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11 Famous People Who Apologized for Their Own Movies

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These 11 actors and directors just want to say how sorry they are for that movie they made.

1. and 2. George Clooney and Joel Schumacher // Batman & Robin (1997)

George Clooney has apologized repeatedly for the disastrous Batman & Robin, for everything from the film's campy tone to his portrayal of the Dark Knight to the batsuit's nipples.

"I always apologize for Batman & Robin," Clooney admitted on The Graham Norton Show in May 2015. "Let me just say that I’d actually thought I’d actually destroyed the franchise until somebody else brought it back years later and changed it." (That someone, of course, was Christopher Nolan, who directed a trilogy of Bat-films, starting with Batman Begins in 2005.) He continued, "I thought at the time that this was going to be a very good career move. Um, it wasn’t."

Like Clooney, director Joel Schumacher also apologized for the fourth installment in the Batman franchise. During a retrospective interview on the Batman & Robin special edition DVD, Schumacher said, "If there’s anybody watching this that, let’s say, loved Batman Forever and went into Batman & Robin with great anticipation, if I disappointed them in any way, then I really want to apologize because it wasn’t my intention. My intention was just to entertain them."

3. Shia LaBeouf // Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (2008)

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During a press conference for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, Shia LaBeouf publicly apologized for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. "You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven [Spielberg]," he said. "But the actor's job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn't do it. So that's my fault. Simple."

4. Oliver Stone // Midnight Express (1978)

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In 2005, Oliver Stone traveled to Turkey to personally apologize to the country’s Culture and Tourism Minister, Erkan Mumcu, for the portrayal of the Turkish people in 1978's Midnight Express. The film follows Billy Hayes (Brad Davis), an American on vacation in Turkey when he was arrested for trying to smuggle hashish out of the country. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, where he was beaten and tortured, but successfully escaped after five years. Stone won his first Oscar, for Best Adapted Screenplay, for the script (which was his first). Mumcu believes that Midnight Express is responsible for years of negative views and stereotypes against Turkey and its people.

"It’'s true I overdramatized the script," Stone told reporters in Istanbul. "But the reality of Turkish prisons at the time was also referred to … by various human rights associations. For years, I heard that Turkish people were angry with me, and I didn'’t feel safe there. The culture ministry gave me a guarantee that I would be safe, so I feel comfortable now."

After meeting with the director, Mumcu said, "Mr. Stone's expression of regret doesn't heal the wounds our nation [has suffered] but it's still important."

5. J.D. Shapiro // Battlefield Earth (2000)

When John Travolta commissioned screenwriter J.D. Shapiro to adapt one of L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction novels into a feature film, Shapiro pitched Battlefield Earth—but his version of the screenplay was darker and grittier than what eventually appeared on the big screen, a huge flop that was widely panned. Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 received the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture of the Decade in 2010, and Shapiro happily accepted the Razzie. He also penned an open letter in the New York Post, writing, "Let me start by apologizing to anyone who went to see Battlefield Earth. It wasn’t as I intended—promise. No one sets out to make a train wreck. Actually, comparing it to a train wreck isn’t really fair to train wrecks, because people actually want to watch those."

6. Eli Roth // Hostel (2005)

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In 2005, director Eli Roth formally apologized to the Icelandic Minister of Culture for the bizarre portrayal of Óli, the drunken sex-crazed, Icelandic college student in Hostel. "We had a premiere there (Iceland) and the Minister of Culture threw me a huge dinner," Roth told Dread Central. "I got to issue a formal apology to the Minister of Culture for ruining Icelandic culture, which he accepted." Additionally, the President of Iceland also issued Eli Roth an official presidential pardon for the horror movie. "Well, you know, your character is pretty accurate so I’ll give you the pardon," he joked.

7. Jeffrey Katzenberg // Envy (2004)

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"I apologize profusely for Envy," DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said during the press conference for Shark Tale during the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. Envy, which had been released just a month earlier, followed an inventor (Jack Black) whose his best friend (Ben Stiller) became increasingly jealous of his success. It was almost a straight-to-video movie, but the success of School of Rock, which starred Jack Black a year before, convinced DreamWorks to release Envy theatrically. It was a box office bomb, had very low critical ratings, and Stiller was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actor. A trifecta of terrible!

8. Vincent Gallo // The Brown Bunny (2003)

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After audiences booed The Brown Bunny at its premiere during the Cannes Film Festival in 2003, its director, Vincent Gallo, immediately apologized for making the film, which he called "a disaster and a waste of time." He vowed never to make another movie, but not before apologizing to his producers and backers. "If no one wants to see it, they are right," he said. "I apologize to the financiers of the film, but I must assure you it was never my intention to make a pretentious film, a self-indulgent film, a useless film, an unengaging film."

