Top 10 Worst Films Reviewed At The Lair

In the last two years of The Lightning Bug’s Lair’s existence, I’ve reviewed all kind of films, horror, action, comedy, thrillers, and much more. When it comes down to it, the genre matters less than whether the film is good or bad. So today and tomorrow in anticipation of my blogging anniversary on Friday, I want to look at the Best and Worst of what I’ve seen in the last two years. As I always think you should save the best for last, and so today I’m going to get started with the worsts. So what makes for a worst film, lots of things, bad acting, directing, plot, or jokes could all ruin a flick, and for my money it sure ruined these.

10. People Under the Stairs (1991) I actually gave this one a ‘2’, but I included it on this list because it was one of my more controversial calls spawning 13 comments as we hashed it out. I just don’t care for this film very much, but some of you out there clearly do. The ‘2’ rating I thought was generous because it would make it a just slightly below average film, and so imagine my surprise when so many people took umbrage. Since then I've watched it again, and I think I enjoyed it less watching it so close in time to when I had last seen it. Wes Craven may have invented one of the most memorable horror franchises, but this film, like the rest of his career, more often that not misses the mark.

9. Isle of the Damned (2008) Offensive, poorly made, and in bad taste, that is just a few choice things I had to say about the indie film Isle of the Damned. I absolutely hated this cannibal parody (a sentiment shared by Total Film) and I was shocked anytime afterward when  I saw someone give this a positive write up. For a while the film company, Dire Wit, included a quote from me in their “bad reviews” section here’s how it went, “The film marches on as if it was another gag, but to me rape, child molestation, and rampant homophobia are not funny.” Somehow they thought my indictment of their film was somehow a backdoor compliment, but I can assure you I meant every word as written.

8. Peter Rottentail (2004) This movie is horrible, but at least I do get a lot of hits for it (though generally it’s just folks looking for a Peter Rottentail costume). Holiday themed horror is popular, but it often turns out bad. Such is the case with the Easter gem that lays a massive, massive egg. From the “boing boing” sounds that the killer bunny emits to the poor acting and atrocious direction, Peter Rottentail deserves to hop down the trail….. and right off a cliff, but when it comes to Easter horror, it doesn’t get much better. So my advice is to watch Night of the Lepus and dye eggs instead.

7. Bloody New Year (1987) Here we go again with holiday themed horror. First off this British film doesn’t actually happen over New Years, it's summertime at a haunted hotel that is trapped in a state of perpetual holiday revelry. Secondly, horror films have two ways to go, be funny or be scary. No one said to make as film as dumb as a box of hair. The whole film is an illogical patchwork that never amounts to anything more than a frustratingly bad watch.

6. Netherworld (1992) Oh, Full Moon productions. When they’re good they’re very good, but when they are bad, they are very bad indeed. From the ‘80’s bayou setting to the killer flying stone hand to the “Marilyn Monroe”, Netherworld brings non-stop bad for its entire running time. For once, I know I don’t stand alone on this one. Emily from the Deadly Doll’s House reviewed it not more than a week later, and she was similarly traumatized by having to sit though this film.

5. The Number 17 (1932) Nothing is worse than when a visionary director makes a piece of crap film, and that is how I feel about Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Number 17. Made to fulfill a contract, either Hitch’s heart wasn’t in the film or he was deliberately trying to stage a flop. Either way it makes this one of the most painful Hitchcock films to watch, and the few moments when the master’s touch comes though just makes the whole ordeal worse.

4. Evil Breed (2003) This flick had lots of things not going for it. It claimed to star Jenna Jameson, Richard Greico, and Chasey Lane, but respectively they only appeared in three scenes. It concerned a professor taking her students to study in Ireland, but the professor was teaching them about the “Selts”. It had crazy cannibal creatures living in caves and eating breast implants because….because… um, well, I’m stumped there. Watching direct to video films is an undertaking fraught with flicks like this, but sometimes one really stands up and sucks more than Jenna and Chasey have literally (or Richard Greico has figuratively) sucked on film before.

3. Santa Claws (1996) I honestly didn’t expect that much from this one, but when it comes to Christmas horror, this is strictly the bottom of the bottom of the bottom of the barrel. I only chanced to watch it because one of my favorite scream queens, Debbie Rochon, was in it. I love Debbie, but I usually avoid reviewing her movies because more often than not they are lightly enjoyable and absolutely dreadful! I’m still not really sure what being killed with a garden trowel has to do with Christmas, and there’s not a chance I’ll ever watch this again to clear it up.

