Masters of Junk

by fedor8 | created - 20 May 2011 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

Some names are synonymous with garbage. You see their names in the opening credits and you immediately cringe, regretting that you didn't read the small print on the poster, the DVD, or haven't checked the details of the bomb in question on IMDb.

These are people who have made careers out of producing, directing and writing trash, on the small and/or big screen, and in doing so have become symbols i.e. poster kids for everything that is wrong with movies and TV.

Listed in no particular order.

COMMENTS: The comments section changes introduced several years ago have basically ruined what used to be a fun interaction between list-maker and reader, hence I will be disabling comments on nearly all of my lists. (I said nearly: you're free to spend an hour perusing my other lists to find one that does allow comments.) So if you want to let me know what you think, PM me.

Oh no, wait. They've disabled PMs. So I guess there is no way you can share your views of my lists and reviews with me. That's called "progress".

Or you can go to Vjetropev's blog and find me there.

1. J.J. Abrams

Producer | Lost

Jeffrey Jacob Abrams was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, the son of TV producer parents. Abrams planned on going to dental school, but decided to study film at Sarah Lawrence College. At 15, he wrote the music for Don Dohler's Nightbeast (1982). In his senior year, he and Jill ...

JJ Abrams, a result of nepotism and "proper breeding", couldn't be a "better" representative for everything that's gone wrong with modern American movies, if he tried.

So young, yet so "legendary" already. Keep it up, JJ, you're doing just anti-fine.

It takes a true anti-genius to make the already cretinous "Star Trek" franchise sink even lower. The less said about "Lost", the better. Not to mention "Star Wars", the next franchise he will sink.

Hollywood must truly be dead, when its two major franchises rely on this almost comically inept writer, so synonymous with incompetence; cretinous dialogue, hollow characters, and moronic plots are the main staples of his inability and anti-talent.

And that's just the beginning. I have total faith in him. I know he won't let us up (i.e down). Ever.

2. Wes Craven

Writer | A Nightmare on Elm Street

Wes Craven has become synonymous with genre bending and innovative horror, challenging audiences with his bold vision.

Wesley Earl Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Caroline (Miller) and Paul Eugene Craven. He had a midwestern suburban upbringing. His first feature film was The Last House on ...

He was an English college professor. That pretty much explains what is wrong with American education today.

3. Michael Moore

Director | Bowling for Columbine

Michael Francis Moore was born in Flint, Michigan on April 23, 1954, and was raised in its Davison suburb. He is the son of Helen Veronica (Wall), a secretary, and Francis Richard Moore, who worked on an auto assembly line. He has Irish, as well as English and Scottish, ancestry.

Moore studied ...

One of the richest anti-Capitalists in the world, his DVDs availiable in any Walmart near you, he has taken the already laughable and awful shockumentary form and lowered it several notches into the new lowest form of "documentary" drivel-making, the "mooromentary Marxist propaganda", also known as "mooromaganda".

In a mooromagandamentary you treat your political opponents like imbeciles, carefully editing out anything logical or truthful that they might say, plus editing away anything dumb that you yourself might have said during the course of an interview, then throw in a few childish pranks, cheesy gags, and a self-serving conspiracy theory with no basis in reality, and you're set. Set for glory, and for vast quantities of cash (all of which goes into buying yachts, not into funding Marxist revolutions i.e. freeing the peasants and working class from Capitalist prosperity).

If you have been a victim of a mooremagandamentary, and have actually caught yourself quoting its delirious "facts" to your family and friends, you might want to consider getting professional help.

4. Stephen King

Writer | Maximum Overdrive

Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, at the Maine General Hospital in Portland. His parents were Nellie Ruth (Pillsbury), who worked as a caregiver at a mental institute, and Donald Edwin King, a merchant seaman. His father was born under the surname "Pollock," but used the last name ...

"I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries." - Stephen King

Why does he choose to insult Big Macs like that?

5. Dario Argento

Writer | Profondo rosso

Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940, in Rome, Italy, the first-born son of famed Italian producer Salvatore Argento and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento recalls getting his ideas for filmmaking from his close-knit family from Italian folk tales told by his parents and other ...

All style and no substance (and not a gram of logic), that pretty much sums up Argento's asinine thrillers.

6. Aaron Spelling

Producer | The Dick Powell Show

Aaron Spelling graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Before that, he attended Forest Avenue High. He started as a writer and sold his first script to Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theatre (1955). He wrote for various television shows, ...

None of us mere mortals gets paid to produce dung, which is unfair considering that some people have become multi-millionaires doing just that.

What I'm saying is I know he wasn't stupid. He just wanted the rest of us to be that way.

7. Roland Emmerich

Writer | Independence Day

Roland Emmerich is a German film director and producer of blockbuster films like The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Godzilla (1998), Independence Day (1996) and The Patriot (2000). Before fame, he originally wanted to be a production designer, but decided to be a director, after watching the original ...

I am starting to believe he might not be just another cynic who exploits the audiences' need for dumbed-down drivel, but that he actually loves garbage. Roland "Fly" Emmerich.

Ed Wood reborn, but working with huge budgets. Finally Ed got his money!

