LOS ANGELES – They started as an Oscar night joke. A quarter-century later, they're still a joke, but they come a night before the Oscars.
Normally a modest affair at a Santa Monica magic shop, the Razzies ceremony this time will be held in a 300-seat theater in the heart of Hollywood to mark the 25th year.
Razzies founder John Wilson also recently published "The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst," his take on the 100 most awful — yet perversely fun — movies to watch. Among his picks: "Mommie Dearest," "Showgirls," "Jaws: The Revenge" and "Rambo: First Blood, Part II."
The Razzies started in 1981, after Wilson had suffered through a double feature of the musicals "Can't Stop the Music" and "Xanadu." That gave him the idea for an Oscar-night potluck gathering in his living room, with Wilson handing out ballots beforehand for friends to choose the worst of Hollywood for the previous year.
Standing at a cardboard podium in the tackiest secondhand tuxedo he could find, Wilson bestowed the first of the Razzies' worst upon "Can't Stop the Music."
The joke became an annual tradition, which Wilson later moved to the day before the Oscars. Today's Razzies are chosen by about 675 voters from around the world.
Last year's big winner was "Gigli," which took the Razzies for worst picture, plus lead actor, actress and worst screen couple prizes for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
Sylvester Stallone is the all-time Razzies champ, receiving a record 10 awards, including worst actor of the century. Madonna is close behind with nine Razzies.
"It's so hard to find anything to laugh about these days," Wilson said. "I don't think it's a bad thing to take dreck and turn it into laughter. And when it's at the expense of somebody like Sylvester Stallone, too bad, Sly."