Sure, it’s one thing to get all up in arms over the Academy Award nominations. They’re the industry-standard in terms of awards, and we all feel passionate about what encapsulates the best of any given year, and want to see those responsible for profoundly moving and wowing us rewarded accordingly.
But, strange as it may seem, I’m actually more outraged by the lack of effort put forth by the Razzie committee this calendar year. Apparently not interested in taking on the “true” worst of 2009, they’ve instead decided to take unimaginative pot-shots at easy targets like G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and The Land of the Lost — films that weren’t so much godawful as mediocre.
Where’s the real crap, the tripe, the dreck, I ask? How is it that Transformers 2 chocked up multiple noms, while Dragonball: Evolution — a film unseen by me, but utterly loathed by the collective film-going audiences at large — managed to escape unscathed?
Justice I demand, and justice I shall enact with this all-mighty list of the most ludicrous snubs dealt out by the Razzie folks. After all, if I’m going to be made to suffer, I demand retribution for myself, and all the others misguided sap as foolish as me to buy a ticket in the first place.
5. Nicole Kidman, Nine, Worst Supporting Actress – As I stated in my Top 5 Lists of Oscar Snubs, Nine was something of a car-wreck redeemed only by a few good performances (Marion Cotillard and Fergie, predominantly) and the odd decent song. Conversely, Miss Kidman represented the very worst of both worlds, with her vacuous, Barbie Doll-like turn as Daniel Day-Lewis’ favorite silver screen muse and warbling, aneurysm-inducing rendition of “Unusual Way” (if you don’t believe me, sample it on iTunes. Just don’t blame me when you ears start bleeding) stinking up the cinema like Pepe Le Pew in a flower shop. It takes amazingly bad work to upstage the traumatic sight of Dame Judi Dench jiggling in a bustier, but Kidman more than delivers on that seemingly Herculean feat.
4. Sorority Row, Worst Remake, Rip-off or Sequel – G.I. Joe, Land of the Lost and Transformers 2? Seriously, you haven’t felt the stinging pains of violent agony and disgusted outrage until you’ve endured Sorority Row, a repulsive, offensive slice of hateful misogyny hiding beneath the thin disguise of a bargain-basement slasher craptacular. Although I’ve yet to experience the original House on Sorority Row, I suspect, based on the opinions of those who’ve seen it, that it bears little of this version’s off-putting ickiness, and it’s utterly inexcusable that this remake, a vile exercise in boredom and brutality, managed to get off scot free. While a Razzie would have been nice, my real hope is that director Stewart Hendler is forced — Clockwork Orange style — to endure this crime against movie-going humanity on a repetitive loop until he comes to understand the evil he hath wrought.
3. Odette Yustman, The Unborn, Worst Actress – Sure, the Worst Actress category had fierce competition this year, but Odette Yustman deserves acknowledgement for failing miserably at portraying a human being. Part Real Doll, part Megan Fox clone, the actress was like a slightly hotter version of Vicki from Small Wonder; rigid, robotic and emotionally cold, without an ounce of life. Certainly, David S. Goyer’s klutzy direction and script didn’t help, but the actress was a veritable gong-show of over-exaggerated facial expressions, droning dialogue delivery and tiresome shrieks and yelps. If Yustman warrants even an iota of praise, it’s that her skimpy wardrobe at least managed to momentarily stir the male contingent of the audience out its deep, apathetic slumber.
2. Rob Zombie and Halloween II, Worst Director and Worst Picture – Why does it deserve to be here? Because it is, in my humble opinion the very worst film of 2009, and no movie as incompetent, moronic and mind-numbing as Halloween II should ever … EVER be denied the chance to represent the very lowliest that cinema has to offer. Thus, I propose that we boot Brad Siberling or Stephen Sommers out of contention and escort — by force, if necessary — Mr. Zombie into their abandoned slot. Further, Halloween II also deserves a shot at the big tamale, so I recommend pulling a similar tactic with that category as well. Because, if we chastise Mr. Hellbilly Deluxe and put a stop to this madness now, our children and children’s children may have a chance to live in a sunny, cheerful world free of unwatchable white trash Halloween films. It’s a modest dream, but it’s one I firmly believe we can make happen.
1. Chris Klein, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Worst Actor - Klein deserves this award for an entirely different reason than the plethora of irredeemably pathetic work listed above. No, unlike his peers, the former American Pie star warrants recognition for being completely and utterly awe-inspiring in the face of unbridled cruddiness. Playing the swaggering cop Charlie Nash — a stubbled, walking, talking representation of machismo-gone-mad — Klein camps it up like a drag queen at a Rocky Horror Picture Show revival, uttering each unspeakable line with a volatile mixture of untamed testosterone and low-grade brain damage. It’s a performance destined for the record books of over-the-top turns — alongside The Wicker Man’s Nicolas Cage, Tango & Cash’s Jack Palance and Gamer’s Michael C. Hall — as well as assured to provide excellent fodder for amusing YouTube tributes like this for eons to come. If I could give the man an Oscar for Amazing Achievement in Awesomeness, I would. Regrettably, though, this avenue feels more realistic, and I think it’s positively criminal that Klein’s iconic work was ignored. “Nash, out!” indeed.