Sly Stallone has been a silver screen mainstay since the 70s, and he's still had a storied career with plenty of legitimate hits. The Rocky franchise alone speaks volumes to this.
Other times though, let's be real for a second, the man's starred in some pretty massive duds. Whether he genuinely thought they were projects worth his time, or whether he needed a paycheck that month, we'll never truly know. The results, however, will last us 'til the end of time.
In honor of the man's 71st birthday on July 6th, here's some of our favorite terrible movies of his long and illustrious career.
1) Tango & Cash (1989)
This one comes in pretty low because it's just shy of being legitimately great. This buddy cop movie teams Stallone up with action legend Kurt Russel for an action comedy that had an unfortunately troubled production.
Ultimately forced by the studio to be a much sillier movie than its director originally envisioned, it's still an incredibly fun action flick starring two action superstars at the height of their game. Great stuff.
2) Demolition Man (1986)
Much like Tango & Cash, this one is hard to qualify because it's pretty bad, but also pretty amazing. When Stallone's John Spartan, a police officer cryogenically frozen as punishment for his extreme methods, is released in the future to fight his old rival, Simon Phoenix (played by Wesley Snipes at his absolute craziest), the results are nothing short of hilarious.
Demolition Man paints a version of the future where everything is sterilized to the extreme; cursing is a fine-able offense, guns are a thing of the past, commercial jingles are the top hits of the charts, and sex is had without ever touching each other.
It's a hilarious premise played to the hilt by actors like Snipes and a young Sandra Bullock, whose over the top craziness and wholesomeness respectively clash against Stallone's deadpan, stoic action hero. It's an absurd and in some ways terrible movie, but it's absolutely worth watching.
3) Rocky IV (1985)
The movie that's easily the silliest of the Rocky franchise is also one of its absolutely most watchable. Directed by Stallone himself, this was a movie that could only have been made at the height of the Cold War.
Stallone returns to the titular role to come out of retirement and take on Dolph Lundgren's Ivan Drago, a superhuman boxer created by the Soviet Union to be the ultimate physical specimen. Drago kills Rocky's rival-turned-best friend Apollo Creed in the ring (ultimately setting the stage for 2015's amazing Creed), and Rocky has to travel to the heart of Russia to take him on.
Every silly trope you've come to know and love about the Rocky movies is here. You want training montages? You got 'em. You want ridiculous one-liners? Lundgren delivers those expertly. Best of all though? The movie ends with Rocky giving a heartfelt speech that ENDS THE FREAKING COLD WAR! Good stuff.
Click to the next page for some of the Italian Stallion's worst movies that I promise you'll love (or love to hate).
4) Rhinestone (1984)
A movie so amazingly awful we wrote an entire article about it! Stallone stars opposite country superstar Dolly Parton in this movie about a New York cabbie who a country music star must turn into the next big sensation in order to win a bet.
The outfits are ridiculous, as are the music performances, and even just seeing these two performers side by side is all kinds of strange. Something about all of this makes it pretty watchable though.
5) Cobra (1986)
In one of the most over the top cop movies of the 80s, Stallone's Marion "Cobra" Cobretty is a no-nonsense officer who shoots first and asks questions later, while mumbling his way through the entire script.
Building off films like Dirty Harry and Death Wish, this movie hasn't aged particularly well thanks to its borderline scary views on crime, but it does feature some pretty choice 80s one-liners on Stallone's part. It even features his then-wife Brigitte Nielsen as his main love interest. Not a great movie by any stretch, but excellent 80s fun.
6) The Specialist (1994)
Stallone teams up with fellow superstar Sharon Stone in this thriller about a bomb expert who helps a woman get revenge on those who killed her family.
While the premise is straightforward enough and the kind of fodder for a potentially good movie, what's most on display here is the complete lack of chemistry between Stallone and Stone, who earned a Razzie Award for "Worst Screen Couple" (the movie was also up for "Worst Picture," "Worst Actor," and "Worst Supporting Actor").
7) Stop, Or My Mom Will Shoot! (1992)
Look at this. Just, look at it. This happened. Someone thought this was a good idea. People spent money to make this.
It's a movie about a cop whose overbearing mother starts taking over both his life and his job. It's literally all in the title.
Stallone has called this his worst film (and given this list, that's saying something), stating that “If you want someone to confess to murder make them sit through that.”
The funniest part is, he apparently took the role because he heard Arnold Schwarzenegger was interested, only to later find out that Arnold had tricked him into taking the role.
Which of these is your favorite?