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12 Worst Comic Book Movies Ever Made

12 Worst Comic Book Movies Ever Made

Just recently I did the Top 12 Best Comic Book Movies Ever Made. But  let’s not forget the Worst Comic Book Movies.


When a comic book movie’s good, it makes you feel like a kid. But sadly some are so bad that you begin to worry that you are too old to be watching this shit.

Recently I made a list of  lamest comic book characters. Now it’s time to call out films that have disgraced  fanboys the world over.

Now I haven’t had the misfortune of seeing  “Jonah Hex”, “The Spirit”, “Catwoman”, “Elektra” or “Steel” but I’m sure they’re bad. I’m just going by what’s traumatized me firsthand.

If you love watching bad movies, clicking on the title image will take you to Amazon where you can get them on Blu-ray or DVD.


12. “Judge Dredd”-1995

[amazon_image id=”B004WQ59DG” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Judge Dredd [Limited Edition Steelbook] [Blu-ray][/amazon_image]

“Judge Dredd” , the comic series, is a wry dystopia fusion of “Mad Max” and “Blade Runner”. But you’d never it know it by seeing this turd.

Dredd lives in a world where there’s no need for the court system. A law officer can judge and kill you on the spot, no trial needed. If he truly existed, I’d fear for all involved in this film.

Sylvester Stallone derailed the entire production by taking a dump on the source material. He took off his helmet (you never see Dredd’s face sans helmet in the series), and lost all the character’s dark humor. Plus Rob Schneider’s in it. Never a good sign.

Read my review of the new Dredd movie, a much improved take on the character. 


11. “Swamp Thing”-1982

[amazon_image id=”B000A7Q1UQ” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Swamp Thing[/amazon_image]

Further proof Wes Craven is a hack is borne out by this clunker. Taking all the subtlety and grace away from the comic character , we’re just left with a guy in a bad rubber suit who fights another villain in a bad rubber suit. It’s Godzilla without the character development. Let that thought rattle around in your head for a minute. As a kid I loved it though, so I have a bit of a soft spot for it nostalgically.

(You can catch this on Netflix Streaming)


10. “Howard The Duck”-1986

[amazon_image id=”B001MWUWU8″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Howard the Duck[/amazon_image]

Y’know, I’m not sure why we were shocked that “Phantom Menace” sucked.  “Howard The Duck” should have sounded the alarm. Sure, Lucas didn’t direct it, but he sure as hell produced it. The comic character had some sardonic charm, but this duck was a dick and makes you pine for pâté, and we all know what that resembles.


9. “Superman 3”-1983

[amazon_image id=”B000IJ79X4″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Superman III (Deluxe Edition)[/amazon_image]

Unlike the previous entries where the humor was balanced with action, the comedic tone was overbearing here, not to mention ineffective.  Richard Pryor  couldn’t channel his genius in a kid friendly film, thereby throwing everything off course. And the plot involving a supercomputer was ridiculous even in the pre-internet age.

You could tell Christopher Reeve enjoyed playing the “bad” Superman when his persona was split in two. Making him the only person who had fun with “Superman 3”.


8. “Green Lantern”-2011

[amazon_image id=”B004EPZ07U” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Green Lantern (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray][/amazon_image]

This film could have been Warner Bros “Star Wars”. Green Lantern’s mythology  had lots of cinematic possibilities. But when Ryan Reynolds was cast, us geeks got nervous. Something about Reynold’s just reeks of douche, and the terrible script did him no favors. And how about that CGI? I’ve seen better FX in “The Last Starfighter”. Green Lantern should be renamed Green Lanturd. Such a bummer.


7. “Ghost Rider”-2007

[amazon_image id=”B000OVLBIU” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Ghost Rider (Extended Cut) [Blu-ray][/amazon_image]

Marvel’s Ghost Rider has a cool name, awesome character design and a cool back story. But writer/director Mark Steven Johnston clearly didn’t get the memo that people didn’t like “Daredevil”, so he made a film adaptation that’s even worse. Not that I expect greatness from the screenwriter of “Grumpy Old Men”. To make matters worse,  Nicholas Cage chews through the scenery like a psychotic termite. I haven’t seen Part 2, and neither should you.


6. “Spider-Man 3”-2007

[amazon_image id=”B007L4HET8″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Spider-Man 3 (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray][/amazon_image]

Superhero fans got spoiled with Sam Raimi’s first 2 Spider-Man flicks. But his final film succumbed to Superman-3 syndrome. Spider-Man was split into good and evil (in this case Emo-Peter Parker. He’s a mean cat when his bangs get brushed forward!). And it had a dance sequence. Unacceptable!  And they messed up Venom, a character who should’ve been a highlight. Check out the cast feigning enthusiasm after a film premiere in this painful promo clip. Hilarious.



5. “Captain America”  TV movies (late 70’s) and Theatrical release (1990).

[amazon_image id=”B005E7SF7E” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Captain America[/amazon_image][amazon_image id=”B005G5NPD8″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Captain America / Captain America II: Death Too Soon[/amazon_image]

Captain America is a hard character to translate without being too corny. But hats off to Marvel, they finally pulled it off. I say finally because many have forgotten the terrible made for TV 70’s movies starring Reb Brown, where he was basically a cut-rate Evil Knievel. Imagine an episode of “Chips” minus the thrills. And many don’t know that another low-budget  theatrical movie came out in 1990, which starred Matt Salinger. He’s the son of author J.D. Salinger, and that’s where his claim to fame began and ended.

Now why does he have rubber ears on his mask?! And why does the Nazi Villain the Red Skull speak Italian?! Ugh.

