Jarv’s Birthday Series: Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)

What. A. Load. Of. Shit.

Imagine if some fucking imbecile took the Errol Flynn ethos and tried to adapt it to the early 1990’s. Then find  the smuggest cunt you can find to play the lead. Then find a history book, and use it to wipe your arse. Then, as if that’s all not awful enough, cast a fucking load of cretins that should know better (and in this case, they really should). Add in a charmless and aggravating script and shoot it in an overly-worthy History Channel flashback style, and you’ve got Christopher Columbus: the Discovery.

I honestly thought Xanadu would be the worst film on this list (a ballsy claim, considering what’s coming) but, fuck me, this shite manages to be worse in that I’d rather rewatch Xanadu than this. I’ve decided that if I can’t be arsed to do anything with the monkey, giving him a disco-glow or whatnot, then the fucking film is unforgivable. And that’s what we have here.

Oh, by the way, in the interests of full disclosure this used diaper of a film was released on 21st August 1992

This is so painfully awful. To be honest, I’m actually starting this review when I’ve got about an hour of it left. Don’t worry, it’s on in the background (He’s just left dock and there’s Christian music), but Jesus suffering Fuck, this film makes me want to found a religion where people who make this sort of shit are viciously tortured for all eternity. Possibly with pineapples. What the fuck is Brando doing in this? Seriously?

Incidentally, I have a great story about Brando and Streetcar Named Desire, that is utterly unrelated to this steaming sack of shit. I know that Pillows has a worse list than me (a lot worse) but I’ll take the Pepsi fucking challenge on the two worst films in his list. In anyone’s actually.

Shite, digressing. Back on track. This film is garbage. It’s so bad, it has actually derailed my previously well thought out tirade about the crass stupidity of a system that deliberately puts films with the same subject matter up against each other. Which, incidentally, was a fucking brilliant rant and referenced a whole load of forgotten shit. Unfortunately, this drivel has wiped my brain completely, so I’ve forgotten it.

I suppose I had better pretend that nobody in the world knows what this story is about. It’s pretty much a given, really, considering the name. A young lad called Chris Columbus, moves from deepest darkest Idaho to New York City in the 1970’s. In no time at all, the poor bastard has fallen in with Warhol’s factory crowd and he’s taken up heroin and anal sex. Two months later, he’s found dead in a pool of his own vomit, naked, with nothing but an artistically framed pop-art shot pinned to his left nipple.

Alright, that’s a lie. It’s obviously about the discovery of America. Columbus is a scumbag who flees to Spain, slips Catherine Zeta Jones a length, navigates Catholic politics (Torquemada is played by Marlon Brando here, and Isabella’s (Rachel Ward) confident is Tom Selleck) until he can fuck Isabella who will fund his trip to find America. That’s the fucking plot so far, except, and this is important, I’ve still got about 45 minutes to go and they’ve not made it further than fucking Cleethorpes.

For fuck’s sake, who gives a shit?

OK, the acting in this is fucking horrid. Selleck couldn’t give a fuck, whereas Zeta Jones is trying too hard. Ward is a complete and utter waste of time, being some kind of Regal Bimbo, and what the fuck Brando thinks he’s playing at is a mystery to all concerned. However, they aren’t really the problem. I think, and this is a shot in the dark, that acting is much more difficult when you have someone completely devoid of talent opposite you. Say, for example, you’re wide receiver for the San Fransisco 49’ers in the mid 80’s. You didn’t have to be that great because Joe Montana would put the ball in the right place for you to catch it every time. Here, the actors are actually playing in that side, but there’s a man with no arms throwing the ball. It doesn’t matter what lines they run, the ball (if it is thrown) is going to land in the fucking crowd. This is, entirely, because of human cunt flap Georges Corraface who plays Columbus, who is so supremely awful that the entire actors interaction dies around him.

