The 90s sucked. And we’ll punch any man repeatedly in the groin that says otherwise. Proof, you say? How about the wars in the Persian Gulf, in Chechnya and in Kosovo. What about the genocide in Rwanda and the start of the Somali civil war. Columbine. Rodney King. OJ. The roll-call of deplorable deeds committed by man on his fellow man is endless. Worse still, there were some really shit films released.
9Super Mario Bros
First impressions count in movieworld and the first major computer game-to-big screen adaptation was the first date equivalent of shitting in the soup. Bob ‘Mario Mario’ Hoskins admits to SMB being the worst thing he’s ever done and he was in Son Of The Mask. Check out the Snap! soundtracked trailer for an overdose of 90s excrement more irritating than a thousand nu-metal bands wearing hypercolour T-shirts shouting “Wassuuuup” into Nokia 3210s.
Worst moment: Here’s one for fact fans – the opening of the film is narrated by Homer Simpson. It contains dinosaurs with Noo Yawk accents.
Now it’s a cult classic dripping with a kitschy ‘so bad it’s great’ quality but on release nobody was expecting the howls of derision that emanated from the cinemas showing Paul Verhoeven’s skinflick. The biggest loser in the sorry mess was Saved By The Bell‘s Elizabeth Berkley. A mid-90’s starring role in a film by a director whose previous three films were Robocop, Total Recall and Basic Instinct, the one-time Jesse Spanno must have thought all her ships had come in and the only ticket fare was to show a little boob. Instead she lost her soul, her credibility and, presumably, her faith in humanity.
Worst moment: Fancy a sexy dip in the pool? Cue shagging like a dolphin needing oxygen.
Without truly awful films to mock the makers of South Park would struggle to make the quota for each series, yet perhaps their finest inspiration from the cinematic gutter was Dr. Mephesto, taken almost wholesale from Marlon Brando’s character in The Island Of Dr Moreau. The film, like so many on this list, had a famously tortuous production with directors fired, erratic star behaviour and constant script rewrites from day one.
Worst moment: Fat Brando, dressed in a white robe, badly miming a piano duet with his very own mini-me.
6Spice World: The Movie
Just think, if Posh hadn’t been knocked up by the most famous sports star on the planet we’d be up to our necks in Spice Girls reunions by now. They’d probably be on their third or fourth. So thanks Becks and your successful sperm. Aiming for A Hard Day’s Night, the girls delivered something that rhymes quite closely but misses its intention by the size of double decker bus. The acting made the singing seem legendary by comparison.
Worst moment: Seeing Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Meat Loaf.
If there’s one thing critics hate more than shit films, it’s really, really long shit films. Clocking in at a staggering 177 minutes The Postman saw Kevin’s 90s era fall from grace reach terminal velocity. People love to round on Waterworld as “one of the worst movies of all time” but in truth Kevin’s Gate was a bloated but fun wet version of Mad Max. The Postman can claim no such pardon, being as po-faced a film as ever committed to celluloid. As always The Simpsons were spot on with their DVD commentary consisting of nothing but the director/producer/star apologising over and over again.
Worst moment: “How much mail can a dead postman deliver?”
4Batman And Robin
If fans and critics hammered anything else as mercilessly as they have Batman And Robin in the last 15 years all involved would be sectioned for violent conduct with a sidenote of Thor syndrome. But if you watch it again you’ll see that all the abuse is justified. The opening ten minutes’ dialogue consists entirely of piss-poor one-liners, Bane’s legend is shat upon from a great height and Uma’s siren is as sexy as a rubbing poison oak on your wang.
Worst moment: Robin clicks his heels together three times to reveal ice skating blades.
3Speed 2: Cruise Control
Speed was amazing. Granted it was simply Die Hard on a bus, but for sheer thrills and highest of concept pitches Keanu’s (arguably) finest hour was made for pizza and beer and vice versa. The seven word summation of Speed; “Bus goes under 50mph, bomb goes off” provoked hoots of 90s vernacular along the lines of “Radical! Awesome! Mental!”. The pitch for Speed 2 (“A boat can’t stop”) just sounded desperate in comparison.
Worst moment: The fact that Speed 3 – the Father Ted spoof – was better.
Before there was Thor, Hulk, Captain and Iron fighting Loki, there was Uma and Ralph fighting Sean. King Connery’s nefarious plan was to control the British weather, presumably to overthrow any hose pipe bans. His name was Wynter. So bad that the producers behind this summer’s box office behemoth couldn’t risk for just one person to associate their latest comic book outing with this giant turd, changing the UK name to Marvel Avengers Assemble. In a thousand years’ time when box office records are confused people will mix up the movies and weep for our souls.
Worst moment: Sean Connery holds court over a table of teddy bears. He does. He really does.
1Wild Wild West
Whicky Wah, Whicky Wah Wah Why Dear God Why? After owning the summers of 1995 and 1996 with Independence Day and Men In Black, Will Smith reteamed with the latter’s director Barry Sonnenfeld in a film that most would have bet their houses on achieving a mix of box office gold and critic-proof frivolity. And maybe that was the problem. Reckoned by too many to have the Midas touch, Will Smith’s woeful Western saw the golden child touch celluloid and turn it to poop.
Worst moment: A breath of fresh ass.
Those are our picks for films of the 90s that stank like a rusty shit pipe. What have you got? Did Babe: Pig In The City freak you out? Was Vanilla Ice’s Cool As Ice more than you could take? How about Problem Child Two? Answers below.