Our Ten’s List: Worst Movies Featuring Hip Hop Stars
Forget East Coast versus West Coast. The biggest beef in rap history is which hip hop artist made the worst feature film!
Ringing out our month-long look at rappers in cinema, we’ve decided to award the no-prize for some truly terrible films. We’ve given you our most liked list, now it’s time to explore our most hated list. Before we begin the bashing, we’re going to establish some ground rules:
1. Only major releases. I could spend days describing how incredibly awful Big Money Hustlas by the Insane Clown Posse was, or how low-rent Master P’s early catalog was (sorry, Erik, I know you love you some Da Last Don!) but that would pretty much take up the entire list, leaving more recognizable titles un-vilified.
2. No Will Smith. I refused to praise him for his hits, so I refuse to bash him for his flops. Like Wild Wild West. Or After Earth. Or Hitch. Or the god awful travesty of a marketing scheme that was I, Robot. So Big Willy is off limits for shitting on…except for here…where I will totally shit on him for making those terrible movies.
3. One Per Customer. I could fill the list up with Ice T and Ice Cube’s flops, and not even get out of the “I” section of the CD aisle. To keep from appearing like a hate-fest, I’m only recording what I consider the most egregious examples from each star. You don’t have any idea how many movies are disqualified from this list just because Ice T was in EVERY shitty movie featuring a pimp or a gangsta ever made. He needs his own 10’s list…
With the rules having been read, lets retire to our corner and come out swinging!
10. Dracula 3000 (2004)
A salvage ship finds a derelict space craft containing corpses and coffins, and Captain Van Helsing and his crew must contend with a space faring vampire (who is never once called Dracula!) before it can reach Earth.
This movie is dreadful. The plot recycles elements of Dracula and Alien shamelessly. The Sci Fi elements are trash, including an undercover android cop who is programmed for sex. The acting is miserable, and Coolio isn’t even the worst example to be found (and his character dies pretty early on in the movie anyhow.) There isn’t even enough violence and gore to paper over the weak premise with a good old fashioned blood bath. Whatever you do, don’t take a fantastic voyage with Coolio on this derelict horror film.
9. Disorderlies (1987)
Featuring: The Fat Boys
A scheming relative hires The Fat Boys to provide nursing care for his rich and ailing uncle in order to hasten his demise. Unfortunately, the rotund trio’s antics actually improve the old man’s health, and they team up to thwart the gold digging nephew’s plan.
Fat jokes, old people jokes, and boilerplate physical comedy. Despite starring The Fat Boys, this film is thin on laughs.
8. Woo (1998)
Featuring: LL Cool J
A brassy young woman named Woo is set up on a blind date by her friends, mostly in order to get her out of their hair so they can have a romantic evening. The unlucky fellow is every bit as shy as Woo is flamboyant, leading to a night of disastrous misunderstandings, despite the young man getting advice from a certain Cool James, who I hear the Ladies Love.
Tin eared and offensive on multiple fronts, the “comedic antics” in this film mostly revolve around humiliating whoever is in the scene. Jada Pinkett’s Woo is supposed to come off as sassy and empowered, but is mostly obnoxious and cruel, and Tommy Davidson spends his time as the luckless bachelor being systematically emasculated. Davidson’s role was originally slated for Tupac Shakur before his death, so he got off lucky in this case.
7. xXx: State of the Union (2005)
Featuring: Ice Cube, Xzibit
When the Secretary of Defense goes rogue, the xXx agency turns to an incarcerated soldier (Ice Cube) who has a personal grudge against the Secretary, and makes him their latest super-spy agent who must save the president.
Taking over the franchise from Vin Diesel, Ice Cube lacks the charisma to pull off a gangsta James Bond impersonation. The script robs him of any chance at being suave, instead forcing him to grimace at the camera as he goes through increasingly ludicrous action pieces. The action falls flat due to an over-use of CGI, which means most of the making of this film involved Cube making his sour face in front of a green screen. That must have been fun.
6. Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood (2003)
Featuring: Sticky Fingaz
For the second time, the psychopathic leprechaun is summoned to “Tha Hood” in order to protect his pot of gold, and leave a string of bodies at the end of the rainbow.
