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Top 10 Super Embarrassing Superhero Movies

VO: Dan Paradis
Written by Jack O’Regan Superhero movies that were inspired by popular comic book characters and sometimes have other good movies about them, but unfortunately these films were just awful. WatchMojo presents the to 10 Worst superhero movies of all time that had us embarrassed to watch them. But what will take the top spot on our list? The infamous Batman & Robin, Superman IV, The Quest for Peace, or Shaquille O'Neal's turn as Steel? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: WatchMojo.com Big thanks to Laballs for suggesting this list, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Most+Embarrasing+Live+Action+Superhero+Movies
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Transcript
As long as there have been superhero movies, there have been some not so super ones as well. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 most embarrassing superhero movies.

For this list, we’re not necessarily looking at the worst movies in the genre, but instead focusing on films that were executed so poorly, the cast and crew might not feel very proud of what they have made, and we in turn might feel bad for them.

#10: “Son of the Mask” (2005)

This long-awaited follow-up to 1994’s “The Mask” stars Jamie Kennedy as cartoonist Tim Avery, whose son Alvey is conceived from the power of the Mask. Yep, it’s as messed up as it sounds. All things considered, it’s no wonder the movie was nominated for 8 Razzie awards, winning for Worst Remake or Sequel ahead of disasters like “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.” “Son of the Mask” ultimately bears no resemblance to its far superior original, and embarrasses a franchise that had so much potential. We learned one thing from it though: You don’t make a sequel to a Jim Carrey movie, without Jim Carrey.

#9: “Blade: Trinity” (2004)

Wesley Snipes and the vampire-hunting Nightstalkers team up to fight Dracula himself in this “Blade” installment, which to no one’s surprise, ensured that the film franchise was put on hold. “Trinity” took its toll on Snipes, who was unhappy with the studio’s decision to allow David S. Goyer to direct, and he might have had a point. Goyer’s vision is unambitious, overly campy, and offers nothing to the saga but a higher level of volume. Snipes later sued the writer/director for cutting his scenes in favor of co-stars Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel. With a 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it was an embarrassment behind the scenes and an embarrassment at the box office.

#8: “Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (1998)

These days, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury. It’s even harder to imagine that David Hasselhoff once played the role. “Agent of SHIELD” does indeed star Hasselhoff as Fury, who returns to action after the reformation of terrorist organization HYDRA. Sound familiar? Hasselhoff actually does little wrong as the eye-patched super spy, but he’s also given little to work with by writer and embarrassing superhero movie authority David S. Goyer. Ultimately, it was a decade before SHIELD got an official DVD release. Perhaps director Rod Hardy, who went on to work on The X-Files, wasn’t rushing to let the world know he was involved in this particular movie.

#7: “The Fantastic Four” (1994)

Back in the ‘90s, when Constantin Film held the rights to Marvel’s supergroup, there came the first of what would be a long line of lazy Fantastic Four origin stories. Reed Richards and Ben Grimm are college pals who later go into space with Sue and Johnny Storm, and you know the rest. Almost the entire budget of this particular adaptation went towards the Thing’s suit, and concerns over the film’s obvious cheapness led producers to disallow its release. The bootleg recording might have higher ratings than 2015’s ‘Fant-4-stic’ but at least the producers of that reboot weren’t trying to hide their movie’s existence.

#6: “The Spirit” (2008)

Even the best comic book writers can struggle when it comes to adapting their work. After the success of 2005’s “Sin City,” Frank Miller returned to the big screen with “The Spirit,” which stars Gabriel Macht as a cop murdered and reborn to watch over his city from the shadows. This time, Miller would write and direct alone, and while “The Spirit” may look like Sin City, it has none of its originality, subtlety or, well – spirit. Samuel L. Jackson co-stars in a performance that is over-the-top even by his standards, and Miller has yet to direct on his own since.

#5: “Catwoman” (2004)

Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns” opened audiences’ eyes to the wonderfully complex character that is Selina Kyle. 12 years later, DC gave the Batman villainess her own movie. Without Batman. They also renamed her Patience Phillips for seemingly no good reason. As far as we can tell, the Catwoman title was just an excuse to put Halle Berry in a tight leather costume. Once you get over the cat puns and ancient Egyptian rituals, what you have left is bad CGI and five minutes of action put together so sloppily that it might have been directed by an actual cat. Needless to say, Pitof hasn’t directed a film for theatrical release since, while Berry famously accepted her Razzie award in person.

#4: “Judge Dredd” (1995)

When Rob Schneider isn’t the worst thing in your movie, you know you’re onto something dredd-ful. Sorry. Sylvester Stallone finds himself on the wrong end of a murder trial in this lazy adaptation of a unique comic superhero. Combining elements from “Blade Runner,” Sly’s own “Demolition Man” and many other more interesting IPs, the writers rehash ideas from other movies, spending so much of their time trying to play to Stallone’s strengths that Dredd loses any sort of character. While it has gained a cult following in recent years, Stallone himself has criticized the film, claiming that he and director Danny Cannon didn’t properly communicate during production.

#3: “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” (1987)

The fourth film in the Christopher Reeve era sees the return of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor, who creates a superhuman Nuclear Man, and blows up any chance of a fifth Superman entry. The cast clearly lost interest after the initial trilogy, but they drag along an empty script for a while. However, it’s the visual effects that really bring the film down, and the action is somehow worse than in the previous three installments. Reeve’s paralysis in 1995 meant that the series could never recover, and it would be almost 20 years before Warner Brothers attempted a reboot.

#2: “Batman & Robin” (1997)

8 years before the saving grace that was “Batman Begins,” star George Clooney thought he had destroyed Batman as a big screen character with this comic book parody. Initially a sequel to “Batman Forever,” “Batman & Robin” follows the dynamic duo as they take on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze. Almost everything that comes out of Arnie’s mouth is a cheesy one-liner, in a script written by Akiva Goldsman, the same man who won an Academy Award for 2001’s “A Beautiful Mind.” It actually passes ‘so bad it’s good’ before the halfway mark, and not even the star-studded cast could help keep the franchise alive.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable, or in this case dishonorable, mentions:
- “The Punisher” (1989)
- “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009)
- “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III” (1993)

#1: “Steel” (1997)

Shaquille O’Neal: basketball legend, TV personality, honorary US deputy marshal – but lead actor in a superhero movie? Not so much. “Steel” stars Shaw as John Henry Irons by day, a former weapons designer and all-round good guy, but by night he’s a crime-fighting block of metal. Of the four characters DC comics introduced after its Death of Superman arc, Irons could be considered the least popular, and this movie somehow makes him even less appealing. Despite its awful performances, superhero clichés and hard-to-forget basketball puns, you would be forgiven for not knowing this particular movie ever existed - and O’Neal, along with the rest of the world, probably wishes it didn’t.

Do you agree with our list? Which superhero movie do you feel embarrassed just watching? For more entertaining top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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