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10 People Who Accepted Their Razzie Awards

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Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honors the very best in film achievements and cinema. But the night before the Academy names its winners, another ceremony takes place, one that awards the worst that cinema has offered that year: the Golden Raspberry Awards. Although most people wouldn’t be happy to be considered the worst at something, there are a few actors, writers, and directors who have a sense of humor about themselves—and will show up to accept their awards.

1. Halle Berry for Catwoman

Halle Berry accepted the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her work in Catwoman at the Ivar Theatre in Hollywood, California. While giving her speech during the 25th Golden Raspberry Awards, Berry held the Razzie Award in one hand and her Academy Award for Best Female Actor in a Leading Role for her performance in the film Monster’s Ball in the other. Berry thanked the film’s director and her manager in a parody of her Oscar acceptance speech a few years earlier.

2. J. David Shapiro for Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000

In 2001, screenwriter J. David Shapiro received a Golden Raspberry for Worst Screenplay for the science fiction film Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000. Wilson delivered the Razzie on radio personality Mark Ebner’s show in Los Angeles. While Shapiro was more than happy to receive the Razzie, he later recalled the film’s star John Travolta’s comments after reading the film’s script. Apparently, Travolta called Battlefield Earth "the Schindler's List of science fiction."

Ten years later, during the 30th Golden Raspberry Awards in 2010, J. David Shapiro also accepted the Razzie Award for Worst Picture of the Decade for Battlefield Earth.

3. Paul Verhoeven for Showgirls

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Director Paul Verhoeven is mostly known for making sleazy, yet thoughtful, pulpy genre movies, including RoboCop, Total Recall, and Basic Instinct. While many of his films are critically acclaimed, his 1995 film Showgirls was definitely not. To no one’s surprise, Showgirls received six Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Actress for Elizabeth Berkley, Worst Screenplay for screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, and Worst Picture and Worst Director for Paul Verhoeven, who was the first person in Razzie history to attend the ceremony and accept the awards. “I got seven awards for being the worst, and it was more fun than reading the reviews (for Showgirls) in September,” said the Dutch-born director.

4. Brian Helgeland for The Postman

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Screenwriter Brian Helgeland was awarded the Worst Screenplay Golden Raspberry in 1998 for The Postman, directed by and starring Kevin Costner. Helgeland received the Razzie from John Wilson at the writer’s office on the Warner Bros lot in Los Angeles and even prepared a speech for the occasion, owning up to his part in making one of the worst films of the year. A few days later, Helgeland was awarded an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for L.A. Confidential. He currently keeps his Razzie and Oscar together side-by-side as a way to remember “the quixotic nature of Hollywood."

5. Tom Green for Freddy Got Fingered

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During the 22nd Golden Raspberry Awards in 2002, Tom Green received five Razzie Awards—including Worst Actor, Worst Director, Worst Picture, Worst Screen Couple (with any animal Green abused in the film), and Worst Screenplay—for the film Freddy Got Fingered. Tom Green attended the ceremony at the Abracadabra Theater at Magicopolis in Santa Monica, California, where he was dragged off stage while accepting one of his awards because he wouldn’t stop obnoxiously playing the harmonica.

6. Tom Selleck for Christopher Columbus: The Discovery

In 1993, actor Tom Selleck received the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his performance as King Ferdinand of Spain in the film Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. Selleck gladly accepted the award while he was making a guest appearance on the short-lived Chevy Chase Show on Fox.

7. Michael Ferris for Catwoman

Halle Berry wasn't the only one who won a Razzie for Catwoman: Michael Ferris, who penned the script, accepted the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay for the film. During his acceptance speech, Ferris thanked the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation for increasing the film's DVD sales.

8. David Eigenberg for Sex and the City 2

In 2011, actor David Eigenberg accepted the Golden Raspberry for Worst Screen Couple/Screen Ensemble on behalf of the entire cast of Sex in the City 2. He worked with Razzie founder John Wilson on creating an acceptance video that was later posted on the organization’s official YouTube channel.

