The 13 Movies So Awful They Scored Zero on Rotten Tomatoes

Receiving a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes is a sought-after accomplishment all directors and filmmakers hope to achieve. But do you ever wonder what happens when a movie is so bad that it totally tanks at the box office?

Perhaps more difficult are those movies so awful they reach a zero on the Tomatometer, meaning no critic liked a single aspect of the film. So instead, they watched each dire moment, waiting for something decent to occur, but it never did. Here are 13 movies that achieved a perfect zero on Rotten Tomatoes.

1. Pinocchio (2002)

Image from the movie Pinnochio
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

The acclaimed animated Disney movie, Pinocchio, dazzled audiences with a touching story of a puppet-boy yearning to perceive human emotions and engage in meaningful conversations.

Unfortunately, what transpired from the charming original film was an Italian film directed by Roberto Benigni, who also plays Pinocchio as a grown man in this live-action remake of the classic tale by Carlo Collodi.

This version upholds thematic truths from the original story, such as Pinocchio getting eaten by a whale and turning into a donkey. However, it also portrays Pinocchio as a creepy older man, which does not translate well.

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Image Credit: Miramax Films.

One particularly jarring scene, where Pinocchio hangs from a tree branch, furthers the idea of unnecessary death and ups the scare factor in the so-called family film.

Many of this movie's critiques come from the lack of care with its subbing and dubbing. Benigni shot the film in Italian and redistributed it in America, dubbed over with lazy voice acting. The dubbing doesn't even try to match the dialogue with the original script, distracting the viewer from the plot.

2. Mac and Me (1988)

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Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

In 1982 Steven Spielberg graced the cinematic universe with E.T. The film gathered nine academy award nominations and took home the prize for four of those nominations.

A few years later, a cheap copy of E.T., doubling as an advertisement for McDonald's and Coca-Cola, copied the heartwarming, well-crafted story with a bad rip-off.

The 1988 film Mac and Me cast a young boy with a similar haircut to Elliot in E.T. as the main character. They even adorned him in a maroon hoodie close to Elliot's.

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Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

Mac is an alien that breaks out of a governmental chamber and somehow lands in the main character's (Eric's) house. Mac is a creepy offshoot of E.T. and uses a similar gesture to signal his communication with humans. However, instead of pointing his luminous finger toward Eric, he holds his hand toward the boy, and all his fingers light up.

The best part of this film, and the most confusing, is the five-minute dance sequence occurring during a McDonald's birthday party. Here is where the heavy-handed advertisements come to play. Everyone from football players to elementary-aged children, and Mac, perform a synchronized dance without any prior choreography.

Mac, who disguises himself in a bear costume, levitates to the McDonald's counter and dances. Even when the government officials show up to capture Mac, everyone keeps dancing. The Coca-Cola advertisement arises when the aliens need to restore their health, they resort to drinking Coca-Cola.

3. Staying Alive (1983)

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Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

In another case of a sleazy sequel, Sylvester Stallone wrote and directed Staying Alive, the sequel to John Badham's 1977 smash hit Saturday Night Fever. Unfortunately, the sequel mines the same storyline. Tony yearns to dance in front of audiences during shows but compensates for his lack of work by waiting tables.

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The dance sequences occur without any real story between them; think Glee minus the storyline. The sequences are extravagant, nonsensical, and deflect from the monotonous plot, a far cry from the sophisticated dance numbers that graced the first film.

Stallone leans on costuming and flat characters rather than developing dynamic characters and a self-aware storyline.

4. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004)

Movie cover from the movie Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Image Credit: Triumph Films.

The original Superbabies earned a whopping 2% on the Tomatometer, so it is perplexing that the film franchise made a sequel.

Released in 2004, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 had a messy plot with real babies speaking gibberish and “matching” audio, along with anti-war propaganda flooding the story.

Similar to Rugrats, the main plot of this film follows a group of babies who meet in daycare and become fast friends.

The babies band together for a storytime about a legendary super baby named Kahuna who rescues babies all over, including babies from Germany during Hitler's reign.

Although Kahuna is a super baby, he looks more like an elementary school kid with gymnastics skills that resemble a professional, adult stunt double (cause they are).

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Image Credit: Triumph Films.

The movements are so conspicuous they distract from the plot and make you wonder, “Wait? Why is there a baby from Nazi Germany in a kid's movie?”