2. Blown (2005) - This was a selection for Ladies Night, but since I watched it with Fran and Ms Directed, I decided to include it. It is actually the lowest rated film of all time on The LBL with Ms. Directed giving it a rating a zero. I was surprised as anyone that this was so terrible. After all, the idea of a blow up sex doll coming to life and murdering people sounds like a winner, but it was no doubt one of the most excruciating watches I’ve had the displeasure to watch.

1. Zombies Gone Wild (2007) - I had to go back to barely a week after I started the Lair to find the worst film that I’ve watched in two years. With a plot that never goes anywhere, acting, directing, and scripting that leave you wishing that you had just watched Jersey Shore , and a title that doesn’t deliver at all (I wanted zombies to be munching on Joe Francis and his posse), this film was more than just bad, it was absolutely horrible. There was nothing redeeming about the film at all, and even after 103 more weeks, I still haven’t seen anything that was worse.

So that does it. The absolute worst 10 flicks that I've had the displeasure of watching in the last 2 years. Tomorrow I'll be back with a happier topic, the Top 10 best films that I've seen. So come back and join me for that tomorrow!


  1. I have only seen People Under the Stairs a couple times and really never liked it. I am not a fan of most of Wes Craven's work in fact, including the 'influential' Last House on the Left. Had a great tagline anyway.

    But like you I found many people loved this movie. So what do I know.

    Bill @ The Uranium Cafe

  2. Oh man, Zombies Gone Wild. So terribly bad. Good call.

  3. As a Christmas horror completionist, I feel compelled to watch Santa Claws. And Peter Rottentail simply because I have never seen a Easter horror film.

    I'm ambivalent about the People Under the Stairs. I can see why people like it or are interested in it, but it is sort of a forgettable movie.

  4. Ohhh! I'm still laughing with the inclusion of NETHERWORLD!!! (a film like that just begs to be in all CAPS!) That good ole' Full Moon. On one hand, they gave us Subspecies...on the other, NETHERWORLD!!! What a gas.
    Great post, and I can't wait to see the other side of the spectrum.

  5. I had never heard of Peter Rottentail, lol...I'll stick to Fewdio's The Easter Bunny Ate My Candy instead.
    Blown sounds like the name of a porno
    Actually, I kinda like People Under the Stairs, but that's just me.
    Great list!
    Dreaded Dreams
    Petunia Scareum

  6. The people under the stair is a great movie! I like it!

    But, I know, everyone have bad tastes except me.

  7. Damn you Netherworld and Santa Claws. Damn you indeed.

  8. Oh, man, ISLE OF THE DAMNED. I got a screener of that one when it came out, and it's still one of the few screeners I've received that I've decided NOT to give a review solely because of its lack of merit. I mean, I've not reviewed other screeners b/c they didn't fit in with what I like to write about on the site, but this one was just because it was so fucking awful. Clearly the filmmakers think that the funniest thing that could ever happen to anyone anywhere is to be anally gang-raped. Seriously, they go back to that "joke" AGAIN and AGAIN. They even do it to a stuffed bunny at one point, clearly chuckling all the way.

    2nd on their list of COMEDY GOLD situations? Pedophilia. Hilarious? :(

    Anyway, I emailed the filmmakers and told them I wasn't going to review it, b/c I didn't see the point, and they seemed affronted that I wouldn't write them a terrible review--doubtless thinking any press was good press. Since that's possibly true, I stand by my decision.

    Like you, I was amazed to find good reviews for it all over the web after that. I mean, I know taste in humor is very personal, but seriously?

  9. Haha. Great idea for a post. Thanks for steering me clear of these films, as the only one I've actually seen (thank goodness) is People Under the Stairs.

  10. I've only seen two films on that list- Santa Claws and Peter Rottentail. I'd say 'thank God,' if I hadn't also seen a ton of shit movies already. For example...

    * Cthulhu (2007)
    * Feeders 2
    * The Gardener
    * Satan Claus
    * Psycho Santa
    * Pocahauntus
    * Hobgoblins 2

    If you've not seen these movies, don't. If you do still see them, let me know so that I can laugh at your pain. It gives me life, you know.

  11. Oh gosh Tim, Feeders and Feeders 2 are true crimes against humanity. Those would definitely top my list!

  12. This is a pretty hilarious list. I don't mean bad list but "Zombies gone Wild" sparks interest. I can only imagine how bad it really is. I saw "People Under the Stairs" on
    Dish and didn't think it was that bad. I agree with you that my perspective may be different if I had to watch it twice really close together.

  13. nigel "incubator" jonesAugust 29, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    Why couldn`t you have just filled this list with any 10 British made films that you`d seen over the last 2 years that would have made things much easier and it would have been a much truer list because every film on the list would`ve been an unwatchable abomination by definition.


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