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Posts Tagged ‘worst movies ever’

OH, WHAT THE HELL, ROLAND EMMERICH?

WHAT. THE. HELL.

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10,000 BC is a fine example of technical achievement gone awfully wrong.  Sure, there’s breathtaking landscapes and detailed CGI animals of years gone by, but the setting makes no sense.   Emmerich must have taken a history book and thrown it in a blender, because I can’t even make heads or tails of what the hell he’s managed to piece together.

10,000 BC tells the story of a tribe who lives in the mountains in the days of prehistoric man.   They hunt woolly mammoth and rely on an old woman for advice about hunting and other prehistoric stuff, like building huts made out of logs and bits of mud, and building fires.   That’s all, really, that these people seem to do.

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The hunting tribe finds a young girl with strange blue eyes who is the last of her tribe.   Her tribe and family were slaughtered by some mysterious dudes on horses, so this can’t bode well for anyone else.   The old woman instructs the tribe that the blue eyed girl will help fulfill a great prophecy and that she is very important.

This is where the real set of problems begins.

The story centers around Evolet – the blue-eyed girl – and D’Leh, a hunter in the tribe who fall in love with one another.   This is where I start to question someone’s rational thought process.

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These people do not look prehistoric.

They look like homeless rastafarians.

This is where this movie fails miserably.   The basic principle of a large, grandiose epic like this is kind of a big sham.   No one goes to see these kinds of movies for the historical accuracy, but people want to feel like they’ve witnessed something vaguely historically accurate.   Take Gladiator, for instance.   There’s a lot of historically wrong stuff there, but that’s not necessarily the point.  It feels real and the story is good.   People pay to see these movies in large part to be deceived.

If you can’t even manage to deceive your audience for one moment…that’s kind of sad.

There’s just some things my brain can’t take, like the concept of pyramids built by woolly mammoths.   Yeah, there’s that.   Then there’s the stupidly trite love story; Evolet is kidnapped by the same guys that killed her family, and D’Leh is forced to save her.  It’s a gaping mess.   The story doesn’t keep you focused because from the first scenes, you already know how D’Leh and Evolet’s story will end.  Not even the computer trickery lends a hand here, because the filmmakers have thrown such an odd, random assortment of crap at you that you can tell it’s crap, no matter how stylized and glitzy it is.

It’s preposterous.   D’Leh and Evolet aren’t simple prehistoric folk; they’re merely cardboard cutouts of simple prehistoric folk, and even the most uncaring viewer can sense that.

It’s an absurd mess of a movie which is only capitalized by the fact that when you think about it, the worst of the worst that I’ve seen on here has been made for mere pittances.  This is an overblown, under-thought piece of egotistical insanity that cost millions and millions of dollars.

The pittance films I can excuse.  In an industry that watches the bottom line on films, you really have to wonder how a large group of people seriously thought this was an excellent movie to make.   What’s more depressing is that people sunk money hand over fist into this, enough money that would constitute a Powerball jackpot and for what?

Woolly mammoths and Camilla Belle dazedly dragging her rear end through scenes, complete with extreme CGI dinosaurs and sabretooth tigers.

I feel a little sad and empty inside.

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There is a problem with your movie if the title translates to “Hands:  Hands of Fate”.

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Confession:  I had to cheat just a little bit on this one.   Netflix doesn’t offer the regular version of Manos:  The Hands of Fate, so I had to “settle” for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version.   All in all, I’m sure it saved me a lot more grief than normal, but even with the MST3K overlay, Manos:  The Hands of Fate is just a wretched, lumbering monstrosity.

It’s widely believed to be one of the worst movies of all time, a fact which I cannot repudiate.   It is one of the worst of the worst.  In fact, the only movie that I’ve seen that edges out Manos is Ax ‘Em, but that’s mainly because of the technical screw-ups (like no sound, for example) in Ax ‘Em.   They’re both equally sophisticated in their storytelling.

HANDS:  The Hands of Fate begins with a family traveling to some vacation spot.   Before they really can kick the movie into gear, you’re treated to fifteen minutes of repetitive scenery.

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Fascinating.

It’s strikingly clear from the first minute of the movie that the person who directed this had no idea what in God’s name they were doing and refused any sort of help, psychiatric or otherwise.   It should be noted, friends, that this is essentially the best part of the movie.

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I present to you the IMDB summary for reasons that will become clearer later:

A weekend retreat at a remote cabin in the woods for a group of childhood pals turns into a terrifying fight for survival, as a former friend whose family was killed years earlier comes along looking for revenge.

