie ROTW Silver Medal GrudgieTM

Directors all like to be in control, mainly due to being teased mercilessly as children for walking around with light meters at recess and telling their teachers that she wasn't 'true to charatcer' in handing out the cartons of milk. Mostly, though, they get teased due to their last names.

The best directors' names scream out years of childhood trauma. "Score--says he"? "Wild her"? "Nickels"? "De Palm-a"? And, of course, Hitchcock. So, the worst director would be the one with the least insult-transformable surname.

Star Trek V's off the list immediately--take a gander at Shatner's first syllable. Ditto Plan 9. "Wood"? No wonder he cross-dressed. Batman's also out, though. Schumacher? Shoe-chewer? Only takes a basic understanding of a foreign language.

That leaves Verhoeven and Costner. 'Verhoeven' is a scary badass last name (even for a German), while 'Costner' is rather pedestrian. However, back in grade school anything unusual became cannon fodder for bullies, and little Pauly Verhoven was teased as much as adults with cool-sounding adult names like Santiago and Dixon.

Having undergone the least childhood trauma, then, Kevin "shoulda stayed in that coffin in Big Chill" Costner is least qualified of the five to direct.

Also, he sucks ass.

- Wubbie

Bronze Grudgie ROTW Bronze Medal GrudgieTM

With the overexposure given to him by the Medveds, the human side given to him by Tim Burton, and about a dozen much, much worse movies uncovered by MST3K, it's become rather trendy to discount Ed Wood as "not that bad." To be fair, I'll admit that it's unfair to call him the worst director of all time; He's the worst filmmaker of all time: Worst director ("Aw, c'mon, no one will notice that grave falling over!"), worst editor (day turns to night seventeen times in ten minutes in Plan 9), worst caster ("Whadaya mean, he looks exactly like Bela Lugosi!"), he was even bad at picking pseudonyms (such as-I swear I'm not making this up-E. D. Wood), but head and shoulders above the rest are his unskills in screenwriting. What follows are actual, honest-to-god, straight-faced lines from his movies:

"Why have you come here?"
"Because of death! Because all men of Earth are idiots!"
"Now, you hold on there, mister!"
"No, you hold on!"

"The smut picture industry is more dangerous than kidnapping or dope peddling!"

"Modern women... They've been like that all down through the ages."

"Is this the transvestite's home?"
"Well, if that's what you men of the medical profession call a man who dresses in ladies' clothes, then yes."

(vice cop, looking at confiscated pornography) "These aren't dancing girls, that's for sure... I'm sorry, that was in bad taste."
(Seriously, Ed, what the hell are you talking about?!)

"Don't worry about Lobo- He's as harmless as a kitchen!" (To be fair, that's just the drug-ravaged Lugosi's mispronunciation.)

(Over stock footage of buffalo) "Beware... Beware the green dragon that sits on your doorstep... He eats little boys. Puppy dog tails! Big fat snails! Beware... Take care... Beware... PULL THE STRINGS! PULL THE STRINGS!"

"Greetings, my friends. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I shall spend the rest of our lives! And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future!"

"I vill create a race off atomic supermen... And zen, I VILL DESTROY ZE WORLD!"

"Show me a violent crime, and I'll show you a [dirty] picture that could have caused it!"

"Inspector Clay is dead... murdered... and someone's responsible!"

...I can't go on, my brain's starting to smoke. Anyway, if you still think Schumaker's the worst, take another look at that list. Come on, people: It's the new millennium. Get Wood!

- Vermin Boy (Finally, they used one of my suggestions! :D)

There is no denying that Edward D. Wood, Jr. is the worst director of all time. With trash like Glen or Glenda?, Bride of the Monster, The Night the Banshee Cried and the most infamous, Plan 9 from Outer Space, he's polluted our society with some of the most heinous cinematic vomit ever concieved. Even the posthumous I Woke Up Early the Day I Died of 1998 has reached many critics' Bottom 10 of the 90's.

BUT, as we all know, Joel Schumacher relentlessly tarnished the good name of Batman. Think of that. A sixty-year old legend that everyone has admired, and secretly wished to be. But Schumacher's "Batman". It was not the hero that we have cherished for generations. It was a glitzy, tight rubber-suited, nipple-exposing jackass with a Caesar haircut accompanied with sound effects stolen from Warner Brothers cartoons. It was horrible, and almost made all Bat-fans commit hari-kari. For the desecration of a legend, not only must Schumacher be given the Worst Director Award, but one for Most Evil Director. At least Ed meant us no specific harm.

Note: For the next "Worst Director" Awards Ceremony, I will expect Michael Haigney and Kunohiko Yayama to be nominated for PokÚmon: The First Movie alongside Karl DeMolay and Will Frank for Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras.

- Charge Man

I have one simple point to make. I am aware that others will also make it, but, it is my duty as a lover of good film to nevertheless risk boring you to bring this piece of evidence on Schmuck-maker's side-

"OK, everybody... freeze."

Thank you, and, goodnight.

- The Black Snotling, from his secret crap-movie detox center in Christchuch, New Zealand.

These movies all bombed equally, therefore I shall analzye their directors on one thing: How much they had to work with.

1) William Shatner. Shatner unfortunately had to direct some of the worst actors of that time, and they were under a budget crunch at the time too. Poor Shatner. He doesn't deserve this.

2) Ed Wood. The guy had to put together a movie based on a total of $32.17 cash and the worst acting ever put together. This was destined to be a sucky movie no matter who directed it. Clearly, Ed doesn't deserve this either.

