“Honestly, if you’ve never even once said the name Neil Breen out loud, your opinions on bad movies are null and void.”
~AFFotD’s Film Critic
In 1981, the first Golden Raspberry Award ceremony was held in the living room of John J. B. Wilson, a co-founder of the award who also has too many periods in his name. Initially an inside joke with his film industry friends, it has since gone on to gain notoriety as a sort of “anti-Oscar”, crowning the worst performances or achievements in Hollywood each year.
It’s an antidote to the typical award-season sycophancy that happens at the start of each year, a way to punch up and call out the rich, famous and beautiful for their poor, lazy, or disinterested decisions.
That can include a notorious shitposter and video game adapter like Uwe Boll, or Oscar winners like Halle Berry and Sandra Bullock (both of whom are among the few to give their own acceptance speeches).
In 2022, the “punching upwards” to poke fun at the rich and famous that attracted many to the award increasingly feels like it’s merely punching parallel. The film industry is struggling, going to the theaters is still a potentially risky venture, and we’re starved for any and all content we can get right now. Talking about how “stupid” or “pointless” a movie that employeed literally hundreds of people during an economically unsure time seems a bit tone-deaf in this current cultural environment.
What we’re trying to say is, maybe the Golden Rasberry Award, a.k.a. the Razzies, need to re-think how they direct their snark. Listen, we know, our whole thing is snark. We literally wrote over a thousand words trying to dunk on a shitty pizza chain that emailed us some swear words one time. We had friends that asked us why we would even bother! They were like, “So instead of ignoring the emails, you responded back to take screenshots and dunk on them? What is wrong with you!?” And we justified it, because making fun of these people is good content. They started it, anyway! Fuck em! Ah, it was a much simpler time.
That said, the Razzies just listed their 2021 nominations, and we realized it showed the same short-sighted, and occasionally elitist, attitude that the awards have always had. Six-time Oscar-nominee Amy Adams was nominated twice, for Dear Evan Hansen and The Woman in the Window, the former you remember because of its use of a 28-year-old playing a 16-year-old (or whatever, high school age. Don’t fact check us, we could not give a shit), and the latter being um, a movie that we guess we heard about once? It’s based on a book right?
What we’re saying is, Amy Adams should be part of a Leonardo DiCaprio conversation of “when is she gonna win her Oscar.” Not a sudden two-time Razzie nominee. We don’t need our national treasure, star of Arrival and Talladega Nights, slighted like this during a pandemic.
Ben Affleck was also nominated for The Last Duel, a film for which he’s received multiple accolades and was, at its very worst, a well-made movie that was too long and had like, way too much rape in it? The most generous reason we can think of for Affleck’s nomination here was that he had a bad wig. The most likely reason? He’s dating J-Lo again, and the Razzies think she can do better.
So what’s our point here? The Razzies are full of gossipy bitches that can’t find their own drama.
They also have historically proven to be somewhat cringey, planting their “this is a bad movie” take in movies that turned out to be great. Basically, the Razzies need to take a step back and reassess how they view movies. Because all of the following films are actual Razzie-nominated features that, we think, showed the Razzies going TOO FAR.
Certain criticisms of movies end up seeming foolish in retrospect. If you have a positive review of a movie that goes on to be viewed as “bad” you’re an oddity, a curiosity. If you have a negative review of a classic, you’re a joke. And for as much as we can agree with the Razzies on the easy statements insisting like, sure, Battlefield Earth was bad, these following movies show instances where they were trying just a bit too hard, and should probably be judged a little harshly by history as a result.
Nominated – Worst Director: Stanley Kubrick
Nominated – Worst Actress: Shelley Duvall
IMDB users rank this as the 66th best film of all time. Admittedly, there is no thirstier cohort than IMDB raters, but it still speaks to the fact that when you think of The Shining you think of either several iconic lines or scenes, or just generally accept the “Kubrick” of it all.
This happened during the first ever Razzies ceremony, yet they weirdly are doubling down on their take, saying that Stephen King also didn’t like the adaptation. Which is an insane rationale! Do you know how much cocaine Stephen King was on in the 80s!? THIS MUCH!
The Razzies committee tries to say, “Oh the movie is so different than the book, which we definitely read, so we decided to give a ‘you suck’ nomination to one of the greatest directors of all time,” and we’re not buying it. They need to take the L here and move on.
The Godfather Part III
Winner – Worst Supporting Actress: Sophia Coppola
Winner – Worst New Star: Sophia Coppola
We get it nepotism is annoying. But this is the start of a weird feud that the Razzies had with Francis Ford Coppola’s daughter, who admittedly is not a good actress but who also has since won a fucking Oscar.
Granted, Godfather Part III is largely considered to be a disappointment to the franchise, in that it’s not considered an all-time great like the first two chapters, but it still was nominated for seven Academy Awards. That’s six more than Se7en got, you nerds. You know what else came out in 1990 that didn’t get a single Razzie nom? TROLL 2!!!