8. Spike Lee

Director | Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended ...

Pulling the Race Card can get you far in Hollywood. Any time baby didn't get the awards baby expected, or the financing that baby needed, baby chose to (wisely) cry foul.

Guess what? Baby made a whole career using such tactics.

Watch his interviews. I am not saying that people who talk that slowly have learning disabilities. I am not.

9. Jason Reitman

Producer | Up in the Air

Jason Reitman was born on October 19, 1977 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is a producer and director, known for Up in the Air (2009), Thank You for Smoking (2005) and Juno (2007). He was previously married to Michele Lee.

Like father, like son.

10. Ivan Reitman

Producer | Up in the Air

Ivan Reitman, as a producer and director, has created many of American cinema's most successful and best loved feature film comedies and has worked with Hollywood's acting elite. Reitman has produced such hits as the ground-breaking sensation National Lampoon's National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)...

With the exception of "Ghostbusters", Reitman has had a knack of turning everything he touches into brown. He is almost like an alchemist that way.

11. Gus Van Sant

Director | Elephant

Gus Van Sant was born on July 24, 1952 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Gus Greene Van Sant Junior. He is a director and producer, known for Elephant (2003), Drugstore Cowboy (1989) and Paranoid Park (2007).

His movies cover the whole range, everything from cheesy dramas to really dumb soppy dramas. And always politically-correct to a tee.

12. Emir Kusturica

Director | Underground

A Serbian film director. Born in 1954 in Sarajevo. Graduated in film directing at the prestigious Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague in 1978. During his studies, he was awarded several times for his short movies including Guernica (1978), which took first prize at the Student's Film ...

The shabby-looking clochard look, that's Emir's clever image shtick. Don't dress like the millionaire that you are, that might ruin your credibility as an "artist" with "street cred", friend of the downtrodden. Plus it helps distract from the obvious flaws of your movies.

Very popular in France.

13. M. Night Shyamalan

Producer | Lady in the Water

Born in Puducherry, India, and raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is a film director, screenwriter, producer, and occasional actor, known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots.

He is the son of Jayalakshmi, a Tamil ...

The first few flicks were solid, but then the true Shyamalan reared its ugly head. Now he writes his scripts as if someone had blackmailed him into ruining his own career (in return for whatever awful secret this blackmailer has on him).

14. Michael Bay

Producer | Armageddon

A graduate of Wesleyan University, Michael Bay spent his 20s working on advertisements and music videos. His first projects after film school were in the music video business. He created music videos for Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Lionel Richie, Wilson Phillips, Donny Osmond and Divinyls. His work won...

Idiocracy, here we come. Perhaps his movies are part of a bigger, more sinister plan: get them sufficiently dumbed-down, and then run for President.

15. Edward D. Wood Jr.

Writer | Plan 9 from Outer Space

Hacks are nothing new in Hollywood. Since the beginning of the film industry at the turn of the 20th century, thousands of untalented people have come to Los Angeles from all over America and abroad to try to make it big (as writers, producers, directors, actors, talent agents, singers, composers, ...

Poor ol' Ed. I included him just to underline how bad the rest of these guys are. I'm a fan of Ed's badness, so in a sense he is a giant compared to all of these guys and gals.

16. Brian Levant

Producer | Still the Beaver

Brian Levant was born on August 6, 1952 in Highland Park, Illinois, USA as Brian Michael Levant. He is a producer and writer, known for The New Leave It to Beaver (1983), The Flintstones (1994) and Jingle All the Way (1996).

17. Rob Zombie

Writer | Halloween

Robert Bartleh Cummings, more famously known as Rob Zombie, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on January 12, 1965. He is the oldest son of Louise and Robert Cummings, and has a younger brother, Michael David (aka Spider One; b. 1968), who is the lead singer of Powerman 5000. Growing up, Zombie ...

Has dedicated all his waking hours to becoming the worst director of horror flicks - past, present, and future.

He has already succeeded. Now he is dedicating himself to staying on top of that garbage heap. The prospects of success are high.

18. Brett Ratner

Director | Red Dragon

Brett Ratner is one of Hollywood's most successful filmmakers. His diverse films resonate with audiences worldwide and, as director, his films have grossed over $2 billion at the global box office. Brett began his career directing music videos before making his feature directorial debut at 26 years...

19. John Woo

Director | Ying hung boon sik

Born in southern China, John Woo grew up in Hong Kong, where he began his film career as an assistant director in 1969, working for Shaw Brothers Studios. He directed his first feature in 1973 and has been a prolific director ever since, working in a wide variety of genres before A Better Tomorrow ...

Woo's arrival on the action flick scene made all the previous kaboom/pow/bang-bang/swoosh films look like science documentaries by comparison.

20. Uwe Boll

Producer | Postal

As a youth, he produced a number of short films on Super 8 and video. After short stints as guest auditor at Filmacademy Vienna and Filmhochschule Munich, Boll studied literature and economics in Cologne and Siegen. He graduated from university in 1995 with a doctorate in literature. From 1995-2000...

