Ah, Sir Ben Kingsley—the artiste who appears in this week's Lucky Number Slevin, who garnered accolades for his roles in Schindler's List and Sexy Beast, who won the Oscar for his wrenching portrayal of Gandhi. And what does one do with the respect of audiences, critics, and peers? Oh, that's easy: One follows the F. Murray Abraham School of Acting, in which one makes the worst films ever seen by humankind.
• Species (1995)—The first hint of Sir Kingsley's desperate cry for help/attempt at career suicide,Species is a should-have-gone-straight-to-video sci-fi/horror flick that has that mannish chick from She Spies playing a sex-crazed alien. In other words, an alien's tits outact Sir Kingsley.
• Thunderbirds (2004)—In which Sir Kingsley camps it up as an Asian (yep!) villain who fights against a bunch of annoying kids and their high-tech airplanes. Directed by that bearded dude from Star Trek: The Next Generation! (No, really.)
• A Sound of Thunder (2005)—A time-travel film that features some weird half-baboon/half-dinosaur CG thing, plus Sir Kingsley wearing a goofy-as-shit Einsteinian wig. I actually didn't see it, because no one would go with me—I can't imagine why—and after its theatrical failure, I have yet to find the DVD anywhere. Huh. It's almost as if Sir Kingsley went back in time and erased this film's existence! (I'm assuming he didn't disappear some of his other films—like that WB-styled Tuck Everlasting, or What Planet Are You From?, or Suspect Zero—because everybody already forgot about them.)
• BloodRayne (2005)—Like almost all of hack director Uwe Boll's other films, BloodRayne is based on a shitty videogame—but this one features Sir Kingsley as an eeeevil vampire. MERCURY FUN FACT™ ONE! BloodRayne cost $25 million to make, and had a marketing budget of $22 million. MERCURY FUN FACT™ TWO! In its opening weekend, BloodRayne grossed less than $1 million. MERCURY FUN FACT™ THREE! Boll's production company sent prints of the film to theaters that didn't even request them. MERCURY FUN FACT™ FOUR! Keep up the good work, Sir Kingsley. ERIK HENRIKSEN