Top 10 Worst Superhero Movies That Will Make You Regret Your Sight

Tags: #BadComicBookMovies ,   #Daredevil ,   #BatmanAndRobin ,   #SuperheroMovies

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2022-06-16 18:02:45

Currently, growing generations of superhero geeks have all rights to feel privileged. Not only because there's way less chance for them to get bullied, but also as superheroes went mainstream. Indeed, superheroes and their heroics have spread beyond the geek community and become a part of popular culture. However, before establishing a profitable model for making superhero movies, many were made with variations in quality. This top ten list will mention the best of the worst superhero movies, the shiniest examples of disastrous filmmaking. 

10. Superman IV: Quest For Peace (1987)

Fourth isn't the charm, apparently

The first "Superman" was the first high-budget blockbuster among superhero movies. This one paved the road for future sequels and other films about comic book heroes. However, after a decent sequel, the franchise went downhill with "Superman III." Unfortunately, the third installment of the popular franchise spent the most time on Richard Pryor's antics. 

However, "Superman III" was a pure masterpiece compared to "Superman IV: Quest for Peace." Cannon made this one as a company known for B-movies, and the production suffered from severe budget cuts. Hence, the final product is a barely watchable, incoherent mess. Back then, it looked like Canon succeeded in killing Superman. Fortunately, the Man of Steel is alive and well, thanks to the DC Extended Universe.   

9. Captain America (1990)

Cap's Adriatic adventure is horrific

Being an iconic Marvel character and one of its central heroes, Captain America had the privilege to get a movie in the early 1990s. Sadly, Marvel wasn't careful with their intellectual property, so the rights ended up in the wrong hands. The movie was shot in co-production with Yugoslavian Jadran film, and most of the cast were local actors. 

The only notable exceptions were Ned Beatty and Matt Salinger, son of the famous J.D. Salinger. As a result, the entire movie looks like an amateur cosplay project. "Captain America" on the Adriatic Sea was one of the main reasons Marvel started taking better care of their intellectual property. Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Cap got the credit he rightfully deserves. 

8. Batman and Robin (1997)

Neon, pastel, and the armored nipples

This isn't the last time we would mention 1997 as the worst year for comic book movies. One of the main reasons for that is the Batman adaptation by Joel Schumacher. Therefore, it would be easier to name all the good things regarding "Batman and Robin." God knows why, but Schumacher set the course towards camp, neon lights, and costume nipples. 

Furthermore, we have over-the-top performances by all actors. Hence, this movie was a career killer for all people included in the production. Thankfully, the next movie, "Batman Triumphant," which would feature Nicolas Cage as Superman, was promptly canceled. The Batman franchise was left on ice for almost ten years before Nolan's trilogy and DCEU Justice League.  

7. Spawn (1997)

Spawn looked way better in 1997

 Yeah, it's 1997 again. This year was indeed cursed for all superhero lovers. As if "Batman and Robin" weren't enough, Spawn appeared. To be honest, it was the most radical movie ever made for teens at the time. It had everything a young viewer would want, including super cool armor, creative usage of weapons, morally ambivalent characters, all combined with metal, and an alternative soundtrack. Also, it was the first superhero movie with a POC protagonist

However, after a few decades, it's pretty apparent "Spawn" didn't age well, to say the least. Every single role is horribly miscast, with special effects looking like the first PlayStation graphics. Finally, everything seems half-measured at best. There were rumors about Spawn revival, with Idris Elba donning the cape and hooks.

6. Steel (1997) 

Shaq really didn't nail this one

Remember what we said about 1997? It's hard to believe that "Blade" came out just a year after. In the original comic book run, Steel was a part of the team replacing Superman after his death, along with Cyborg, Superboy, and Eradicator. In the movie, Steel is an armored homeboy protecting the hood from crime. This is the equivalent of Shaq Fu, where NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal tries to use his basketball stardom as the springboard for his movie career. 

Spoiler alert - it didn't go as intended as "Steel" looks like it was made for the Saturday morning cartoon timeslot. We're not sure anyone wanted to make such a bad movie, but we guess everyone just gave up at one moment. The best proof of "Steel" quality is that no one is trying to reboot or remake it, unlike Shaq Fu. 