21. Phillip Noyce

Producer | Rabbit-Proof Fence

Born in the Australian outback town of Griffith, New South Wales, Phillip Noyce moved to Sydney with his family at the age of 12. As a teenager, he was introduced to underground films produced on shoestring budgets as well as mainstream American movies. He was 18 when he made his first film, the 15...

22. Robert Rodriguez

Producer | El mariachi

Robert Anthony Rodriguez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, USA, to Rebecca (Villegas), a nurse, and Cecilio G. Rodríguez, a salesman. His family is of Mexican descent.

Of all the people to be amazed by the images of John Carpenter's 1981 sci-fi parable, Escape from New York (1981), none ...

With the exception of "Sin City", which is moronic but stylish at least, everything else he touches turns to visible brown matter. One of many of Hollywood's new-generation anti-intellectuals (and proud of it). Just look at that smirk.

I believe he is actually proud of making garbage, much like Michael Moore is proud of being called a liar and a fraud.

23. Roger Corman

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Roger William Corman was born April 5, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan. Initially following in his father's footsteps, Corman studied engineering at Stanford University but while in school, he began to lose interest in the profession and developed a growing passion for film. Upon graduation, he worked a...

24. Bert I. Gordon

Director | The Food of the Gods

Bert I. Gordon, affectionately nicknamed "Mr. B.I.G." by Forrest J. Ackerman, produced, directed, and wrote more than twenty-five Sci/Fi and Horror features, such as The Magic Sword (1962), The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), Village of the Giants (1965), The Cyclops (1957), in addition to comedies ...

25. Ashton Kutcher

Actor | That '70s Show

Christopher Ashton Kutcher was born on February 7, 1978 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Diane (Finnegan), who was employed at Procter & Gamble, and Larry Kutcher, a factory worker. He has a fraternal twin brother, Michael, and a sister, Tausha. He is of Czech (father) and Irish, German, and Czech (mother...

Any TV or filmic product that even remotely has to do with him has a huge brown cloud around it, warning off discerning viewers to steer clear.

Only Ashton could possibly make Charlie Sheen look like a master comedian.

26. Wes Anderson

Director | Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an ...

He usually starts off with a poor premise. The next step is making that premise truly awful by writing a disastrous script.

And then, just to make absolutely sure the flick turns out truly bad, he casts Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, Angelina Huston, Owen Wilson, and the like.

His mission is clear: "it must NOT be funny".

27. Stephen Sommers

Producer | G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Stephen Sommers was born on March 20, 1962 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota, he attended St. John's University and the University of Seville in Spain. Afterward, Sommers spent the next four years performing as an actor in theater groups and managing rock bands throughout ...

28. David O. Russell

Director | American Hustle

David Owen Russell is an American film writer, director, and producer, known for a cinema of intense, tragi-comedic characters whose love of life can surpass dark circumstances faced in very specific worlds. His films address such themes as mental illness as stigma or hope; invention of self and ...

29. Guillermo del Toro

Writer | El laberinto del fauno

Guillermo del Toro was born October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Raised by his Catholic grandmother, del Toro developed an interest in filmmaking in his early teens. Later, he learned about makeup and effects from the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist (1973)) and worked on making his ...

30. Barry Sonnenfeld

Director | Men in Black

Barry Sonnenfeld was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from New York University Film School in 1978. He started work as director of photography on the Oscar-nominated In Our Water (1982). Then Joel Coen and Ethan Coen hired him for Blood Simple (1984). This film began his collaboration...

The "most unfunny big-budget comedies ever made" is the field he specializes in. He actually believes that throwing inordinate amounts of flashy CGI crap onto the big-screen somehow makes up for the shoddy script and cast. Perhaps if you're 5.

31. Nora Ephron

Writer | Julie & Julia

Nora Ephron was educated at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an acclaimed essayist (Crazy Salad 1975), novelist (Heartburn 1983), and had written screenplays for several popular films, all featuring strong female characters, such as anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood (Silkwood (1983), ...

32. Kathryn Bigelow

Director | Near Dark

A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be ...

My head is still reeling from the over-abundant nonsense in "Blue Steel" and "Strange Days". I wanna sue her for "wrongful filmic cranial damage".

33. Coleman Francis

Actor | Night Train to Mundo Fine

Coleman Francis was born on January 24, 1919 in Oklahoma, USA. He was an actor and director, known for Red Zone Cuba (1966), The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961) and The Skydivers (1963). He was married to Barbara Francis. He died on January 15, 1973 in Hollywood, California, USA.

How come there's no photo of this guy? WTH?

34. John Waters

Writer | Pecker

Growing up in Baltimore in the 1950s, John Waters was not like other children; he was obsessed by violence and gore, both real and on the screen. With his weird counter-culture friends as his cast, he began making silent 8mm and 16mm films in the mid-'60s; he screened these in rented Baltimore ...

What makes him different from the rest is that he's so very proud of making trash. At least he's honest.

35. Lars von Trier

Writer | Dancer in the Dark

Probably the most ambitious and visually distinctive filmmaker to emerge from Denmark since Carl Theodor Dreyer over 60 years earlier, Lars von Trier studied film at the Danish Film School and attracted international attention with his very first feature, The Element of Crime (1984). A highly ...

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