Tonight, Younger Sister joined me for this viewing…and I hate to say it, but I think it broke her.   It broke me, just a little, so I present to you a review consisting of snippets of our conversation during the movie.

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Younger Sister: What the hell is this?

Me:  Ax ‘Em.

YS: …Two words.   Sony.  Camcorder.

Me: You should’ve seen Midnight Skater.

YS: What the hell have you been watching lately?

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YS: 2 Smooth Film?    Jesus.    And why are we watching a step team?

Me: I don’t know.   Really, I don’t.

YS: Uh…this is going to get better, right?

Me: *stony silence*

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Me: WOW.    Oh….God.

YS: They spent two dollars on this film, didn’t they?

Me: I just…there are no words.

YS: This movie blows.   This is the worst movie ever.

Me: I’m not quite entirely sure on that, but it is in the running for first place, yeah.

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Okay.

Normally I can find some measure of sympathy in my heart for even the worst movie. Oftentimes I find myself weighing the sadly few pros to the vast amount of cons, looking for good in even the worst piles of steaming crap.

There is but one, solitary pro to the ocean of cons in Grizzly Rage: unintentional, full-on humor.

To be fair, I am biased against animal-attack movies. I view them much in the same way I view something like Sex and the City; boring, vapid, and at times somewhat watchable but utterly forgettable. And both tend to feature soulless beasts stalking prey. (Sorry, Sex and the City fans.)

Grizzly Rage is probably the standard bearer for such flicks; it is soul-crushingly awful.

The only way to keep yourself from nodding off is to laugh.

I don’t even need to find a poster for this one. I just need to show you the DVD menu and the title cards, really.

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Notice that masterful Photoshopping! They gave the bear red-eye! They took MS Paint and spray painted blood on to the bear! Magnificent, I say.

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It was at this point that I began to question what I had done with this latest installment of Reader’s Choice and whether I was going to end up like Sam Neill in In The Mouth of Madness, crazed, babbling and unsure of where reality and insanity met and separated.

And verily, I felt kind of heartened. I’ve seen a lot of awful things in my time. For goodness sakes, I am a person who professes an enormous amount of love for Spice World. Some people have a high pain threshold; I seem to have a high awful threshold.

Grizzly Rage seemed determined to call my hand, I think.

The movie begins with four friends embarking on a road trip, complete with car dancing and music that can best be described as Nickelback-lite (eww!). There is an unspoken rule of horror/gore flicks that I’m sure has an applicable mathematic equation. The more jerkfaced you are, the more likely you are to die. In a group of total assholes, the alpha asshole will most likely bite the dust far before the other, lesser jerkfaces. And if you’re having sex? God. You just punched your own ticket to the sweet hereafter, friend. If we are following this standard, then you will not be surprised…

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…that I immediately wondered to myself when the Hand of God was going to come down and smite these X-TREME individuals before the movie really got up and running.

The foursome are en route to a camping trip in a park when they decide to deviate from their original plan and instead decide to go to a different park, one that’s been gated up and locked for a long time. That’s okay, they decide – they’ll just break in and not tell anyone where they’re going! Well, super!

So they do just that, but they don’t make it far inside the gated up park before they totally screw everything up by running over and killing a bear cub. The campers aren’t as dumb as I originally believed, as they bicker amongst themselves for seconds before deciding to hightail it out of there because the momma bear? Probably nearby.

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Being X-TREME has its consequences.

It’s quickly thereafter that Momma Bear appears as the friends kick their nice sport utility vehicle into high gear and haul ass the other direction.   It’s too bad that they crash into a tree, doing something funky to their radiator.   Oops!    I bet AAA doesn’t do car repairs in locked-up parks with raging grizzly bears on the loose, hmm?

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If you’re Stephen Colbert, you’re peeing your pants in fright right now.

If you’re everyone else?   Meh.

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I am a sick puppy or something because I find Camp Slaughter not horrifically bad, actually.

Then again, this could just be from viewing Midnight Skater before this.

Hmph.

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Okay, it’s your standard Z-list, straight-to-DVD horror flick.   It’s got the normal rough edges and problems.   The main reason why it doesn’t work is because no one can seem to make up their minds about whether they wanted to make a horror comedy or an actual horror film.   A good chunk of the film has actual humorous moments in it, but by the end of the film all that’s long gone.

I mean, look at the poster:   that does not scream funny, unless your name is Ed Gein.   And quite frankly, there’s no teensy blond chick with an axe in this flick.   Originally released as Camp Daze, people involved with the flick renamed it to Camp Slaughter.   You take a guess as to why, dearest readers.