3) Paul Verhoeven. Starship Troopers had coed shower scenes and Showgirls was just an excuse for naked girls. I personally think he deserves a humanitarian award. Paul probably deserves this least of all.

4) Kevin Costner. Very, very close. Waterworld just blew, and he guzzled up all the money he could find for this little project, plus he had a genuine A-list actor, Kevin Costner, working on this film. However, he doesn't quite muster up to the standards of badness set by:

5) Joel Schumacher. Let's take a look at his cast:

Arnold Schwarzenegger: That's Arnold from The Terminator.
George Clooney: That's George Clooney from Three Kings.
Chris O'Donnell: That's Chris O'Donnell from Scent of a Woman.
Alicia Silverstone: That's Alicia Silverstone from Clueless.
Uma Thurman: That's Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction.

Clearly, Joel Schumacher has put together a unabridged reference on how to make a complete bomb out of huge stars and a multimillion- dollar budget. He deserves this more than anyone, and then he deserves to be tortured.

- Infraggable Krunk--You're not sending ME to the COOLER!

Could this be the match where Star Trek legitimately wins(loses)?

I sure as hell hope not. Verhoeven took an award winning, decent book by the Grandmaster of Sci-Fi, Robert A. Heinlein, and turned it into gory dreck. We started out with a gritty, entertaining multi-racial(in the 50's) classic, and what did we get?

The poster movie for the Neo-Hitler Youth. I remind you of the main character's real name: Juan Rico. Do not tell me that Juan Rico of Buenos Aires is a square-jawed, cleft chinned blond Aryan. Unleash the brain bug on this foreign hack and be done with it.

- Tracer "and where the hell are the powered suits?!" Malone

The key to the competition is frequency and consistency. The boorish and obnoxious Shatner only directed one stinker (the only movie he directed). Verhoeven and Schumacher have about two stinkbombs each.

Kevin Costner has a longer string of film failures which include every movie he made since "Dances with Wolves". And the only thing that saved "Dances with Wolves" from this fate was the presence of the great Graham Greene (more recently know to millions as Edgar K.B. Montrose, the explosives nut, on the popular "Red Green" show). And the sad thing (for filmgoers) about Costner is that he has some sort of mind control power over studio executives. What else could explain why they keep giving him millions of dollars to make more crappy films.

However, even Costner has no lock on the consistency/frequency of bad filmmaking. That honor must go to Ed Wood. Every film he made was horrible. In fact, he made the two worst films in film history - "Plan 9 From Outer Space" (second worst film ever) and it's sequel "Night of the Ghouls" (the rarely-seen worst film ever). No other director can match this.

So the winner will be Ed Wood. However, if the Academy refuses to hand out the award to dead people (the Academy can be quite finicky sometimes), the next runner-up in wretchedness would have to be Kevin Costner.

- The Demented Astronomer

This matchup must come down to watchability.

Plan 9 and all other Wood productions are kitchy, fun, stupid, like watching Friday the 13th Part whatever and rooting for Jason, while drunk if possible.
Batman and Robin can be watched (barely) if you mute the sound and fastforward to the scenes where the babes are wearing spandex. Then go to SLOOOOO0MO. Uggghhhhhhhhh. (I digress). Bad, but still watchable. Second place would go here, if there was a second place.
Troopers makes no damn sense, whatsoever. I know if I had 22nd century tech at my disposal, I certainly wouldn't use AIR SUPPORT or TANKS for my men... but it's fun to watch the bugs die.
Waterworld sucks, to be sure, but the boat was cool, and if you fastforward through the really long water scenes, you get to some good fights toward the end. Plus the Deacon was funny as hell.
The winner, then, is: Star Trek V "the search for God".
Despite being in space, with spaceships, and big lasers, and the biggest non-Lucas or Spielberg marketing name in the known universe, this movie still pounds goats. I would have bet money after seeing this rat turd in the movies that it had effectively killed the Star Trek name forever. Only NextGen and a decent sixth movie managed to salvage the burning, sinking hull of the Trek universe and bring it back to where we can enjoy 7of9's bountiful (and barely restrained ... digressing again) form every week with pride.

- Tirdun

You can still find people who liked Waterworld and Starship Troopers if you look hard enough. Ed Wood's somehow gone down in cinematic history as the "so bad it's good" director. Batman and Robin wasn't worth what I paid for the ticket -- and a friend gave me free passes.

But at least people acknowledge the existence of those movies.

Most of my Trek-loving friends try to convince themselves that Star Trek V was never made. "It went straight from IV to VI," they say.

- Dan "Master Dooom" MacQueen

I'm surprised that you failed to include James Cameron.

Anyone who plays so freely with history (the Titanic was in fact made in Belfast), but still manages to sink the ship, must be incompetent beyond dreams.

It was a chick flick. We all hate these things. I've wasted money and grey matter on these things, and then been dumped by girlfriends.

Damn him. It's his sort that gives Hollywood a bad name.

- A bitter Irishman who refuses to reel, jig or set-dance

I just have a few things to say:

1- HotBranch!, you're a god.

2- Waterworld and Starship Troopers weren't all that bad, they just weren't for people like me (and it seems you), just made for people who can buy things without questioning the reality of them.

3- Batman & Robin (which I voted for) did not ruin the Batman series, it was ALWAYS horrible. Sorry.

- Follower of the great HotBranch!«

Correction, Paul: Paul Verhoeven has more in common with the word "artist" than the letter 'a'.

