Saturday, March 6, 2010


It’s easy to get angry over the annual injustice of the Academy Awards, but we can only mock Mira Sorvino’s luck or fruitlessly wave a David Cronenberg flag so many times before our own Oscar the Grouch routine sounds bitter. To thoroughly cite all the great genre performances and films neglected by the Academy Awards is as daunting a task as actually watching the ten Best Picture nominees of 2010 (mainly because that requires you to sit through The Blind Side), but there’s one annual national film society ceremony horror fans can, year after year, invest some stock in: The Golden Raspberries, aka the only trophy to be won by both Tom Green and Laurence Olivier.

We can be thankful that movies as awful as The Happening get recognized for the cinematic crimes they commit against the ticket buying public, but every now and then, the Razzies get it wrong. Sometimes it’s an oversight, as many voters probably try their darnest to erase the memory of certain bad films (I didn’t even remember that I’d seen Friday the 13th: Part XII this year. More often, the Razzmacademy gets a little too eager to punish some of the less critically acclaimed, but not necessarily awful cinema that’s simply an easy target. 

Here are a few Razzie wins and snubs that just don’t add up:

Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body

There are a lot of people currently breathing who dream of watching the slow death/D-list descent of Ms. Megan Fox, but just because a person’s sound bites are more annoying than Mentos commercials doesn’t mean every single performance she gives is a total dud. In Jennifer’s Body--a film targeted as the second coming of Satan according to a vocal segment of the horror community--Fox is perfectly cast as a Mean Girl turned truly evil (not, like, high school evil) and hungry for the blood of horny teenage boys. Yes, Fox’s primary responsibility is to look hot in a cheerleader skirt, but she easily hits the right notes in a role custom made for her (probably limited) range. She’s no Jennifer Tilly in Seed of Chucky, but on a certain level, there’s some genuinely fun about her self-aware work. 

The Blair Witch/Book of Shadows

In fairness, the 1999 nomination for this juggernaut hit was probably more the result of general weariness from the onslaught of fan-films and true story debate than the actual quality of The Blair Witch Project. But a nomination for worst film? This in the year that was Baby Geniuses and Chill Factor? Similarly, the sequel continues to slowly build a late blooming audience who appreciate the film’s playful meta take on the very success of its predecessor. It’s not classic, but surely there were worse films to nab nominations in 2000. Don’t believe me? Hanging Up, Drowning Mona, Pokeman: The Movie, Digimon: The Movie, Autumn in New York, The Ladies Man, and Dungeons & Dragons might have something to say about that. If anybody remembered any of them existed. 

Paris Hilton in horror

I’m no Paris Hilton apologist. If I ever find a genetically deformed monkey’s paw, there’s a good chance its extra pinky may indeed be used to wish her fame into oblivion. That being said, there’s nothing about her underwhelming, if adequate performance in House of Wax that’s worse than Jessica Simpson’s slack-jawed mumbling in The Dukes of Hazard or, more importantly, Katie Holmes’ dull and unbelievable zombie stare in the nearly great The Dark Knight. I could easily call foul on the Razzie voting committee for her 2005 win, particularly when they gave her a hat trick four years later for one deservedly awful (beyond words) performance in The Hottie and the Nottie (please don’t ever make me type those words again) and one actual better than anyone expected (or wants to admit) performance in Repo! The Genetic Opera.


Great movie? Not by most standards. Damn good fun with decent production values and a rich sense of humor? You betcha. So why did 1997’s Anaconda earn a place in Razzie history with multiple nominations, including Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor (Jon Voight the performance of his career...seriously) and Worst New Star? More importantly, how is an animatronic/CGI snake considered a New Star?

The Shining

Stanley Kubrick was never a universally loved artist, but to cite him in the Worst Director  category at the Razzies debut ceremony is appalling in any time. At least he was in some highbrow company: Brian De Palma and William Friedken shared the honor.


  1. I agree with everything other than the Kubrick comment. He has earned worst director for a couple of movies--Eyes Wide Shut, for one.

    I mean, yeah, he's earned Best Director also, but he's had some huge misses also.

  2. I'd give Kubrick a hesitant pass on Eyes Wide Shut since I believe he died as it was completed. I'm not sure if he still had tweaking to do, plus there were a lot of MPAA edits that came after his death (to my knowledge).

    He's had his misfires, and while I have minor quibbles with The Shining, it's hard to say THAT's the film Kubrick would get cited for in Razzie speak.