9. Bill Cosby for Leonard Part 6

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The embattled Bill Cosby wrote and starred in one of the worst films of 1988. Leonard Part 6 featured Cosby as a former CIA agent forced out of retirement to hunt down an evil vegetarian hell bent on taking over the world.

Leonard Part 6 received three Golden Raspberry Awards—or Razzies—for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor. When Cosby found out about the "honor," he contacted John J.B. Wilson, the founder of the Razzies, and demanded that the organization give him an actual trophy. Displeased with the makeshift $1.97 statue he received, Cosby told his publicist “I want my Golden Raspberry and if it isn’t golden, I’m going to the press.” His publicist explained that Wilson was a one-man outfit operating out of his living room, but Cosby was adamant. “That’s a cop-out. If you’re going to take a big name and declare it ‘the worst’, you have to perform." Fox’s Late Show stepped in and paid for marble and gold trophies (at a cost of $30,000) and hosted a mini-Razzies presentation ceremony on the show.

10. Sandra Bullock for All About Steve

In 2010, Sandra Bullock received the Golden Raspberry Award for her performance in the movie All About Steve. While Bullock was happy enough to appear at the ceremony itself, she was not pleased to receive the award for Worst Actress. Sandra Bullock gave everyone attending the 30th Golden Raspberry Awards a DVD copy of All About Steve. She also brought a copy of the film’s final shooting script and playfully threatened the audience with a line reading of the entire movie. The day after the awards ceremony, Bullock won the Academy Award for Best Female Actor in a Leading Role for her performance in the film The Blind Side.

BONUS: Ben Affleck for Paycheck, Daredevil, and Gigli

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Ben Affleck received a Golden Raspberry for his leading performances in the films Paycheck, Daredevil, and Gigli, which all hit theaters in 2004. While Affleck didn’t attend the ceremony to receive the award, he was presented with the Golden Raspberry during his appearance on Larry King Live, where he proceeded to call the trophy cheap, began to pull it apart, and ultimately refused the award.

The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation later put the award up for bid on eBay; it sold for $1375. The money earned from the sale was used in part to rent the Ivar Theatre in Hollywood, California for the 25th Golden Raspberry Awards the following year.

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8 Gonzo Facts About Hunter S. Thompson
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Hunter S. Thompson in Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson (2008)
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Like any real-life legend, there are many myths surrounding the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson. But in Thompson’s case, most of those stories—particularly the more outlandish ones—are absolutely true. The founder of the “Gonzo journalism” movement is one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century. In celebration of what would have been his 80th birthday, here are some things you might not have known about the eccentric writer.

1. HE WAS NAMED AFTER A FAMOUS SCOTTISH SURGEON.

Hunter S. Thompson was reportedly named after one of his mother’s ancestors, a Scottish surgeon named Nigel John Hunter. But Hunter wasn't just your run-of-the-mill surgeon. In a 2004 interview with the Independent, Thompson brought along a copy of The Reluctant Surgeon, a Biography of Nigel John Hunter, a biography of his namesake, which read: "A gruff Scotsman, Hunter has been described as the most important naturalist between Aristotle and Darwin, the Shakespeare of medicine and the greatest man the British ever produced. He was the first to trace the lymphatic system. He performed the first human artificial insemination. He was the greatest collector of anatomical specimens in history. He prescribed the orthopaedic shoe that allowed Lord Byron to walk."

When pressed about what that description had to do with him, Thompson responded: "Well, I guess that might be the secret of my survival. Good genes."

2. HE MISSED HIS HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION … BECAUSE HE WAS IN JAIL.

Just a few weeks before he was set to graduate from high school, at the age of 17, Thompson was charged as an accessory to robbery and sentenced to 60 days in jail. 

“One night Ralston Steenrod, who was in the Athenaeum with Hunter, was driving, and Hunter and another guy he knew were in the car,” Thompson’s childhood friend Neville Blakemore recalled of the incident. “As they were driv­ing through Cherokee Park, the other guy said, ‘Stop. I want to bum a ciga­rette from that car.’ People used to go park and neck at this spot. And the guy got out and apparently went back and mugged them. The guy who was mugged got their license number and traced the car, and within a very short time they were all three arrested.

