Benjamin is a former volunteer DJ at his local hospital radio station. He has been reviewing films online since 2004.
The Golden Raspberry Awards, more commonly known as the Razzies, is a film awards ceremony traditionally taking place the day before the Academy Awards and they honour the very worst films of the previous year. Founded in 1981 by UCLA students John JB Wilson and Mo Murphy, the awards celebrate underachievement in filmmaking and earn the 'winners' a special prize, a gold-coloured raspberry sitting atop a Super 8mm film reel which is reportedly worth about $4.97. Wilson was inspired to create the awards after he watched a double feature showing musicals Xanadu and Can't Stop The Music which was later crowned the inaugural Worst Picture winner at the very first ceremony, held in Wilson's own living room.
As the event quickly drew more publicity, the ceremony itself became part of the regular awards season. Wilson argues that it encourages filmmakers to own up to their mistakes while others have criticised the awards, saying that members of the Golden Raspberry Foundation don't have to have seen the films to vote on them and that the awards often target notorious films rather than those more deserving of scorn. Nevertheless, the ceremony grows larger each year and a number of people and films have accumulated quite a number of nominations and 'victories' over the years. This article looks back at some of those whose career seemingly go hand-in-hand with Razzie mentions - each one has been given a score (half a point for a nomination and a full point for the win) and it's this that determines their ranking, up to the 2022 ceremony. As the award was later rescinded due to his ill health, I am discounting the Worst Performance By Bruce Willis In A 2021 Movie from this list although Willis wasn't far away from featuring on this list without this omission. Are you ready? Then brace yourself because this is going to be a bumpy ride...
Number 20: Arnold Schwarzenegger (Score: 6.5)
We start with perhaps a little controversy as the Governator has never actually won a competitive Razzie award despite a total of eleven nominations. Indeed, he actually ties with his score of 6.5 with the likes of Burt Reynolds and Pauly Shore so why does the star of Hercules In New York feature on this list? Well, in 2004, the Razzies held a special series of honorary awards to celebrate their first twenty-years and it was Schwarzenegger who controversially won the Worst Razzie Loser award with a total of 8 nominations at the time. His most recent nomination for Worst Supporting Actor (his fifth nod in this category) came in 2021 for his embarrassing appearance in The Iron Mask so it's unlikely that his chances of an award in the future are over.
Number 19: Lindsay Lohan (Score: 7)
Former child star and occasional singer Lindsay Lohan achieved career infamy in 2008 when her film I Know Who Killed Me went on to win a total of eight awards at a single ceremony, more than any other film up to that point. The only award it didn't win was Worst Supporting Actress which was won by - *checks notes* - Eddie Murphy for his appearance in Norbit. Actually, Murphy also won Worst Supporting Actor and Worst Actor for the same film so it's not like they were picking on Ms Lohan or anything. Lohan was also nominated for Worst Actress Of The Decade in 2010 but lost out to Paris Hilton before she then received a further three nominations in 2014 after disappointing turns in Scary Movie 5 and The Canyons. Suffice to say, Lohan didn't make another movie until 2019's Among The Shadows which was practically ignored by everyone. Perhaps more than anyone else, Lohan's movie career has long been associated with the Razzies and has suffered as a result although there are many others who have been just as prolific, if not more so.
Tied 17: Sharon Stone (Score: 7.5)
The legendary Basic Instinct star has maybe not had a failure quite on the same level as Ms Lohan but Stone has achieved an odd consistency within the Razzies, being nominated a total of nine times. Her first nomination came in 1988 with her appearance opposite Richard Chamberlain in the Indiana Jones-rip-off Allan Quartmain And The Lost City Of Gold but further appearances in films like Sliver, The Specialist and Catwoman also earned her nods. Her last mention at the ceremony was in 2007 for her disastrous return to her most famous role, sexy serial-killer Catherine Tramell, in what the Foundation would call Basically, It Stinks 2. Her three wins at the Razzies help her to a healthy score of 7.5 which ties her with another popular actress...