He also has the letter 'r'.

- ~the Stranger

I'm shocked you forgot Phil Tucker's magnum opus, Robot Monster or Hal Warren's truly hidious Manos, The Hands of Fate. I'll admit, you've got five good contestants, but Starship Troopers had at least a sense of direction, unlike either of these infamous oddities.

- Luc "Ro-Man vs. Torgo" French

Let me put it this way. I've borrowed from the library "Starship Troopers" and have seen "Batman and Robin" on cable. I would consider seeing "Waterworld" if I can find a copy at the library and if MST3K showed "Plan 9 from Outer Space"...I would be ecstatic.

But there is no power in Heaven and Earth that could ever get me to again see that g-dawful vanity piece that Shatner excreted. G-d bless you, Shane. You will shake off the nightmares...someday.

- Jaid Diah

It simply has to be Shatner.

Star Trek is godawful pants. Dirty stinking pants. With skidmarks, skidmarks that look like the dirty silt you find at the bottom of the Thames esturay. Green, clay like stuff that smells of 200 years of concnetrated industrial refuse, 1000 years of dead and decaying dogs, cats, fish, eels, humans, and 100 years of miscellaneous fertiliser. The same sort of thing that Shatner thrives on, and the sort of thing that star trek scriptrighters throw at big canvases in order to derive their plots.

The thing is, Shatner somehow managed to make these skidmarked pants worse. I don't know how, I don't want to know how. I suspect it violates the conservation of energy in some daemonic (yes, this warrants the special spelling of daemon rather than demon) and eldritch fashion.

If you get drunk enough, or lean enough, you can watch all the other films. Batman becomes humorous as your brain pickles in alcohol. Waterworld becomes quite soothing on your bloodshot eyes, the endless waves are strangely hypnotic. Plan 9 becomes a thrilling, chilling Sci Fi Horror. I actually enjoyed Starchip Troopers, the sick little TV commericals appealed to my warped sense of humour. But if you try to watch Star Trek V, even if drunk, you get nothing but nightmares. Horrible nightmares, where huge, clay encrusted y fronts fly at your face, and above it all stands the man, the man who killed God, Shatner, laughing like some insane daeaeaeaemon(TM), dealing death and destruction and ShatPants to all who dares to oppose him. And all to a musical backdrop of Mr Tambourine Man.

Give Captain Kirk the Oscar... Embed it into his skull please.

- Captain Kirk, show me more of this Earth thing you call corsets...

Joel Schumacher wins this hands-down simply because nobody likes him. You see, Shatner has his millions of Trekkies(Trekkers, Geeks, whatever), Wood has that weird Bad Movie fan following, Costner won die-hard fans with _Dances with Wolves_, and Verhoeven made millions with _Basic Instinct_.

What does Schumacher have? Nobody I know likes his dumb _D.C. Cab_, his loser _Lost Boys_, his flawed _Flawless_, and his behemoth bomb, _Batman and Robin_. Besides, the two Batmans he (well, "directed" is the wrong word, lets just say "is assosiated with") lost in a previous Grudge Match to Adam West. ADAM WEST!!!

So let's give Schumacher the dishonor so he might realize he's just a talentless hack who got lucky.

- Zaczilla

Good Christ. I mean, holy mother of God. Holy mother of an almighty, good-natured, all-encompasing God. I really mean this, good Jesus H. Goddamned Christ! Oh, man.

I apologize for the above incoherence, but Waterworld was just so damn terrible that these are the only words I can come up with that even come close to describing the atrocitites it displays. The English language does not have words that do the sheer terror of this movie anything resembling justice. The only hope we as a collective society have of living down this horror is to pay somebody $5 to hit us on the back of the head with a 2x4 in the hopes that we'll forget it ever existed...and if they take out any memories of our loved ones, jobs, and everything we hold dear then hey, that's ok too, Waterworld was just that bad.

Costner takes this one so easily it'd be like taking the balls out of someone wearing a "Hotbranch! 3:16" shirt.

- Brian C. Strock, esq.

Testing, testing 1-2-3 everythings working? Good. My computer crashed the first time it saw this match contained the words 'Batman & Robin' <cough>, 'Paul Verhoeven' <splutter> and 'William Shatner for Star Trek V' <muffled scream>.

So, who's the Worst Director? WHERE DO YOU START!!!

Unfortunately folks, I'll have to leave out Paul Verhoeven as I haven't seen 'Starship Troopers', as well as Ed Wood - look, you have to admire a director who had the gall to assume he could get away with using hub caps to simulate flyer saucers. People say 'Plan 9' is so bad that it's good and it's true.

That leaves us with Joel Schumacher, Kevin Costner and William Shatner. You would think I would have a tough choice wouldn't you? No. Not when you've got William Shatner in there. Not when the movie in question is the vile abomination known as 'Star Trek V' that is good for interrogation - 10 mins of it and people will tell you everything and beg to watch something better, say 'Barney and Friends'. Although it's a well known fact that Star Trek Always Loses(TM), this is one match where it can win easy.

If you want to watch 'Star Trek V' for some strange reason then watch the version that was made by fans of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 - for more info go to the site

- Nicky Lewer

What we are looking for here is the worst director, not the worst movie. So the movie quality should be filtered using all the good and bad things other than the director and considering how the director overcame (or failed to overcome) them.

Plan 9 From Outer Space - Well, aside from having a measly budget of $60,000 and no real actors, it was also saddled with a miserable script by that hack writer Ed Wood (hey, we are evaluating his directing here, not his writing). Ed may be a miserable filmmaker, but his directing was not the turning point for this flick.