“Just before this Hunter had been blamed for a nighttime gas-station rob­bery,” Blakemore added, “and before that he and some friends got arrested for buying booze under­age at Abe's Liquor Store on Frankfort Avenue by the tracks. So Hunter had a record, and he was already on probation. He was given an ultimatum: jail or the military. And Hunter took the Air Force. He didn't graduate with his class.”

3. IT WAS A FELLOW JOURNALIST WHO COINED THE TERM “GONZO.”

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While covering the 1968 New Hampshire primary, Thompson met fellow writer and editor Bill Carodoso, editor of The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, which is where Thompson first heard him use the word “Gonzo.” “It meant sort of ‘crazy’ or ‘off-the-wall,’” Thompson said in Anita Thompson’s Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson. Two years later, in June 1970, Thompson wrote an article for Scanlan’s Monthly entitled “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,” which became a game-changing moment in journalism because of its offbeat, slightly manic style that was written with first-person subjectivity.

Among the many fellow journalists who praised Thompson for the piece was Cardoso, who sent a letter to Thompson that “said something like, ‘Forget all the sh*t you’ve been writing, this is it; this is pure Gonzo.’ Gonzo. Yeah, of course. That’s what I was doing all the time. Of course, I might be crazy.” Thompson ran with the word, and would use it himself for the first time a year later, in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

4. HE TYPED OUT FAMOUS NOVELS TO LEARN THE ART OF WRITING.

In order to get the “feel” of being a writer, Thompson used to retype his favorite novels in full. “[H]is true model and hero was F. Scott Fitzgerald,” Louis Menand wrote in The New Yorker. “He used to type out pages from The Great Gatsby, just to get the feeling, he said, of what it was like to write that way, and Fitzgerald’s novel was continually on his mind while he was working on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was published, after a prolonged and agonizing compositional nightmare, in 1972.”

"If you type out somebody's work, you learn a lot about it,” Thompson told Charlie Rose in 1997. “Amazingly it's like music. And from typing out parts of Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald—these were writers that were very big in my life and the lives of the people around me—so yeah, I wanted to learn from the best I guess."

5. HE RAN FOR SHERIFF IN COLORADO.

In 1970, Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado on what he called the Freak Power ticket. Among his political tactics: shaving his head so that he could refer to his opponent as his “long-haired opponent,” promising to eat mescaline while on duty, and campaigning to rename Aspen “Fat City” to deter "greed heads, land-rapers, and other human jackals from capitalizing on the name 'Aspen.'" Unfortunately, he lost.

6. HE STOLE A MEMENTO FROM ERNEST HEMINGWAY.

In 1964, three years after Ernest Hemingway committed suicide at his cabin in Ketchum, Idaho, Thompson traveled to the late author’s home in order to write “What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?” While there, according to his widow, Hunter “got caught up in the moment” and took “a big pair of elk horns over the front door.” Last year, more than a decade after Thompson’s death, Anita returned the antlers to the Hemingway family—which is something she and Hunter had always planned to do. “They were warm and kind of tickled … they were so open and grateful, there was no weirdness,” Anita said.

7. HE ONCE USED THE INSIDE OF MUSICIAN JOHN OATES’ COLORADO CABIN AS HIS PERSONAL PARKING SPACE.

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Earlier this month, musician John Oates—the latter half of Hall & Oates—shared a story about his ranch in Woody Creek, Colorado, just outside of Aspen, which is currently on the market for $6 million. In an interview with Colorado Public Radio, Oates recalled how when he first purchased the cabin, there was a red convertible parked inside. “I happened to ask the real estate agent who owned the convertible, and he said ‘your neighbor Hunter Thompson,’” Oates said. “Why is he keeping his car in a piece of property he doesn’t own? The real estate agent looked at me and said ‘It’s Woody Creek, you’ll figure this out. It’s a different kind of place.’” After sending several letters to his neighbor to retrieve his vehicle, Oates took matters into his own hands and deposited the car on Thompson’s lawn. Oates said that the two became friends, but never mentioned the incident.