We get that we were not yet at this point in a How Did This Get Made society, but more often than not the Razzie nominations are just as lazy and predictable as the performances they lampoon.
Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy
Nominated – Worst Actor: Ben Stiller
This nomination only exists because they wanted to razz on Ben Stiller, so he was nominated for like four films as worst actor this year alone. But even that was bullshit. He got dinged for this, Dodgeball (which still slaps), Envy (which you don’t remember) and Starsky and Hutch, which is like, forgettably bad and possibly just fine.
He’s not even a lead actor in Anchorman mind you. He shows up for 15 seconds to speak in a now-and-let’s-be-honest-probably-then offensive hispanic accent with a now-and-let’s-be-honest-probably-then offensive fake tan and, okay we’re starting to talk ourselves into accepting this nomination.
But the point is, this is a gimmick the Razzies does a lot and it’s not cute. They basically see a famous person do a bunch of movies in a single year, see they range from middling-to-fine, and then go ALL IN on them.
They’re doing it this year with Bruce Willis (who, if you haven’t noticed, has been phoning in his roles for the past seven years) and that’s fair. But Stiller didn’t deserve this hate in a year he, objectively, was killing it.
War of the Worlds
Nominated – Worst Actor: Tom Cruise
We get it, you want to ding Tom Cruise, but is a uniformly well-received Steven Spielberg movie the best place to get your digs in? He won’t even register the nomination once the news is buried by his Scientology handlers, you know?
In this case, yes, this was the year Tom Cruise did his “I LOVE THIS WOMAN” jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch thing. And guess what? War of the Worlds, the Oscar-nominated Steven Spielberg film with a 75% Rotten Tomatoes score, was the only film Cruise did that year.
That same year, they created a “Tired Tabloid Targets” category, which Cruise won. Y’all. You could leave it at that. Instead you were like, “You know that wildly successful film that made $600 million in the box office? Yeah let’s take the actor who was just fine in that, and put him in our shitty movies award alongside Rob Schneider in the SEQUEL to Deuce Bigalow and Jamie Kennedy in Son of the Mask. Come on, Razzies. Clean yourselves up.
Nominated – Worst Director: Brian De Palma
Here we again have a classic “movie that was lukewarmly received at first and grew on to be iconic” situation. This movie received a total of eight nominations, TOTAL, for ANY award ceremony when it came out. And three of those were Golden Globe nominations, though who’s to say how much that’s worth.
Still, one of those was for the director, Brian De Palma, who the Razzies apparently fucking hates. The man has directed over 40 films, including classics like Scarface, Carrie, Mission:Impossible, and Carlito’s Way. He’s also been nominated for six Razzies. And he’s not even won! Not to do too much of a throwback but he’s the pre-Revenant Leonardo DiCaprio/current Amy Adams of Razzie nominees.
Nominated – Worst Director: Darren Aronofsky
Nominated – Worst Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Nominated – Worst Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem
This is not a defense of mother!, a fully insane movie that was pretty much exclusively created for film majors and people who not only have read but have thoughts about Finnegan’s Wake. But it also is an example of the Razzies going against their whole “deal.”
The Razzies feel “fun” when it seems like they’re not elitist, they’re taking down the haves from the vantage point of the have-nots. When Bruce Willis gets paid millions of dollars to make a film, and phones it in, he should be mocked. And that’s fair!
But the people voting for the Razzies are just as entitled and elitist as the people they claim to skewer. Here, they gave mother! three Razzie nominations, to two Oscar winners and an Oscar nominee because…it was too arty and weird?
Listen, this movie is too arty and weird. It super is. But if you’re a Razzie vober, you’re here to be like, “maybe the cringey Paris Hilton movie should be shamed a little more” not to be like, “these very good actors are in a strange arthouse film, let’s STOP THAT.”
mother! is movie that you either love or watch and wonder what drugs were used to create it. Both are understandable feelings. But don’t be muddying the waters with Razzie nominations. That’s not gonna get us anywhere.
Winner – Worst Supporting Actress: Darryl Hannah
This movie won a fucking Oscar in a major category. It’s an iconic Oliver Stone film. It was also the first of three times Daryl Hannah was nominated for a Razzie. This is another example of “if you are attractive, or successful, or seem to be ‘over-exposed’ the Razzies will come after you” which also seems to be something that happens more often than not to actresses as opposed to actors. We’re not saying the voters of the Razzies are sexist, but like, they have to know they are right?
We haven’t even seen this movie, by the way. No one on our staff has. We know about it because Michael Douglas won his Oscar for it, and we can’t imagine that Daryl Hannah was so bad in this Oscar-winning film to be noticably the worst performance of that year.
Nominated – Worst Picture
Nominated – Worst Actor: Patrick Swayze
Nominated – Worst Supporting Actor: Ben Gazzara
Nominated – Worst Director
Nominated – Worst Screenplay
We try to not speak ill of people we have not met (this is an absolute lie) so listen to us when we say, the voting members who looked at THIS classic film and deemed it “worthy of mockery”? Who do you think you are? How fucking dare you. It’s almost insulting we’ve already used this many words defending our stance here. GO TO HELL RAZZIES! NEXT ENTRY!
