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anonymous kph

The Cursed Trilogy

There is a saying about you and bears. And the woods. And the Pope. Wait ... wrong saying.

Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you. There are Smithee movies which are enjoyable pieces of cinematic badness, and then there are miscalculations -- movies which turn out to be less bad, or bad in the wrong ways, or bad but unclippable, or bad with only marginal clips in common categories -- dues paying movies.

Paid some dues these past few days.

Curse of the Living Dead was the movie with wreckers. Curse of the Cannibal Confederates was chock full o'zombies (well ... not really). Crazed was the third of the bunch. It featured...

Jerry Orbach naked!

Alas, I don't know the HTML code that represents me popping out of your computer screen and shaking you by your lapels while I say this.

And besides, it's a lie. The toplessness in Crazed is primarily on the part of an actress named Catherine Bach, I just couldn't refuse the scare tactics. Consider it my Tingler moment.

I will start with where I started. I rolled dice to randomly determine which movie I watched on Monday morning. The dice indicated me toward 3 3 03, or Curse of the Living Dead. I had high hopes for this movie, as I quite enjoyed that last movie that I saw by the same director, one Zombie Lake. Alas, this movie was a mash of boiled plantains, and not the banana split that I was expecting.

It begins with a narrator (who we will never hear from again) introducing the Main Characters. They're bad guys (I use the term generically; one is female), wreckers. They light fires to guide ships onto the rocks, then loot the wreckage.

A ship wrecks! They loot the wreckage! Two young women are washed ashore in dirty white nightgowns. The wreckers beat them, possibly killing them. In town, the wreckers hang out at a bar/whorehouse, when suddenly The Captain starts to get ghostly visions of the two girls (*). The mistress of the bar has a Premonition. They're not dead!

The wreckers run off, and go to hunt through the wrecks for the girls. The wreckers find them, and burn down the wreck where they're hiding (never mind that it's been burnt before, and is underwater at high tide).

The girls escape to an island that's only accessible at low tide. They encounter a strange monster (a woman in clown makeup), and a mysterious man (a bearded beatnik jailkeeper). They're told of a mysterious power that controls the island, and that during the night, it will call to them.

Back at the bar/whorehouse, the psychic mistress has a premonition. At night. The evil. It will call to the girls. Who still aren't dead.

The male wreckers continue to freak out about this. The female wrecker is all "You big babies! They're just girls!" Then she takes her shirt off.

At night, the mysterious power calls to the girls. They take off their clothes, and break him/it out of prison. He (the Devil?) is a strangely handsome man, who grants them his power until dawn.

The girls immediately head off on The Worst Rampage Ever. Seriously.

At the end of their Rampage, they have inconvenienced one wrecker, and frightened a second. Meanwhile, one of their allies has been killed, and two are beaten nearly to death.

They let The Devil take his power back, then the wreckers capture them, and tie them to a wreck. The one that they burned down before, but that's not important right now.

The wreckers start to physically abuse the girls. The soundtrack suddenly becomes filled with animal noises. The Captain of the wreckers kills his compatriots for no reason. Some monks appear. The tide comes in. The movie ends.

The film was an impressionistic swirl of random violence, random female nudity, and a kick-ass piano score.

(*) Yes, I called them girls throughout the review, but they were clearly in their twenties.

In the interim, I watched some decent movies (not great, but decent). Then, it was September 2 ... and theshunter's birthday. Since she requested something gory in honor of her medical school quizzes, I chose Curse of the Cannibal Confederates, which did live up to the intent.

There were quite a few scenes of people in zombie makeup standing around and chewing on entrails while the soundtrack went "Nyar nyar nyar nyarm."

Three couples go on a hunting trip. The guys (Wyatt, Mel, Bill) are jerks, and the girls (Sarah, Lin, Blind Kiyomi) are slightly-more-subtle jerks. Blind Kiyomi is, in fact, blind. They never give her a gun.

