A great resource for any die hard movie buff is imdb.com’s worst 100 films list. Along with keeping track of the top 250 films of all time (as decided by IMDB users who can rate each film on a 10 point scale), the bottom 100 list is a resource for all of us who believe garbage can sometimes be a work of art unto itself.
The current #1is Night Train to Mundo Fine, which was re-unpopularized on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000-an obscure entry, to be sure. Second place belongs to something you have an outside chance of having heard of, 2004’s Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2. A brilliantly annoying concept if there ever was one, Superbabies involves a gaggle of sass mouthed toddlers who attempt to thwart an evil media mogul from doing…something bad. Does it even really matter?
This begets an intriguing discussion of how you come to define the worst movie of all time. I could put together a YouTube clip of me cleaning underneath my toenails, set it to the theme from Chariots of Fire, and make a compelling case that I have surpassed both Mundo and Superbabies in the race to the uber-macabre.
That’s the irony of the struggle to define the worst movie ever, and it’s also where the IMDB list falls apart, which features too many obscure titles. You have to at least be a little good to be really bad. The worst movie ever is really about the worst efforts ever made in film. Algebraically, the world’s worst movie is like a product of two diametrically opposed numbers on a number line, one representing production effort and the other representing how awful a film turns out. Multiplied together, they tell you where the movie ought to rank on any “worst ever” list.
Definitional prerequisites now satisfied, this humble critic’s view of the worst movie of all time will likely surprise you. In fact, there’s a good chance that it will offend you.
By this means of measurement, the worst film ever made is undoubtedly Titanic. No other film has displayed such a perfectly linear correlation of grandness to garbage. From the nauseating soundtrack to the cliché romance, to the anachronistic portrayal of a turn of the century working class man by Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic seizes upon its vast production resources to provide a picture of saccharin garishness.
James Cameron’s tacky and obnoxious acceptance speech at the Oscars mirrored the tone of the film itself, and probably did much to damage our collective historical memory of this cinematic rag. The uncompelling characters in the film always appeared to be overshadowed by the célèbre of the actors playing them.
This movie will forever remain in the hearts of Leo swooners and box office mojo fanatics, but that doesn’t mean it was any good. And if you measure worst films in terms of grand efforts that failed cinematically, no other film deserves the prize more.