Star Trek V - Sure the budget was much higher, but not as high as the others on the list, plus the special effects had to be done in-house since LucasArts wouldn't touch it. That meant the script (one of the first writing attempts br Mssr. Shatner) had to be rewritten during shooting. The directing wasn't the only reason this film became the embarassment of the Star Trek franchise.

Starship Troopers - The $95m budget was a big plus for this, and sure the special effects were done well, but lets face it, that was the best part of the film. The actors were hired more for their pretty faces than the thespian abilities, and the whole thing was saddled with a concept from the fifties and writing by the guy who did Robocop.

Waterworld - A $175m budget makes this the most expensive film on the list, but in return it also has the most strikes against it: The director walked off two weeks before shooting ended, and the writer's only previous credit was the remake of Escape to Witch Mountain. Good Lord, what could Kevin Costner have done? Blaming him for this fiasco is just plain unfair.

Batman & Robin - With a budget of $110m, and access to good special effects people it's hard to see how this could fail. Sure, the writer also did Lost In Space, but this is a long running franchise -- the story should practically write itself. The actors were all pretty good, so I can't fault them. In the end the blame falls to one man, and that man deserves this oscar.

- Warren Von

Granted, all five directors suck like a 12-year-old girl at a hillbilly bachelor party, but you have to look at overall devastation. ED WOOD and PAUL VER-swedish-last-name, yes, the movies were awful, but, they were so bad they were good. You laugh when you watch the scandalous insidious flicks. And SHATNER, well, it's a Star Trek flik, and much like a French prostitute, you expect a little cheese with your entertainment. So you can't fault them. But that leaves you with a toughie. The Dukes of Dookie: SCHUMACHER and COSTNER.

SCHMACHER devastated an entire franchise, this is true. Notable mistakes: not making Alicia Silverstone bareass the entire flik, using plastic molded He-Man costumes and giving them little "nipple nubbins", not making Uma Thurman bareass the entire flik, allowing that f*&%!#$ chimpanzee to write the movie on commission. Yes, Batman and Robin will never be the same. But, you see, SCHUMACHER only ruined one franchise.

COSTNER ruined four. Four different types of movies: post-apocolyptic desert survival (POSTMAN), other planet survival (WATERWORLD), romantic chick flik (MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE), and baseball (FOR LOVE OF THE GAME). His devastation is broadbased, it's a sweeping wave of poop. This is like Homer Simpson burning a bowl of cereal. The man must be stopped.

- VooDooPork

Name the only director of this motley crew to destroy something formerly cool. (Attention, fanboys, Star Trek is not, nor was it e-e-eeeeeeeehhhhhhver cool (ay-gane).)

Joel Schumacher took the mighty Batman franchise and did what the combined forces of the Rogues Gallery could not. He rendered Batman ineffective. (And, depending on who you talk to, a homoerotic fantasy.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Joel Schumacher "wins".

Release the hounds. And the bees. And the hounds with bees in their mouths so when they bark they shoot bees at you.

- Todd Evil

Hmmm. This is a tough one. Well, firstly we can eliminate Paul Verhoeven. Starship Troopers WAS one of the most worst movies I've seen in a good long while (And an awful thing to do to Heinlein. Now people are trying to ruin Asimov too. Where will the madness end!?), BUT, the man directed ROBOCOP, the best damn movie in the world EVER!

Waterworld was long and boring and stupid, but not any more so than any of the other drivel Hollywood has shat on us in the past fifteen years.

Star Trek V? Yep, a travesty, but surely still better than that Scream crap, or most horror movies based on a Stephen King novel.

This leaves us with Schumacher and Edward D. Wood Jr.

Now I think that Batman and Robin was the worst piece of excrement ever made. Joel Schumacher should be dragged in the streets and shot, and his body should then be burned and then shot again and again and again until there is nothing to shoot at anymore, but maybe I'm biased. I'm a big Batman fan. I mean sure it is the black hole of movies, sucking all goodness into it, but is it really worse than, say, Superman III, or even (shudder) Superman IV, or in fact ANY movie based on a comic or video game (Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat - II in particular, who directed that, why isn't his name on the list?-, The Punisher -with Dolph Lundgren in it- , Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. -David Hasslehof?-, Masters of the Universe -Lundgren again-, etc.)

Sure the directors on the list all suck (the movies they committed against humanity, anyway) but four of the five movies were made within the last 11 years (Star Trek V. 1989 being the earliest of these), logic says that a lot of bad movies will be made during the next decade (the next Batman movie and Tomb Raider spring to mind).

Yet Plan 9 from Outer Space has sucked across FOUR DECADES. It truly stands the test of time. In another forty years Joel Schumacher's name will be lost in the anals of mediocrity, but people will look at Ed Wood and say now THERE was a bad director.

- Socrates

A blowhard like me can't turn down a chance to write in about the worst movie directors. Sure, you would think a large mass of clouds and water may be biased by the subject of Waterworld, but I honestly cannot say that Costner is the worst director ever based on that one misstep. He after all is pretty good at baseball movies.

Ed Wood is a fascinating train wreck. Sure his movies are impossibly bad, but they are so impossibly bad they are funny - and widely regarded for their sheer awfulness. His are movies you can watch time and again, in much the same way people who watch When America's Funniest Home Videos Attack COPS! enjoy seeing a happy groom get wack in the yabos by a billy club toting puppy dog.

