Spotlight: Battlefield Earth


Roger Ebert has sold two books of negative reviews, and at his website you can peruse the “Your Movie Sucks™ files,” consisting of recent reviews awarding less than two stars.


Ebert says these are for “readers who confess they are in the mood to watch a really bad movie on some form of video,” but the reality, I suspect, is that there is just something satisfying about a good takedown. It's why “Mystery Science Theater 3000” is so popular.

Of course, the bigger the target, the more satisfying the takedown. At I learn that the #1 film at the IMDb Bottom 100, the worst film in history according to voters collectively, is … Night Train to Mundo Fine (1966). What? Exactly. It's a movie you have never heard of, unless you saw it, like the voters who voted it to the bottom of the heap, on ”MST3K.”

#91 on the list is Battlefield Earth, or Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 as I learn it is called in full — a movie that is legendary for its badness, deservedly so. A big-budget movie with A-list stars like John Travolta and Forest Whitaker (but for some reason with the not especially well-known Barry Pepper in the protagonist role). It came out in 2000, offering me an early shot at a really scathing review.

How bad is Battlefield Earth? This bad.

Roger Ebert, Spotlight