Thursday, February 28, 2008

Abberdine County Conjuror

I’ll be honest here. I didn’t manage to watch all of Abberdine County Conjuror. Due to its unnecessary length of 135 minutes, I had to spend some of its running time getting myself ready for work. As such, in recognition of the fact that it may well have had something really amazing happen that I missed, I’m giving it an extra star for potential awesomeness, even though the bits I saw were roughly ½ * worthy.

The film follows a small band of people as they roam around some wooded campgrounds in the south and run afoul of a 150 year old conjuror and his southern hillbilly witches and zombie brigade. To give some idea of how fine the attention to detail was in the film, the zombies, in the vein of the Italian zombie movies of the 70s and 80s, wear dark cloaks that cover their bodies like ancient monks, and sneakers. The conjuror needs the blood of those that wander into his/her* land, see, in order to stay alive, but he’s run afoul of Australia’s favorite zombie hunter, Sean Steel. It’s possible that Sean Steel may actually have been trying to be British, but his accent keeps on slipping from one cliché to another, so it was hard to be certain.

It’s hard to review a movie when you’re not entirely certain of what happened in it, but I’ll fill you in about what I did see. I saw a great deal of padding in the form of long shots of people driving or walking through a woods, a trick one normally sees in movies struggling to reach the 80 or 90 minute mark, not in movies that are already over two hours. I saw the problem that arises when shooting a river in DV, where it looks almost, but not quite, completely unlike an actual river, even though it is. I’m not a tech guy, so I don’t know why DV has such a hard time showing running water, but I will admit I do like how weird it looks. I also saw one rather curious bit, where a woman dressed only in a blanket and sneakers acts drunk while trying and failing to hide her breasts. Since there’s nobody around her, she can only be trying to hide them from the camera so they won’t show up on film, and so their appearance anyway points to some potential legal difficulties somewhere along the film’s journey to the world of home video. Finally, I saw that there were no less than 6 screenwriters, which seems excessive for a film based around people running around in the woods and getting attacked by zombies and witches.

I think that I’m being very overly optimistic in giving this film an extra star here, as everything I personally witnessed screamed pure garbage. It’s not an outright offensively bad movie, like Barely Legal Lesbian Vampires and Rape is a Circle were, but it’s also nothing that you and your buddies couldn’t slap together in a few weekends’ time either. I’m very happy that I’m done with this damnable collection for another week, as I don’t think I could really take another day of this.

* I wasn’t entirely clear, from the parts I saw, whether the conjuror was male or female. The first time we hear it speak, it does so with a man’s voice, and yet the characters keep referring to it as her, so I clearly missed something.

Rating: * ½

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