9. Paul Newman // The Silver Chalice (1954)

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Paul Newman was so embarrassed by his acting debut in The Silver Chalice that he called the low budget film "the worst motion picture produced during the 1950s." In 1963, a local Los Angeles TV station was scheduled to air The Silver Chalice for several nights, and Newman spent $1200 on buying space in two local newspapers that read, "Paul Newman apologizes every night this week—Channel 9." Although he hoped people wouldn’t watch The Silver Chalice, his plea backfired—the broadcast attracted high ratings because of the extra publicity. 

10. Carol Burnett // The Front Page (1974)

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In Billy Wilder’s stage-to-film adaptation of The Front Page, Carol Burnett played Mollie Malloy, a prostitute who befriends a convict who escapes prison. She wasn’t very happy with her performance, and when on a Los Angeles to New York plane that was playing The Front Page as its in-flight movie, she used the airplane’s PA system to apologize to the other passengers. "This is Carol Burnett," she announced, as she recalled in her memoir This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection. "And I want to take this opportunity to apologize to each and every one of you for my performance in the film you just saw."

11. Bruce Willis // Striking Distance (1993)

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In 2004, Bruce Willis appeared on an episode of On The Record with Bob Costas where he publicly apologized for Striking Distance, saying, "it sucked."

TAKWest, Youtube
Watch Boris Karloff's 1966 Coffee Commercial
TAKWest, Youtube
TAKWest, Youtube

Horror legend Boris Karloff is famous for playing mummies, mad scientists, and of course, Frankenstein’s creation. In 1930, Karloff cemented the modern image of the monster—with its rectangular forehead, bolted neck, and enormous boots (allegedly weighing in at 11 pounds each)—in the minds of audiences.

But the horror icon, who was born 130 years ago today, also had a sense of humor. The actor appeared in numerous comedies, and even famously played a Boris Karloff look-alike (who’s offended when he’s mistaken for Karloff) in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace

In the ’60s, Karloff also put his comedic chops to work in a commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee. The strange commercial, set in a spooky mansion, plays out like a movie scene, in which Karloff and the viewer are co-stars. Subtitles on the bottom of the screen feed the viewer lines, and Karloff responds accordingly. 

Watch the commercial below to see the British star selling coffee—and read your lines aloud to feel like you’re “acting” alongside Karloff. 

[h/t: Retroist]

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15 Must-See Holiday Horror Movies
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Families often use the holidays as an excuse to indulge in repeat viewings of Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Elf. But for a certain section of the population, the yuletide is all about horror. Although it didn’t truly emerge until the mid-1970s, “holiday horror” is a thriving subgenre that often combines comedy to tell stories of demented Saint Nicks and lethal gingerbread men. If you’ve never seen Santa slash someone, here are 15 movies to get you started.


Most holiday horror movies concern Christmas, so ThanksKilling is a bit of an anomaly. Another reason it’s an anomaly? It opens in 1621, with an axe-wielding turkey murdering a topless pilgrim woman. The movie continues on to the present-day, where a group of college friends are terrorized by that same demon bird during Thanksgiving break. It’s pretty schlocky, but if Turkey Day-themed terror is your bag, make sure to check out the sequel: ThanksKilling 3. (No one really knows what happened to ThanksKilling 2.)


Fittingly, the same man who brought us A Christmas Story also brought us its twisted cousin. Before Bob Clark co-wrote and directed the 1983 saga of Ralphie Parker, he helmed Black Christmas. It concerns a group of sorority sisters who are systematically picked off by a man who keeps making threatening phone calls to their house. Oh, and it all happens during the holidays. Black Christmas is often considered the godfather of holiday horror, but it was also pretty early on the slasher scene, too. It opened the same year as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and beat Halloween by a full four years.


This movie isn’t about Santa Claus himself going berserk and slaughtering a bunch of people. But it is about a troubled teen who does just that in a Santa suit. Billy Chapman starts Silent Night, Deadly Night as a happy little kid, only to witness a man dressed as St. Nick murder his parents in cold blood. Years later, after he has grown up and gotten a job at a toy store, he conducts a killing spree in his own red-and-white suit. The PTA and plenty of critics condemned the film for demonizing a kiddie icon, but it turned into a bona fide franchise with four sequels and a 2012 remake.


This Finnish flick dismantles Santa lore in truly bizarre fashion, and it’s not easy to explain in a quick plot summary. But Rare Exports involves a small community living at the base of Korvatunturi mountain, a major excavation project, a bunch of dead reindeer, and a creepy old naked dude who may or may not be Santa Claus. Thanks to its snowy backdrop, the movie scored some comparisons to The Thing, but the hero here isn’t some Kurt Russell clone with equally feathered hair. It’s a bunch of earnest kids and their skeptical dads, who all want to survive the holidays in one piece.


