We all remember that awful moment when half of America sat in stunned disbelief, asking ourselves questions like "How did this happen?" or "How can people be so vile?" or "How will we even survive the next few years?" Yes, we're talking about when we saw The Phantom Menace for the first time. (Why, what did you think we meant?)
Well, just like how every great movie owes its existence to a multitude of factors, the truly terrible ones have similarly complicated backstories. Because it's important to know our past so that we may not repeat it, here, once again, are the ridiculous causes of some of the most infamous crimes against cinema.
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull -- George Lucas Wore Everyone Down
What can you say about this movie? At this point, it's been shit on more than Biff Tannen -- and rightfully so. It features trans-dimensional aliens, drops the bomb that Indy was a deadbeat dad, and gleefully reveals that the mythic treasure they spend the whole movie searching for is "knowledge." That's some Wizard Of Oz bullshit right there.
Archaeologists love it when their discoveries turn out to be abstract concepts.
What The Hell Happened:
You might think that the movie was the result of Steven Spielberg watching episodes of The X-Files and Even Stevens through an ether-soaked rag, but the real culprit seems to be George Lucas. The guy who invented Indiana Jones in the first place was also the guy ensuring that the fourth film would be a boulder-sized turd of suckage.
For starters, the reason there was such a long gap between The Last Crusade and Crystal Skull in the first place? Lucas insisted the movie had to be about aliens, which Harrison Ford and even noted alien groupie Spielberg objected to. At one point, they had a script by Frank "Shawshank Redemption" Darabont that everyone loved ... but Lucas vetoed it. (Darabont described him as "one of the most stubborn men I know.") Eventually, through Lucas' Force-like power of pure bullheadedness, he wore everybody down. Even though he didn't "believe in it," Spielberg agreed to include aliens out of friendship.
Neither was a friend of Cate Blanchett, though, or they wouldn't have given her that hairdo.
The one contentious moment that's become a focal point of fan rage over the years is the "nuke the fridge" scene, in which Indiana Jones survives an atomic blast by crawling inside of a refrigerator. The only worse lesson for children would be if Indy started playing with a loaded gun while bragging about how awesome crystal meth is.