8. AT HIS FUNERAL, HIS ASHES WERE SHOT OUT OF A CANNON.

On February 20, 2005—at the age of 67—Thompson committed suicide. But Thompson wasn’t about to leave this world quietly. In August of that year, in accordance with his wishes, Thompson's ashes were shot into the air from a cannon while fireworks filled the sky.

“He loved explosions," his widow, Anita, told ESPN, which wrote that, “The private celebration included actors Bill Murray and Johnny Depp, rock bands, blowup dolls and plenty of liquor to honor Thompson, who killed himself six months ago at the age of 67.”

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15 Memorable Quotes from George A. Romero
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Hollywood has lost one of its most iconic horror innovators with the death of George A. Romero, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 77. “He died peacefully in his sleep, following a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer, and leaves behind a loving family, many friends, and a filmmaking legacy that has endured, and will continue to endure, the test of time,” his manager, Chris Roe, said in a statement.

Though he rose to prominence as the master of zombie flicks, beginning with Night of the Living Dead, Romero honed his filmmaking skills on a far less frightening set: shooting bits for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

“I still joke that 'Mr. Rogers Gets a Tonsillectomy' is the scariest film I’ve ever made,” Romero once said. “What I really mean is that I was scared sh*tless while I was trying to pull it off.” (Rogers returned the favor by being a longtime champion of Romero’s work—and even called Dawn of the Dead “a lot of fun.”)

It’s that high-spirited sense of fun that made Romero’s work so iconic—and kept the New York City native busy for nearly 50 years. To celebrate his life and career, here are 15 of his most memorable quotes on everything from the humanity of zombies to the horror of Hollywood producers.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A SENSE OF HUMOR

“For a Catholic kid in parochial school, the only way to survive the beatings—by classmates, not the nuns—was to be the funny guy.”

ON THE HOLLYWOOD WAY

“If I fail, the film industry writes me off as another statistic. If I succeed, they pay me a million bucks to fly out to Hollywood and fart.”

ON BEING PIGEONHOLED

“As a filmmaker you get typecast just as much as an actor does, so I'm trapped in a genre that I love, but I'm trapped in it!”

ON ZOMBIES AS A METAPHOR

“I also have always liked the monster within idea. I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters.”

ON FINDING OBJECTIVITY AS A FILMMAKER

“There are so many factors when you think of your own films. You think of the people you worked on it with, and somehow forget the movie. You can't forgive the movie for a long time. It takes a few years to look at it with any objectivity and forgive its flaws.”

ON THE REAL VALUE OF THE INTERNET

“What the Internet's value is that you have access to information but you also have access to every lunatic that's out there that wants to throw up a blog.”

ON THE HORROR OF DEALING WITH PRODUCERS

“I'll never get sick of zombies. I just get sick of producers.”

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLABORATION

“Collaborate, don’t dictate.”

ON THE BEAUTY OF LOW-BUDGET MOVIEMAKING

“I don't think you need to spend $40 million to be creepy. The best horror films are the ones that are much less endowed.”

ON HUMANS BEING THE REAL VILLAINS

“My zombies will never take over the world because I need the humans. The humans are the ones I dislike the most, and they're where the trouble really lies.”

ON BEING IMMUNE TO TRENDS

“Somehow I've been able to keep standing and stay in my little corner and do my little stuff and I'm not particularly affected by trends or I'm not dying to make a 3-D movie or anything like that. I'm just sort of happy to still be around.”

ON THE HUMANITY OF HORROR

“My stories are about humans and how they react, or fail to react, or react stupidly. I'm pointing the finger at us, not at the zombies. I try to respect and sympathize with the zombies as much as possible.”

ON THE ENDURING APPEAL OF HORROR

“If one horror film hits, everyone says, 'Let's go make a horror film.' It's the genre that never dies.”

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SURROUNDING ZOMBIES WITH STUPID PEOPLE

“A zombie film is not fun without a bunch of stupid people running around and observing how they fail to handle the situation.”

ON LIFE AFTER DEATH

“I'm like my zombies. I won't stay dead!”

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