There’s literally no drama here. We know he’s going to get the commission to find America, and when he’s on the fucking boat, we know nobody is going to kill him (aside from the chronic stupidity of basing an expedition into the unknown on some fucking map you bought in a bazaar, which you know is wrong. While I’m thinking about it). Therefore this film lives and dies on how well the drama holds up. In this case, because it was written by cretins, the first-rate cast are attempting to squeeze drama out of literally nothing, and even if they could manage it, Corratwat turns up with a shit eating grin to fuck the whole thing up.

I haven’t even touched on the crass and obnoxious shit when they get to the West Indies, but I was praying that Cannibalism would be the vogue. I seriously am wondering if this is a Christian Production (PS- it’s still going. If this is only 120 minutes, then that’s a lie).

Overall, this is a fucking hideous film, and there’s a reason 1492 crushed it. I’ve reached the end now, and it hasn’t improved. To be fair, it isn’t worse than Xanadu, although the patronising Jewish shit halfway through made me consider it, but it’s still an Orangutan of Doom film. Basically, don’t touch this toss, ever, and hopefully it can sink back into obscurity where it belongs.

Phew, the 90’s start, for me, anyway, here. Hard Target  is next up, which is seven shades of awesome and has death by all sorts of stupidity in it.

Until next time,


he full list in this series:

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

46 responses to “Jarv’s Birthday Series: Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)”

  1. Jarv says :

    By the way. I have sat through every agonising moment of this. To say it’s boring and obnoxious is being generous.

    Apparently, according to the PS3, it is only 2 hours long. It felt like a fuck sight longer.

  2. Jarv says :

    Also, small correction: Apparently Ferdinand is Selleck.

    Seriously, you wouldn’t know.

  3. ThereWolf says :

    I think I’ve seen this but can’t remember it at all.

    It’s not up for a re-assessment anytime soon.

  4. Xiphos0311 says :

    Wasn’t Columbus commissioned to find a passage to the east indies by sailing westward and not to find America which wasn’t even a glimmer anywhere? Columbus unwittingly found Haiti and The DR instead.

    • Jarv says :


      My fault for not phrasing it properly. He is trying to find the eastward passage to India.

      Based on a map he bought in the fucking bazaar!

  5. Xiphos0311 says :

    It sounds like this movie could have benefited from a tiger in a hat.

  6. Bartleby says :

    For a moment,I thought I hadn’t seen this, but I do recall watching it way back in 1992/93 when both it and 1492 hit theaters. Scott’s film isn’t perfect, and Columbus is certainly a difficult hosebag to make a movie from, but I quite enjoyed 1492 back when I saw it. This damn thing kept going and my dad and I looked at each other, realized it was going NOWHERE, and turned it off, replacing it with some dopey B-movie we had rented. Dead Alive I believe it was called.

    • Jarv says :

      The problem here is that the first hour of it seems to last forever and nothing really happens, and that the actor playing Columbus is one of the smarmiest, most annoying sacks of cocks this side of Bradley Cooper. It actually gets worse when he gets to DR as well.

      • Bartleby says :

        to be fair to BC–and I know droid thinks differently–he doesn’t automatically sink a movie with his presence, and he can lead a movie when he needs too. See Midnight Meat Train.

        Corrafuck or whatever his name is was entirely wretched. You could have replaced him with Richard Lewis and it would have only gotten better.

      • Spud McSpud says :

        Just wait til we get Bradley Cooper’s THE CROW. It’s happening, and I cannot remember a worst case of miscasting in recent times. Bradley Cooper is so fucking far from what is needed for THE CROW it’s not even funny.

        Who would make a decent Eric Draven?? For me, Joseph Gordon Levitt…

  7. Bartleby says :

    I do see you have Mimic on your list. Now that’s a movie I’m looking forward to revisiting. It’s an Alien rip-off to be sure, but its’ got some great atmosphere and creatures. I see the Directors Cut bluray is getting released in September. time to save the pennies.

    Actually, save for this and Ms. Tingle (rancid tripe), the 90s were pretty kind to you. Harley Davidson is a so-so movie, but the rest are at least entertaining to great.