5. Daredevil (2003)

Daredevil is lucky he couldn't see this one

Encouraged by the early success of Spider-Man and X-Men movies, producers started investing money in other comic book adaptations. Naturally, they hit the wall pretty soon. Daredevil is one of the quintessential Marvel heroes working on the street level, similar to Punisher. Yet, unlike Punisher, Daredevil's catholic upbringing prevents him from killing. 

To be honest, "Daredevil" had some sparks of brilliance, but overall it was pretty uneven. The director couldn't decide about the film's tone, switching from deadly serious to comically exaggerated. Consequently, this movie made Ben Affleck swear he would never act in a comic book movie. As we know, he broke that oath in the best way possible. Daredevil got a happy ending, too, within Netflix and MCU. Plus, the later director's cut version improves it a lot, but it's mostly forgotten.

4. Hulk (2003)

Stuck between the artsy and blockbuster

Similar to Captain America, Hulk is another quintessential Marvel superhero. We believe that everyone sympathizes with a withdrawn doctor with a green, explosive alter ego. Hulk has been present in the movies and TV shows since the 1970s, with legendary Lou Ferrigno in a titular role. However, Marvel made an unusual choice when they offered Ang Lee to direct "Hulk." 

The Chinese director is known for his artistic sensibility and rebellious movies. Thus, he tried to turn a movie about an angry green monster into a family drama. "Hulk" got stuck in a limbo between artistic drama and summer blockbuster, failing to achieve either of the two. Nonetheless, a reboot followed just four years later, and then he joined the rest of the Avengers in the MCU.

3. Catwoman (2004)

Oscar Curse at its full glory

It wouldn't be fair to conclude that the early 2000s only had bad Marvel movies. However, Warner Bros made "Catwoman" to even things up between Marvel and DC movies. After Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, and Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry was next in line for the leather cat costume. A year before, Berry won an Oscar for the best leading role, and "Catwoman" served as the perfect example of Oscar Curse

It's rare to find a movie without any redeeming quality, and "Catwoman" was precisely that. It lacked any resemblance of a plotline, the acting was cringeworthy, and the romantic subplot was less pleasant to watch than "Gigli" - an achievement by itself. Halle Berry took the L with dignity and managed to restore her career. Her heiress, Ann Hathaway, actually won an Oscar after the role of Catwoman.

2. Green Lantern (2011)

Failed inception of DC cinematic universe

The DC movie universe was often criticized for its dark tones and edginess. To improve that, they tried to make a fun, lighthearted, and colorful movie to begin the new Cinematic Universe. And that's where the trouble started. First, they picked Green Lantern, a universally disliked character. Then, they gave the titular role to Ryan Reynolds, who was in the middle of a string of bad comic book movies. 

The final nail in the coffin was the executive meddling without any understanding of the source material. The result was the most expensive disaster in the history of Warner Brothers studio. The writing was awful, everyone was throwing Idiot Ball around, and the main villain was the yellow cloud named after a laxative. Ryan Reynolds didn't miss mocking "Green Lantern" in "Deadpool," and Warner Brothers quickly axed the movie and started the DCEU with good old Superman. Just in case, "Man of Steel" was shot without any vivid color.

1. Fantastic Four (2015)

You can't make a worse superhero movie even if you tried

The only fantastic thing about this movie is the amount of disappointment created, despite the lowest expectations. Fantastic Four is the oldest Marvel group of superheroes, and they were the central piece of many important stories in the Marvel comic series. Yet, Fantastic Four didn't have much luck with movie adaptations. The first attempt took place during the 90s, but the movie was so bad it ended up in a bin without any release. The two movies during the 2000s were average at best and too childish. 

 However, those are masterpieces compared to the latest "Fantastic Four." The idea of making the movie with "fantastic" in its name more realistic defies any logic. The most important thing about Fantastic Four, which is family dynamic, is lost by making characters post-teens. The movie's rhythm is uneven, it rushes and drags, and it's tedious to watch. Therefore, this is a prime example of how not to make a comic book movie.   

Not every comic book movie is "Avengers" or Nolan's Batman Trilogy. Next to these great hits, there were also massive misses when transferring the superheroes onto the silver screen. However, some movies are so bad they can serve as a cautionary tale. 

What's your favorite bad movie from the bunch? Which ones would you add to our top ten list?


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