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Winner – Worst Supporting Actor: Ahmed Best
Nominated – Worst Supporting Actress: Sophia Coppola
Nominated – Worst Picture
Nominated – Worst Supporting Actor: Jake Lloyd
Nominated – Worst Screen Couple: Jake Lloyd and Natalie Portman
Nominated – Worst Director and Screenplay: George Lucas
Right now, you’re thinking to yourself, okay, hold on. What the hell. This is a movie that was overwhelmingly disappointing. It took a once-in-a-generation bit of storybuilding and decided, “what if we bogged it down in politics.” It gave us the word combo of “Wizard, Ani.”
Now you might see the title of this article and think that these are all movies that should never have been nominated for a single Razzie. But that’s not correct. Most of these are fair, especially the nominations for George Lucas, though let’s take a moment to point out that Ahmed Best and Jake Lloyd essentially had their lives ruined by the response to this film, so maybe Best’s win and Lloyd’s many nominations here were mean.
But our issue here? Sophioa Coppola’s nomination. Be honest—you don’t remember her being in this movie, do you? She barely was in it. She played Sache, a handmaiden without a single line. She would go on to write an Oscar-winning screenplay just a handful of years later.
The Razzies have a long memory, and weirdly petty one. So after giving Coppola a “Worst New Star” (to give you a sense of how much the Razzies hated Coppola, she beat out Donald Trump that year) and another Razzie for Godfather Part III, they saw that she appeared in the bad new Star Wars movie as a glorified extra and decided, yes, we need to publically call this out.
That’s insane! This would be like giving an Oscar nomination to a Matt Damon for doing a “fun” walk-on cameo where he just nods and claps enthusiastically for one scene.
The Karate Kid Part III
Nominated – Worst Picture
Nominated – Worst Actor: Ralph Macchio
Nominated – Worst Supporting Actor: Pat Morita
Nominated – Worst Director
Nominated – Worst Screenplay
We’re not here to defend the third installment of a franchise that began triumphantly, sort of stalled in the second and third installment, and then ret-conned the whole trilogy with the inexplicably good Cobra Kai.
You can make an argument for four of these nominations that wouldn’t end with us punching you straight in the throat. But one nomination here we CANNOT ABIDE.
Razzies, you take Pat Morita’s name out of your fucking mouths. He was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the first film, and we can confidently say that the third film did not suffer because of his performance. How dare you, Razzies?
Nominated – Worst Supporting Actress: Salma Hayek
Dogma is arguably the most nuanced and intellectually engaging movie that Kevin Smith has released (keep in mind, this is relative. On one hand, it deals with religion and the apocalypse and has Alanis Morissette as God, on the other there’s a scene in a strip club with a shit demon).
But it holds a “Fresh” rating from Rotten Tomatoes (which is hard for most non-dramatic comedies to pull off), has a 7.3/10 rating on IMDB, and received “generally favorable” reviews on Metacritic.
We’re not saying it’s a masterpiece, but it’s also a solid movie from an acclaimed director. Clerks or Mallrats wasn’t getting Razzie nominations. But Salma Hayek, in a relatively small part, did.
She plays Serendipity, the muse, and also she strips while dancing to the Jackson 5 while sucking on a lollipop. It’s not high art mind you, but it’s an interlude in the film. It’s not like it’s distracting or bad, we’re saying.
Anyway, because Wild Wild West sucked for reasons that also didn’t involve Salma Hayek, she got two Razzie nominations this year, including one for Dogma, and the best we can tell the reasons for this nomination boiled down to, “Well, she’s hot, and popular, and we don’t like that.” Because the Razzies are mostly dumb.
But all of the above, we could forgive, maybe given a hefty check. Still, there is one unforgivable sin of the Razzies that we cannot overlook. And that is…
Winner – Worst Actor: Sylvester Stallone
Winner – Worst Supporting Actress: Bridget Nielsen
Winner – Worst Director: Sylvester Stallone
Winner – Worst New Star: Bridget Nielsen
Winner – Worst Musical Score (!!!!?!?!?)
Nominated – Worst Picture
Nominated – Worst Supporting Actor: Burt Young
Nominated – Worst Supporting Actress: Talia Shire
Nominated – Worst Screenplay: Sylvester Stallone
What. The. Fuck. Razzies.
How….How dare you?
Listen, honestly, Rocky IV deserved Oscar consideration before it got Razzie nomination. Again. How DARE you?
This is the ultimate sign that the Razzies need new leadership (we will gladly volunteer as tribute). They don’t understand their role. They don’t know what true art is. They saw a movie where Sylvester Stallone single handedly ended the Cold War, and gave it FIVE “worst of” awards? THE AUDACITY.
This is a slap in the face. This is a farce. This is an embarrassment. Razzies? HANDLE YOUR SHIT!