The Year in Underachievements


Now in their third year, the annual Village Voice Hidekis were originally defined as toasting “non-achievement” in movies, and with their terminally mediocre namesake since traded to Montreal, the honor is more “non-” than ever. Perhaps for next year’s bungles, we’ll hand out the Knoblauchs. Special commendatory Hidekis go this year to:

  • The crackerjack technical team behind the computerized infant mouths (rivaled only by the talking camel’s in The Road to Morocco) and the salty dialogue dubbed therein in Baby Geniuses.

  • The monstrous creators of Pokémon: The First Movie, for plaguing my dreams and my kid’s Kid Meals.

  • The ambitious casting director of I Woke Up Early the Day I Died, daring to crowd the talents of Billy Zane, Karen Black, Eartha Kitt, Ron Perlman, Maila Nurmi, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas into one blessedly dialogue-free movie. Extra garlands for the cameo by Kathy Wood, Ed Wood’s boozy widow and possessor of perhaps the most terrifyingly drink-mottled face this side of Lon Chaney Jr. in his final year.

  • The snooze-inducing digital toilers behind Lake Placid, Deep Blue Sea, The Phantom Menace, The Haunting, etc.

  • The makers of Eyes Wide Shut and Titus, for demonstrating that Ken Russell haunts us still.

  • The distributor of House on Haunted Hill, for thinking that holding a $1 million lottery among ticket buyers would encourage attendance.

  • The directors of Ride With the Devil, The Minus Man, and Dogma, for the Lilith Fair acting debuts, which, if not awful, indeed achieved very little.

    And special kudos to the very many people who saw neither Jakob the Liar nor Bicentennial Man. Give yourselves a hand.

  • Highlights