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Top 10 Worst Movies Based on a TV Series

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Aaron Cameron. We knew them. We loved them. They remade them. We hated them. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 worst movies based on a TV series. For this list, we’re looking at live-action film remakes or reboots of TV series that did justice to the source material, and that are not considered a continuation of the shows in question. That means they don’t feature the original cast members, unless it’s in a different role than they originally played or in a small cameo. Special thanks to our users Austin Devine, Andrew A. Dennison, Nicholas Aysen, arimazzie, Leo Logan and Scotty Arbour for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Aaron Cameron.

Top 10 Worst Movies Based on a TV Series


We knew them. We loved them. They remade them. We hated them. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 worst movies based on a TV series.

For this list, we’re looking at live-action film remakes or reboots of TV series that did justice to the source material, and that are not considered a continuation of the shows in question. That means they don’t feature the original cast members, unless it’s in a different role than they originally played or in a small cameo.

#10: “Thunderbirds” (2004)

How bout, Thunderbirds are no? Starring Bill Paxton and directed by “Star Trek”’s Jonathan Frakes, this big-screener uses virtually nothing from its classic ‘60s TV source. Many of the tweaks were minor and involved modernized sets, new uniforms and far less smoking; but even the most casual viewers noticed that they swapped the original marionettes for live actors. It’s not every day you can anger a built-in fanbase and bore the general public, but “Thunderbirds” found a way.

#9: “Dark Shadows” (2012)

Featuring the director-actor combo of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, this flick isn’t sure what it wants to be. Based on a late-‘60s gothic soap, the film is at times a horror, occasionally a drama and sometimes a comedy; but it doesn’t work as anything other than a vehicle for an overly made-up, overacting Johnny Depp. While most critics felt it maintained the soap-opera-ness of the original series, it doesn’t really deliver on it, instead offering up lame jokes and forced spookiness.

#8: “Lost in Space” (1998)

Starring Matt LeBlanc – which was an option in the late-‘90s – and Heather Graham – which was a requirement – the film gets lost soon after takeoff: with the core concept of the TV series taking a backseat to mindless action, the studio decided to swap the metallic jumpsuits of the ‘60s with plastic armor for the ‘90s, add a space monkey, and replace the creepy Dr. Smith with a creepy Gary Oldman – but we’ll concede, that last one probably was a major improvement.

#7: “The Honeymooners” (2005)

From the director of some other things, comes this. While Cedric the Entertainer gained praise for his portrayal of Ralph Kramden, critics had little else positive to say about the movie. While the original Jackie Gleason series was rife with get-rich-quick schemes, Ralph and his buddy Norton’s motivation was typically to make ends meet rather than to make massive leaps ahead. Attempts to update the ‘50s’ humor just resulted in already dated urban humor. Still, better that than spousal abuse.

#6: “I Spy” (2002)

2002 was not a good year to be Eddie Murphy: his third movie to tank that year, “I Spy” lost $20 million at the box-office. The original late-‘60s secret-agent series featured light, witty exchanges between stars Robert Culp and Bill Cosby, but the gritty story remained the focus. However, the big-screen take often veers into spoof and parody. That change in tone, coupled with the role-reversal of Murphy and Owen Wilson left audiences with a film that looks very little like its TV source.

#5: “The Mod Squad” (1999)

Described by Roger Ebert as “the most expensive Nancy Drew mystery ever filmed,” the “Mod Squad” movie is well-acted, well-directed and even remains true to its late-‘60s, early-‘70s source material, telling the story of hip undercover cops. Plot-wise, however, the movie is both generic and nonsensical, with our disguised good-guys relying on sheer dumb luck, overheard exposition and other clichés to save to day. The rehash made back just $15 million of its $50 million budget.

#4: “Bewitched” (2005)

Eager to make a mess of things from the start; this movie is a remake about a remake where the people making the remake are kinda the people from the original. The meta-factor starts with Isabel Bigelow, an everyday witch cast as everyday witch Samantha. While the self-referential premise could have worked, and Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell are pretty good in the film, its formulaic plot just doesn’t do justice to the ‘60s classic.

#3: “The Dukes of Hazzard” (2005)

While “The Dukes” were never exactly highbrow entertainment, they were as tame and family-friendly as a show about moonshiners could be. The big-screen version, however, amped up the sex and took Jessica Simpson’s Daisy Dukes to heights not dared dreamed of in 1979. While the basic plot seems Duke-legit, the adult humor mixed, with scenes of Uncle Jesse firebombing police cars and the boys in accidental blackface, seem both un-Duke and uncouth. Die-hard fans were disappointed.

#2: “Wild Wild West” (1999)

After rumblings about a reboot circulated for years, this late-‘60s western finally got its second chance in 1999. In the film, the main character, James West, is recast as an African-American in an effort to differentiate the big-screen version from its small-screen counterpart – and also to up the cool factor with Will Smith. Unfortunately, all it resulted in was a laugh-less steampunk western mash-up that was more focused on cheap laughs than action-adventure. It earned its five Razzie Awards.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable – or in this case dishonorable – mentions:
- “The Three Stooges” (2012)
- “Miami Vice” (2006)
- “The Beverly Hillbillies” (1993)
- “Land of the Lost” (2009)

#1: “The Avengers” (1998)

This movie has more than its share of problems, and the absence of Diana Rigg in a cat suit is the least of them. Although strongly cast, the Hollywood take on the 1960s British series suffers from heavy-handed editing, the result of which is a storyline lacking in detail, plot points and resolution. Across the pond, many felt the American writers missed the mark in terms of adapting the British quirkiness that made the original series work in the first place.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your least favorite big screen remake of a TV show? For more epic Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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