We all gotta start somewhere, I guess, but it's still fun to catch big name celebs of today in trash from yesteryear. I just watched the film Cutting Class (1989), a movie that achieves levels of awfullness I never thought possible - yet, it starred Brad Pitt, so I watched. I haven't seen Kevin Costner's early film (after being the corpse in The Big Chill) Sizzle Beach U.S.A., but I'm pretty sure it will be just as lousy as Pitt's debut.
As my mind wandered while watching the brain numbing Cutting Class, I began to wonder what actor has the absolute worst debut. Is there an actor with an early film so awful, it makes Cutting Class look like Citizen Kane? I hereby submit that this honor shall go to Vincent D'Onofrio.
The First Turn-On (1983) is so soul crushingly awful, it had me questioning the very existence of God... for no just and good Creator would allow such a thing to exist. Here's my ontological argument:
1. God is something of which nothing greater can be thought.
2. Man clearly and distinctly perceives that necessary existence is contained in the idea of God
3. The First Turn-On was made
4. Therefore, God does not exist
I think D'Onofrio's character is supposed to be retarded, but the rest of the cast is so incredibly stupid, I'm not quite certain. Anyway, D'Onofrio redeamed himself in 1987 as "Thor" in Adventures in Babysitting and Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket that same year. (BTW- D'Onofrio was supposed to play alongside Anthony Michael Hall in Full Metal Jacket, but Hall acted like such a putz on the set that Kubrick replaced him with Matthew Modine.)
Anyway, if you think you can come up with a better example of a lousy debut (or even just an early film) than D'Onofrio, put it in a comment, I'd be interested to hear!