I think the problem here is that you have no criteria for worst.
To say someone makes bad films isn’t enough (and inserting other adjectives doesn’t clarify).
Ed Wood’s ineptness stems from a number of things: his misunderstanding of cinematic conventions (most importantly his failure to reproduce normal human emotions, dialogue and behavior on screen), his problems directing actors, his shoddy camera work, his reliance on terrible effects, and many, many more things as I’m sure his fans can attest. It wasn’t for lack of trying, however.
Do you view a director as bad if his movies are technically terrible (bad editing, lighting, sound design, effects etc.), or because you disagree with treatment of subject matter, or because you don’t like the performances in his films because said director couldn’t direct them? Is it because their movies are boring? Is it because they go nowhere? What makes the directors bad? Can a bad director make a good film?
I would say along with people like Ed Wood are MST3K alums Coleman Francis, Harold Warren and Bill Rebane had the same problems but the results were always entertaining. Do you deduct for lack of entertainment, intentional or otherwise?
I personally don’t think it’s enough to say that movies entertain people, because while the films of Michael Bay entertain, I fault them for their practically stone aged sexual politics, antique racism and that his sensibility often makes for ludcirous and hard-to-follow action set-pieces (can anyone give me a play-by-play of some of the action sequences in Transformers? Does anyone care?) Bay’s modus operandi is one of not giving a good goddamn about his audience, which I think is a fault that needs to be taken into consideration. It’s one thing to make a movie you think 14 year old boys might like, but who did Bay think would enjoy the site of a car entertaining Shia Lebeouf with “I’m So Excited”? And worse still he’s so callous about the role of women in society (not to mention non-whites) that any child watching his movies would get the impression that there is no greater purpose than being a goofy white guy and that women in cut-offs will simply flock to you. I’m against his perverted sense of pageantry and the juvenile mindset and hatred hardcoded into his movies. His movies make me angry, but no one can say he didn’t put a lot into them (the problem: a lot of what?) I generally have the same problem with Paul Verhoeven, who’s first American films so smack of fascism that I just can’t get any pleasure from them. His Black Book did a bit to help me figure out his ideology but I hate his American films, pure and simple.
So, if we clarify what we mean when we say worst, we might get closer to the answer. However the vastness of bad movies is incalculable so we may never. And who’s to say Uwe Boll or Andreas Schnaas don’t pull out of their tailspins and make something decent. Anything’s possible.
I have nothing against Paul WS Anderson. Unlike Bay, he at least attempts to inject SOME social satire in his films (DEATH RACE), and they’re just fun. I think Bay has yet to realize how truly godawful his movies are.
Yeah, if you’re talking purely in terms of the quality of their Cinema, Bay is probably one of the worst.
However, his movies are very effective box-office wise, so he has to get credit for that. I guess it depends on the criteria. If I was a big name producer trying to make big money with a film, I’d go to Bay easily. Having said that, his movies are definitely all crap. He reminds me of a Spielberg or Cameron, only unlike these two, he has no talent for “Cinema” whatsoever – in the true sense of the word.
What about Friedman/Seltzer? I’d say the ____ Movie movies pretty much all qualify to be among the worst films ever made.
It’s not even that they’re inept at telling jokes. They don’t even try to tell jokes. They cast lookalikes of actors from popular films with no acting talent, take them through recognizable scenes from those movies pretty much verbatim, except adding maybe an implication that a character is homosexual here and there.
The likes of Ed Wood and Paul WS Anderson you can at least screen at a bad movie night.
I’ll go with you on the ____ movies because they’re naked cash-ins that never rise above being naked cash-ins. If they called their films Naked Cash-In 2, 3, etc. I’d be more compelled not to hate them. I won’t, however, give Michael Bay credit because his films take money. Movie going is something that people just do and they’ll see whatever flashes the biggest, winning smile. His happen to do it from behind a pair of fake tits. Taking money just means that people saw it, not that they liked it. People saw Vampires Suck, too. People see Michael Bay films the way they watch the superbowl; it’s just one of those things. He doesn’t have to try and as a producer, he certainly doesn’t. As a director he puts a lot of effort into making some of the very worst films around, so I don’t give him or anyone else points for receipts. How many great films failed to chart?
all directors that work for the asylum
they just rip films off
Rob Marshall — the aesthetically retarded director of CHICAGO, the worst film of all time.
