Thursday, 17 February 2011

Double Bill Mini Musings: One Hard, One Gooey...

Generic, predictable, rushed, undercooked, underacted by actors who have all done far, far better work, not terribly exciting (or even slightly exciting) ... in short, it was pish and pointless. The only plus was that Fred Ward was in it, who I remember fondly as playing Earl Bassett in the first two Tremors movies.

The Stuff:
I've seen the poster/cover art for this flick all over the place - a typically unsubtle image of a man's deforming, agonised face expelling thick, white gunge from every hole ... so, pretty cool then. Annoyingly, that never really happens in the entire movie, which is suggested to be a gory horror, but it's decidedly not.

In fact it's got quite a decent budget behind it for this kind of flick - replete with sequences in studios, supermarkets, abandoned towns, private jets and so on - but it's all utterly wasted on a dreadfully unfocussed script which is machine-gunned with plot holes ... a problem only exacerbated by further machine-gunning to any shred of plot consistency in the edit.

The flick leaps from one sequence to another with sudden gear changes, the appearance of entirely excised scenes, and knocks to simple logic or common sense. It barely makes a lick of sense, and the opening scene is laughably to-the-point ... perhaps this was intentional, but it seems to take itself too seriously with it's apparent subtext of consumer and capitalist criticism, for any suggestion that it's a spoof or horror comedy to convincingly hold water. Remember how The Happening was called a tongue-in-cheek spoof after it turned out to be rubbish?

This all said, the scale afforded by a seemingly decent budget is impressive - most notably for the inclusion of some lovely visual effects, model work, and whenever large quantities of the thick, gooey "Stuff" gets loose and starts sliding up walls, out windows, bodies, and generally consuming all in its path ... indeed it begins to feel like an homage to The Blob at times.

Furthermore the protagonist - an industrial snoop/saboteur/investigator/blackmailer - gets some entertaining dialogue to chew on, but the rest of the film drowns in the afforementioned gargantuan plot holes and complete lack of screenwriting, directorial, or editorial focus.

It could have been a really good flick if it wasn't for the film's pervasive flaws, which over-ride the things it gets right. A pity. Perhaps it's a movie held in high regard by some fans who came to it in their formative years back when it originally came out - and all the power to them - but I personally didn't dig it. Enough was more than enough, to ham-fistedly parody a particular line of dialogue.

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