So, the premise will practically make you giddy with joy – it’s kind of cool, really.   Four kids on a road trip get stranded in the woods and stumble upon Camp Hiawatha, a summer camp where everyone seems to be very much out of sorts, if you know what I mean.   Between the halfsie-shirts, day-glo, plastic earrings and exclamations of “Totally rad!” from the assortment of campers, the four stranded teens figure out they’ve traveled to a summer camp stuck in the ’80’s, where the same day happens over and over again, with the eventual slaughter of the campers repeating every evening as if it never happened previously.   The campers enlist the stranded teens to assist them but…not all is as it seems!

Wow.

That’s like Groundhog Day meets a John Hughes movie meets Friday the 13th meets a homeless crackhead.   I mean, really now.   That’s… pretty original, I’ll give the makers of Camp Slaughter that.   Original in a “someone took too many hits off the bong” kind of way, but original nonetheless.

There are good parts to the movie.   It pretty successfully skewers ’80’s culture, in a way, I suppose.

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AWESOME!  Like, totally!

But that’s about it.

Honestly, I can’t think of a movie I’ve seen in a long, long while that had the mere premise of the movie carry it through the first, vaguely interminable half-hour, but Camp Slaughter does it.   By the time the schtick wears off, though, you’re really ready for it to be over.   There’s a lot of technology jokes – cell phones, internet – but that only goes so far before it starts to wear really thin.   Thin enough to where this might be the kind of movie where you need Jack, Jim or Jose at your side to boost your spirits a bit.  Sure, the filmmakers give you some twists and turns during the film to throw you off guard, but you can see the eventual identity of the killers coming as easily as an oncoming train.   Subtlety is not this movie’s strong point.

Where it all falls apart:   the movie deviates from the funny-horror and goes into “serious” mode.   When it does, it loses any residual charm it had banked.   The ending is so out of left field, so nonsensical that it utterly ruins the rest of the good points the film had.

There is one survivor and one survivor only; the rude, irritating girl in the group of stranded friends who makes it out of the Time Warp alive.    (She took a jump to the left and then a step to the right, don’t you know.   Heh.   Yeah, that was a lame joke.)   Anyways, we see her three years later, happy, successful and working in some sort of office environment.   And, oh yeah, she landed a book deal.   What the hell?!

When all of a sudden, she receives an instant message from murderous Hiawatha campers!

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THEY ESCAPED FROM THE CAMP!   AND OMG!   THEY KNOW HOW TO USE THE INTERNETS!!!!

The end.

No, seriously, that’s the end.

So after sitting through some confusion, a bad flashback to the ’80’s and a slew of overly annoying characters, this is the payoff you get.

It’s kind of like buying a Snickers bar and discovering someone forgot to put the nougat in; you’ve still got the chocolate but it’s disappointing.   And you kind of want your money back.    And, it would’ve helped if they put the nougat in the candy bar in the FIRST goddamn place.

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In junior high school, I used to be forced into going to this ridiculous mandatory sex-ed assemblies, which were light on the education and heavy on the “sex kills”, if you know what I mean.   I used to have to hear all kinds of horror stories about the inherent dangers of sex and gruesome photos of girls and boys who did it once – JUST ONCE – and got some mutated form of the Ebola virus or something and DIED.   THEY DIED, GUYS.

Anyways, one of my favorite parts of these assemblies was hearing about HORRIBLE, AWFUL syphilis, which as we all know, makes you go blind and crazy.   Being a syphlitic is not fun if you’re in the tertiary stages, what with the craziness and what what.

This is salient (I promise) because if a modern day syphilitic made a movie, it would be Midnight Skater.  I would imagine that if someone had their brain slowly being eaten by spirochetes, Midnight Skater would be the end result.   This is what they should show in sex-ed assemblies to teenagers to say “DON’T HAVE THE PREMARITAL SEX.   FOR REAL.”

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Midnight Skater is hard to summarize, mainly because the movie itself runs in about eighty different directions.   There’s zombies and a serial killer on the loose at a college campus and a graffiti artist on the loose.   (Guess which issue the residents of the college campus are most worried about?   If you guessed “graffiti artist”, you win a cookie.)

And therein lies the main problem with the movie; it runs too wild over too many topics.   This is a movie made by film geeks run amok, guys who watched too many Troma movies late at night while nibbling on their fingernails and dreaming of their own sick, twisted visions.    And, hey, that’s cool – but if you’re going to Tromatize your movie, at least do it right.

For starters, use something else than Mommy’s video camera.

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Guess what?

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