Published on December 4th, 2012 | by Natalie De Winter0
As Tarantino blasts Death Proof, we ponder other stinkers – according to their directors
As the world (OK, maybe not the whole world) eagerly awaits the arrival of the new Quentin Tarantino western Django Unchained, the director himself recently voted his 2007 flick Death Proof “the worst movie I ever made”. With talk of retiring before he’s out of touch with the times, we at Planet Ivy thought it would be interesting to list some other directors with films they’ve admitted they’re less than happy with.
Alien 3 – David Fincher
Until 1992’s Alien 3, David Fincher was a successful music video director, most notable for Madonna’s Express Yourself two years earlier. Alien 3 was supposed to be his big break into feature directing, but instead it became what is regularly rated the worst of the Alien franchise. The film had endless problems, including stills shots leaked to the press, Fincher’s excessive takes leading to an unhappy crew and cast and a script that had gone through numerous rewrites. Fincher says “There’s nothing worse than hearing somebody say “Oh, you made that movie? I thought that movie sucked,” and you have to agree with them, you know?”
Tony Kaye – American History X
Another music video director encountering problems with his first feature film was Tony Kaye. Mounting differences of opinions during editing meant Kaye was locked out of the editing suite and his star, Edward Norton, took over, his version becoming the film we all saw in the cinemas. Kaye was so unhappy he demanded his name be changed to Humpty Dumpty in the credits. Norton on the other hand received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
Woody Allen – The whole lot
When you’re about 102 years old (well, 76), and you make one film a year, there’s bound to be a couple you’re not too fond of. Woody Allen it seems isn’t too fussed about any of them. He recently said with 1979′s Manhattan he thought he “had blown it so badly it was unreleasable“ and that Annie Hall was just “okay“. Woody says once he finishes a film, he’s pretty much done with it. He likens being a film maker to being a chef who slaves in the kitchen all day, then when he comes home the last thing he wants to do is eat. “There’s such a difference between the idealized film in your mind and what you wind up with that you’re never happy.”
Paul Verhoeven – Showgirls
Firmly rooted in the ‘so bad, it’s good’ category of cult films, it’s no wonder that in 1995 director Paul Verhoeven was the only director to have personally accepted his Golden Raspberry, an “award” honouring the years’ worst efforts on celluloid. Showgirls tells the tale of small town girl Nomi’s fast rise in the bitchy world of Las Vegas dancers. All I can say is that it contains possibly the most unintentionally funny pool-based sex scene you’re ever likely to see.
Guy Ritchie – Swept Away
This is so bad I can’t be bothered telling you what it’s about. Apart from demonstrating that Madonna has such powers of control she can almost ruin the career of an – until then – promising indie director by getting him involved in an indulgent piece of tripe like this. I’ll give it one thing though, the scenery is nice. Ritchie said he wasn’t surprised it went straight to DVD in Britain “because it’s shit”. The surprise is that he later said he liked the film “because you have to do some things wrong in order to know what works.” High praise indeed Guy.
Alan Smithee – Various
Alan Smithee is a pseudonym made up in 1968 by the Directors Guild of America, enabling directors that lost creative control of their film to have their name removed from the titles. It doesn’t happen often, and as you can imagine the films on the list are not exactly masterpieces. The biggest name is probably David Lynch for Dune, and although he has spoken about his trouble with the producers during filming, he only chose to have his name removed from the television version. The full list can be found here.
So, why don’t you rent some of the titles above, invite your mates around for an ironic film festival and see if they can guess the theme? Just don’t blame me when they start throwing popcorn your way.
Main photo courtesy of Kevin Tostado