The acting is another weak point of the film. The babies sit around muttering gibberish while production dubbed language over their mouths, hoping it matches the script.

Spoiler alert: it doesn't. The bland, boring overacting of the adult actors is enough to make you want to stop watching.

The babies consistently break the fourth wall because they don't know they're acting. Complete with terrible special effect sequences and abysmal Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI); this movie received four Razzie nominations in 2005.

5. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

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Image Credit: Atlantic Entertainment Group Topps.

The Garbage Pail Kids cards, which spoofed the chubby-faced, yarn-haired Cabbage Patch Kids, became popular in the 80s. They were politically incorrect pokes, making fun of issues such as sunburns, acne, guillotines, death, alcoholism, etc.

The movie kept the character traits from the cards but added some minor embellishments to the film. For example, the Garbage Pail Kids are radioactive and fight crime while helping an underdog accept himself.

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Image Credit: Atlantic Entertainment Group Topps.

In the movie, radioactive goop inside a garbage can created animatronic creatures. Their designs rival the creepy characters inside Disney's “It's a Small World” ride.

The most controversial plot point in the film shows the Garbage Pail Kids being exiled from society and banished to a penitentiary where those ‘too ugly for the public eye' go to die.

6. Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

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Image Credit: Universal Studios.

Jaws is among the highest-rated films on Rotten Tomatoes with a 98% rating, but its sequel… not so much.

Jaws: The Revenge is a classic case of the cursed sequel. When the original film is so popular, the film studio pushes for the director to make another chapter of the story. But, alas, sequels are seldom as good as the original.

Steven Spielberg crafted a masterful piece that stands the test of time with Jaws. However, he knew he could not follow that up, and also, he didn't want to return to the set due to PTSD related to filming.

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So, Jeannot Szwarc directed the sequel to the film that traumatized an entire generation from swimming in the open ocean.

Jaws: The Revenge relied on an underdeveloped and rushed plot where some bonkers activities occur. The most prominent is when a woman on the water pours gasoline on herself before lighting herself on fire… to spare herself from a shark attack?

The cast has three original members, yet without Spielberg's visionary image, the movie loses its message. Instead, the sequel becomes a slasher shark movie and less of a drive to protect a community.

7. Ballistics: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)

Image from the movie Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Despite having a talented cast with Lucy Liu as Sever and Antonio Banderas as Ecks, actors can't always save bad scripts.

One of the main issues in this film is the lack of action and the inability to curate a fruitful plot. The title suggests Ecks and Sever are enemies; however, halfway through the film, they team up to take down a different villain. Sever saves Ecks during multiple chases and gun fights. Ultimately, he views her as a hero because she brought his family back to her.

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The plot doesn't know what it wants; even worse, the talented cast acts with mindless direction, translating their boredom to the viewer.

This film deserves extra negative points for its misuse and overuse of slow-motion takes and suspense that never reach a meaningful climax.

8. National Lampoon's Gold Diggers (2003)

Stars of National Lampoon's Gold Diggers movie
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The National Lampoon franchise includes gems such as Vacation and Animal House. Unfortunately, National Lampoon's Gold Diggers has a weak plot, flat comedy and doesn't seem to serve much purpose other than to annoy the audience.

The plot revolves around two young friends who decide to seduce two older sisters and steal their fortune. One of the boys rips the purse off the older woman's arm, but her prosthetic arm is slightly loose and comes off with the purse.

Offensive? Yes. Poorly written? Yes. Funny? No.

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Image Credit: Lady Killers Productions, LLC.

Cops arrest the boys, but the sisters bail them out and decide to marry them. The boys plan to kill the sisters and steal their money, while the sisters plan to kill the boys and get life insurance money. Each duo insists on murdering the other, which might be comedic if the script wasn't so unfunny.

The film comes across as ageist, with the boys gawking at the older women's bodies and suggesting that older women cannot be sexual beings.

The humor relies on bawdy, undeserved raunchy quips that don't pay off.

9. Transylmania (2008)

Image from the movie Transylmania
Image Credit: Ace Entertainment Films UK.

When you put bad acting with a parody of popular vampire films like Twilight, you get Transylmania. A vampire spoof that flopped at the box office and found almost no one in theaters to watch the flick.

