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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 March 2006, 09:30 GMT
Razzies pluck 2005 movie turkeys
By Jackie Finlay
BBC News, Los Angeles

Jenny McCarthy
Jenny McCarthy's Dirty Love walked away with four Razzies

The cameras were primed and the front pages were at the ready for the Golden Raspberry awards, the annual celebration of the year's worst movies.

Last year's event shot to prominence in its traditional Oscar-eve slot when Oscar-winner Halle Berry turned up to receive her award for worst actress.

Could the 26th staging of the Razzies this year in Hollywood keep the press and public interested?

Would Tom Cruise pay a surprise visit to collect his trophy for most tiresome tabloid target?

Surprises were hinted at - but in the end Cruise and his fellow nominees stayed away.

However, there were no disappointments when it came to the choice of winners.

Chairman John Wilson told the audience that 2005's poor year at the box office meant it was a bumper year for Razzie voters.

The hardest part for members was keeping their list to just five nominees in each of the categories, he said.

Water pistol

Cruise did indeed take the most tiresome tabloid target award, a suspiciously convenient new category.

Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton at the London premiere of the Razzied House of Wax

It was a joint win with fiancee Katie Holmes, for Cruise's performance on Oprah Winfrey's couch, his wedding proposal at the Eiffel Tower and the constant news on Holmes' pregnancy - all at the same time the pair had movies to promote.

The show's cast had a great time with a volley of jokes at Cruise's expense, including squirting a golden water pistol - recalling the time Cruise didn't see the funny side when he was squirted by a British TV crew at a movie premiere.

And it carried on from there.

The one-hour Razzies show at the rundown Ivar theatre in Hollywood had the deliberately cheap and amateur feel of a cheery club review atmosphere.

It was a clear contrast to the enormous glitz-fest of the Academy Awards - and the dose of healthy disrespect for Hollywood's failures was as welcome as an Alka-Seltzer after an over-rich dinner.

Each winner was entitled to a gold-spray painted model of a raspberry on top of a mangled Super 8 film reel, worth $4.97 according to Mr Wilson.

None was collected by its intended owner - although Darth Vader appeared complete with mask and light sabre to collect the worst supporting actor prize for Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.

Snakes on a Plane

Without any star turns, the emphasis was on the imaginative and extensive insults hurled at the films voted the worst of 2005.

Dirty Love, a comedy about a woman dumped by her boyfriend starring former glamour model Jenny McCarthy, won four awards, including worst film.

Darth Vader
Darth Vader collected an award for Hayden Christensen

Mr Wilson enjoyed pointing out that the film made less than $58,000 at box offices worldwide.

Worst supporting actress Paris Hilton came in for plenty of attention for her remake of the 1953 Vincent Price film House of Wax.

"There are certain names who when you hear that they're going to make their first movie, you think - 'that'll be a Razzie'," said the award presenter.

And Ashlee and Jessica Simpson would be forgiven for avoiding Mr Wilson for the next year or two - they may have avoided a raspberry, but their performances in Undiscovered and the Dukes of Hazzard were roundly laughed at.

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Son of the Mask, Dukes of Hazzard, Bewitched and House of Wax had been nominated in several categories but ended up with one award each.

Mr Wilson ended by predicting next year's nominations could include Poseidon, Wolfgang Petersen's remake of the 1972 disaster classic The Poseidon Adventure, and Snakes on a Plane, directed by David R Ellis, in which an assassin on a flight over the Pacific lets loose a crate of deadly snakes.

He also held out the hope of a bigger theatre for next year's event.

But if the Razzies want to continue to build on their recently raised profile, they will have to work harder to attract those celebrities ready and able to laugh at themselves.


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