Top List Thursdays – Top Ten magnificently terrible moments of acting

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Every actor has a bad movie. But then you get those thespians, who somehow act out a scene that is a polar oppsoite to their entire performance so far, that just smells of terribad. Sometimes though, those little blips on the acting radar become memetic treasures, moments where there acting is just so damn terrible, that it goes beyond and circles back to become a scene of acting gold.

Here’s ten such performances.

Judge Dredd (1995) – You betrayed the law!

What, Sly Stallone? But Darryn, that’s too easy, I hear you say. Ha, not this time! Part of Stallone’s charm is his over the top acting, but Armand Assante and his ridiculous response to Stallone take the cake. Just try it next time you’re in an argument, and I’ll guarantee that your madness and army of insane mutant clone brothers look like the bigger man at the end of the discussion. The Armand Assante method will kill any argument!

The Happening – What? No!

The brilliant bit here, is that when Mark Wahlberg gets accused that he’s going to do away with the lady protecting him and his pals from the dangerous pollinated wind outside, he responds so poorly, that you actually believe he is going to kil her after all.

Batman Forever – The WTF scream

Tommy Lee Jones chewed scenery more voraciously than a convention of farmers at an all-you-can-eat rib buffet in Batman Forever, but it’s this damn random scream of his when he’s about wreck his car that makes me giggle each and every time.

Poltergeist – You only moved the headstones!

Good ol’ Craig T Nelson. He’s a mighty fine actor, whose tolerance for the undead gets pushed to the breaking point when his family gets ghost-busted by some angry spirits. But what really sends him over the edge, is when he learns that the only the headstones of the deceased were moved from the plot of ground that his house was built on. A fact that sends him into a screaming fit at the end. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

The Professional – EVERYONE!

I’d be lying  if I said that Gary Oldman didn’t give a tour de force performance in The Professional. But seeing him drop that Oscar-worthy portrayal of a corrupt law officer for just a second was so horrendously bad, that it somehow became memetic gold, for everyone who viewed it. I said EEEEEEEVERYONE!

Mommie Dearest – No wire hangers!

Faye Dunaway, you crazy girl. And when she had to portray Hollywood lunatic Joan Crawford, she dialed up the insanity to eleven, resulting in this scene where she trips the bad acting light fantastic and goes ona  rampage related to correct garment storage utilities.

Man of Steel – I will find him!

Thanks to Kervyn for this entry, where he reminded me that nobody does bug-eyed crazy Kryptonian mass murdering psychosis revenge-swearing better than Michael Shannon.

Hulk – Worst father ever

nick nolte

I can’t find the exact video for this one, but here’s the scene. Eric Bana has finally been captured after his latest Hulk rampage, and reunited with his mental father, played by Nick Nolte. Stuck at the tail end of a Hulk-killing turbine, Nolte gives a magnificent speech and pours out years of hate and bile, with a voice that sounds like he gargles with Vin Diesel and Christian Bale every morning.

And then he sits down in a chair and has a quick tantrum. This is why I love the insanity that is Nick Nolte.

Battlefield Earth – while you learnt to spell your name!

Clearly, John Travolta still had a few Thetans left in his spiritual stream, as he sat down in a bar to have a space-drink, and space-insult space-Forest Whittaker with his space-acting lessons.

Santa Clause: The Movie – For free?

I have the feeling that this performance from John Lithgow involved plenty of sucking. And judging from his gasping facial expression, it wasn’t his gaping mouth that was creating a vacuum.

Last Updated: October 24, 2013

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