Transylmania revolves around a group of college kids who plan to travel abroad to Transylvania for a semester. Rusty, one of the main characters, is dating a girl online who lives there. When the kids reach their destination, they arrive at a gloomy campus with a decrepit building that resembles a castle and houses vampires.

Rusty soon finds out his girlfriend (Draguta) has a hunchback – a cheap attempt to use body horror to shock the audience. Unfortunately, the implications the film suggests come off as downright offensive and distasteful.

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Image Credit: Ace Entertainment Films UK.

Draguta undergoes surgery to put her head on a body without a hunchback. Then, Rusty and Draguta marry and have a child with a hunchback. The plot is okay for a parody movie. However, the humor is so flawed and problematic that the viewer hopes the atrocity will end.

Transylmania's box office failure was so profoundly bad, investors sued the directors. It cost a whopping $22 million from investors and returned the favor by generating $400,000 in theaters.

10. Highlander 2 (1991)

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Image Credit: Davis/Panzer Productions Lamb Bear Entertainment.

Highlander introduced a fun, novel story about immortals with bad accents fighting for a reward.

The sequel, set in 2024, takes place on Earth after the ozone layer depletes, so Earth's inhabitants live in constant darkness. The protagonist of the film Connor (Christopher Lambert), reprises his role and battles assassins from his home planet, Zeist.

Does it make sense? No. Does the film roll with it anyway? Yep.

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Image Credit: Davis/Panzer Productions Lamb Bear Entertainment.

During the slowest showdown decapitation in any movie, Connor regresses in age, and the ozone layer returns. Then Ramirez from the first film (Sean Connery) returns with glory to help Connor fight the assassins.

Sadly, the film's highlight is that Connor and Ramirez are aliens.

11. Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)

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Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

The 1991 sequel to 1980's Blue Lagoon imitates the plot of two castaways on an island with no other sign of life, so they resort to each other and fall in love. The original story cast two cousins on an island alone. In the sequel, however, features two siblings who fall in love, with the teenage boy impregnating the girl.

The first film scored an 8% on the Tomatometer. Some viewers argue the cousins did not know being intimate with one another was wrong since all their supervisors had died.

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Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

In Return to the Blue Lagoon, the siblings grew up together (the boy is the child of the teenagers in the first film) and fall for each other in dramatic, overacted scenes with terrible dialogue.

What makes the perverse plots more disturbing is that the director cast underaged females as the lead in the films. Some might wonder how such a controversial movie got greenlit, let alone two.

12. Bolero (1984)

Image from the film Bolero
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

This 1984 film focuses on a 23-year-old named Ayre who has one goal: to lose her virginity. Through tone-deaf scenes, poor dialogue, and choppy editing, Bolero takes viewers on a journey to fulfill a “deflowering” mission.

Ayre finds herself in Morocco, where she encounters a Sheikh (a white actor appropriating the religion by presenting an attempt at an Arabic accent.) This film is a palm to the face. The actors bob around the screen in uncomfortable manners like the director's puppets.

Ayre loses her virginity to a random bullfighter from Spain named Angel. Heavy-handed? Yes, but the film cannot stop there.

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During a bullfight, the bull attacks Angel, and he loses his ability to perform. Since Ayre has already lost her virginity, the movie becomes more convoluted as a quest to restore Angel's “intimate” capabilities.

At its core, the film throws around the concept of virginity as a prize and flashes naked people around the screen for shock value.

13. One Missed Call (2008)

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Image Credit: Warner Bros.

One Missed Call is a 2008 remake of a Japanese horror film of the same name. However, with dramatic pan-outs, aggressive music, and exaggerated acting, One Missed Call is more a mockumentary than a horror flick.

The phones ring in overacted scenes, and when they go to voicemail, they leave dooming messages indicating the owners of the phones will die in three days.

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Image Credit: Warner Bros.

The plot bores the audience at the very least. Yes, we know someone will die three days after receiving a call. Still, the formula is predictable without the level of self-awareness these movies typically have.

Plus, the monster in the film looks like an adult wearing a Halloween mask, and not in a Michael Myers way. So more of the costume department put in minimal effort in hopes of shocking the audience.

A Collective Zero

Teenage girl and boy looking bored at the movies
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

These 13 movies received a collective score of zero percent on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. However, despite each movie earning a score for different reasons, all 13 films have one thing in common: the critic could not wait for the ending. What do you think?

This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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