14 Razzie Nominations That Were Unfair [Or Just Plain Wrong]
With the Razzie Awards just around the corner it’s time to look back at some of the unfair, and just plain wrong nominations. It’s all a bit of fun but sometimes the nominees just seem wrong, either completely unjustified or easily defensible. Of course film is subjective, that’s why the same creators can have a Golden Raspberry under one arm and an Oscar under the other. Here are some nominees, and even winners, that need a second chance.
Picked on Pictures
It seems to be that certain pictures really get the sharp end of the sword from the Razzies, with multiple nominations across different categories that give the impression that it must be the biggest load of crap ever put in a cinema. Yet, a lot of them are redeemable, lovable and genuinely brilliant films.
Friday The 13th (1980)
Worst Picture + Worst Supporting Actress (Betsy Palmer)
Friday The 13th is a genre classic and the first instalment of a franchise that, just like it’s villain, is never truly dead. This is one of the 80’s horrors that paved the way for other gruesome and violent slashers and helped cement a sub-genre. It also had a great little twist on our expectations and that was all down to Betsy Palmer’s role as Mrs. Voorhees, the killer mother who also got slapped with a nomination for worst supporting actress. It may not be a film for everyone but it’s a favourite for genre fans.
The Shining (1980)
Worst Director (Stanley Kubrick) + Worst Actress (Shelly Duvall)
Someone really dropped the ball when they put this film on the board for the 1980’s Razzies. This may be one that takes a bit of hindsight to realise how ridiculous it is, The Shining, may not have been an instant hit but it most definitely is a classic. Kubrick’s direction is stunning in this isolated horror and definitely shouldn’t have been up for worst directing. Then to add insult to injury Shelly Duvall was also thrown under the bus for her incredible, painful and emotive performance as a woman on the brink earning her a worst actress nomination.
Scarface (1983), Body Double (1984) & Dressed to Kill (1980)
Worst Director (Brian De Palma)
Brian De Palma is not a name you’d necessarily associate with the Razzies, yet somehow he’s been nominated five times! So maybe there’s a little justification for Mission to Mars and The Bonfire of the Vanities which weren’t great, but were nowhere near as bad as some of the other films nominated that year. The real slap is the nomination for three of his tense, crime ridden and sharply directed features, Scarface, Body Double and Dressed to Kill. This director should not have more nominations than Uwe Boll…that’s just wrong.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Worst Picture + Worst Actress (Heather Donahue)
The film that spawned a re invigoration of the ‘found footage’ sub-genre, The Blair Witch Project was a cultural phenomenon at it’s time of release. Especially with it’s effective online campaign that blurred the lines between fiction and fact and has us all wondering about this local legend. Heather Donahue may have had an annoying role to play in the film but she really convinced everyone of the pure fear felt out in those woods, that should have been enough to stop her winning the worst actress award. An undeserving nomination and an unfair win for one hell of a convincing horror.
Worst Picture, Worst Director (John Huston), Worst Supporting Actress (Aileen Quinn), Worst New Star (Aileen Quinn) + Worst Screenplay
I can understand that musicals aren’t for everyone, but I always thought Annie was a classic! The songs are uplifting and the story is sweet so why this got nominated for so many awards I just don’t know. Aileen Quinn was nine years old when she was cast as Annie and I think she did a brilliant job bringing this spunky orphan to life. It seems cruel to have her win Worst Supporting Actress, that’s just picking on kids, not cool Razzies.
Worst Director (Darren Aronofsky) + Worst Actress (Jennifer Lawrence)
Mother! seemed to split critics a little on it’s release, there was confusion over it’s message and stunned expressions from its visceral and nightmarish imagery, but most decided that, if nothing else, it was stunningly visual and bound to leave an impression. Jennifer Lawrence is incredible in this allegorical film that left my jaw on the floor and my anxiety levels spiking as I watched. It may not have been for everyone, but it definitely wasn’t a Raspberry.
From pictures to actors, these are the performers who were deemed unwatchable by the awards committee. A bad performance in a film, even a small role, can impact how much enjoyment an audience has watching it and there have definitely been some deserving stinkers nominated over the years, yet these ones seem very misjudged.
Worst Supporting Actor (Batman Returns, 1992)
Somehow an official who puts forward nominations watched Batman Returns and didn’t see the greatness in DeVito’s eccentric performance as sewer dwelling villain Penguin. Playing him with a campy sense of humour, a good dose of gross but also with an underlying layer of empathy this portrayal of an underappreciated member of Batman’s rogue gallery does not deserve this award.
Worst Actress (Jennifer’s Body, 2009)
Jennifer’s Body is back in the conversation and being reclaimed as a feminist cult classic that suffered from an abysmal marketing campaign and some backwards assumptions on audiences for Horror films only wanting boobs and gore. The Razzies jumped on the bandwagon of disliking Jennifer’s Body and nominated Megan Fox for worst actress. Her performance was brilliant and she took ownership of a role that made fun of how the media insisted on portraying her as a sex symbol. Well done.
Worst Supporting Actress (Poltergeist II, 1986 & Poltergeist III, 1988)
Sequels are always a tricky business, especially when the original is so well loved, but after watching the full Poltergeist franchise I enjoyed each instalment and never felt like my time was wasted. A lot of the actors reprise their roles in all the films, including Zelda Rubenstein who played the caring medium Tangina Barrons. These nominations seemed strange and unfair considering her character stayed the same, just the films changed, and she never stopped being brilliant.
Worst Actor (Bicentennial Man 1999)
How dare you nominate the man, the legend, Robin Williams for a Razzie! This is completely unacceptable, and for one of my favourite childhood films as well? Really Razzies? Really? Williams brings so much heart to this film about family and what it means to be human and he definitely had me in tears watching this one. Go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done Razzie’s.
Tom Cruise & Brad Pitt
Worst Screen Couple (Interview with a Vampire 1994)
Maybe I was just a slightly horned up Gothic teenager when I watched this film but I honestly enjoyed these two handsome vampires and their toxic yet highly erotic queer relationship. The undertones throughout their relationship are so clear on re-watch and it lends more to this Gothic tale of romance, broken relationships and blood lust.
Outside of the main categories sometimes the Razzies throw out some special awards. These can be retrospective ones looking at someone’s work over a period of time, accusing franchises of ruining cinema completely or insulting the music behind the pictures. Here are some of the special, but in my opinion wrong, nominations.
The Thing (1982)
Worst Musical Score (Ennio Morricone)
That’s right, multiple Oscar winning and nominated composer Ennio Morricone was nominated for more than one Razzie. The thing that makes this one sting even more is that it was for the incredible John Carpenter film The Thing. This man was one of the greatest composers and brought the distinctive sound to Spaghetti Westerns. His sinister score for The Thing doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near the nominations list.
Razzie Scream Queen
Linda Blair seems to have been on the Razzie hit list quite a few times, she was nominated for worst actress three times for Hell Night, Chained Heat and then Night Patrol, Savage Island and Savage Streets all in one hit. They really cemented their feelings on her by awarding her the Razzie Scream Queen Worst Career Achievement Award. This woman is Horror royalty and should be treated as such, we will not have you bad mouthing one of our queens.
Bruce the Shark
Worst Career Achievement Award
Not every Jaws film has been a hit, I mean there’s one that involves the shark having a psychic connection to the remaining members of the Brody family. Is it a hilarious watch, yes, is it a good film, no. However, that does not mean that Bruce needs to take the harpoon on this one. This toothy menace is amazing and knows how to get your pulse racing with just a few dun duns.