Thursday, May 6, 2010

Season in Hell

I like to imagine that I don’t overuse the ‘zero stars’ rating too much. Generally, if a film has any redeeming features, I’ll give it at least half a star (as was recently evidenced by my giving Kill the Scream Queen half a star just because two of the girls in it were attractive). Interestingly, almost half of my zero star reviews have been from this very box set, presumably as a cautionary tale for anyone that might have considered a career in movie blogging. Anyway, my point is this is one of the most aggressively unpleasant films I have ever seen.

It’s bad enough that the filmmakers didn’t even make an effort to get it listed on IMDB (though they did include end credits, so I can tell you all that this was the brainchild of Elliot Passantino), and in proper 80s industrial music video fashion, does everything in its power to be awful both visually and aurally. The soundtrack is the most immediately noticeable. It’s set way too loud, and spends the entire length of the film screeching, crackling, giving lots of loud feedback, and featuring nonstop overuse of the echo feature when a character says something. It’s as if they based the entire sound structure off of “Metal Machine Music”, and somehow found a way to make it even more unpleasant.

Then there’s the visuals. I wasn’t kidding when I said it looked like some 80s industrial music video. Remember how a lot of those old videos you’d see on MTV late at night by fairly unknown bands, and they’d frequently either use the mirror duplication tricks or combine reversed negatives with color filters, because the videos were made for like $100 each and those were the cheapest visual effects one could get? Yeah, about 90% of the movie looks like that. It’s as if Passantino were actively trying to make the most completely unwatchable film ever constructed. And if that was his actual intention, then well done, I suppose. This is one mission thoroughly accomplished.

What was the plot about? Well, two characters running away from some annoyingly vague War on Terror-related disaster (actual dialogue: “We were coming up from down south, that’s where the whole current situation occurred”) stop at a farmhouse hoping to find some spare gas so they could make it to Canada, and instead find a maniac that locks them in his basement with his harem. Then everyone starts killing each other, and when we’re down to our last survivor, we get a tedious quote that “Man’s greatest enemy is himself”, just to help drive home that the plot is as bad as the filmmaking.

I can’t even give this credit for having been made in my home state (New Jersey, if anyone was wondering), as if anything it should just be making me embarrassed to be sharing the state with these people. Fortunately, it was done in Totowa, which is far enough north that I had to check Google maps to find out where it is (just west of Yonkers, which figures), so I can happily write it off as yet another North Jersey disgrace that doesn’t reflect on my beloved South Jersey. Seriously, North Jersey? Fuck that place.

Rating: Zero stars

No comments: