The Hunt for the Worst Movie of All Time continues this week with Baby Geniuses. I was skeptical that a children’s comedy could even be considered in this search for the same reason that I’m convinced that nothing involving the Wayans Brothers can be considered: any broad comedy created to wring a few dollars out of an unquestioning audience, however lame or aesthetically unpleasant, is at least open about its intentions. That being said, I’m not sure that Baby Geniuses is a comedy for children, because I have been to college and I have no idea what happened. Children have not been to college. I promise you this: I am smarter than any child. I might not know as much trivia on whatever forgettable subject they’re rote memorizing in playschool at the moment, but systematically and comprehensively I am way more smarter than they is.

The basic (not basic) premise of Baby Geniuses is that Kathleen Turner is an evil billionaire with a company called Baby Co, which as far as I can tell makes its money from a brand new theme park she just opened called Joy World? But it just opened so how is she rich? We don’t have time to get tangled up in the exposition, so let’s just move on. Besides, you can make tons of money from indoor theme parks that only have one roller-coaster and are geared towards pre-verbal children. I’m pretty sure that’s how Bill Gates made his money before investing some of his fortune in his computer hobby. Joy World’s mascot, like the movie, is horrifying and confusing.

Meanwhile, 25 miles below Joy World is a secret laboratory where Kathleen Turner has secreted some babies and is trying to scientifically prove that her method of child development can create geniuses, because if she proves that she will be put in charge of teaching all the babies in the world? And she will then have exclusive ownership of their genius? Which makes sense because teaching is very lucrative, that’s why only billionaires are teachers, and when you teach a child really well you get to own them. It’s in the Constitution.

The only way that her “evil” plan can be foiled is if one of her baby genius subjects, Sylvester, escapes and accidentally runs into his twin, Whit, because if the twins meet then somehow that will tear a hole in the twin-time continuum. Sylvester does escape, because he is a genius, and he accidentally runs into his twin at the mall, because the first place any genius goes when he escapes from confinement is the mall, and that is where most accidental meetings occur. Then the babies get switched, and non-genius babies have to go break other babies out of genius jail. Or something. This is where the movie really gets confusing because it turns out all babies are basically geniuses but some are more geniuses than others (see: karate, the one true sign of a genius), and also this movie is retarded. It ends with a showdown at Joy Land and an anti-climactic low-hanging helicopter-rope-ladder battle on the roof of Baby Co. Kathleen Turner is caught baby-handed and cannot take the Baby Geniuses with her to Lichtenstein, which is what she was going to do (seriously) to erase the evidence of her incomprehensible scheme that an hour and a half later I still do not understand at all. Another classic children’s tale.

The whole movie is predicated on a supposed ancient Tibetan idea that all humans have access to universal knowledge for the first two years of their life, but lose that knowledge when they enter the verbal world. That’s right, this movie is ancient Tibet’s fault. I’m pretty sure there was also an ancient Tibetan idea that all babies have universal Krav Maga skills.

What? Oh, and just when you think it’s over and you have made it through, scarred but alive, it ends with a five minute montage in no particular order of babies in the movie doing baby things while Randy Travis’s “A Gift of Love” plays in the background. Just celebrating the beauty of babies with CGI lips who make jokes about Weight Watchers and aroma therapy.

Almost everyone in the movie was white. Not just everyone with a major role, or all of the babies, but everyone who appeared on screen. The characters would enter the lobby of a building or walk through a crowded mall and everyone would be white. There is one supporting character who is black, played by Ruby Dee, who admittedly counts as four black people, but still. Other than that, totally white in a kind of amazing way. Here is the only other black person in the movie.

The good foil to Kathleen Turner’s villain is played by Kim Cattrall, who runs a down-on-its-luck daycare center. The movie makes a big point about how Kathleen Turner has so much money and is so rich, and how Kim Cattrall and her husband are struggling and have no money. You can tell that they are poor by the house they live in.

Motherfuckers live in the nicest fucking house.

I did have a few favorite moments in the movie:

Baby gets stuffed in duffel bag:

Baby gets stuffed in pillowcase:

P. Oopie Bottoms & Sons

Animatronic alien puppet at theme park that shoots real lasers:

Anyway, this is truly a horrible horrible movie. Nevertheless, it was profitable enough for a sequel, SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2, and according to IMDB a third movie is currently in production. Good job, American consumers responsible for this. I’m so glad you’re in charge of raising children.

Next time: The Lady in the Water.

As always make your suggestions for TWMOAT in the comments or in an email. If you have not before, please consult the Official Rules.

Comments (32)
  1. “He accidentally runs into his twin at the mall, because the first place any genius goes when he escapes from confinement is the mall, and that is where most accidental meetings occur.”

    Shoot me.

    • oh my god. that clip looks awful. and to think, I was going to put that on my netflix queue after a few jezebel commenters talked about how great “big business” was.

      Gabe, this hunt is going to turn you into a Sisyphus of dvd watching.

    • Bobby Bo  |   Posted on May 29th, 2008 +2

      With all due respect these movies are awful but not the worst ever. That award should go to “Gerry” starring Matt Damon and Casey Affleck. These two guys go for a walk in the desert for the whole movie. At one point the cameraman is walking next to them filming them walk with “no” dialogue for close to 10 minutes. Check it out.

      • Gerry is kind of rough going, but I see it as a practice film for both Elephant and Last Days, both of which are great.

        So no.

  2. seen a lot of bad movies  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

    Please do “the smokers.”

  3. Alex  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

    Is it too late to add Catwoman to the list? There’s a Catwoman plays basketball scene.

    • Catwoman has been suggested (and seen), but I think that Superhero movies are just out of the running. They already have such elaborately ridiculous premises based on beloved but outlandish mythologies that it’s hard to criticize a movie for failing to make the unbelievable believable enough.

  4. David  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

    You have to consider a movie called “Stick It” with Jeff Bridges. Beleive me. You won’t be disappointed

  5. David  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

    You have to consider a movie called “Stick It” with Jeff Bridges. Beleive me. You won’t be disappointed

  6. I’m pretty sure I saw this movie when it first came out but I don’t remember any of this. Maybe it was a different movie with talking babies?
    I just watched “Teeth” last night and I really think that should be considered. A movie about Vagina Dentata has absolutely no chance of being good, but add in the horrible acting and how the movie portrays every man as an evil sex-addict and you’ve got one baaaad movie.

    • I think you horribley misunderstood the point of Teeth, which was actually an intentionally campy piece with a subversive message containing some majorly loaded feminist values.

      • I’m not so sure “horribly” would be the correct adverb here; I’d say more “sorta”. While the film’s tone was intentionally campy & divisively misogynistic, it was the story’s/ director’s/ actor’s/ hermit crab w/ a penis’ execution of both that made the film a complete shit sandwich.

        • Whatever. I liked it. A lot. It even got me laid. Granted it was a date withg another dude.

          • Did they intentionally hire terrible actors? Still, it makes me feel better that it was so bad on purpose. (I really don’t get the point of intentionally campy movies, but I guess it’s just not my thing)

  7. pleaaase check out Pet Sematary , even the title is ridiculous. its a shame stephen king created that!

  8. Considering that suggesting Troll 2 is purely cliché and loved for being the worst, I’m going to say it might be worth checking out the Elvira movie, “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.” The plot circulates around her desire to be have a show in vegas and the enormity of her breasts.

    • But Elvira is pure camp, and intentionally so. She was created by God to make things that aren’t very good. I’m not sure you can really judge her harshly, or reward her highly, for succeeding at that mission.

  9. Indeed ‘Stick It’ is a horrendous movie about a gymnast who is clearly too big to be a gymnast and that’s why she’s doing this movie. I think she goes to gymnast camp as punishment for being a juvenile baddy? It involves snarking with horrible girls and coming out from down under. Why Bridges is in it…I just have no idea.

  10. True. I think Mariah Carey’s Glitter is probs a better suggestion.

  11. WAIT! True suggestion that isn’t just a random thought. “In Her Shoes” It ends with a weird jamaican wedding even though they are both white. Check it.

  12. “Beer Fest.” One of many fine examples of American films using Americans to play Germans, so when they speak German they sound like Americans on student exchange and when they speak English they sound like Americans trying to sound like Germans speaking English. Surely there must be plenty of unemployed German actors lurking around Hollywood or wherever they film this rubbish. And rubbish it is!

  13. Tycho  |   Posted on May 29th, 2008 0

    thankfully this suggestion will never have the circulation needed to be truly hated enough to make it on the list, but maybe it is misguidedly pretentious enough to merit a mention …
    Le Souffle

    A city kid goes to the country, is bored, gets drunk, thinks he is a wolf, fucks a tree, has some bizarre naked wrestling scenes with older drunken men, shoot his friend, and then realises the error of his ways, so his friend is no longer dead ….

    I have a degree in philosophy and even I considered this a waste of time.

  14. I’m pretty sure I remember Jon Voight being interviewed promoting this on the Daily Show years ago and saying that it was basically his pet project, Hollywood industrial complex be damned. He described the premise so sincerely, and how necessary and amazing this movie clearly was. I think it’s why Angelina Jolie estranged him.

  15. Jwizzie  |   Posted on May 29th, 2008 0


    Do I need to say more?

  16. MikeS  |   Posted on May 30th, 2008 0

    You have to check out Even Cowgirls Get the Blues – great cast, great director, great source material, amazingly awful movie.

  17. bree  |   Posted on May 30th, 2008 0

    Van Helsing. Unbearably stupid.

  18. I have to second ‘Dreamcatcher’.

    ‘The Forgotten’ is a miserable film. The whole thing is given away in the first five minutes and the remaining two hours are a sequence of repetitive, predictable tripe.

    Finally, I haven’t thought of it in a long time, but I would put ‘Any Given Sunday’ on the list. It has whiny, unlikable characters, boring plot lines, and the action sequences are filmed from the perspective of an epileptic in the midst of a seizure. A shirtless Jamie Foxx was the only redeeming quality, and even that wasn’t enough to keep me awake.

  19. Awesome! I can’t believe I just got around to reading these archives. I haven’t seen the movie and therefore cannot vouch for its shittiness, but I do have the dubious pleasure of being a shift manager at a Blockbuster, where we not only carry 4 copies of the doubtless much worse sequel, SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2, they are checked out on a constant basis. Ew.

  20. hopa  |   Posted on Oct 23rd, 2008 -2

    No over rapidshare crawlers can be compared with megauploadfiles.comis a best megaupload search engine.

  21. i wonder how did you managed to watch it till the end? it’s unbearably boring…

  22. bobby  |   Posted on Feb 6th, 2009 +1

    Actually, both those movies were horrible. “Elephant” is forgivable due to its largely amatuer cast, but “Last Days” was not only a mess of a film, but also a slap in the face of anyone who liked Nirvana or knew anything at all about Kurt Cobain.

  23. Honestly this movie is really good. I saw it when I was like five and loved it and understood everything that was going on, so obviously you are dumber than a child. It’s a freaking kids movie things like why Kathleen Turner has tons of money if she’s just opening a theme park or why Kim Catrall lives in a big house aren’t supposed to be analyzed, it’s just a kids movie. Its with babies that are cute and has funny jokes to a little kids. It’s not like they were going for an oscar they were going to entertain children. i can guarantee a lot of kids from my generation saw this movie and loved it and there parents thought it was dumb but cute. In fact this stupid article came up cause I was trying to leave a joke about this movie on my friends wall who I know enjoyed this movie when he was a kid too. I can think of far stupider movies that should be on this list like all the crap cgi animal movies they make these days.

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