Torture Media

There are a lot of truly awful movies and books out there.  Some of them you’ve seen/read, and some of them you’ve avoided like the plague.  And then there are those movies/books that you’ve heard were awful, but haven’t seen/read to judge for yourself.  We’re here to deal with that last category.

Torture Cinema is an regular feature where we watch bad science fiction and fantasy movies so you don’t have to.  Each segment features our detailed criticisms of a particular film, from our likes and dislikes.  Every movie also receives a grade (all reviewed movies w/ grades are listed below).  We’ve also recently started the Torture Literature feature, which follows the same logic as Torture Cinema.  This will be an irregular addition.  Lastly, we will occasionally review good films for special occasions (like anniversaries). See the bottom of the page for details about recent special non-Torture episodes!

If you’d like to suggest a bad SF/F/H movie or book for us to watch, feel free to send us an email (skiffyandfanty[at]gmail[dot]com), leave a comment anywhere on this site, or send a message to our Twitter account.  All suggestions will eventually show up on our monthly Torture Cinema poll, with exception to certain months.  (Note:  We’re interested in less obscure works.  There are lots of awful indie and unheard of films/books.  We want to watch/read the stuff that some people might reasonably have heard about.)

Torture Cinema Reviews:

The First Torture

In the Name of the KingIn the Name of the King (2007)
(Uwe Boll; Jason Statham, John Rhys Davies, Ray Liotta, etc.)
Grade:

  • Shaun (D- Amended to a D+)
  • Jen (D+)
  • Average (D Amended to a D+ average)

Featured in Episode Fifteen

The Second Torture

The Guyver (1991)
(Screaming Mad George and Steve Wang; Mark Hamill)
Grade:

  • Shaun (D-)
  • Jen (F)
  • Average (F+)

Featured in Episode Eighteen.

The Third Torture

Battlefield Earth

Battlefield Earth (2000)
(Roger Christian, Corey Mandell, and J.D. Shapiro; John Travolta, Forest Whitaker, Kim Coates, and Barry Pepper)
Grade:

  • Shaun (C-)
  • Jen (C)
  • Average (C-ish)

Featured in Episode Twenty-one.

The Fourth Torture

Creep (2004)
(Franka Potente and Sean Harris; dir. Christopher Smith)
Grade:

  • Shaun (C-)
  • Jen (C)
  • Average (C-ish)

Featured in Episode Twenty-four.

The Fifth Torture

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
(John Call, Leonard Hicks, and Vincent Beck)
Grades:

  • Shaun (D-)
  • Jen (C-)
  • Average (D-ish)

Featured in Episode Twenty-nine

The Sixth Torture

The Last Airbender (2010)
(Dev Patel, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis; M. Night Shyamalan)
Grades:

  • Shaun (F-)
  • Jen (F)
  • Overall (F-ish)

Featured in Episode 2.6

The Seventh Torture

Dungeons & Dragons (2000)
(Jeremy Irons, Justin Whalin, Marlon Wayans, Thora Birch, and Bruce Payne)
Grades:

  • Shaun (D-)
  • Jen (F-)
  • Overall (Fish)

Featured in Episode 3.1

The Eight Torture

Alone in the Dark (2005)
(Christian Slater and Tara Reid; Uwe Boll)
Grades:

  • Shaun (C-)
  • Jen (C-)
  • Overall (C-)

Featured in Episode 3.3

The Ninth Torture

Batman & Robin (1997)
(George Clooney, Uma Thurman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris O’Donnell; Joel Schumacher)
Grades

  • Shaun (F+)
  • Jen (D)
  • Overall (D-)

Featured in Episode 3.9

The Tenth Torture

The Wicker Man (2006)
(Nicolas Cage)
Grades

  • Shaun (D+)
  • Jen (D)
  • Overall (Dish)

Featured in Episode 4.2

The Eleventh Torture

War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave (2008)
(C. Thomas Howell, Christopher Reid, and Kim Little)
Grades:

  • Shaun (F-)
  • Jen (F-)
  • Overall (F-)

Featured in Episode 4.6

The Twelfth Torture 

Mansquito (2005)
(Corin Nemec, Musetta Vander, and Matt Jordan)
Grades:

  • Shaun (C-)
  • Jen (C+)
  • Overall (C)

Featured in Episode 5.1

The Thirteenth Torture 

2012 (2009)
(John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Chiwetel Ejiofor; Roland Emmerich)
Grades:

  • Shaun (D+)
  • Jen (C)
  • Overall (C-)

Featured in Episode 5.5

The Fourteenth Torture

Jason X (2001)
(Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, and Lisa Ryder; James Isaac)
Grades:

  • Shaun (F+)
  • Jen (F+)
  • Overall (F+)

Featured in Episode 5.9

The Fifteenth Torture

Rare Exports (2010)
(Jorma Tommila, Peeter Jakobi, and Onni Tommila; Jalmari Helander)
Grades:

  • Shaun (B)
  • Jen (B+)
  • Overall (Bish)

Featured in Episode 6.7

The Sixteenth Torture

Twilight (2008)
(Kirsten Stewart, Robert Pattison, and Billy Burke; Catherine Hardwicke)
Grades:

  • Shaun (F)
  • Jen (F)
  • Overall (F)

Featured in Episode 2

The Seventeenth Torture

Twilight: New Moon (2009)
(Kirsten Stewart, Robert Pattison, and Billy Burke; Chris Weitz)
Grades:

  • Shaun (F-)
  • Jen (F)
  • Overall (Fish)

Featured in Episode 90

The Eighteenth Torture

Twilight: Eclipse (2010)
(Kirsten Stewart, Robert Pattison, and Taylor Lautner; Chris Weitz)
Grades:

  • Shaun (F+)
  • Jen (D)
  • Overall (D-)

Featured in Episode 91.

The Nineteenth Torture

Doom (2005)
(Dwayne Johnson and Karl Urban)
Grade:

  • Shaun (D+)
  • Jen (B-)
  • Paul (D-)
  • Normal Pants (C)
  • Average (C)

Featured in Episode 100

The Twentieth Torture

Twilight:  Breaking Dawn (Part 1) (2011)
(Kirsten Stewart, Robert Pattison, and Taylor Lautner)
Grade:

  • Shaun (F-)
  • Jen (F-)
  • Average (F-)

Featured in Episode 104

The Twenty-first Torture

Howard the Duck (1986)
(Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, and Tim Robbins))
Grade:

  • Shaun (D+)
  • Paul (D)
  • Average (Dish)

Featured in Episode 106

The Twenty-second Torture

Midnight Chronicles (2010)
(Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, and Tim Robbins)
Grade:

  • Shaun (D-)
  • Paul (D)
  • Julia (D-)
  • Average (D)

Featured in Episode 111

The Twenty-third Torture

Season of the Witch (2011)
(Nicolas Cage, Ron Pearlman, and Claire Foy; Dominic Sena)
Grade:

  • Shaun (D+)
  • Paul (C)
  • Julia (D)
  • Average (D+ish)

Featured in Episode 116

The Twenty-fourth Torture

Twilight:  Breaking Dawn (Part Two) (2011)
(Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner; Bill Condon)
Grade:

  • Shaun (D)
  • Jen (D)
  • Average (D)(But we would give it an A for being over…)

Featured in Episode 118

The Twenty-fifth Torture

Zardoz PosterZardoz (1974)
(Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, and Sarah Kestelman; John Boorman)
Grade:

  • Shaun (B-)
  • Paul (C+)
  • Julia (C+)
  • Keffy (C+)
  • Average (C++)

Featured in Episode 121

The Twenty-sixth Torture

Star Wars Holiday SpecialThe Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
(Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, and Anthony Daniels)
Grade:

  • Shaun (F-)
  • Jen (D-)
  • Julia (F-)
  • Paul (F-)
  • Average (F- ish)

Featured in Episode 123

The Twenty-seventh Torture

Jumper (2008)
(Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, and Samuel L. Jackson; Doug Liman)
Grade:

  • Shaun (C-)
  • Jen (C)
  • Julia (D)
  • Paul (D)
  • Average (D+ ish)

Featured in Episode 130

The Twenty-eighth Torture

10,000 BC Poster10,000 B.C. (2008)
(Camilla Belle, Steven Strait, and Cliff Curtis; Roland Emmerich)
Grade:

  • Shaun (F+)
  • Jen (F)
  • Julia (F)
  • Average (F ish)

Featured in Episode 133

The Twenty-ninth Torture

King Arthur (2004)
(Clive Owen, Kiera Knightly, Mads Mikkelsen; Antoine Fuqua)
Grade:

  • Shaun (C+)
  • Paul (B-)
  • Julia (C+)
  • Average (C+ish)

Featured in Episode 138

The Thirtieth Torture

Eragon PosterEragon (2006)
(Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory; Stefen Fangmeier)
Grade:

  • Shaun (C-)
  • Paul (D+)
  • Julia (B-)
  • Average (C-ish)

Featured in Episode 144

The Thirty-first Torture

The Avengers -- 1998The Avengers (1998)
(Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, and Sean Connery; Jeremiah S. Chechik)
Grade:

  • Shaun (F)
  • Jen (D)
  • Julia (F-)
  • Ian Mond (F-)
  • Average (F)

