1998 Bottom 10, According to James Berardinelli

These are presented in "reverse order" (the absolute worst, #1, is presented last):

10. Hush: Chock full of bad acting (Jessica Lange's worst performance since King Kong), dumb dialogue, and stock plot "twists," this sorry excuse for a psychological thriller is more likely to put viewers asleep than keep them on the edges of their seats. And don't think the ending redeems the rest of the film -- because there isn't one.

9. Ringmaster: Those who find Jerry Springer's TV program to be offensive will go ballistic over this movie, where the "Ringmaster" attempts a heartfelt defense of the morality of his talkshow. Even Springer fans may be discouraged by this amateurish production, which focuses on the pathetic and uninteresting lives of several would-be guests. As for the star, it's clear that he has no future on the big screen. He wins the year's Steven Seagal award for Best Imitation of Firewood.

8. Almost Heroes: Chris Farley's last movie is also arguably his worst (not that any of his films were classics). Painfully dumb and unfunny, it's about the last thing any self-respecting comedian would want as his parting gesture.

7. Deep Rising: The story -- bad special effect attacks cruise ship -- is stupid, the characterization is non-existent, and the acting is terrible. The gore level is extreme; the film makers were probably hoping that the on-screen carnage would make audience members sick before the production values did. Deep Rising would have been eligible for the year's high camp award if it weren't so monotonous.

6. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer: ...But I wish I didn't. This series is beginning to make the Friday the 13th movies look like passable entertainment. Hopefully, the low box office take will preclude the possibility of a third installment.

5. Let's Talk about Sex: Despite the salacious title, Let's Talk about Sex fails as effective exploitation fare. It is, however, incredibly stupid and unbearably melodramatic. There's no evidence of talent -- the writer/director can't write or direct, the actors can't act, and the editor can't edit. See this movie if you're interested in observing just how inept a film can be.

4. The Avengers: Speaking of inept, that's just one word that can be used to describe The Avengers. Others would be "agonizing," "boring," and "pointless." If you thought Sean Connery, Ralph Fiennes, and Uma Thurman couldn't combine for a first-class bomb, you were wrong. The movie is so bad that Diana Rigg refused to make a cameo, and Patrick McNee only leant his voice to the proceedings. Not even worth a look on video.

3. Firestorm: Possibly the most entertaining bad movie of 1998, Firestorm is a hoot for those who love terrible acting. Howie Long, one of FOX's NFL pregame team, tries his hand at being an action hero, but fails because he can't quite match Steven Seagal's stoic demeanor or Jean Claude Van Damme's accent. If not for some nicely-staged forest fire sequences, this would have been a complete waste of celluloid. It is a complete waste of time.

2. A Night at the Roxbury: Saturday Night Live has sunk to new lows. Compared to this, The Coneheads and It's Pat are prime entertainment. There's not one laugh in the whole of this supposed comedy. Coupled with two unbearably irritating lead characters, that makes A Night at the Roxbury unbearable.

1. Knock Off: What can I say about this movie other than that it's the only zero star film of the year? Jean Claude Van Damme proves that he may be the most incompetent mainstream actor working today (worse than **gasp** Steven Seagal), but it doesn't really matter, because the plot is so incoherent that viewers are too busy trying to figure out what's going on to notice his performance. Here's the conundrum: the movie is so bad it has to be seen to be believed, but it's unwatchable.

© 1998 James Berardinelli

Back Up