  8. Bartleby says :

    what list are you using Jarv? I keep thinking that heartbreakers–and boss’ daughter for that matter–were released in the winter/spring months. Then again that’s here in the states. Just wondering if there’s a way to jettison those.

    I need to start my own list already. I’ve watched the first five films on it. The Champ, When Time Ran Out, Thief, Cat People, To Begin Again, and Greystoke. So far, there’s a clear winner in that lot.

  9. Bartleby says :

    ok, BD is definitey August. Looks like HB was March here, and in the UK in August. So, I tried to help, but you are effed.

  10. Bartleby says :

    well, and here’s the douchebag critic in me that Koutch hates, but I just got a notice that Conan is opening cold without screenings for critics.

    Almost always that’s bad news. 90 percent of the movies on Pillows list, and a good number of the ones on your 2000’S, never screened for critics.

    Im holding out hope though.

    • just pillow talk says :


      In your face Jarv!

    • Jarv says :


      I can’t finish this epic run with a turkey. What else is out around the time?

    • Droid says :

      Judging from the amount of complete shit that gets a critics screening, I don’t think there’s a gulf of difference between critic and non-critic screened films. It’s not like, say, The Avengers in the late 90’s, which wasn’t screened because it was such a horrendous clusterfuck. Back then, when loads of actual good movies were released, an unscreened movie really stood out. Nowaways? Just another release, same as all the rest.

      So I say, finish it off with Conan.

    • just pillow talk says :

      I’m quite happy I finish it off with The Eagle…lucked out with that one considering the mess that is know as my list.

      And I agree, do Conan.

    • koutchboom says :

      FUCK that come out this week? I’ve got 0 expectations for it. AND FUCK I need to watch the Escapist damnit before Apes drops, been too fucking lazy about watching movies as of recent. But I may see the Smurfs tonight.

  11. just pillow talk says :

    Sheesh, I’ve never seen this one either. It sounds totally awesome that the lead actor brought down what little the film had to offer to its knees.

    I think there was a tiger in a hat, you just missed it when you were busy writing this review. He was the one who gave him the map.

  12. Droid says :

    I assumed until very recently that you were talking about the Ridley Scott one. I’ve never heard of this, and it sounds like shit. Seriously, Selleck? Has he ever been in a good movie?

    • just pillow talk says :

      3 men and a baby…can’t believe you forgot that one.

      Quigley down under..hello?

      Wasn’t he in some movie where he was a future cop and some sort of robots or something were involved?

      • Droid says :

        No, that was Peter Weller.


        You’ve just given me the image of Robocop with a giant 80’s mo’. Awesome.

      • Bartleby says :

        No, Pillow is right. Runaways is what he means.

      • just pillow talk says :

        Yes! That be the one…

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        I remember Runaway, only because it had on good scene in it, Gene Simmons gets blown up real good in it!
        I loved magnum PI, so i can’t hate on Tom.

        Magnum still has one of the greatest scenes in TV history – no, not the ferrari racing around hawai’i -although that was cool.

        It was a multi part arc that had magnum facing off against the dude who killed his wife.
        Magnum finally gets drop on the guy played by Bo something or other, Bo drops his gun and gives up, all the while talking heavy smack. Story ends with the good guy proving he is the better man by not shooting an unarmed man regardless the provocation.


        magnum blows dude away, screen goes black. just out f’enn standing. Selleck gets lifetime free pass from me for that.

    • Col. Tigh-Fighter says :

      He was in a good prison movie as a man framed by bent cops. F Murray Abraham was the lag with a heart of gold. No idea the name, but I remember enjoying it.

  13. koutchboom says :

    and there’s a reason 1492 crushed it.

    Are you just talking about in our memories? Because both movies flopped hard, I think 1492 flopped harder actually.

    I do remember seeing and very much enjoying 1492 in theaters.

  14. tombando says :

    It was pretty poo poo. Siguourney Weaver was in the other one. I saw BOTH on the idiot box some years back (Selleck’s wig was scary), can’t actually differentiate them now in my memory.

    Would Giant, Aztec Sea-faring Robots have saved it????

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