Near Misses: The 6 Worst Movies Hollywood Almost Made

#3. Westworld (2002), Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

Well, robots are cool and cowboys are kind of cool, so robot cowboys should be pretty cool. Right?

What Went Wrong?

The first Westworld movie (in which tourists pay good money to pretend that they're killing people or fucking people, when they're really just playing with robots), didn't exactly age like fine wine.

Though the poster was creepy as fuck, what's wrong with his mouth?!?

To start with, playing cowboys with real bullets might be fun for half an hour or so, but since the robots never shoot back, you end up with a difficulty-curve that makes the first level of Super Mario Bros look like the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. That's right, it's science-fiction fantasy fulfillment that offers considerably less challenge (and therefore less satisfaction) than the average video game.

And why the fuck would you cast Arnold Schwarzenegger as the evil robot cowboy? Evil we can understand. Robot we get. But, cowboy?

This, with robots

How the hell were they planning to explain a robotic Wild West villain with an Austrian accent? A malfunction in the voice programming? Some kind of practical joke from the maintenance guys?

What Went Right?

Politics. Specifically, the 2003 California recall election, which ended with Schwarzenegger elected as Governor of the state of Cal-e-for-ne-uh. With Arnie out of the acting game, the new Westworld was toastworld.

In 2005 it was announced that one-named director Tarsem (The Cell, The Fall) was attached to a new Schwarzenegger-less version of the project, but that was the last anybody heard of this crap.

What You Can Watch Instead:

If it's killer robots you want, how about Transmorphers:

It's apparently a Terminator rip-off masquerading as a Transformers rip-off.

#2. Stray Dawgz (2000), Starring Ice Cube

You know what's cool? Rappers. Also, movies about big hairy monsters that eat people.

And if your film's plot is "it's basically Blade, only with werewolves instead of vampires," a big chunk of the geek community would line up outside the theater on opening night. Probably.

What Went Wrong?

To start with, it was going to be about Ice Cube fighting a "new breed" of werewolf.

Said "new breed" was the brainchild of screenwriter Darryl Quarles (Big Momma's House, Black Knight), which we assume means that these new werewolves could be distinguished from the old breed of werewolves by virtue of their being completely fucking retarded. And possibly in fat suits.

Actual photo from the film

This was scheduled to be Ice Cube's follow-up to John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars. You can probably see where this is going.

What Went Right?

John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars, and probably Black Knight. We're talking about career killers, here. Ice Cube managed to escape from Ghosts of Mars with his film career (if not his dignity) intact, but we doubt that anybody was looking to put him in another action-horror picture. And Black Knight made damn sure that Darryl Quarles never had another movie deal ever again.

According to an Esquire interview, director Gregory Dark (See No Evil, Hootermania) was still trying to get this project off the ground in 2001, but New Line Pictures, in their own subtle way, told him to go fuck himself.

What You Can Watch Instead:

Werewolf in a Women's Prison:

We haven't seen it yet, but it looks like a modern classic.

#1. The Nightmare of Edgar Allan Poe (2001), Starring Michael Jackson

Edgar Allan Poe's gloomy ass pretty much invented American horror. His life story is filled with the kind of drunken, drug-crazed insanity that was made for the cinema. Sure, most of that craziness was completely made up by one Rufus Wilmot Griswold (Poe's bitter enemy in life and official biographer in death), but that's no reason to let the truth spoil a kick-ass story.

What Went Wrong?

This might surprise you, but we're actually not going to talk any shit about the talk of casting Michael Jackson. It's a horror project and Michael Jackson is fucking terrifying. It's like chocolate and peanut butter meeting up for the first time or something.

Whatever you do, don't imagine those two fucking

So, what could go wrong? Well, they could have hired William Malone (Fear Dot Com, Creature) to direct. They could have gotten the script from some guy named Philip Levins (nine episodes of Smallville, including one where, we are not fucking kidding, Superman's dad is wrongly accused of shooting Lex Luthor's dad, which we guess must be what started that whole crazy feud between the two of them).

That's exactly what they did. This would have been pretty much the worst horror movie ever.

What Went Right?

Michael Jackson, probably. Jackson had kind of a string of these canceled projects. Over the years, there were plans for him to play the lead in a musical version of Peter Pan, a film version of the Phantom of the Opera musical, and some kind of werewolf movie that may or may not have been a musical.

Now, we can't say for sure what it was that killed these projects, but imagine that you're in a meeting with the King of Pop, ironing out the details of a major film. How long do you think it would take for you to realize that "meeting" is just a euphemism for "I'm trapped in this room with a fucking lunatic?" Until he started humping your leg? A few minutes after that, maybe?

What You Can Watch Instead:

We'd love to say that it's the biopic Poe, written and directed by Sylvester Stallone and starring Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings, but that one hasn't been shot yet, and we can't help thinking that the project is destined to show up in a list not unlike this one some day.

No, instead, we've got some dippy direct-to-video thing called The Death of Poe:

If you enjoyed that, you'll probably like Steve's article about The 5 Kick Ass Action Movies That Are Pure Propaganda. And speaking of things that kick ass, Uncle Terry has some sex advice for you. Or show us what the 08 election would look like if the candidates had balls in this week's Forum Photoshop contest. And be sure to get the Cracked Hit List delivered in your electronic mailbox every Thursday.

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