My Top 5 of the worst superhero films ever made

Posted: March 29, 2011 in Gossip/News/Reviews - Film
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Hi all,

As it it’s going to be a bumper time with superhero films in the next couple years it got me to thinking about the stinkers, the ones that didn’t quiet make it up to the mark. As not every superhero film is a smash hit. Sometimes a superhero’s biggest nemesis is bad acting, horrible writing and ghastly special effects. There are some really bad ones out so I have complied a list. Here is my Top 5, or should I say worst 5, of the worst superhero films.

5. Captain America (1990)

You’d be forgiven for thinking the forthcoming ‘Captain America’ movie is the first major film featuring the patriotic superhero.

But you’d be wrong; there was a little known ‘Captain America’ effort in 1990.

Expected to capitalise on the success of the previous year’s superhero blockbuster, ‘Batman’, posters sprung everywhere of Captain America’s iconic shield, emblazoned with the claim that the film was “coming Spring 1990 to theatres everywhere”.

Sadly, because of the film’s low budget feel, bizarre character changes (the Nazi Red Skull was changed to an Italian fascist for the movie for no apparent reason) and shoddy make up it bypassed cinemas completely and went straight to DVD.

4. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

Following the box office disappointments of ‘Superman III’ and spin-off ‘Supergirl’ (which also very nearly made this list), producer Ilya Salkind sold the rights to Cannon Films.

In a bid to persuade a reluctant Christopher Reeve to reprise his most famous role, they promised him story input for the fourth film.

Deciding he wanted Superman to end the threat of nuclear war, the story features Superman fighting a goofy looking villain called Nuclear Man – complete with 80s bouffant hairdo.

Superman tackling social issues and Gene Hackman returning as Lex Luthor following his non involvement from the last film – what could go wrong?

Well everything to be honest.  I thought this was really bad, and a shame really.

It did not help that Cannon slashed the budget in half, resulting in a laughably bad climatic fight scene and poor special effects? It was Reeve’s last big screen outing as Superman.

3. Barb Wire (1996)

The movie that made Pam Anderson a superstar! Not quite…actually that movie would come a few years later when she did the sex tape with Tommy Lee. Based on the Dark Horse comic book, Anderson plays the title character who owns a nightclub, dances topless, and who just happens to be a bounty hunter and mercenary on the side. It is so horrifically bad one might think Dark Horse would burn every existing copy of the comic series to distance their selves from the travesty. Only watchable for diehard Anderson fans

2. Batman (1966)

The original Batman film falls squarely into the “so bad it’s good” category. In an effort to take advantage of the enormously popular TV show, 20th Century Fox releases this “big budget” theatrical film.

The budget turned out to be less than $2 million dollars and it shows, particularly in the famous rubber shark sequence where Batman has to use his trusty “Bat Shark Repellent” spray.

The Dynamic Duo squared off against the four greatest villains: Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Cat-Woman who turned the members of the United World Security council to powder by dehydrating them. Sure, it had all the campiness of the TV show and more, but weren’t fans expecting and deserving of more in a theatrical release?

1. The Fantastic Four (1994)

Please Don’t confuse this with the recent versions of the ‘Fantastic Four’ which I thought were pretty good, They were a million miles more impressive than the 1994 effort.

Perhaps it’s not a very fair comparison, considering the ultra low budget film was never intended to be released, and was in fact only shot to ensure that the filmmaker kept the rights.

But I watched this recently and it was truly bad. It is very easy to find on the internet.  The film while goofily enjoyable at times, is, I think, one of the worst superhero films ever made. The low budget charm of the ‘special effects’ soon wears off, and you’re left watching a film that feels more amateur theatre than a movie version of one of Marvel’s best known comic creations.

Here is a trailer to show you how bad it really was….

There are plenty of other films that did not make the list. So,please forgive me if I have left any off. So, what do you think? Do you agree with my top 5. Let me know.

For news and reviews of upcoming science fiction and horror films please look at the SFHDominion monthly Newsletter.  And if you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.

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