There weren't any red-carpet arrivals at the fabled Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Saturday night. No designer gowns and no stretch limousines either. Instead, the carpet was a dingy puke green and cream, and there was self-parking for $5 across the street. But the 20th annual Golden Raspberry Awards are not your ordinary awards show. It's the Oscars for the worst Hollywood has to offer.
The alliteration-heavy dialogue of presenters included snippets of nasty reviews: "[He] rattles off his lines like he's the star in a grade school Christmas play," Box Office magazine said about Jake Lloyd, nominated for worst supporting actor for his performance in "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace."
The tyke was narrowly beat by the sci-fi stinker's Jar-Jar Binks. The computer-generated boob didn't pick up his award; then again, the only nominee who has ever accepted a Razzie in person was director Paul Verhoeven, who had the guts to take the blame and the 1996 Razzie for "Showgirls."
This year's ceremony did break the 19-year streak of star no-shows. Robert Conrad, who played the original James West in the hit 1960s TV series "The Wild, Wild West," took the stage three times to accept awards on behalf of the ridiculous 1999 film version, which he was not in. Roger Ebert likened the movie to "watching money burn on the screen." Accepting for worst picture, Conrad said sarcastically, "I can't tell you how happy this makes me." The film's Will Smith and Kevin Kline earned an award for worst on-screen chemistry.
Razzie Awards founder John Wilson, a promo writer-producer, said this year's crop of crud was unique because "most of these bad movies actually made money." Together, the five worst picture nominees-- "Wild Wild West," "Big Daddy," "The Haunting," "Star Wars: Episode I" and "Blair Witch Project"-- made close to $940 million," he said, adding that "I'm not sure what that says about the moviegoing public."