Talking pictures: 'Battlefield Earth' sweeps the Stinkers

Published: Sunday, March 25 2001 12:00 a.m. MST

Who wants to bet that John Travolta doesn't accept his award?

It's rare that film critics and moviegoers even agree about a film — much less with the staggering amount of contempt showered on the pricey sci-fi turkey "Battlefield Earth," which was a labor of love for Travolta, its producer and star.

However, that last fact didn't stop the movie from being the big loser at the 23rd annual Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, which were announced this week (just in time for the Academy Awards ceremonies).

"Battlefield Earth" won "dishonors" in eight of the nine categories in which it was nominated: Worst Film, Worst Director (Roger Christian), Worst Actor (Travolta, also for his work in "Lucky Numbers"), Worst On-screen Hairstyle (Travolta and Forest Whitaker), Worst On-screen Couple (Travolta and anyone in the entire galaxy!), Most Unintentionally Funny Film, Worst On-screen Group (the film's Psychlos and Man-Animals) and Least "Special" Special Effects.

"It was a staggering victory," said Mike Lancaster, co-founder of the Hastings Bad Cinema Society, noting the unprecedented amount of Stinkers success enjoyed by the film.

(The Hasting society is a group of movie buffs dedicated to honoring Hollywood's major studio fiascoes, who present their rather uncoveted awards each year.)

But the insult-to-injury "dishonors" didn't stop there. "Battlefield Earth" was also awarded the top spot on "100 Years, 100 Stinkers," the society's parody of the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Movies" poll.

"We knew it was the film to beat for the worst of 2000 but didn't think it would make the top 10 for worst film of

all time," Lancaster said.

However, what he believes sealed the film's fate was its release on home video during the final 10-week final voting period for the list.

"It was almost like Warner Bros. was daring people to vote for their film," he said. "You know, 'You've heard it was the worst film ever, now we're gonna prove it to you.' "

That decision may have helped the film beat out such recognized duds as "Waterworld," "Showgirls," "Howard the Duck" and "Plan 9 From Outer Space" for the spot on the list as Worst Film of All Time.

As for the Stinkers themselves, other winners in the major categories for the Cinematic Year 2000 included:

  • Madonna (Worst Actress and Musician or Athlete Who Shouldn't Be Acting, for "The Next Best Thing"),

  • Tom Green (Worst Supporting Actor and Most Unfunny Comic Relief, for both "Charlie's Angels" and "Road Trip"),

  • Alicia Silverstone (Worst Supporting Actress, "Love's Labour's Lost").

  • Adam Sandler (Worst Fake Accent, "Little Nicky").

  • "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" (Worst Remake or Sequel and the Remake or Sequel Nobody Was Clamoring For).

  • "Who Let The Dogs Out," from "Rugrats in Paris" (Worst Film Song and Worst Song or Song Performance Featured in a Film or Its End Credits).

  • "Drowning Mona" (Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy).

  • "Gone in Sixty Seconds" (Worst Screenplay for a Film That Grossed More Than $100 Million Worldwide, Using Hollywood Math and Most Intrusive Musical Score in a Major Motion Picture).

  • "Digimon: The Movie" (Worst Achievement in Animation).

  • "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" (Worst Resurrection of a TV Show).

  • "The Adventures of Super Dave" (Most Unwelcome Direct-To-Video Release).

  • "Remember the Titans" (Oldest Looking Teenagers).

The full list of Stinkers winners, as well as a history of the awards, is available on the society's Web site www.thestinkers.com).

By the way, lest anyone think the Hastings folks are being a bit unfair to "Battlefield Earth," that film is also expected to sweep the Razzies, a like-minded, bad-movie tribute run by the Golden Raspberry Awards Foundation www.razzies.com.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Popcorn level is the level that I am selling ('Battlefield Earth') on! Like 'Pulp Fiction,' the movie, if you choose to read into it the way you want to, it's your choice. But I only intended it to be a very entertaining popcorn movie." — Actor/producer John Travolta, continuing to defend his critically derided vanity project.


E-mail: jeff@desnews.com

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