Raspberry "Battlefields" Forever

John Travolta's sci-fi stinker Battlefield Earth picks up eight anti-Oscar nods

By Mark Armstrong Feb 13, 2001 2:15 AMTags
Unlike this year's up-for-grabs Oscar race, it didn't take a professional Hollywood handicapper to single out the most putridly gawdawful films of 2000.

Sorry, John Travolta, but the dis-honors just keep stacking up.

Battlefield Earth, Travolta's big-budget sci-fi stinker--which gave anxious movie critics an excuse to unleash phrases like "stomach-wrenching disaster" and "heaping mass of celluloid excrement" (well, okay, so that was us)--topped all nominees Monday for the 21st Annual Golden Raspberry Awards (aka "The Razzies"), scoring eight nominations including Worst Picture.

Based on the 1980 sci-fi book by late Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Battlefield Earth starred Travolta as a badly coiffed alien leader who enjoys snuffing out humans. While the actor likened it to a sci-fi Pulp Fiction, critics thought "a million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous."

Golden Razzie voters apparently agreed. Travolta was nominated for worst actor, while his wife, Kelly Preston, picked up a nod for worst supporting actress, and Barry Pepper and Forest Whitaker were nominated for worst supporting actor.

All told, the lighthearted nominations could put Battlefield in prestigious company: The film only needs seven "wins" to tie with Showgirls as the all-time Razzie champ.

"Ninety-three percent of all ballots that came in picked it for worst picture, which is a record," says John Wilson, head of the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. "But I have to say, as wretched as Battlefield Earth is, with the right audience, it's a real howl."

Alas, poor Travolta wasn't the only big dis-honoree Monday. The poorly received horror sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 picked up five nominations, tying with yet another Madonna-fueled Razzie candidate, The Next Best Thing, and Wilson's personal choice for the worst film, the Adam Sandler bomb Little Nicky.

Those movies also will compete for Worst Picture against The Flintstones in Viva Las Vegas, one of several sequels to get singled out for diss-stink-shun.

Other milestones worth noting: The Next Best Thing helped Madonna pick up her 10th Razzie nomination. Of course, she could do worse: Sylvester Stallone nabbed his 25th nomination, for the bomb remake of Get Carter. And Arnold Schwarzenegger picked up three nominations this year alone, for his cloning flick, The 6th Day.

Per tradition, the Razzies are handed out one day before "that other" awards show, the Oscars. The handmade, gold-spray-painted raspberry trophies (estimated street value: $4.27) will be handed out March 24.

This year, however, Wilson said he's skipping the traditional ceremony in favor of a short press conference. "This year's movies are so dreadful," he said, "they're not worthy of a ceremony."

Here's a rundown of the nominees:

Worst Picture: Battlefield Earth, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Little Nicky, The Next Best Thing.

Worst Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Beach), Adam Sandler (Little Nicky), Sylvester Stallone (Get Carter), Arnold Schwarzenegger (The 6th Day), John Travolta (Battlefield Earth and Lucky Numbers)

Worst Actress: Kim Basinger (Bless the Child), Melanie Griffith (Cecil B. Demented), Madonna (The Next Best Thing), Bette Midler (Isn't She Great), Demi Moore (Passion of Mind)

Worst Screen Couple: Any two actors (Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2), Richard Gere and Winona Ryder (Autumn in New York), Madonna and either Rupert Everett or Benjamin Bratt (The Next Best Thing), Arnold Schwarzenegger and Arnold Schwarzenegger (as Adam Gibson and his clone in The 6th Day), John Travolta and anyone sharing the screen with him (Battlefield Earth)

Worst Supporting Actor: Stephen Baldwin (The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas), Barry Pepper (Battlefield Earth), Keanu Reeves (The Watcher), Arnold Schwarzenegger (The 6th Day), Forest Whitaker (Battlefield Earth)

Worst Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette (Little Nicky), Joan Collins (The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas), Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible 2), Kelly Preston (Battlefield Earth), Rene Russo (The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle)

Worst Remake or Sequel: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Get Carter, Mission: Impossible 2

Worst Director: Joe Berlinger (Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2), Steven Brill (Little Nicky), Roger Christian (Battlefield Earth), Brian De Palma (Mission to Mars), John Schlesinger (The Next Best Thing)

Worst Screenplay: Battlefield Earth, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Little Nicky, The Next Best Thing