LIMP BIZKIT frontman Fred Durst is among the "Worst Director" nominees at the 2020 Razzie Awards. Also known as the Golden Raspberry Awards, the satirical annual event celebrates the "worst" films, actors, actresses and others in the industry from the past year.
Durst earned his nomination for his work on the movie "The Fanatic", which flopped spectacularly in theaters when it was releaed last August. On its first day, the film grossed a mere $3,153 from 52 theaters scattered across the U.S. for a location average of roughly $60. In a handful of theaters, it grossed $10 or less; the highest gross was $736 at the Arena Cinelounge in Hollywood.
"The Fanatic" stars John Travolta as an obsessive fan named Moose who stalks an action movie star. The movie was previously described as having the feeling of an independent thriller film, with Travolta's unassuming-turned-dangerous stalker reminiscent of Robin Williams's transformative performance in "One Hour Photo".
Reviewers hadn't been kind to "The Fanatic", with Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com giving the movie zero stars and writing: "'The Fanatic' hates fans. It hates actors. It hates tourists, shop owners, and servants. It really, really hates autistic people. And it hates you. It's a movie that thinks you're an idiot, someone who won't see through its shallow provocations, illogical behavior, and vile misanthropy."
Robert Abele of TheWrap wrote: "With no explanation for what the Moose's condition is — and boy, is what Travolta doing a choice — Durst and his main star have, rather than giving us a character, merely offered up a hapless, carnival figure of laughable madness, alternately impossible and improbable."
Variety wrote: "One hesitates to lay all the blame at Durst's doorstep, since by all accounts his first directorial feature 'The Education Of Charlie Banks' (2007) was a serious, creditable drama. But as helmer, producer, co-writer, concept originator and recording catalog self-promoter here, he merits the accusation of this typically rank dialogue morsel: 'Moose didn't just cross the line. He fuckin' nuked it.'"
"The Fanatic" has a 17% critic score from 58 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, an online review aggregation service that allows the public to score the movies alongside critics.
Travolta said that the LIMP BIZKIT frontman approached him with the idea of being in the film.
"I didn't know Fred could write this well, I didn't know he could direct as well, and he blew my mind," he told 11 Alive. "He knew this guy Moose that's actually loosely based on a real guy and he wrote it with me in mind. He just knew I could portray this guy."
Other "Worst Director" nominees this year are James Franco for "Zeroville", Adrian Grünberg for "Rambo: Last Blood", Neil Marshall for "Hellboy" and Tom Hooper for "Cats".
"The Fanatic" received two other nominations at the Razzies, with Travolta up for "Worst Actor" and the movie itself competing for "Worst Picture".
Durst's feature debut, 2007's "The Education Of Charlie Banks", was produced for $5 million but earned only $15,000 at the box office, although Durst won the Made In NY Narrative Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. For his second feature, "The Longshots", Durst teamed up with Ice Cube and Keke Palmer.