JUNE 28, 2007
The first time I tried to watch the remake of Wizard of Gore, which was a few nights ago, I slept thru 75-80% of it. It was a long day, and it was at midnight. I saw so little of it I couldn't even tell if I liked it or not. As Johnny Depp might say, “The idea of trying to 'review this movie' in any conventional press sense was absurd." So I shrugged it off and watched another movie for HMAD that day. Then I saw the festival was showing the movie again, so I went down to check it out. Since it was starting at an earlier time, I thought maybe this time I’d be able to stay awake, giving the movie the benefit of the doubt. And lo and behold… I fell asleep again. But only for like 10, 15 minutes tops.
Therefore, I now feel confident in saying that the movie is just not that exciting. Though it's not awful by any means. On the plus side of things, the digital video looks pretty good (especially compared to some of the other DV films I’ve seen recently), and director Jeremy Kasten does a good job with the material. The problem is the script, courtesy of Zach Chassler, who's only other genre credit is playing Bathroom Boy #2 in Rock N Roll Frankenstein. Maybe you’re a different person than me, but I tend to like movies with “likeable characters”, a “non-repetitive story” and “sound effects that don’t make me want to gouge my fucking ears out”, none of which are really on display here. Actually, other than an incredibly hot Bijou Philips (with brunette hair – A+), I couldn’t care less about a single person in the movie. Especially the lead character, played by Kip Pardue (a guy whose résumé is literally packed with other annoying indie movies like Thirteen, But I'm A Cheerleader, and Driven). He’s a Matt Damon-lite lameass who wears 1940’s clothing (for no other reason than to appeal to the hipsters who will likely eat this movie up) and says pretentious shit like “the world is my stage, I cast the actors and set the tone” (not a direct quote but close). To me, I think the lead character of a film should be likable, or played by an actor who's charismatic enough to hold your interest in the role. Pardue doesn't fall into either category. Which is a shame, because the story is actually pretty interesting, and had a better actor or a more likable character been used, I'd probably like the movie more.
Worse, the film co-stars (and was possibly financed in part by) Suicide Girls. For those of you who are luckily unfamiliar, SG is a website where girls who might have been attractive once (before they covered a minimum of 25% of their body with bad tattoos and piercings) pose nude for sad folks who buy a membership. Now, for all I know, some are genuinely hot, but none of the ones in this movie are. I would think they would use the pick of the litter if they are trying to drum up business. Which they obviously are – otherwise the girls would use their real names (assuming their parents didn’t threaten to sue them for doing so) instead of nonsense like “Crystal Suicide” or whatever. Bijou should send them a thank you letter; it makes her look even better than usual in comparison.
Crispin Glover plays... Crispin Glover. Again. Maybe some folks aren’t tired of his shtick yet, but for me it’s wearing pretty thin. When the guy wants to, he can genuinely act and play a sympathetic character (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter for example), it’s a shame he lazily just plays ‘the weirdo’ whenever he needs money to pay for his gonzo movies and mysterious briefcases.
Back to the sound effects though – the Kip Pardue character has some sort of curse that is causing his bones to crack or some goddamn nonsense. So every time the fucking guy moves as much as a pinkie finger, we hear the sounds of celery being broken on a foley stage. It gets annoying after 5 minutes; it lasts for nearly the entire film.
Unless you’re a scenester, Glover obsessive, or somehow enjoy the Suicide Girls, the film doesn't really have much else to offer. It's not BAD, but it's just sort of anti-enjoyable. But as always, it must be pointed out that I like some of the most critically reviled films of all time (“My boat.”), so who knows? If you like it, good, but I won’t gain any more sleep out of it.
What say you?