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Top Ten Donkeys 2005

Top Ten Donkeys 2005

As usual, the year delivered its fair share of movie donkeys – films so bad, you had to wonder why they ever got made.

Guy Ritchie’s Revolver was widely derided (I missed it), while some blockbusters, such as Dukes of Hazzard proved a pointless attempt to cash in on the memory of a popular TV series. Then there were the likes of The Honeymooners and The Family Stone which were just too dispiriting to mention.

So which ones feature in our top 10 of the worst of 2005?

10) The Devil’s Rejects

The Devil's Rejects

Starring: Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie
What we said: It’s difficult to imagine a more sadistic and unpleasant cinema experience than watching Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects. A loose-follow up to his critically-derided House of 1,000 Corpses, Rejects is a twisted ‘road movie’ that revels in its gratuity – be it violence, sex or swearing.

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9) The Family Stone (PG)

The Family Stone

Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Dermot Mulroney, Diane Keaton
What we said: It’s difficult to know quite what the makers of The Family Stone were trying to achieve when watching this uneven and dislikeable festive offering. Part romantic comedy and part heart-rending family drama, the film consistently has trouble deciding which it wants to be and subsequently ends up a messy, sprawling affair that feels all over the place in terms of tone and content.

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8) Boogeyman (15)

Boogeyman

Starring: Barry Watson
What we said: This coming-of-age horror is billed as a multi-layered film that combines moments of exceptional horror frights and ‘don’t look’ terrifying moments with a characterisation and storytelling that are more often found in psychological drama. Yet while there are jumps aplenty (13, we’re told), the film is seriously lacking in terms of character and logic. It therefore comes as little surprise to find that Stephen Kay also directed the lamentable Get Carter remake, starring Sylvester Stallone.

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7) The Dukes of Hazzard (PG)

Dukes of Hazzard

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds
What we said: It’s difficult to know where to start with this blockbuster, given its blatant disregard for either the good-natured tone of the series or the basic principles of film-making. But director, Jay Chandrasekhar, who has already been responsible for the lamentable Super Troopers and Club Dread, has delivered a truly derisory experience that is, in itself, a Hazzard to viewers.

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6) Are We There Yet? (PG)

Are We There Yet?

Starring: Ice Cube, Aleisha Allen, Philip Daniel Bolden
What we said: Are We There Yet? is supposed to be a feel-good family comedy for the holiday period. Instead, it’s a nauseating road trip to hell that was even passed over by Adam Sandler (whose made his fair share of comic stinkers). Director, Brian Levant, fails to draw a single note-worthy performance from his lightweight cast and resorts to ever-more desperate measures to provide some excitement.

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5) The Pacifier (PG)

The Pacifier

Starring: Vin Diesel, Tate Donovan
What we said: Given The Pacifier’s apparent obsession with excrement, it’s little wonder to find that a foul smell hangs over much of what this so-called family comedy has to offer…. The film struggles from the outset to escape its feeling of over-familiarity but is let down completely by its crass sense of humour and bad taste jokes.

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4) Seed of Chucky (15)

Seed of Chucky

Starring: Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly
What we said: Writer-director, Don Mancini, attempts to breathe new life into the Chucky franchise by turning it into a Hollywood satire but is neither clever nor funny enough to make it work. The in-jokes appear laboured from the outset, while the humour is mostly crass, involving such visual gags as doll nudity, masturbation and the artificial insemination of a woman by a doll.

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3) Creep (18)

Creep

Starring: Franka Potente
What we said: As the contrivances begin to pile up, the film becomes increasingly more sickening, with Christopher Smith attempting to cover over the plot cracks with shock tactics and gore. The fate of one female victim, in a hidden laboratory, is particularly gruesome (and, quite frankly, exploitative), while the drawn-out finale smacks of desperation. By the time the film has reached its ludicrous conclusion you’ll feel as drained and as grimy as a real day spent on the Underground at the height of the Summer season.

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2) Nine Songs (18)

Nine Songs

Starring: Kieran O’Brien, Margo Stilley
What we said: At 69 minutes, it’s also overlong, reducing viewers to virtual voyeurs while attemping to get them off with scenes of bondage, penetration, ejaculation and self-gratification. The prudish are certain to be up in arms, while even those with open minds will have difficulty understanding Winterbottom’s motivation, given the lack of anything meaningful throughout. As an exploration of sex, it’s a curiously impenetrable affair that doesn’t even have the ability to bore its viewers stiff.

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1) Twentynine Palms (18)

29 Palms

Starring: David Wissak, Katia Golubeva
What we said: For nearly two hours, viewers are expected to form some sort of empathy and understanding with these two misfits but Dumont’s film is as dead and remote as the desert that it is based in. As if that weren’t enough, proceedings then take a completely unexplained twist that is both nasty and seemingly unnecessary. David and Katia are ambushed by rednecks and viciously assaulted, paving the way for a truly unfathomable conclusion.

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