Movies I hope I never have to see again – SuperHero Films

A good superhero movie makes you happy.  A great superhero movie can blow you away for weeks after.  A bad superhero movie on the other hand is kind of like that time you got that HUGE Christmas present from your little brother.  Who it turns out thought it would be hilarious to put a pair of mis-matched socks into a box the size of a small family car.  All the excitement that builds up an excitement soon followed by an almost indescribable urge to kill those responsible.

So here we have my five worst Superhero Movies ever.  Movies that I suffered through once in their entirety which left me so scarred that I now walk out of any room that contains a screen showing any of them.  Enjoy and for your own sake heed the warning.  Only watch these once or you may suffer permanent damage to your corneas when you find yourself dragging a garden rake across your eyes to save yourself.

5: Barb Wire.

Pam Anderson stretches her acting muscles.

Back in 1996 this was frankly fan boy heaven. The opening with Pamela Anderson being sprayed with water while she danced topless undoubtedly led to many sleepless nights and even more soiled mattresses.  But unfortunately that scene was to be perfectly honest the highlight of the entire movie.  What is there to say about this steaming heap of dog crap that used to be wonderful, hope filled, pristine celluloid?

Well it’s a bad rip off of Casablanca that fails so completely on every single level to entertain that it is nothing more than genuinely painful viewing.  Pamela Anderson of course shows off her complete lack of acting muscles and frankly you won’t have heard of any of the supporting cast.  Read the comic, watch the movie once and then be glad you have the comic to remember instead.

4: Howard the Duck.

Lea Thompson shares an intimate moment with a bad puppet.

Starring the always beautiful Lea Thompson this was George Lucas’ greatest film blunder, well until Jar Jar Binks at least.  Howard comes from Duckworld, is an expert in a martial art known as Quack-Fu and well really that’s about it.

The only thing in common between the comic and the movie is the name.  The comic is, to me at least, all about how the comedy in any given moment no matter how serious or silly can be completely reliant on who you are as you perceive it.  The movie is about making money for Lucasfilm by telling a seemingly unending bestiality joke.  A really bad joke.

3: Superman IV – The Quest for Peace.

Superman Vs Nuclearman, style icons or what?

Once upon a time, in 1978 to be precise, a great movie franchise was launched.  It cast a relative unknown into the tights of probably the most famous superhero of them all Superman.  For many people myself included Christopher Reeves became the quintessential Superman.  So it is beyond sad that his final outing in those iconic blue tights was this abomination.

Apparently if you take a strand of Superman’s hair and stick it to a nuke that’s being thrown into the sun you get Nuclearman.  I kid you not, Nuclearman.  He is of course almost as powerful as Superman and if it’s possible even more camp, complete with the power rock hair.  And that’s the movie in a nutshell.  Oh there’s some side story about the Daily Planet but really the main story is so bad that who cares.

It’s sad that a great series of movies was ended with this piece of claptrap.  I always think of the Superman series ending with Superman II because to be honest Superman III isn’t really much of an improvement on IV.  But IV is so bad that it earns a mention and the number 3 spot on this list.

2: The Phantom

So much promise wasted.

I had such high hopes in 1996 for this movie.  I mean it has two of my favourite actors in lead roles Billy Zane as The Phantom and Kristy Swanson as his ex and future love Diana.  How could they go wrong?  I mean with his history of playing devil-may-care characters who quip their way through everything this was the part Billy Zane was born to play. And to give the man his due he more than pulls off playing a superhero with no superpowers. Kristy Swanson is charmingly wonderful as Diana.  Every visual in the entire movie could have been lifted straight out of the comic strips.  It was perfect.

It was unfortunately also boring, predictable, filled with a lot more than the average amount of clichés and to my disgust I found myself cringing for most of the movie.  The producers took one of the classic comic strip heroes and managed the same feat with it that others had already achieved with The Shadow and The Rocketeer.  They somehow stripped it of some indefinable quality that had made the printed form so timeless.

Unfortunately I’m quite sure that a lot of the people reading this won’t really understand what I’m talking about here.  The Phantom was always a sort of cult hero though some would say you needed to be aged 80 or older to remember him as being anything special.  So the best comparison I can give is the difference between Superman I and Superman Returns.  There’s nothing exactly wrong with Superman Returns and yet it just feels wrong, like something special has been stripped away from it.  Well that’s The Phantom.  Maybe it’s just that the comic strip had such a sense of majesty and grandeur to it and the film just feels like any other film.

Anyway regardless of why and oh how I wish I could say otherwise I hope I never see this movie again.  Maybe the upcoming reboot of the character in The Phantom Legacy will return me to the faith.  Though since it’s by the same people I won’t be holding my breath.

1: Son of the Mask

Behold the death of a movie franchise and fear…or watch something good either  way.

The first movie to feature the Mask of Loki starred Jim Carrey at the top of his chaotic game and an almost unheard of Cameron Diaz in the lead roles. It was a wonderful piece of dark comedy filled to the brim with adult jokes.  It worked so well in fact that I went to see it three times in the cinema and I then watched it somewhere in the region of twenty times on VHS.

Son of the Mask is nothing like its precursor.  First of all it’s a family film, which in and of itself is not a bad thing.  Many of my favourite films are family films.  However this film just has nothing going for it.  It’s not really all that funny.  The lead actors Jamie Kennedy, Alan Cumming and Traylor Howard just don’t have any of the on-screen sparkle of Carrey and Diaz.  Oh and the story is such utterly nonsensical rubbish that it genuinely makes any Monty Python sketch seem perfectly rational.

If they had made a direct sequel with the same cast telling the story of what comes next it may have worked.  Simply because Carrey and Diaz probably would have been able to find that wonderful sparkle again.  But instead we got boredom on a digital format and an ending that tasted so bad to my jaded palate that I found myself thinking longingly of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert as a cure.

Thankfully I held strong and managed to save myself instead with a good superhero movie, Ironman.

ccccccccccdcds The Phantom

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