They take a new trail, run across the ruins of a church (where Confederate soldiers were tortured to death), and its graveyard (where they were buried). They consider taking the Confederate flag, but decide to leave it. After all, and Kiyomi and Lin quote their grandmother, who died from atomic radiation at Hiroshima: "You can take anything from the dead ... but their pain!"

Sadly, Mel is a bit of a klepto, and takes the diary of the Confederate officer in charge of the unit. The diary detailing the officer's ... that's right, pain. So, the dead rise in a spectacular(**) display of flashbulbs.

The dead start to attack our protagonists, who get to put their explosive bullets, and cache of fireworks to the test. These things work great, but there are just too many undead Rebels.

Our heroes(**) flee. They stumble onto some cops, and explain what's happening in alternating longshot-it's-light / closeup-it's-dark sequences. The cops think it's just pranksters, but then the undead Rebs (which would have been a much better name for the movie than either of its actual names (Curse of the Cannibal Confederates, Curse of the Screaming Dead) burst out of the woods/darkness and eat the cops. Nyarm nyarm nyarm. They eat slowly, and with due deliberation, and lots and lots (and lots) of mouth noises.

Eventually they start to gnaw away at our hearty band of survivors(**). Finally, right at the point when I can't bear any more damn movie, the Confederate Color Bearer shows up and kills Mel. Then Wyatt give the diary back to the Officer accompanying the Color Bearer, and all the undead Rebs turn and leave. Only Wyatt and Sarah are left alive, and I suspect they're in for some monster PTSD.

(**)Not really.

At this point, I am completely doubting my judgment, so I decide to roll randomly to choose the final Smithee movie of the binge. A quick 1 08 later, and I'm watching Crazed.

In retrospect, there were only two reasons that I even put Crazed on my Netflix queue. Yes, that's correct. But seriously, it was a Stream Now movie, so I didn't even have to invest the days of waiting for the disc to arrive, then the days of waiting for it to be received after returning it in disgust. I only wasted the 84 minutes and 53 seconds that I spent watching the thing, not that I was counting.

The thing about psychological thrillers is that to be decent, they need to really engage you. They can't just be about crazy people doing crazy things. The really best ones start out with sane (or slightly cracked) people doing sane things, until pressure is applied, and everything gradually changes until the moment of the shell cracking. When the egg juice dribbles out into the bowl, as it were.

This movie? Started with a crazy woman doing crazy things. But she was rich, so I guess it was okay. Her handyman killed people for her. She picked up a used-car salesman, and a woman from her ballet class. She paid for the woman to get a nose job. She got jealous of the woman. She got into a fight with the used-car salesman. She had her handyman kill the used-car salesman, but then her dog mangled (and possibly killed) the woman, and she thought better of it. The end. Doesn't sound like it could entertainingly fill 84 minutes and 53 seconds, does it?

The nudity, however brief, is sadly plot-relevant, which means I couldn't justify it as a Let's Up the Rating to "R" clip. It wasn't even worth watching for that. Despite the disappointment, I'm not removing the movie with Lynda Carter's topless scene from my queue -- that movie at least stars Marjoe Gortner.


Can we just agree that all three of these movies were bad, and probably don't need to be watched again?

Comments

Nice to have some misogyny with a movie (first one). And misogyny against Daisy Duke...what is this world coming to??

And, um, did they have to call the blind chick "Blind Kiyomi"?? What if we all had to walk around with our disabilities attached to our names? I guess I'd be MildlyHyperactiveAsthmaticMildDepressivePatti. Great.
Yeah, that really perplexed me. It's not all that important to the movie that the character be blind. But she's credited as Blind Kiyomi, and I swear they call her that once or twice.

Do I have to call you MHAMDPatti now? I would pronounce it "mmm ham D Patti"
Hee hee. That makes me think of mmmmmmm BOP, though. Now you will be singing that song for days and days and days. I'm sorry.
Damn you! I will have to expose you to some classic Smithee tunes that never made the cut ("It Doesn't Have To Hurt, To Eat Your Cigarettes") in order to get even....