SFX's Worst SF Films and TV Shows

PART 1: SFX1-50

THE LEGEND OF THE FOUR KINGS (1991)
Directors:
Various
Reviewed: SFX#1
“The writers seem to have been paid by the cliché.” Andy Stout

THE FLINTSTONES (1994)
Director:
Chris Columbus
Reviewed: SFX#4
“Oh, there’s humour, sure – Stone Age puns so lame they should have been amputated.” Dave Golder

DOCTOR WHO "PARADISE TOWERS" (1987)
Director:
Nicholas Mallet
Reviewed: SFX#6
“The Doctor encounters the Kangs, punkettes played by actresses at least a decade too old, and the ridiculous Chief Caretaker, played by Richard Briers, who seems to think he’s in an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? , doing an impression of Hitler in the style of someone who can’t act.” Paul Beardsley

DOCTOR JEKYLL AND MISS HYDE (1995)
Director:
David Price
Reviewed: SFX#8
"The token gay character gets the film’s only mildly funny joke. Mightily perplexed by his desire for the decidedly feminine Helen Hyde, he laments, ’20 years in therapy and I start liking girls!’ The only other ‘joke’ occurs during the film’s end titles, but 90 minutes is too long to wait for a ‘poodle vocal styling’ credit.” Nigel Floyd

CYBORG COP 3 (1995)
Director:
Yossi Wein
Reviewed: SFX#12
“And so our meatheads, armed only with Hollywood martial arts moves, chunky handguns and a few spare vehicles, go up against an indestructible cyborg army with low budget abandon, fitting in car chases (well, they don’t cost much), bar fights (a few extras), an explosive scrap yard fight (cheap location) and even a plane crash (actual plane-hitting-ground shot not included).” Simon Forrester

THE NET (1995)
Director:
Irwin Winkler
Reviewed: SFX#12
“While cybergeeks might salivate over Angela’s top of the range Power Mac and her seemingly instant network connection, anyone else will find this film uninteresting in the extreme.” Andy Hutchinson

DALEKS: INVASION EARTH 2150AD (1966)
Director:
Gordon Flemyng
Reviewed: SFX#13
“From the opening credits, which sound like Invasion of the Bongo Drums, replete with laughable electronic woo-woo noises, you know this is going to be a hard ride; not so much an homage as a particularly stinky piece of fromage. Surely the funniest thing is seeing the hapless Daleks twiddling fiddly little knobs and switches while screaming, “Cannot control! Cannot control!’” Dan Goodleff

THE EXORCIST 2: THE HERETIC (1977)
Director:
John Boorman
Reviewed: SFX#18
“Less a horror movie and more a psychological nightmare (to watch, mainly), Exorcist 2 is a lumpy, unconvincing film that bites off more than it can chew.” Dave Golder

PROTEUS (1995)
Director:
Bob Keen
Reviewed: SFX#20
“The monster is so bad you half expect Doug McClure and Peter Cushing to appear and start attacking it with an umbrella.” Dave Golder

DARKBREED (1995)
Director:
Richard Pepin
Reviewed: SFX#21
“Hey, I’m not ashamed. I’ll watch any old crap, me. But when it
came to Darkbreed, I did something I’ve never doe before. I fast forwarded through the boring bits. My VCR’s FF control is usually reserved for ad breaks, but there are whole sequences of Darkbreed you can watch at high speed without reducing one iota of the film’s entertainment value. Does a worse film exist? I don’t know, I haven’t seen Proteus yet.” MJ Simpson

LAWNMOWER MAN 2; BEYOND CYBERSPACE (1995)
Director:
Farhadd Mann
Reviewed: SFX#22
“If you can find anything good to say about it, don’t. You’ll be ridiculed.” Steve O’Brien

BARB WIRE (1995)
Director:
David Hogan
Reviewed: SFX#24
“There are three possible reasons for bothering to watch Barb Wire. Two of them are on display during the title sequence and anyone who wants to see them will get a clearer view in Playboy’s Pamela Anderson special.” Anthony Brown

Crime Traveller (1997)
Director:
Should remain nameless
Reviewed: SFX#25
"There’s a basic contempt here which doesn’t even pay the viewer the back-handed compliment of cynical exploitation.” Chris Boucher

CAMPFIRE TALES (1996)
Directors:
Various
Reviewed: SFX#26
“It’s difficult to imagine why anyone would want to watch a sanitised slasher movie such as this, especially when so few of these loathsome kids actually die.” Steve O’Brien

V “VISITOR'S CHOICE” (1985)
Director:
Gilbert Shilton
Reviewed: SFX#27
“The producers must have thought this episode up during the office Thanksgiving party and then managed to complete production before they finally sobered up.” Anthony Brown

THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU (1996)
Director:
Richard Stanley/John Frankenheimer
Reviewed: SFX#32
“Not to suffer Val Kilmer’s performance. That is the law. Are we not men?
Not to endure Marlon Brando wearing a kaftan with a bucket on his head doing an impression of Dick Emery’s vicar. That is the law. Are we not men?
Not to bear witness to men-as-animals make-up slightly less convincing than the Cowardly Lion. That is the law. Are we not men?
Not to cringe at the embarrassing moralising. That is the law. Are we not men?
Not to watch this film. That is the law.” Dave Golder

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF FLIGHT 412 (1974)
Director:
Jud Taylor
Reviewed: SFX#34
“Oh dear. From the trite opening sequence, which sports ’60s footage of authentic hubcap sightings and a booming Twilight Zone-like narrator, you know this lame attempt to dramatise an ‘authentic’ tale is going to fall flat on its portentous arse. It doesn’t help that the entire thing is a fiction, for which the filmmakers immediately apologise at the end.” Dan Goodleff

ARMAGEDDON (1998)
Director:
Tibor Takacs
Reviewed: SFX#36
“After a mildly promising start in which at least half the film’s £11.50 budget is blown on army surplus hardware, things go downhill rapidly.” Ian Carpenter
(Note: not the Bruce Willis film – while that didn’t get one star it did evoke this comment: "Like a two hour trailer for a real movie”.)

MICHAEL (1997)
Director:
Nora Ephron
Reviewed: SFX#36
“With leads too bland to engage your interest for more than a few seconds and a plot too lightweight to sustain an entire movie, Michael is one angel without delight.” Steve O’Brien

FLUBBER (1998)
Director:
Les Mayfield
Reviewed: SFX#36
“Cue the usual frenetic slapstick, with victims getting smacked on the head and the adopting the legs-in-the-air ‘dead ant’ position so favoured by bungling John Hughes villains and 18-30 holidaymakers. For the record, I hated it almost as much as I hated having to see it with several hundred screaming kids.” Nigel Floyd

THE OCCULTIST (1987)
Director:
Tim Kincaid
Reviewed: SFX#38
“Imagine if your local amateur dramatic society announced its next production as a cross between The Serpent and the Rainbow, Evita and a rejected Six Million Dollar Man script. Then envisage how mind-numbingly tedious it would be if everyone with faintest glimmer of talent was ordered off stage and replaced by a group of no-hopers who happened to be waiting at the bus stop outside. Even that would be better than this execrable shambles.” Steve Green

ANACONDA (1997)
Director:
Luis Llosa
Reviewed: SFX#40
"What a complete load of cobras." Sarah Mainprize

PSYCHIS WARS (1991)
Director:
Tetsuo Imazawa
Reviewed: SFX#40
“‘One man’s desperate race to save Earth from ancient demons,’ says the cover. More like, ‘Tedious shenanigans of a badly animated surgeon.’ There are more holes in the plot than you’ll find in a Russian road.” Guy Haley

THE POSTMAN (1997)
Director:
Kevin Costner
Reviewed: SFX#43
“What a wasted opportunity this film is. In fact, it’s two wasted opportunities. Firstly, it could have been a great film seeing as it’s based on a book with all the right dramatic elements. Secondly, I could have spent those three hours getting some extra sleep, taking up rabbit juggling or doing anything else instead of sitting in front of this drivel.” Guy Haley

SPECIES 2 (1998)
Director:
Peter Medak
Reviewed: SFX#43
“Species 2 is a hamfisted travesty that actually manages to devalue its predecessor. And if you’re astonished to find someone suggesting that the original was worthwhile enough for that to be possible, you’re beginning to get an idea quite how awful Species 2 is.” Anthony Brown

THE CAULDREN OF BLOOD (1967)
Director:
Edward Mann
Reviewed: SFX#45
“The Cauldron of Blood is a typically tatty example of a fumbling attempt at terror built on the talisman of Boris Karloff’s presence. It’s ripe with the odour of Eurocheese – loungecore music, poolside starlets and hopelessly dubbed French air ’ostesses – it’s a weirdly grim piece, taking place in a supposedly jet-set glamour spot that ends up looking faintly like an off-peak Margate.” Nick Setchfield

THE AVENGERS (1998)
Director:
Jeremiah Chechik
Reviewed: SFX#48
“One of the essential tragedies of the Avengers movie is that it should have been fabulous. The other essential tragedy is that it’s woefully, shamefully bad – not even exuberantly bad, simply dispiritingly bad, like nylon bedsheets or halitosis. Within the span of these two tragedies lies an unloved celluloid folly, filleted by critics, skewered by fans and claiming only the box office receipts of those souls who come to stare in morbid fascination at road carnage… England’s dreaming? Only a fever dream.” Nick Setchfield

THE CURSE OF THE VAMPIRE (1971)
Director:
Jose Maria Elorietta
Reviewed: SFX#49
“Appearances can be deceiving. At first glance, La Llamada del Vampiro looks like a rubbish Italian horror film. Not so. It is, in fact, a rubbish Spanish horror film.” MJ Simpson

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