William Shatner is Kirk.(Star Trek: The Original Series) Kirk is Dead (Star Trek: Generations) The bleeding has stopped. Long Live Picard.

Paul Verhoven did indeed make young, nude women disinteresting. That in and of itself is unexcusable. Unfortunately, Showgirls is not the movie that got him nominated in this battle. Starship Troopers is based (very loosely) on a Robert Heinlein book. Seeing Doogie Howser in that SS getup was indeed disturbing. The vapid Denise Richards as a pilot and a leader was even more disturbing. I was about to rate Veerhoven as the worst director of the bunch except for two reasons:

1) the Redhead that played Diz really was pretty hot.

2) Joel Schumacher

Joel Schumacher had a franchise handed to him on a silver platter. Batman 1 and 2 were dark, well written, delightful. The first movie teaches all who watch how to portray a comic book character in 3 dimensions in a serious manner. The second movie teaches that the psyches of the villans are as ripe for the picking as any contrived plotline. Perhaps from the second movie you could also say that it would be a good idea to rein in the number of bad guys, introduce them gradually (Note the introduction of DA Harvey Dent - played by Lando Calrissian himself, Mr. Billy Dee Williams {Who happens to be black [which is true to the original comic book]})

Now most people know the difference between the funny pages and a graphic novel. Most modern fans of Batman prefer to read the gothic novels and not think that once long ago there was a painfully campy Batman TV series.

So here comes Joel Schumaker. He has a bad guy that has already been setup for him in Harvey Dent. The groundwork's been laid, the actors know their parts, and he screws it all up. Next thing you know, Keaton leaves... Harvey Dent is Tommy Lee Jones (Who is White {and amazingly over the top [which is not at all like what we have every right to expect]})... The Riddler who was once to be played by Robin Williams (humble opinion, would have done the job perfectly) is instead played by Jim Carrey (essentially reprising his role as The Mask) and yet somehow Jim is the only redeeming quality in the movie.

To make matters much much worse, we have Robin, played by Chris O'Donnell, who said the one line in the movie that was completely unacceptable, and I quote:

"Holy Rusted Metal, Batman."

Never in my life was I more tempted to get up and leave in the middle of a movie. Never.

So the idiotic powers that be decide that letting Schumaker make another Batman movie would be a good idea. If you are one of those powers that be, please report to the prison nearest you and ask for "old sparky".

How is it that the weekly Batman cartoon series can make a sexier Poison Ivy and a more sympathetic Dr. Freeze than a man with $300 Million in his pocket? How could Schumaker possibly not know the true lineage of Batgirl (... it's Barbara GORDON, the COMISSIONER'S DAUGHTER YOU IDIOT, not Alfred's Niece...)?

Schumaker ruined a franchise, not just a movie. For this, he deserves the Oscar for Worst Director. But then perhaps a gold painted toilet plunger is really what he deserves.

- Hurricane Andrew

Joel Schumacher, or "Fool-Maker" or "Film- Maker" or "Film-Wrecker" or whatever...This guy just doesn't get it. "BATMAN" is the DARK KNIGHT! ...Not an ingratiating pretty-boy from an overrated television medical drama!...(Or is he...???)..."BATMAN" on ice!...I'm surprised he didn't get Tonja Harding in on this one!...JIM CARREY as "THE RIDDLER"?...Riddle me this: Who has millions of dollars, no talent, and is actually MORE annoying than Jerry Lewis?...Who has managed to "batter" the "BATMAN" film franchise?...Joel S.!...That's who!!!...Bob Kane is spinning in his grave!


Costner gets my vote only because I've decided it is impossible for him to multi-task (i.e act AND direct, chew gum and walk (I'm actually surprised he can move AND talk). His most recent "additions" (maybe subtractions is a more apprporiate term) to his repertoire are sub-standard, compared to some of his best performances in "Field of Dreams" and "Robin Hood" (although both James and Morgan helped save him there). Kevin hasn't quite learned yet that he's no Dirty Harry and cant pull off the same theatrical feats as Clint. The only award I see him winning as a director is for Worst Director. But at least Billy wont have to do a theme song montage.

- Th3 M3ssiah

Ed Wood had a movie made about his life. He may have been a bad director, but bad in a cute way. People still watch Plan 9 From Outer Space for amusement and easy laughs.

Costner, despite Waterworld was still allowed to do another post-Apocalyptic snooze-a-thon (one of the few films where you prayed for a more effective nuclear war).

Verhoeven made a silly action film that tried to be more clever than it was. Oh, sure, the Heinlein fans are ticked but so what?

And whatever Shatner did, he didn't destroy the franchise. Four more films and two TV series followed the debacle that was Star Trek V: The Search for Plot.

But Schumacher...

Not only did he singlehandedly destroy one of Warner Brother's most successful franchises, not only did he cause the star to admit that Batman and Robin may be the last Batman film made but, in an example of pure disgust at his actions, the creators of the animated Batman TV series made fun of him. In an episode. That aired. And was allowed to air by Warner Brothers.

You can't get much more confirmation that you really screwed up than when your employers make fun of you.

- Keith of the Arctic

WOOD--How could you THINK of including Ed Wood with these talentless hacks? Has the life story of any of THEM been filmed, hmmmm? Has the life story of any of THEM won an Oscar (tm)? Are any of THEM transvestites? (Well, okay, maybe Schumacher when nobody's looking. You got me there.) Tor Johnson? Vampira? Bela Lugosi strung-out on horse? What's not to like about "Plan 9"? Wood was so bad he was good--Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder before there WAS MST3K! I'll try to overlook your crass mistake this time, but don't let it happen again.

