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The ten most hilariously awful fantasy movies

Inspired by this week’s ‘Warcraft’, we check out some truly terrible fantasy films

By Tom Huddleston
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Videogame-inspired epic fantasy blockbuster ‘Warcraft’ is every bit as ropey as the trailers made it look. But it joins a proud lineage of defiantly naff but often highly entertaining fantasy movies crammed with silly names and bulging torsos. Here are ten of the very best of the worst.

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10. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

Film Action and adventure

Director Peter Jackson

The setup What an ignominious end. The first two ‘Hobbit’ movies were very watchable, if a step down from the lofty peaks of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. But this final instalment is just a mess. The script bounces from tedious speechifying to really-not-funny slapstick, with far too much time devoted to characters like wimpy Alfrid. The effects look half-finished, and even Jackson admits they started shooting the big battle without really knowing what they were doing.

Most painful line ‘Would you consider just sodding off?’

It’s ridiculous because... Billy Connolly rides a pig. Enough said.

9. The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)

Film

Director Albert Pyun

The setup In the 34 years since his debut ‘The Sword and Sorcerer’, Albert Pyun has directed 51 movies. With titles like ‘Omega Doom’, ‘Kickboxer 4’ and ‘Bulletface’, it’s safe to say he’s not pitching for an Oscar. But it’s hard not to warm to the cheap-as-chips charms of this outrageous tale of demons, large-breasted supernatural temptresses and a bulging hero called Prince Talon who owns a three-pronged sword.

Most painful line ‘There’s a battle in the offing! We’ve got kingdoms to save and women to love!’

It’s ridiculous because... A three-pronged sword? Isn’t that also known as a ‘big fork’?

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8. Lady In The Water (2006)

Film Drama

Director M Night Shyamalan

The setup They’d been wobbling for a while, but the wheels really went flying off the Shyamalan gravy train when he got the chance to make his dream project: the story of a writer who finds a portal into the Blue World, a fairytale land populated by Scrunts and Tartutics.

Most painful line ‘Man thinks they’re each alone in this world. It is not true. You are all connected.’

It’s ridiculous because... Scrunts? Seriously, M Night?

eegah

7. Eegah (1962)

Director Arch Hall Sr

The setup A caveman goes on the rampage in ‘Mad Men’-era California in this gloriously straight-faced time-hopping fantasy. Played by Richard Kiel (aka Jaws from the Bond movies), Eegah is a loincloth-clad barbarian with a yen for bikini-clad beach cuties and an ear for a hot-rocking surfer tune.

Most painful line ‘Honest, Roxy, I believe you! I swear on my Elvis Presley LP!’

It’s ridiculous because... It just is. If you’ve ever wanted to know what a movie with 2.2/10 on IMDB looks like, here’s your chance.

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6. Van Helsing (2004)

Film Horror

Director Stephen Sommers

The setup You remember Van Helsing, the crotchety old vampire hunter from the ‘Dracula’ movies? Well, now he’s a muscular demon-fighting action man (played by Hugh Jackman) romping around Eastern Europe in search of kickable undead ass. No movie that has Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and Mr Hyde in it should be this mind-meltingly boring.

Most painful line ‘We Transylvanians always look on the brighter side of death.’

It’s ridiculous because... There’s so much murky CGI, it’s like watching a film at the bottom of a duck pond.

5. Eragon (2006)

Film Action and adventure

Director Stefen Fangmeier

The setup The novel ‘Eragon’ was published when author Christopher Paolini was still a teenager. The film, however, was made by adults, so there’s no excuse for it to be this bad. This is the sort of thing that gives fuel to fantasy-haters, the kind of dragon-riding, leather-jerkin-wearing Wagnerian sludge that we shouldn’t have to suffer in the twentieth century.

Most painful line ‘Legends of Eragon, the great Shadeslayer, spread throughout Alagaesia.’ You what?

It’s ridiculous because... Starring Sienna Guillory and Ed Speleers, it’s the only fantasy movie where the actors have weirder names than their characters.

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in the name of the king

4. In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)

Director Uwe Boll

The setup Ah, Uwe Boll. This German maverick has been called the worst director since Ed Wood (which is frankly an insult to the director of ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space’). But somehow, he continues to find gainful employment. Adapted from the ‘Dungeon Siege’ videogame series (nope, us neither), ‘In the Name of the King’ stars Jason Statham as Farmer, a farmer (nice work, guys) who leads a revolt against an evil ruler.

Most painful line ‘Tarish, prepare your troops to ride! Hordes of Krug are ransacking the land!’

It’s ridiculous because... Boll claims his three-hour director’s cut is, in fact, a lost masterpiece. We really doubt it, Uwe.

3. Dungeons and Dragons (2000)

Film Fantasy

Director Courtney Solomon

The setup At least once in their career, even the greatest British thespians seem doomed to end up diving for dollars in some ropey vat of Hollywood slurry. But few have wandered quite so far from the righteous path as Jeremy Irons, who somehow ended up headlining this truly unbearable kiddie adventure inspired by a role-playing game played by the kind of nerds who own 20-sided dice. As Profion, the evil ruler of the Empire of Izmer, Jez’s only real consolation is that he’s got a better character name than Marlon Wayans, who plays Snails. Yep, Snails.

Most painful line ‘Just like you thieves, always taking things that don’t belong to you.’

It’s ridiculous because... Snails.

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2. Jack Frost (1998)

Film Comedy

Director Troy Miller

The setup This is fantasy not of the swords ’n’ sandals variety, more in the syrup-and-sentiment vein (imagine Steven Spielberg vomiting eggnog in your face and you get the general idea). Michael Keaton plays a cool musician Dad who dies in a car wreck and is reincarnated as a snowman – yep – so he can continue to impart life lessons to his offspring. It’s every bit as revolting as it sounds.

Most painful line ‘A snowdad is better than no dad.’

It’s ridiculous because... He’s a snowman, for chrissake. Oh, and Henry Rollins is in it, which means punk is definitely dead.

1. The Last Airbender (2010)

Film Action and adventure

Director M Night Shyamalan

The setup Congratulations to M Night – not only is he the only director with the dubious honour of placing two films on this list, but he’s scored the top spot to boot. Because ‘Lady in the Water’ is positively Shyama-Shakespearean compared to this disastrous adaptation of the American cartoon series about a tribe of youthful wizards who can control the elements. The effects are awful, the script is dire and the cast is so punchable they make your hands itch.

Most painful line ‘Again, I offer my condolences on your nephew burning to death in that terrible accident.’

It’s ridiculous because... The constant use of the word ‘bender’ to described teenage wizards. Surely there must have been at least one Brit on the crew, saying: ‘Hang on, guys…’.

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