If you’re feeling bold and decide to search for "Christian Slater" on IMDB, take note of the first item on the ‘Related Lists’ section on his page: “Really Terrible Actors.”
Slater takes it home at #1. Ouch … and linked to his own page? For a guy who’s been making failed comeback attempt after failed comeback attempt, that’s gotta burn.
Fox recently unleashed Slater’s latest attempt at legitimacy called "Breaking In (which airs Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.)." Could this finally mark his steady rise back to the good graces of Hollywood fame? Might he soon mirror his mid-'90s peak that included the likes of "Interview with a Vampire," "Broken Arrow" and "True Romance"? Considering the lineup of past failures, the outlook is grim:
"Broken Arrow" (1996) – Not necessarily a film to brag about with mixed reviews, but it did have John Travolta. The last glimmer of hope for a once-promising career.
"Very Bad Things" (1998) – A dark comedy with Cameron Diaz, John Favreau, and Jeremy Piven proved too dark and dirty to be well-liked, thus beginning the steady descent into career oblivion.
"Hard Rain" (1998) – At a time when twisters, dinosaurs, asteroids, Godzillas and men in black were all the rage in Hollywood, Christian signed on to do a film about rain. Somehow, I am not surprised the backdrop didn’t catch on with audiences.
"Love Stinks" (1999) – Not even French Stewart and Bill Bellamy could save this one from tanking; come to think of it, that’s not the best cast to launch a success.
"3000 Miles to Graceland" (2001) – With an all-star cast including Costner, Kurt Russell and the Arquette couple, combined with a promising plotline, this film had all the makings of a comeback trail. But after being widely trounced by critics and poor box office results, Christian’s outlook continued to look bleak.
"Who is Cletis Tout?" (2002) – Hell if I know. At this point it appeared Christian didn’t know what a cliché was, or that it was a bad thing in the business, because all of his films were overloaded with such.
"Windtalkers (2003) – A war film with fellow ‘Worst Actor’ nominee Nicholas Cage, I remember liking this at the time it came out. Then again, I was young, unexposed to good war films, and didn’t even know Slater was in it.
Alone in the Dark" (2005) – I can just see it now: Slater is down in the dumps, watches a demo reel of internationally-despised director Uwe Boll, and exclaims, “This is the man who will lead me back to stardom!” Perhaps his co-star Tara Reid, also found on the aforementioned rotten actors list, was to blame; but most likely Boll was the bad choice. This film lands on many critic’s 10 Worst Films of All Time Lists, so if your career wasn’t hurting enough as it was, it’s got to be buried after this one.
"Mindhunters" (2005) – A certified bomb by today’s standards taking in less than $5 million at the box office. It’s hard to make a comeback alongside a guy with more consonants in a name than words (LL Cool J).
"Bobby" (2006) – Slater took a role in this JFK film. The problem? Mighty Duck Emilio Estevez directed it.
"Hollow Man 2" (2006) – A sequel to 2000’s Kevin Bacon stinkfest that was 27 percent rotten, this one went straight to video and had even less star power. Not the best springboard to jumpstarting a struggling career.
"Crossing the Line" (2006) – A ray of hope for Christian’s dormant career, as "Crossing the Line" was a film that garnered a 90 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes! Too bad Slater didn’t have an acting role; he was just the narrator, so this one doesn’t really count.
"The Ten Commandments" (2007) – Christian’s voice work for "Crossing the Line" got him the role of Moses in the new film adaptation of "The Ten Commandments," but again just for a voiceover role. Whatever Christian did right in "Crossing," he forgot for "Commandments" — the film was panned by almost every major and unknown critic alike.
"My Own Worst Enemy" — TV (2008) – NBC post-"Friends" is probably not the best place to stage a comeback. Despite fairly positive reviews, Slater was his own worst enemy when the show got canned after just a few episodes.
"The Forgotten" — TV (2010) – Probably not a good omen when your show name predicts its place on network TV: forgotten. Perhaps people didn’t tune in because they were afraid it was a television adaptation of the Julianne Moore debacle of 2004, or maybe the name ‘Slater’ got to audiences first.
Mr. Slater has seemingly given up on his film career, and looking at this list of flops, for good reason. The good news is, it’s never too late to rebuild a broken career. All it takes is one winner to catapult the fallen back into the spotlight. The bad news is, even if something is good and adored by critics, it doesn’t mean people will watch it. And in the television business, if people aren’t watching it, producers aren’t going to keep making it.
Only time will tell if the "True Romance" heartthrob can right his sinking ship, but as long as he is trying to set sail in primetime, he’s going to need a hell of a lot of help from all of you.