22 Jump Street is in theaters this weekend, and its one of the few TV-to-Movie franchises that has gotten it right. This comes after so many have gotten it really wrong! Adapting a hit television show to the big screen seems like it would be an easy thing. The source material is great, there's an existing audience, it should be money in the bank. But bigger does not mean better. There's more than enough examples of great TV turned into garbage cinema. So much so, there was a fair amount of difficulty and debate narrowing it down to ten, epically awful movies. Criteria had to be established. There must be a method to this madness. Terrible films like The Smurfs, Scooby Doo, Yogi Bear, or The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas still has an appeal to younger audiences who might actually be entertained by it. It does have some value. Once our initial list of truly deplorable movies no living creature should ever have to watch were gleaned, they were then ranked below per their score on the aggregate critic site Rotten Tomatoes. Dishonorable mention goes out to Bewitched, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and The Beverly Hillbillies. Atrocious as they may be, they were edged out of the top ten. Pinch your noses, hold your stomachs, and grab the smelling salts. Here are the top ten most unwatchable films adapted from good TV shows
10 Inspector Gadget
Inspector Gadget was a beloved 80s cartoon about a clumsy bionic policeman, his clever niece Penny, and their trusty dog Brain. Everyone that was a child in this era remembers the catchy theme song and the hand of the evil Dr. Claw, stroking his M.A.D cat. This was a nod to Ernst Blofeld, the infamous Bond villain, years before Mike Myers thought of Dr. Evil. The 1999 feature film was a huge letdown. Matthew Broderick bombed as Inspector Gadget and Rupert Everett was even worse as Dr. Claw. 21% rotten.
The Wild Wild West was a tremendously entertaining 60s sci-fi western. Arguably one of the first examples of steam punk, it followed the adventures of Secret Service Agents James West and Artemus Gordon. They used all manner of gadgets and contraptions to protect America under the banner of President Ulysses S. Grant. Wild Wild West turned into the 1999 feature starring Will Smith and Kevin Kline. The bafflingly updated story had West being a former slave, and Kenneth Branagh hamming it up as a torso-less Confederate villain. Surprisingly, Will Smith's star power led to this idiotic film actually making money. 20% rotten.
The Avengers was a terrific 60s spy thriller that ran for eight years. The show recounted the adventures of John Steed and his ass-kicking sidekick, Emma Peel. Steed threw his hat like a death Frisbee and had an awesome umbrella machine gun. The 1998 film starred Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman, with Sean Connery as the villain. Talk about a disappointment. A stellar cast couldn't save a laughably stupid plot, amateurish direction, and weak special effects. 16% rotten.
7 I Spy
I Spy was another 60s espionage show that rocketed Bill Cosby and Robert Culp to stardom. The pair portrayed secret agents undercover as tennis pros. The presence of a black lead character led to boycotts in the segregated south. The 2002 film starred Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson. The pair had no chemistry whatsoever, were painfully unfunny, and the film tanked at the box office. 15% rotten.
The Honeymooners essentially started the sitcom age in the mid 50s. Legendary comedian Jackie Gleason starred as Ralph Kramden, a working class bus driver trying every scheme to make it rich with his upstairs neighbor and sewer worker best pal, Ed Norton (Art Carney); much to the dismay of their loving wives. The 2005 adaptation had an all black cast, with Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps as the leads. I love seeing black actors getting chances, but this movie was a total dud. They took possibly the greatest TV show ever made and ruined it spectacularly. Jackie Gleason must have been spinning like a propeller in his grave. 14% rotten.
Jessica Simpson's ample bust and cutoffs couldn't save this 2005 adaptation of the early 80s classic show. Catherine Bach smoldered on the small screen as the mighty fetching Daisy Duke, on the run with her outlaw cousins Luke and Bo in the General Lee. Doing crazy stunts in their souped up 69 Dodge Charger. The 21st century Dukes were a hapless Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott. Stupid is an understatement, even for this hillbilly comedy. 13% rotten.
4 My Favorite Martian
Jeff Daniels and Christopher Lloyd were a bust in the 1999 version of My Favorite Martian. The 60s comedy starred Ray Walston as the Martian, Uncle Martin, and Bill Bixby as Tim. While the TV show was very funny and cleverly made, the film could suck start a leaf blower. Jeff Daniels and Christopher Lloyd weren't compatible, the plot sucked, and the special effects were cartoonish. 12% rotten.
Fans of the awesome Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender wept when they saw the live-action 2010 film by M. Night Shyamalan. Like getting herpes from your first kiss, this film took what should have been a great cinematic experience and scarred you by its awfulness. The acting, editing, and special effects were abysmal. I still can't fathom how M. Night Shyamalan ruined this film so badly. 6% rotten.
2 The Mod Squad
The Mod Squad was a late 60s and early 70s police drama that reflected the changing culture of youth in America. Clarence Williams III, Peggy Lipton, and Michael Cole represented diversity and integration on television. The plot followed the rebellious youth turned into an undercover unit. The 1999 film starring Claire Danes, Omar Epps, and Giovanni Ribisi is an abject failure across the board. The filmmakers were trying for a hip retread, instead they subjected audiences to a brainless, dreadfully acted, and directed film. The Mod Squad is an excruciating movie to sit through. 4% rotten is generous.
1 Car 54, Where Are You?
Car 54, Where Are You? was a buddy cop sitcom in the early 60s, really one of the first shows of this format. Starring Joe E. Ross and Fred Gwynne, who is remembered today as the lovable Herman Munster; from the classic - The Munsters. The remake was made in 1990, starring John C. McGinley, David Johansen, and Rosie O'Donnell. But released in 1994 because of the bankruptcy of Orion Pictures. Wow, is this film bad. It's hideously unfunny, absolute torture to see. Car 54, Where Are You? gloriously earns its 0% rotten rating. I believe this film is used in Gitmo to interrogate prisoners when water boarding isn't working.
Was there any film missed? Let us know in the comments section or show us where we got it wrong. Follow me on twitter @realjulianroman