Tied 17: Jennifer Lopez (Score: 7.5)
Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez has had a long and storied history with the Razzies, achieving a staggering eleven nominations and winning twice. Perhaps the most damaging awards were her two wins for Worst Actress & Worst Screen Couple (with Ben Affleck) for the notorious turkey Gigli in 2004, a film so bad that it derailed both of their careers for a while afterwards. But Lopez has consistently been recognised by the Foundation for her acting which scooped her an additional nomination for Worst Actress Of The Decade in 2010. Her last nomination was in 2020 for her portrayal of a scheming pole dancer in the otherwise not-that-bad Hustlers for their recently introduced Redeemer award, celebrating those who have overcame previous recognition to achieve critical success - something Affleck won in 2015 after acclaimed performances in Argo and Gone Girl.
Number 16: Paris Hilton (Score: 8)
Actress, singer, social influencer, model, DJ and socialite Paris Hilton has many strings to her bow, first finding fame in the early 2000s alongside Nicole Richie on reality TV show The Simple Life. Sadly, her film career has stopped and started more often than her singing career with most of her IMDb resume consisting of music videos or cameos where she is playing herself. Hilton is one of the few individuals who has won every acting award she has been nominated for, a total of five awards including the hotly contested Worst Actress Of The Decade we've already talked about. Her other nomination came in 2006 (where she won Worst Supporting Actress for House Of Wax) where she was nominated for a unique award, Most Tiresome Tabloid Target, but lost out to the combined forces of Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Oprah Winfrey's couch, the Eiffel Tower and baby Suri. And frankly, what chance did anyone else have?
Number 15: Demi Moore (Score: 8.5)
Moore was a perennial presence in cinema during the 1990s and this is reflected in her Razzie achievements, a total of nine nominations and four wins. It was her portrayal of a stripper with a heart of gold in the Showgirls-inspired skin-flick Striptease that finally scooped her an award in 1997 for Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple together with Burt Reynolds. Curiously, she also won Worst Actress for her appearance in G.I. Jane where she plays a female soldier attempting to survive US Marine training. She would win again for her comeback performance in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle in 2004 but her career would ultimately wind down after this and she has not been mentioned at the Razzies since.
Number 14: Ben Affleck (Score: 10)
Affleck has been a favourite target of the Razzies, earning a total of twelve nominations and four wins so far (including the much more positive Redeemer award in 2015). 2003 proved to be a breakthrough year thanks to his much derided performances in films like Daredevil and Gigli but other nods for the likes of Pearl Harbor and Jersey Girl ultimately secured Affleck a nomination for Worst Actor Of The Decade in 2010. After his victory in the Redeemer category in 2015, it's been business as usual for the two-time Oscar winner - he picked up his second Worst Screen Couple alongside Henry Cavill in the overblown Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice in 2017 and added yet another nomination for Worst Supporting Actor in 2022 in Ridley Scott's medieval drama The Last Duel.
Tied 11: Tyler Perry (Score: 11)
Perry has undoubtedly been a trailblazer in his career, kicking down many doors in order to increase African-American representation both in front and behind the camera. Sadly, this hasn't saved him from multiple nominations for Razzies whether it's for his acting, writing or directing. Frequently appearing as his female alter ego Aunt Madea (shown above), Perry's first nominations came in 2013 for Madea's Witness Protection (the seventh feature film in the Madea series) as well as his more serious role in Alex Cross. He would win the first of his two Worst Actress awards to date the following year for A Madea Christmas and has been nominated for at least one award every year from 2017-2020. It's also worth noting he was nominated for a Redeemer award in 2019 after appearing in the Dick Cheney biopic Vice but sadly lost out to Melissa McCarthy's performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Tied 11: John Travolta (Score: 11)
Probably more due to the longevity of his career than any particular misfire, Travolta's fourteen nominations and four wins have been appearing on Razzie lists since the mid Eighties. Nominated for Worst Actor (an award he's since won twice) for 1983's Staying Alive, Travolta would achieve career infamy at the 2001 ceremony when Battlefield Earth, his critically mauled adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard's book of the same name, secured a then-record eight Razzie nominations and winning all but one of them. It even helped Travolta secure a nomination for Worst Actor Of The Decade along with the likes of Swordfish, Old Dogs, Domestic Disturbance and Lucky Numbers. After disappointing appearances in Gotti and The Fanatic, Travolta continues to generate interest at the ceremony despite his obvious box office success and it would be premature to rule him out of future contention.