Featured in Episode 150

The Thirty-second Torture

Birdemic -- Shock and TerrorBirdemic:  Shock and Terror (2010)
(James Nguyen; Alan Bagh, Whitney Moore, )
Grade:

  • Shaun (Q or F-)
  • Paul (F)
  • Julia (C)
  • Average (F+ or K for Killer)

Featured in Episode 153

The Thirty-third Torture

TransformersTransformers (2007)
(Michael Bay; Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox, and Josh Duhamel)
Grade:

  • Shaun (C)
  • Jen (C)
  • Paul (C)
  • Julia (F-)
  • Average (D+)

Featured in Episode 158

The Thirty-fourth Torture

Sharknado

Sharknado (2013)
(Tara Reid and Ian Ziering)
Grades:

  • Shaun (D)
  • Jen (B-)
  • Julia (C+)
  • Mike (C)
  • Average (C)

Featured in Episode 169

The Thirty-fifth Torture

The Gate (1987)

The Gate (1987)
(Stephen Dorff, Christa Denton; Tibor Takacs)
Grades:

  • Shaun (C-)
  • Julia (C-)
  • Paul (C-)
  • Average (C-)

Featured in Episode 173

The Thirty-Sixth Torture

Reign of Fire

Reign of Fire (2002)
(Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, and Gerard Butler; Rob Bowman)
Grades:

  • Shaun (C)
  • Jen (B+)
  • Julia (C-)
  • Paul (C-)
  • Average (C-ish)

Featured in Episode 180

The Thirty-seventh Torture

Alvin and the Chipmunks -- 2007

Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)
(Jason Lee, David Cross, and Cameron Richardson; Tim Hill)
Grades:

  • Shaun (D)
  • Paul (D)
  • Julia (D)
  • Average (D)

Featured in Episode 184

The Thirty-Eighth Torture

Transformers -- Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers 2:  Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
(Michael Bay; Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and Josh Duhamel)
Grades:

  • Shaun (F)
  • Julia (F-)
  • Paul (F+)
  • Jen (D-)
  • Overall (Fish)

Featured in Episode 190

The Thirty-Ninth Torture

Sons of Steel Poster

 

Sons of Steel (1988)
(Rob Hartley, Jeff Duff, and Dagmar Blahova; Gary L. Keady)
Grades:

  • Shaun (C-)
  • Paul (C-)
  • Jen (F-)
  • Julia (A+)
  • Danny (B)
  • Overall (C-)

Featured in Episode 195.

The Fortieth Torture

Mannequin (1987)

 

Mannequin (1987)
(Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall, Estelle Getty, and James Spader; Michael Gottlieb)
Grades:

  • Shaun (F-)
  • Julia (D)
  • Jen (D)
  • Overall (D-)

Featured in Episode 197

The Forty-first Torture

Highlander II -- the Quickening -- PosterHighlander II: the Quickening (1991)
(Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Michael Ironside, and Virginia Madsen; Russell Mulcahy)
Grades:

  • Shaun (F)
  • Jen (A+)
  • Julia (F+)
  • Mike (F-)
  • Average (D-)

Featured in Episode 202

Torture Literature Reviews:

The First Literary Torture

Modelland by Tyra Banks (2011)
Grade:

  • Shaun (F-)
  • Jen (F-)
  • Average (F-)

Featured in Episode 6.3

Non-Torture Reviews:

The Third Anniversary Special

Stargate PosterStargate (1994)
(Roland Emmerich; Kurt Russell, James Spader, and Jaye Davidson)
Grade:

  • Shaun (B)
  • Jen (A+)
  • Julia (C)
  • Paul (B+)
  • Average (B+)

Featured in Episode 147

11 Responses to “Torture Media”

  1. Shaun February 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    You guys should totally do Batman & Robin for your next installment of torture cinema. This wonderful 1997 gem features the governator, which all but guarantees horribleness, but goes a step farther by having him play a genius tortured by the loss of his wife. It would be a bit like expecting your dog to play a decent Hamlet. The diamond powered lazer like freeze ray is science fiction fail at it’s finest. Val Kilmer as Batman was just a bad idea all around, and they top it off with truly horrible writing. Yep, this bad boy is the total package.

    Oh my god, I just remembered that Alicia Silverstone as Bat Girl shows up in this movie. What a disaster.

    • skiffyandfanty February 17, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      It’s on the list! Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Kyle September 10, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    May I suggest The THing that’s coming out next month? Seems suitable.

  3. Michael Budd April 22, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    All right, how about the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still for torture media? It took all the good bits from the original and stripped them out for bad writing and overblown CG.

    • shaunduke April 23, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      Added to the list. Thanks! :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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