The sixth installment of the Leprechaun comedy/horror franchise, and a nominal sequel to Leprechaun: In the Hood, this film is pretty much garbage. Schlocky, fun garbage, but garbage nonetheless. The only reason I chose this iteration over the first In The Hood film, which properly began the series’ descent into self parody and farce, is because that film featured Ice T, and as we’ll see, he’s got bigger disasters on his resume.
5. Fred Claus (2007)
It turns out that Saint Nick has a brother, Fred, who hates the family business. Instead of giving out presents, Fred acts a repo man, effectively taking presents away from people. When a bureaucratic efficiency expert threatens to shut down the North Pole and derail Christmas, Saint Nick has to recruit his man-boy brother into helping, mostly against his will.
While Fred Claus starts off with an interesting take on the much belabored Christmas genre, it quickly shows itself as just another vehicle for Vince Vaughn to act like an arrogant and self centered douche. The early days of Vaughn’s “so brash, he’s charming” appeal had long past, and his slide into mediocrity probably began in the North Pole, as he’s done nothing better in the decade since this film came out. It’s too bad this film squanders the rest of its talent, as Paul Giamatti and Kevin Spacey deserve better.
4. Tank Girl (1995)
Featuring: Ice T
After an asteroid devastates Earth, the remaining populace of Australia (official home of the post-apocalypse!™) must fight over the precious resource of water. Rebecca Buck lives in one of the last remaining free enclaves that has a working well, which pisses off Water and Power, a mega corporation headed by the villainous Malcolm McDowell, who is pretty much just playing himself by this stage in his career. W&P kills everyone but Rebecca and her young ward, Sam, who are both thrown in jail. McDowell tries to break Rebecca and recruit her, but she escapes in a tank. Unfortunately, we don’t know the tank’s gender, so I assume the titular Tank Girl is Rebecca.
I remember liking this movie, and re-watched it before making my “best of” list…and discovered that it was miserable. Like, completely painful. Lori Petty is fun as Tank Girl, and her self-confident and anarchy loving character is one of the few things the movie was able to lift from the punk-rock cult-classic comic book Tank Girl. The rest of the film is a train-wreck. The story is fairly typical dystopia from the 90’s cliche. The plot moves in fits and jerks, never with any semblance of logic. Ice T sulks through his role as a Ripper, a kangaroo/human hybrid soldier. The Rippers themselves are ugly, raunchy, racist and feel like a poor attempt at cashing in on the success of the animatronic live-action Ninja Turtle franchise. It’s very very not good.
3. Malibu Most Wanted (2003)
Featuring: Snoop Dogg, Young Dre, DJ Felli Fel
The privileged son of a politician wants become a big time rap star, but is hindered by the fact that he is white and wack…and Jamie Kennedy, so not the least bit funny.
Seriously, screw Jamie Kennedy. You don’t get to “satirize” white boys appropriating black culture, when that is your entire shtick.
2. Man with the Iron Fist (2012)
The lure of a legendary horde of gold leads a murder’s row of characters to clash in a small village in China. The local blacksmith, armed with Iron Gauntlets and a unique fighting style, champions the people of the city against the increasingly violent fortune hunters.
I get that RZA loves kung fu. His role as the big bad in The Protector 2 was fantastic, and his fight scenes with Tony Jaa were actually great, despite the film itself being just so-so. My dream project is a four-way death match between RZA and Tony Jaa versus Keanu Reeves and Tiger Chen. (Hollywood, make this happen!) But…The Man with the Iron Fists is just terrible. The plot is incoherent, many of the big name stars (cough, Russel Crowe) are clearly hamming it up or high as hell, and the RZA constantly mugs for the camera, as this clearly is a vanity project. The fighting is just OK, with too much janky looking wire-work and CG. Overall, it feels less like a homage to great kung fu flicks, and more like a personal fantasy that managed to get a big Hollywood budget treatment.
1. Cool as Ice (1991)
Featuring: Vanilla Ice
A tale of star-crossed lovers, where a rebellious rapper falls in love with the straight-laced girl. Vanilla Ice is an itinerant motorcycle enthusiast and rapper who gets caught up in a scheme by corrupt police officers to kill his love interest’s father, who is in the witness relocation program. Along the way, Ice is able to create a movie full of wish-fulfillment where he is always the coolest dude in the room.
This film is in fact the worst movie to feature a hip hop “star” as it features Vanilla Ice. QED.