Tied 11: Bo Derek (Score: 11)
Derek's film career has arguably been overshadowed by her career-making appearance in the Dudley Moore rom-com 10 as she quickly became a stalwart of the Razzie awards in its early years. Derek's six wins from just 10 nominations is a damning success rate, thanks to much derided efforts like Bolero, Ghosts Can't Do It and Tarzan The Ape Man which was less about Tarzan and more about Derek's famous figure. After a final nomination in 2003 for the awful The Master Of Disguise, Derek has not featured as a nominee since thanks to her concentrating more on a TV career since 2005. But for an actress nominated for Worst Actress Of The Century in 2000, it would seem unlikely that she wouldn't appear on a list such as this.
Number 10: 'Gigli' (Score: 13)
In this film's own words. it's turkey time. This wretched excuse of a romantic comedy featured the aforementioned Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez - at the time, generating much publicity for their relationship - as well as an embarrassing Justin Bartha going 'full retard'. The film has gone down in history as one of the worst films ever made and certainly one of the least successful, making just $7.2 million worldwide against an estimated budget of $75 million. Nominated for a total of twelve Razzies over multiple ceremonies including Worst Picture Of The Decade and Worst Comedy Of Our First 25 Years (which it won), the film has long been a punchline and severely damaged the box office potential for both Affleck and Lopez for a long time. And to think that director Martin Brest gave us the likes of Beverly Hills Cop and Scent Of A Woman before effectively retiring after Giggly.
Tied 8: 'I Know Who Killed Me' (Score: 13.5)
And speaking of history-making misfires, few will ever forget Lindsay Lohan's ridiculously bad thriller I Know Who Killed Me - but not for the right reasons. The film achieved instant notoriety when it broke the record for the most number of wins at a single ceremony, winning a total of eight awards including an award specifically for that ceremony, Worst Excuse For A Horror Movie. Lohan herself picked up three awards for the film - Worst Screen Couple (she played two characters) and two awards for Worst Actress. Despite its reputation as one of the worst films of all time, the film has since achieved an odd cult status and was far more successful as a home release than a theatrical one. Today, the film is seen as a dark mirror for the life of its then-troubled star - Lohan was unable to promote the film due to her arrest for DUI which, considering it's reputation as a career-killer, might not have been such a bad thing.
Tied 8: Eddie Murphy (Score: 13.5)
Few actors have experienced the drought of critical acclaim that plagued Eddie Murphy in the 2000s. His fifteen nominations is among the highest number ever earned by a single star while his six wins also put him in rarefied company. Weirdly, his first Razzie wasn't for his acting but his filmmaking as he won Worst Screenplay in 1990 for Harlem Nights. But it was a string of critical flops like The Adventures Of Pluto Nash, Norbit, Meet Dave and Imagine That that won Murphy the Worst Actor Of The Decade award in 2010, one of six awards he has won over the years. However, it's not all bad as his most recent victory came in the far more positive Redeemer category for his remarkable renaissance in the 2019 biopic Dolemite Is My Name.
Number 6: Kevin Costner (Score: 14)
Remarkably, Costner just edges Murphy into sixth on our list by virtue of a single nomination more in his career - sixteen in total and six wins to his name. Perhaps even more surprising is that his nominations came for some of the most successful films in his career - Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, The Bodyguard and Wyatt Earp all picked up nods for Worst Actor (winning two of them) while his legendary ocean-going epic Waterworld added further notoriety to his name. His post-apocalyptic vanity project The Postman saw him pick up another three awards for Worst Actor, Worst Director and Worst Film (as Costner was a producer as well). Nominated for Worst Actor Of The Century in 2000 (losing out to our number one entry), he's probably relieved that his last nomination to date came in 2002 for the Elvis-themed crime comedy 3000 Miles To Graceland.
Tied 5: 'Battlefield Earth' (Score: 14.5)
Perhaps no film is as synonymous with the Razzies as this, John Travolta's pet project to adapt the novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. A sprawling sci-fi epic intended as the first part of a series, Battlefield Earth was ridiculed by everyone for its acting, script, cinematography and its unusual overuse of Dutch angles, special effects, musical score, characterisation... in fact, there wasn't a single aspect of the production that escaped criticism. It tied the record with Showgirls with its seven wins at a single ceremony with only Forest Whittaker escaping with his dignity intact by missing out on Worst Supporting Actor. It later won Worst Drama Of Our First 25 Years in 2005 before winning a ninth Razzie in 2010 for Worst Film Of The Decade. It would hold the record for the most number of Razzies won by a single film until 2012 but the film's legendary status among the very worst films of all time is assured.