COSTNER--One crummy Oscar (tm) and the little balding bastard thinks he's Erich Von Stroheim! Likes to hear himself talk (oh, brother), but that's no crime. However, if he makes one more movie that clocks in at over three hours, I'll personally stuff his light meter up his ass. (calls offstage) Moose! Rocco! Help Mr. Costner recycle some urine!

VERHOEVEN--I like the comment about Elizabeth Berkley getting naked and Denise Richards remaining clothed. What WAS the man thinking? But he DID direct "Robocop," so he gets a free pass. Besides, if we kill him, he'll never put Denise Richards in a movie naked.

SHATNER--Don't blame Shatner. He couldn't direct traffic. He couldn't find the working end of a camera lens with both hands and a diagram. He doesn't even write his own BOOKS, let alone direct his own movies. It was all done for him by flunkies. Shatner even came in third in a Shatner-impression contest (Kevin Pollak won, BTW). What worries me is that I can't tell when Shatner's parodying himself anymore. Those commercials where he's singing ARE parodies aren't they? AREN'T THEY?

SCHUMACHER--He doesn't fool me, he's Satan. He's just going to keep making Batman movies until the whole franchise is totally driven into the permafrost. What's next, George Clooney doing the Batusi? Is Aunt Harriet going to be moving into stately Wayne Manor to keep the neighbors from gossiping? The whole idea of making a MOVIE about Batman is that MOVIES are NOT comic books--a simple notion that seems to have escaped Schumacher. Now, Tim Burton, he knew what he was doing. But I wouldn't let Schumacher direct a psychic-friends infomercial for a public-access channel in Barrow, Alaska.

- Deacon

This whole contest boils down to one thing: plot. Batman and Robin had a plot. Star Trek V had a plot, however shaky. Even Waterworld and Plan 9 can be said to have a plot.

On the other hand, Verhoeven was handed a plot--the original novel by Robert Heinlein--yet was able, somehow, to create a movie without any semblance of plot, not to mention barely a nod to the original work.

Not only does Paul Verhoeven deserve a Worst Director Oscar for this film, he deserves to be placed in another type of plot, of dimensions about 4' by 8' by 6'.

- Eric Snyder II

Even bad movies usually have some redeeming factor. 4 of the 5 contestants in this match made movies that, while undeniably bad, were at least watchable for some reason or other.

Joel Schumacher: OK, so lame "ice" and "plant" cliches do not make for great dialogue. I say, who cares? Alicia Silverstone and Uma Thurman in tight-fitting rubber outfits. 'Nuff said.

Paul Verhoeven: Gratuitous nudity! Yeahhhh, baby! As long as there's testosterone flowing through my body, I can endure crappy plots like those of Starship Troopers and Showgirls if I see even the possibility of nudity. Don't underestimate the importance of sex appeal in bad movies (see Joel Schumacher, above.)

Ed Wood: There are a few mythic films, artifacts of MST3K culture, that are so unspeakably bad that they're actually good! Plan 9 is the choicest example of such a film. If you've ever actually seen it end to end, you know that it is *the worst movie ever made*!!! And that's precisely what makes it so watchable.

William Shatner: It doesn't matter if his was the worst Star Trek movie, it had to be seen for the sake of continuity. Besides, the sheer lunacy of William Shatner as an actor should be more than enough to distract one from the insanity of him as a director!

Kevin Costner is the only contestant whose films are *completely* unwatchable. What's with him and post-apocolyptic worlds, anyway? A merely "bad" film, like those listed above will make me ask "why?". After watching the like of Waterworld and the Postman, I have only one question: Huh?

- 1/2 Nelson

William Shatner at the podium with Leonard Nimoy and James Doohan, plus a redshirt ensign: My...(long pause)...friends, I wish to THANK...(another dramatic pause) for this award. It humbles me...ME...the greatest ham actor in...history!...and it humbles...ME! Thank you for...(Takes another long pause, during which time 3 million viewers go to the bathroom, 500,000 wash their cars, 250,000 get a good night's sleep, 77,296 take a cross-country trip, and 152 scale Mt. Everest and return.)...your hospitality. It is, as Mr. Spock would say, fascinating. Mr. Spock, your analysis?

Leonard Nimoy (standing erect, with Vulcan ears on): Why do you wish me to make a chemical analysis of your urine? I do not see why gaining this award would arouse suspicion that you took illicit drugs.

Shatner: Never...mind. At least maybe now the Trek franchise can win a Grudge Match. Let's hear from...some others. Bones?

Dr. McCoy's voice: I'm dead, Jim.

Shaner: Oh...that's..right. Well, our time is...about up. Give me warp factor 86, Scotty.

Doohan: I can't do it, Cap'n, I can't defy the laws of physics.

Shatner: Sure you can, Scotty, this is Star Trek, we do it all the...time. Beside you just fathered a kid at HOW old?

Doohan: Aye, Sir, that's true.

Shatner (glancing to his right): Mr. Crystal...and the Grudge Match seem to have something else for me. Jones, see what it is. (We wait as he goes offscreen.)


McCoy's voice, as we see the pile of yellowish liquid that was

Jones: He's dead, Jim.

Shatner: Thank you...Bones. And


- Doug

I've looked over the five competitors, and I just don't see that there's any competition with Joel Schumacher!

