As Hollywood focused on its most talented stars, one organization stealthily moved to shine a spotlight on its worst.
Battlefield Earth, starring John Travolta as snarling, nose-plugged alien, won seven Golden Raspberry Awards Saturday, putting it in a dead heat with the 1995 travesty Showgirls. Both stinkers are now tied for the non-profit group's record for the most Razzie awards.
Calling Battlefield a "big-budget sci-fi fiasco" and Travolta a "Rasta-haired, yellow-toothed, cackling psychotic alien," the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation named the film as the worst of the year and gave the actor its award for Worst Performance by a Male Actor in a Starring Role.
The group also named Travolta and "anyone who appeared with him" as the worst screen couple of the year. Travolta's competition included Arnold "Clone-Man the Bavarian" Schwarzenegger and his cloned self in The 6th Day.
In a statement, the producer of Battlefield, Elie Samaha, told Reuters that he was delighted: "I welcome the free publicity. The more the critics hit Battlefield Earth, the more DVDs it sells. … It is the kind of film that makes a movie legend and we feel we have enough staying power to last long after the critics have quieted down."
Based on a science fiction novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, the film has won praise from some science fiction groups despite the critical blasting it received. The Razzies also gave Earth unwanted awards for worst supporting actress (for Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston), worst supporting actor (Barry Pepper), worst director (Robert Christian), and worst screenplay (Corey Mandel and J.D. Shapiro).
The Worst Actress award went to Madonna — the Razzies' reigning Worst Actress of the Century — for her "insipid" performance as a yoga-lovin' single mom in The Next Best Thing. The Worst Remake or Sequel award went to Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, which defeated Sylvester Stallone's Get Carter, Mission: Impossible 2, and Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The so-called winners received $4 trophies from the foundation, which has 535 voting members.
Reuters contributed to this story.