Tied 5: 'Showgirls' (Score: 14.5)
It's fitting that this flaccid erotic thriller from Paul Verhoeven ties with Battlefield Earth, thanks to its fifteen nominations and eight awards. Scripted by Joe Eszterhas (who won Worst Screenplay for his trouble), the film set the record at the time with seven wins in a single night including Worst Film, Worst Actress for its star Elizabeth Berkley, Worst Director, Worst Original Song and Worst Screen Couple for any two cast members or cast members' body parts. It later picked up an eighth award for Worst Picture Of The Decade in 2000 and was nominated for Worst Drama In Our Firth 25 Years, losing that one to Battlefield Earth. Verhoeven himself made history by becoming the first person to accept their award at the ceremony but Berkley was not so lucky, getting dropped by her agent after the film's release and shunned by others who refused to take her calls.
Number 4: Madonna (Score: 15)
I'm sure that with her seven Grammys, millions of record sales and countless other awards, the Material Girl isn't smarting too much from being the most nominated female star and most victorious female star in Razzies history. With sixteen nominations and seven wins in total, the singer has appeared with alarming regularity thanks to films like Shanghai Surprise, Who's That Girl, Body Of Evidence, Die Another Day and Swept Away. Twice nominated for Worst Actress Of The Decade in 1990 and 2010, she did manage to win Worst Actress Of The Century in 2000. Currently, she is head and shoulders above her next nearest competitor (the practically retired Bo Derek) and she hasn't given up making movies just yet although she appears to be moving more into directing than acting.
Number 3: 'Jack And Jill' (Score: 16)
What is it that makes successful comic actors dress up in drag (usually badly) and foist the results onto unsuspecting audiences? Clearly, Adam Sandler didn't learn from the likes of Big Momma's House or any of the Madea series because this "comedy" has the unwanted distinction for being the record holder for the most number of Razzie awards with a staggering ten. It is also the first film to win in every category it was nominated in as well as just the second to win the so-called 'Big 5' (Worst Picture, Worst Actor, Worst Actress (for Sandler, naturally), Worst Screenplay and Worst Director) after Gigli. Razzie co-founder John JB Wilson commented on the film, suggesting that Sandler must have angered some very powerful people in Hollywood to make "that much razz-able stuff in one year", as Sandler was also nominated for Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star and Just Go With It. Frankly, don't.
Number 2: Adam Sandler (Score: 18.5)
Thanks to Jack And Jill, it's little wonder that Adam Sandler reaches number two on the list of all-time Razzie winners. He has the record for the most number of nominations with a jaw-dropping twenty-five in all (although one of those was for the Redeemer award after his performance in Uncut Gems) although he has only ever won six times. Even some of his more acclaimed films like Happy Gilmore and Little Nicky gained him nominations but it wasn't until 2012's ceremony that Sandler began scooping up awards like Schindler's List. To his credit, he hasn't won a Razzie since 2013 when he became just the third star to win Worst Actor in consecutive years for the disgusting risible That's My Boy and he remains one of the more popular comic performers in Hollywood today. But I'm afraid that when it comes to Razzies, there really is only one winner...
Number 1: Sylvester Stallone (Score: 21.5)
Yes, Rocky himself is the undisputed King of the Razzies with a scarcely believable 33 nominations and 11 wins. Nominated for at least one award every year from 1985-1997 (a unique if unwanted distinction), the list of films covered includes some truly dire offerings like Cobra, Rocky IV and V, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and The Specialist. He is the only actor to win Worst Actor Of The Decade (in 1990) and Worst Actor Of The Century (in 2000) and the only person to win Razzie awards for acting, screenwriting and directing. Although his last negative Razzie came in 2004 for Worst Supporting Actor in Spy Kids 3: Game Over, he would win one more award - the positive Redeemer award - in 2016 in response to the critical praise he achieved with Creed or, as Wilson put it, "from all-time Razzie champ to award contender". Which would be a nice note to end on except that Stallone quickly returned to form in 2020 with three more nominations thanks to Rambo: Last Blood. Whoops!
© 2022 Benjamin Cox