Watch the trailer:


4. “Superman 4: The Quest For Peace”-1987

[amazon_image id=”B000IJ79XE” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Superman IV – The Quest for Peace (Deluxe Edition)[/amazon_image]

Hard to believe it could get worse than “Superman 3”, but it did.  Part 4 was produced by Cannon Films, who were notoriously cheap, and oh, how it shows. And the villain Nuclear Man is piss poor. He’s created by Lex Luthor  placing a strand of Superman’s hair on a nuclear missile and then shooting in into the sun. Yes, you read that right.

The movie just gets dumber by the minute reaching the greatest level of idiocy at the climax. Superman’s new love interest Lacy (played by Mariel Hemingway) gets abducted by Nuclear Man and flown to the moon. Superman rescues her and it ends happily. But that doesn’t answer the questions; how can she breathe in outer space? How can she talk in outer space?  And why did I waste 90 minutes of my life watching this?!

*Check out my list of most unintentionally funny comic book moments.


3. “Spawn”-1997

[amazon_image id=”B003B2C92G” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Spawn [Blu-ray][/amazon_image]

Some films are also so bad that you block them from your mind. “Spawn” is one of those. I do recall being very annoyed by John Leguizamo’s “Clown” character. I also recall the lackluster finale that happened….in a living room. Yep, that’s right. Not some epic battle in a city, or outer space, or an exotic locale. Just a bad CGI fight in someone’s home while a gas log burns in the background. Sweet Jesus.


2. “Batman & Robin”-1997

[amazon_image id=”B000B5XOXO” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Batman & Robin (Two-Disc Special Edition)[/amazon_image]

Rarely has the word #2 been more appropriate than for this film.

Christopher Nolan did such a good job with his Batman films (check out my Dark Knight Rises Review) that you can almost forget this disaster. Almost.

Joel Schumacher really kicked Batman fans in the nuts when he made “Batman and Robin”.  It was campier than the 60’s Tv show, but without the charm. George Clooney and Uma Thurman couldn’t even class it up given the awful script. And they weren’t helped by wretched  performances from Chris O’Donnell and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnie never met a one-liner he didn’t butcher, but his lines as Mr. Freeze are intolerable. “Kick some ice”, “The Iceman Cometh”, “You won’t put me in the cooler”! Get it? Get it? Every scene involving him fighting the Dynamic Duo looks like the Ice Capades. And O’Donell screaming “Cowabunga” while he rides a flying surfboard makes my blood pressure skyrocket. And let’s not forget the opening sequence with it’s tight shots of Clooney and O’Donell’s costumed asses. And the nipple suits. On second thought, yes. Let’s forget. Dear God, let me forget.

*Check out my blog about why Batman is The Best Superhero Ever.


1.“Fantastic Four”-1994

Craptastic 4

20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four movies were terrible. But believe it or not, it gets worse. There was a low-budget Fantastic Four film made in 1994, but never intended for release. It was only made so that legendary low-budget producer Roger Corman could keep the film rights. But the director, cast and crew were not told of this fact. This makes it even more unforgivable in that they actually were trying to make a good movie. I was (un)lucky to see it years ago (You catch most of it on YouTube) and it’s hard to put into words how bad this film is. The sub par FX are laughable, the nauseating romance between the Thing and his longtime love Alicia is ridiculous, and “The Jeweler” is a annoying bestial villain that makes Warwick Davis’s “Leprechaun” seem charming.


Jut check out the trailer. Some things you must see to believe :


So that’s my Top 12 WORST Comic Book Movies Ever Made. Do you agree? Feel I was too harsh? What would you have added? Feel free to chime in below. And you might also enjoy my list of Best Worst Movies which covers all genres of film.

**And you might enjoy downloading these Rifftrax commentaries (which feature some of the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000) for Ghost Rider and Spider-Man 3. Helps take the pain away.

And be sure to read our list of the 10 Best MST3K episodesAnd click here to read my new interview with Joel Hodgson!


About SLIS

Middle Aged Gen-Exer obsessed with Alternative rock, metal, cult movies, comic books and cable TV.

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17 Responses to 12 Worst Comic Book Movies Ever Made

  1. Jack Sommersby August 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    “Judge Dredd”? Well, I kinda liked it, mainly because of the solidity of the directing by the underrated Danny Cannon, but I wouldn’t sing praises about it, either.

    “Green Lantern” I did like — as I also liked the also-berated “Daredevil.”

    “Swamp Thing”? Adrienne Barbeau’s awesome tits that I’d hungered to see the year before in “Escape From New York.” Other than that…

    Am so glad you hated ‘Spawn” as much as I did.

    • SLIS August 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

      I never saw the “director’s cut” of “Daredevil”, did you? Is it that different? If I could rent it I’d give it a shot but I had a hard time with that one. The playground fight scene rubbed me the wrong way and the FX shots seemed Matrix-light.

      I still enjoy “Swamp Thing” on a campy level, but it is such a train wreck.

      Remember Kurt Russell’s quip about Barbeau in the EFNY commentary?

  2. Jack Sommersby August 2, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Yep, I do — and it seemed to make Carpenter really uncomfortable. I haven’t been able to see the director’s-cut of “Daredevil,” either — though I’m not surprised that there’s one being that the last third does feel like some relevant scenes got cut out. With tbhe “Captain America” movie, the director, Albert Pyun, *claimed* that it was studio-butchered, but he’s been saying that about virtually all of the film of his that have been attacked. Haven’t seen the 1994 “Fantastic Four,” but I did turn off the Tim Story-directed one because it was so flat and uninvolving.

  3. SLIS August 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    The irony of his name…Tim Story can tell anything but…

  4. SLIS August 3, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    Y’know I forgot that movie The Phantom, and also the Man-Thing film a few years back. Have you seen those? Neither looked great but I always felt Billy Zane never got his big break. Not even Titanic.


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