To All a Goodnight follows a by-now familiar recipe: Add a bunch of young women to one psycho dressed as Santa Claus and you get a healthy dose of murder and this 1980 slasher flick. Only this one takes place at a finishing school. So it’s fancier.

6. KRAMPUS (2015)

Although many Americans are blissfully unaware of him, Krampus has terrorized German-speaking kids for centuries. According to folklore, he’s a yuletide demon who punishes naughty children. (He’s also part-goat.) That’s some solid horror movie material, so naturally Krampus earned his own feature film. In the movie, he’s summoned because a large suburban family loses its Christmas cheer. That family has an Austrian grandma who had encounters with Krampus as a kid, so he returns to punish her descendants. He also animates one truly awful Jack-in-the-Box.


“Eat me, you punk b*tch!” That’s one of the many corny catchphrases spouted by the Gingerdead Man, an evil cookie possessed by the spirit of a convicted killer (played by Gary Busey). The lesson here, obviously, is to never bake.

8. JACK FROST (1997)

No, this isn’t the Michael Keaton snowman movie. It’s actually a holiday horror movie that beat that family film by a year. In this version, Jack Frost is a serial killer on death row who escapes prison and then, through a freak accident, becomes a snowman. He embarks on a murder spree that’s often played for laughs—for instance, the cops threaten him with hairdryers. But the comedy is pretty questionable in the infamous, and quite controversial, Shannon Elizabeth shower scene.

9. ELVES (1989)

Based on the tagline—“They’re not working for Santa anymore”—you’d assume this is your standard evil elves movie. But Elves weaves Nazis, bathtub electrocutions, and a solitary, super grotesque elf into its utterly absurd plot. Watch at your own risk.

10. SINT (2010)

The Dutch have their own take on Santa, and his name is Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas travels to the Netherlands via steamship each year with his racist sidekick Zwarte Piet. But otherwise, he’s pretty similar to Santa. And if Santa can be evil, so can Sinterklaas. According to the backstory in Sint (or Saint), the townspeople burned their malevolent bishop alive on December 5, 1492. But Sinterklaas returns from the grave on that date whenever there’s a full moon to continue dropping bodies. In keeping with his olden origins, he rides around on a white horse wielding a golden staff … that he can use to murder you.

11. SANTA’S SLAY (2005)

Ever wonder where Santa came from? This horror-comedy claims he comes from the worst possible person: Satan. The devil’s kid lost a bet many years ago and had to pretend to be a jolly gift-giver. But now the terms of the bet are up and he’s out to act like a true demon. That includes killing Fran Drescher and James Caan, obviously.


Another Santa slasher is on the loose in All Through the House, but the big mystery here is who it is. This villain dons a mask during his/her streak through suburbia—and, as the genre dictates, offs a bunch of promiscuous young couples along the way. The riddle is all tied up in the disappearance of a little girl, who vanished several years earlier.


Several years before Silent Night, Deadly Night garnered protests for its anti-Kringle stance, Christmas Evil put a radicalized Santa at the center of its story. The movie’s protagonist, Harry Stadling, first starts to get weird thoughts in his head as a kid when he sees “Santa” (really his dad in the costume) groping his mom. Then, he becomes unhealthily obsessed with the holiday season, deludes himself into thinking he’s Santa, and goes on a rampage. The movie is mostly notable for its superfan John Waters, who lent commentary to the DVD and gave Christmas Evil some serious cult cred.

14. SANTA CLAWS (1996)

If you thought this was the holiday version of Pet Sematary, guess again. The culprit here isn’t a demon cat in a Santa hat, but a creepy next-door neighbor. Santa Claws stars B-movie icon Debbie Rochon as Raven Quinn, an actress going through a divorce right in the middle of the holidays. She needs some help caring for her two girls, so she seeks out Wayne, her neighbor who has an obsessive crush on her. He eventually snaps and dresses up as Santa Claus in a ski mask. Mayhem ensues.

15. NEW YEAR’S EVIL (1980)

Because the holidays aren’t over until everyone’s sung “Auld Lang Syne,” we can’t count out New Year’s Eve horror. In New Year’s Evil, lady rocker Blaze is hosting a live NYE show. Everything is going well, until a man calls in promising to kill at midnight. The cops write it off as a prank call, but soon, Blaze’s friends start dropping like flies. Just to tie it all together, the mysterious murderer refers to himself as … “EVIL.”


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