Zack Snyder, Joel Shumacher and Anthony Minghella — Dishonorable Mention.
yeah isnt there at least 2 other threads on this topic?
Yes, there are many. Too many.
Dennis Gansel is IMO one of the worst directors working today. I’ve seen 2 movies from him and both were terrible, 1 star films for me.
I’ve ranked a few Boll movies higher!
I don’t know who they are, i only know they directed some of the worst movies of all time, so they must really suck.
Easy. Michael Winner. Hopeless…
“the aesthetically retarded director of CHICAGO, the worst film of all time”
You probably haven’t seen many shitty films Roscoe, including Marshall’s own ethnographic travesty by the name of Memoirs of a Geisha but I’ll forgive your mistake since you’ve written it 11 months ago..
Winner made a number of good to great films. If we disregard the enthused talentless (Wishman, Wood) I would have to go with a director who takes good ideas and runs them into the ground with cynicism or unmatched ego: QT or PTA or Haneke fit the bill.
^ Is Doris Wishman really that bad? The thin red line between camp and trash is still yet to be fully analyzed by critics and academics alike.
And no Dennis…for all the bickering I give to PTA and the uneven qualities of Tarantino and Haneke, they’re hardly amongst the worst directors of all time, hardly even close to simplistic.
I sometimes take enthusiasm over talent, I like Wishman and Wood.
They may not be worst to you but they are some of a very few that I avoid at all times so that counts as worst in my book.
I’d say Gasper Noe would make the top 5, right behind M. Night.
Joe Swanberg. Mumblecore is the devil’s work.
Personally, I think one criteria for being a horrible director is that they failed to entertain anybody.
Gaspar Noé and all his future descendants.
C’mon…there’s at least INTERESTING stuff in some of their work, but I’d go with the likes of Rob Reiner, Gary Marshall, whoever is responsible for the FOCKER movies, Joel Schumacher, and, if not for TRUE ROMANCE, Tony Scott
these “talents” are the blandest of bland
old school duds: Gordon Douglas, Michael Gordon, Edward Dmytrik….BAD BAD BAD
Dmytrik? Seriously? Yeah, I mean I know he’s hated (even more than Kazan) for selling out the Hollywood 10 but no love at all for Crossfire, Cornered or Murder, My Sweet. He helped make noir what it was.
Judicial Joe is quite right about Swanberg. If we’re into polemics, the dude takes ineptitude to new levels of incompetence.
1 – Rob Marshall. He’s just terrible!
2- Michael Bay
3- Richard Kelly
Edward Dmytryk . . . really? His output was erratic, certainly, but those that Ari mentions are quite good, as is his early film the The Sniper, from which Dave Kehr argued (rather convincingly, I think) that Hitchcock seems to have poached elements (including the opening rooftop chase scene) for Vertigo.
. . . and re: the Hollywood Ten, Dmytryk initial refused to cooperate and was imprisoned for several months (along with Dalton Trumbo and John Howard Lawson) before finally cooperating with the Committee . . . so to me that’s a bit different from Kazan.
I think it’s pretty obvious that the worst director of all time is Roland Emmerich, his movies are so bad that look like parodies, unfortunately they are not, he is serious about it.
Funny thing is, most of those mentioned above work or worked steadily for years. Most REALLY BAD directors I know (personally) made just one film and were blackballed after its failure. FilmmakingIt is a money making venture.it does not reward failure.
^ that’s why these “worst” threads are futile. The worst are worst in a totally non-notable way.
re: I offer up a mea culpa on the Dmytrik opine…but you have to admit his schlock to good ratio is pretty high
Where Love Has Gone
A Walk on the Wild Side
The Juggler (though who could contain Kirk Douglas in the 50s?)
and WTF is HE IS MY BROTHER? Bobby Sherman?