Let's first get rid of the others:

William Shatner: If you're going to be honest with yourself, you'd have to admit he doesn't even belong on this list. Star Trek V sucked as a Star Trek Movie, but it's hardly a horrid movie. It has laughs, it has heart, and it's not badly done as a film goes. Also, the production had a number of problems that weren't Shatner's fault. Let's face it, if he wasn't working off a script written by Shatner (a far worse crime), he might be a fine director. It's no contest.

Ed Wood: Yes, he is the world's most horrible director, in the purest sense of the word. He doesn't even qualify as a "B" movie director. But I think we need to stick with "A" list films or there's not even a contest. Instead of focusing on someone with no talent, I think a discussion of bad directors needs to be centered on someone who can work a camera and knows when to do a re-take BUT is hindered by his own horrific artistic vision. That's not Ed Wood.

Kevin Costner: Waterworld was bad. The Postman was painfully done (too bad, given that the plot is rather intriguing). Did we really need the long dramatic take of the kid who didn't get his mail to the postman on time, and then the postman comes back and gets the letter, and then Costner shows it to us AGAIN at the end? ARGH! Bad bad bad. But not so bad that it sends shivers up my spine at the mention of it. And let's not forget Dances With Wolves, the Oscar-winning film that was the best propaganda since Triumph of the Will (or at least Roger and Me). Waterworld and The Postman inhabit a realm of films that are best forgotten, not hated.

Paul Verhoeven has made some awful films. He also made Robocop, so he can't be called the worst director.

Joel Schumacher is most definitely the worst director ever, because he not only botched ONE major Batman movie but TWO. Ignoring all criticisms of his first effort in the Batman universe, Batman Forever, he went on to fill Batman and Robin with even more of what made his first film so bad!

Tons of butt shots. An absurd obsession with the homoerotic overtones of Batman. So many characters jammed into each movie that Uma Thurman has to rapidly shout exposition into a tape recorder and Nicole Kidman must throw herself at Batman the moment she meets him just to fit into these cramped films. Batman jumps off a skyscraper and makes no attempt to stop himself.

Well, I could write an entire article listing the flaws in these movies. In fact, I did. Back in Fanzing #3, we analyzed all of the Batman films in an article called "I See Batman...In A Dress!" (

The gist of it is this: Joel Schumacher took a monolithic franchise and drove it into the ground, to the point that Warner Brothers execs shudder at the thought of making another Batman movie. THAT is the sign of a BAD DIRECTOR!

- Michael Hutchison, Fanzing Editor

Starship Troopers for one reason.....none of the women in the co-ed shower scene were hot. What a waste.

- Matt

Uh, guys, I can't seem to find the "all horribly maimed disfigured, mutilated, killed, mutilated again for good measure, soaked in gasoline, burned, swept in a garbage can, and shot into the center of the sun" button . . . I know it has to be around here somewhere . . .

- Albatross

I am disappointed with you guys. I voted in hopes of an "ALL Killed and Mangled option - and you fail to provide me with this sanity- saver. Okay, here's what happens:

After Joel steps up to recieve his award, a black car/van crashes onstage, a custom 1986 GMC. Out steps Batman, T, and the JLA. They jump Joel and beat him to a pulp. Ever wonder why it's a Justice 'League'? Well, not only that, but with T pissed at the DC CAB plot, Joel's doom is ensured.

Aquaman scans the audience, only to see Costner try to sneak out among the chaos. Furious at how Costner had given a bad name for anything with "Water" in it (and seeing how Aquaman is Atlantean), he catches up to Kevin and - well, take a guess where he implants that hook of his.

Suddenly the walls burst, and thousands of insect-like aliens rush in. Starship Troopers is avenged as Paul Verhoeven melts in agony under a flood of bug-goo.

Shatner's, well... Shatner chokes on his toupee as he tries to use it as a fake beard when he sees a couple of enraged Klingons scour the audience. Ed is already dead, so no use trying to off him here.

There. I feel better, MUCH better.

- The Saint

I wish they had presented this--they gave the Thalberg Award (for *best* sustained production) to a fella even they admitted produced *Ishtar.* But to the point.

I would not give this Oscar to Ed Wood, classic bad director as he is. His films were constrained by lack of funds as well as lack of talent--they were '50s equivs. of the Blair Witch Project. Indies rarely win big categories. Besides, I've never seen the film, and I hate to judge even incredibly incompetent films by hearsay.

Not Schumaker for *Batman and Robin,* even if it is gonna "win." This is a series film at this point, and cannot win a major award. Schumaker's vision is incongruent w/this series' creator's, admittedly--he's a contender--but not w/the Bat-franchise as a whole. His vision will win out--check your Bat-action figures and the latest On-star ads.

I also rule out Shatner for Star Trek V because it's a series film--not even Star Trek I (if misdirected) is eligible, and I don't think V is that much worse than I, even if Roddenberry did. Besides,

I *liked* the "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" scene.

I rule out Costner for *Waterworld* because he is uncredited--the credit went to the fella who made *Titanic.*

This leaves Paul Verhoeven. He has created a peculiar film, with modern special effects and strange window screens; he filmed

*Starship Troopers* for the *specific* purpose of mocking Heinlein, who wrote the source material, and was not totally successful at it.

It was a fun film, but I have to vote for Verhoeven this time.

- Artless Dodger

"Hi I'm Batgirl!" Sums it up nicely.

