An interesting character in the comics, the plastic-looking swamp suit and campy villain (played by Louis Jordan, no less) pretty much drove a stake of holly through its heart. Although there was that shot of an unconscious Adrienne Barbeau being carried through the swamp.
9. Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD (TV movie, 1998)
David Hasselhoff — toward the end of his run on “Baywatch” — as the cigar-chomping, eyepatch-wearing hero? It was enough to make you want to cover the other eye, too.
8. Howard the Duck (1986)
Even in the comics, the idea of an anthropomorphic duck being romantic with a human woman was a tad creepy. But there are really no words to describe how unfortunate it was on screen.
7. Superman (1978)
While generally considered a firstrate movie overall, the campy villains (specifically, Ned Beatty as Lex Luthor’s sidekick) and kicker in which Superman flies around the globe to turn back time remain sore points. As my brother said at the time, “If he can do that, why bother trying to stop anything in advance?”
6. Superman II (1980)
More silliness, nothing worse than the “kiss of forgetfulness,” in which Superman inexplicably erases Lois Lane’s memory that he’s Clark Kent, after he “trips” in the Honeymoon Suite.
5. Superman III (1983) and IV (1987)
Really, so much from which to choose, so little time — from casting Richard Pryor for comic relief to Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor’s spiky-haired nephew and micro-budgeted special effects.
4. Captain America (1990)
It’s kind of a toss-up regarding which was more awful: This theatrical version, starring Matt Salinger, or a 1979 TV movie with a motorcycle-riding Reb Brown in what looked like a football helmet.
3. Doc Savage (1975)
The 1930s pulp hero was enjoying a Marvel Comics resurgence when the unforgivably campy movie starring Ron Ely was released. Fans should have known it was a stinker from the trailer, when Doc’s eye literally twinkles and he tells a woman who says she’s in love with him, “Mona, you’re a brick!”
2. Fantastic Four (1978)
Normally, an animated Saturday-morning series would draw a bit of a pass, but this one carries a special asterisk: Since one member of the quartet, the Human Torch, had been separately optioned for a movie that never happened, the producers replaced him with a wisecracking robot named H.E.R.B.I.E. — presumably because “R2D2” was taken.
1. Batman & Robin (1997)
Although many fixated on the Caped Crusader’s codpiece, the real crime here was one of tone, as director Joel Schumacher’s cheeky take virtually brought the character full circle from Tim Burton’s dark 1989 feature to the 1960s “Wham! Biff! Pow!” TV show. So bad, in hindsight, it might have helped drive Arnold Schwarzenegger into politics.