10 Summer Blockbuster Movies That Should Never Have Happened

And you thought Gods Of Egypt was bad.

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20th Century Fox

Aside from being terrific entertainment, what do Jaws, Aliens and Die Hard have in common? They were all released in the US during the summer, which in this era of Transformers and Pirates Of The Caribbean sequels is enough to make you feel nostalgic.

It’s easy to lament the rise of Optimus Prime and Captain Jack Sparrow while remembering when a summer movie meant Raiders Of The Lost Ark or Terminator 2, but to an extent it’s also misremembering the past. After all, the “good old days” also gave us The Cannonball Run, Days Of Thunder and Another 48 Hrs, but you don’t hear anyone wax nostalgic about them, do you?

Summer has always been the season for formulaic, generously budgeted entertainment aimed at a general audience. Sometimes the movies exceed expectations on go on to become classics, while at other times they seem to have been made for (and by) people with exceptionally bland tastes.

Occasionally, you’ll see a movie so dismal that you not only have to check your brain at the your door, but also your sense of shame and disbelief. These kinds of pictures prove that, like the poor, bad movies have always been with us.

10. Van Helsing

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Universal Pictures

Stephen Sommers is a director from the Michael Bay school of filmmaking who thinks that more is more and you can never have too much of ….well, everything. With him at the helm, Van Helsing quickly becomes interminable as Sommers piles one noisy, repetitive action sequence on top of another and, for bad measure, gives the material a camp attitude.

Whether they’re a deformed hunchback or a Vatican priest, every character gets the same lame, painfully unfunny dialogue. When a man transforms into a werewolf, someone says, “Why does it smell like wet dog in here?” Someone tells Frankenstein’s monster: “I don’t know if you’ve seen a mirror lately, but you stick out in a crowd.”

Throw in a comic relief sidekick for Dracula (played by Kevin J O’Connor, who was also the annoying sidekick in The Mummy and Deep Rising) and you’ve got a film on the level of Scooby Doo! Where Are You? All that’s missing is a climactic unmasking.


Ian Watson is the author of 'Midnight Movie Madness', a 600+ page guide to "bad" movies from 'Reefer Madness' to 'Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.'