Dolph Lundgren, Lou Gossett, Jr.
Dolph Lundgren plays ex-cop, Frank Castle. After his entire family is killed by the mafia, he leaves "Frank Castle" behind and becomes The Punisher: a vigilante delivering justice to organized criminals--well all except for the ones who killed his family. In this version, after the Yakuza kidnap their children, the mafia (the folks who killed Castle's wife and kids) begs Frank for his help in bringing their children back alive.
Instead of saying "Of course not- *murder murder murder*," The Punisher agrees to help, eventually teaming up with Franco, the head of the mafia, to raid the Yakuza headquarters and rescue Franco's son.
Because Franco is, of course, still evil, he decides to, of course, turn on Punisher and he, of course, loses. The child is left fatherless, The Punisher learned nothing and the audience wasted 10 bucks.
Why It Sucked:
The Punisher's costume is simple. It's a friggin' black t-shirt with a friggin' skull on it. That's the Punisher shirt. You can pick it up an Kohls, for Christ's sake. If you're making a Punisher movie that doesn't put Punisher in the Punisher shirt, you are making a very bad movie.
Having Castle team up with the mob bosses who killed his family is a cardinal sin. What made The Punisher of the comics so compelling was his obsessively stringent moral code; he sees only in black and white. He takes it to the extreme, he can't be reasoned with, he can't be controlled and we fucking love him for it. Proving the screen writers didn't even bother reading the name of the comic, he not only lets bad guys off the hook, he helps the bad guys who killed his children make sure they don't lose theirs. By the end, we were hoping it was part of an elaborate plot to make Franco watch him molest his son. We suppose it would have been a touch dark, but at least it would have been a freaking Punishment.
Why You've Never Seen It:
Thankfully, real comic book movies were there to overshadow the release of The Punisher. When it came out in 1989, DC released Tim Burton's Batman, and the people rejoiced. The original Punisher movie exists now only as a footnote, a bit of trivia to accompany the 2004 Thomas Jane Punisher film.
2Dr. Strange (1978)
Peter Hooten, Jessica Walter, and John Mills.
Again, no trailer. Please accept the first 10 minutes as our apology.
Our world is constantly under threats of a magical nature and the man protecting us from these threats is a man known as the Sorcerer Supreme. The current Supreme of the Earth is an old man called Thomas Linmer who can basically do everything that Obi Wan Kenobi can do, except use a lightsaber (so who gives a shit?).
Linmer, for a while, just hangs out in his Greenwich Village mansion, being magic and whatnot, when he is disturbed by a threat from his past, a sorceress called Morgan Le Fay. To defeat her, Linmer takes porno-stash-clad psychiatrist and heir to the Sorcerer Supreme Throne, Dr. Steven Strange, under his wing to teach him, you know, magic. They use magic to defeat Morgan, Strange becomes the new sorcerer and refuses to shave his Holmesian mustache.
Why It Sucked:
This plot is as far from Dr. Strange's actual origin story as you can get. In the comics, Strange is a cocky surgeon who gets in a car accident and loses his fabulous dexterity. He then travels to the Himalayas to find a hermit who might be able to help him get his job back, and it turns out the hermit is the current Sorcerer Supreme. Strange decides that this is way too much like Batman Begins and wants to leave, but can't due to a blizzard, so he decides to stick around and learn magic. The film replaces "learning magic in the Himalayas" with "learning magic as a psychiatrist in some dude's study." They also decided that the cocky surgeon who lost everything before gaining magic powers was a less compelling protagonist than a boring shrink who just gets born into magicdom.
Also this happens at one point. Not sure if that matters.
Also, Dr. Strange probably doesn't deserve his own movie. He's just not interesting enough. Still, the creators took a character who was inherently boring and made him more boring, dressed him up like John Holmes and made a shitty movie. We have simple rules when it comes to movies. If you're going to make a movie with superheroes, make it exciting and interesting, and if you're going to make a movie with porn stashes, make it full of titties and funk music. This film fails at both.
But, look, it's the mother from Arrested Development!
Why You Never Saw It:
Dr. Strange couldn't decide if it wanted to be a TV movie or a TV pilot, so it just settled on being awful. If you're mad that you weren't around when it first debuted, you can take comfort in the fact that, in 2012, another Dr. Strange film will be released, so you can make sure you don't watch that under any circumstances.