- Tom Servo

This match has to go to Joel Schumacher. Not only has he killed the best superhero movie franchise (handled so brilliantly by Tim Burton), turning a great gothic city into camp that Adam West might shudder over.

Also, we're talking about the man who wrote The Wiz (the oh-so-horrible Motown version of The Wizard of Oz) and Car Wash, a 1976 movie starring Richard Pryor.

Truly, anyone who's failed as writer, producer AND director must get some consideration...

- Vlad, Bad Movie Watcher of Wonder

You know, you keep this up and they're gonna start an All Mangled and Killed Jihad.

- My name is Kenny (There is no Kenny)

An illustration from real life will show you why I voted for Verhoeven:

My Starship Troopers paperback is ragged and dogeared from multiple readings.
One scene in the copy of the movie I rented actually had been damaged as well. Which one? The group shower scene, presumably worn by being freeze framed for minutes at a time while some adolescent, shall we say, "built forearm strength".

Nobody else on the list took a Hugo Award (tm) Winning Great American Science Fiction Novel(tm) and transformed it into Showgirls Join The Space Marines. Verhoeven deserves the award, and probably some jail time, since overseas distribution of his films must constitute selling weapons of mass destruction.

- Mr. Silverback- Ready to jump on a grenade for his Poobah.

I'm shocked. Outright shocked. That Ed Wood doesn't appear to be "winning" this "award."

Plan 9 is devoid of everything that marks a good movie. You know...professional actors, name it. In fact, this horror-movie is the funniest thing I've ever seen and I boggle at why Ed Wood didn't become a hermit after this thing. But of course the most recent catastrophe gets the votes..just like when The Matrix gets voted in as BEST movie instead of Pulp Fiction. It's the attention span of young people today...sure, Batman-movies suck, but how could they possibly rival Plan 9? I'm scaring myself. I'm fifteen and I'm probably calling people older'n me "the young." Time to go for a lie-down and check for extremely premature grey hairs.

- J°rn

William Shatner: At least the movie has "Final" in the title, which momentarily gave us hope that it would be the last one.

Ed Wood: Apparently, his movie had some sort of "plan," which puts him heads and shoulders above the rest of the competition.

Paul Verhoeven: I thought Starship Troopers was going to be about the resilient members of the 60's band Jefferson Airplane. Boy, was I wrong!

Kevin Costner: Couldn't he have continued the Native American naming tradition with "Sleeps with Fishies"?

(Water World: You mean that was a MOVIE? I thought it was a super long commercial for some dumb ass water park!)

Joel Schumacher: Isn't he that guy at my local 3-plex who consistently directs movie-goers to the wrong screens?

- Mark Wentz

Paul Verhoeven walkes onstage to accept his award. Worst Director isn't exactly the jewel of Oscars, but it's all he's likely to get. Suddenly, the room turns cold, and a ghostly presence arrives onstage. Murmurs run throught the crowd, and someone shouts, "It's Robert Heinlein!!"

Verhoeven begins to back away, and the presence speaks.

"Well now, kid. Your movie completely desecrated my book. My body is spinning in its grave like a high-speed lathe. That's damn umcomfortable, and there's only one way to make it stop. That's why I'm here, with all the immense power of Pissed Off Dead Guys(TM). There are some folks here who'd like to have a word with you."

Large figures in powered armor appear next to Verhoeven and reach out, strength-enhanced hands twitching.

The REAL Starship Troopers rend Verhoeven limb from limb, splashing the audience liberally with blood. Then, they and the ghost of Heinlein disappear with a ghostly laugh.

- i'm not an alien!!

The winner is obviously Schumacher.

By the way I am submitting your names to the U.N. Human Rights Commission for crimes against humanity for making me think about the last Batman movie again.

- Claymore

That's okay. They know us pretty well down there by now. -- Ed.

Well, I say we let an expert decide this one (picks up copy of Leonard Maltin's film guide):

Star Trek V: **
Water World: ***
Starship Troopers: ***
Plan Nine from Outer Space: BOMB
Batman And Robin: ** and 1/2

Now this obviously has some amazing questions. Who knew that Kubrick's "Lolita" was exactly as good as Starship Troopers? Who knew that Waterwold outclassed "Charlie and the Chocolate factory"? "My dinner with Andre" only one half of a star ahead of "Batman and Robin," Star Wars just a hair better than "Starship Troopers"." National Lampoon's Animal House", the equal of Star Trek V.

"Hannah and Her Sisters", "My Favorite Year", "Birdman of Alcatraz," "Full Metal Jacket", Broadcast News," "Witness," on par with "Starship Troopers" and "Water World."

"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", "Amadeus," "Baghdad Cafe", "The Heart of the Lonely Hunter", "Harry and the Hendersons", "Marathon Man" ,"Unforgiven", "Sophie's Choice" "The Great Santini," all no better than Batman & Robin.

Name Of The Rose," "Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom, "Being There," all the same as Star Trek V

Yes, the only choice that isn't, for some reason, rubbing elbows with the greats seems to be Ed Wood's magna opus "Plan Nine From Outer Space." Thank you Leonard Maltin, for telling us what films are better than others.

- Peanuts"With a tip of the hat to MST3K"Pat


This was just a pithy excuse to try to get Star Trek to win one of these, wasn't it? Tsk, tsk . . .

- Some Guy

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

Worst Actor Academy Award
Worst Actress Academy Award
Grudge Match™ goes to the Movies

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Next Match: Swordplay (not the most "cutting edge" teaser ever, but you get the "point").
ETA: Monday, April 3rd, 2000

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