JULY 3, 2007
You read that correctly: I rented this monstrosity in the store. I have to live with the knowledge that someone knows exactly what a guy who would browse an entire store and decide that Curse Of The Zodiac was his best option looks like. To say this movie is awful, or yes, Crap, is almost paying it a compliment. Christ, it makes Alexander Bulkley’s The Zodiac movie look like David Fincher’s Zodiac movie!
Earlier this year, before the birth of Horror Movie A Day, I had the misfortune of watching Nick Palumbo’s Murder Set Pieces, a worthless piece of shit that served no function other than try to shock the viewer. There was no real story, abysmal acting, pointless allusions to 9/11, and worst of all, an endless cycle of the same scenes. The title was pretty accurate, the whole movie was just a guy killing people at random; you could remove any half hour or so from the film and it wouldn’t impact the narrative (such as it was) in the slightest. I hoped to never see another film as worthless, but now I have, only it may be worse. At least in MSP I was occasionally under the impression that Palumbo knew how to technically make a film; I was given no such idea here. In fact, story/acting problems aside, this may very well be the absolute worst made film of all time in terms of camerawork, editing, etc.
As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, I tend to doze off a lot when I am watching a movie. I also have ADD, and it’s not uncommon to walk away from the movie for a few minutes while I check email or whatever (especially if I watch a movie at work). I also rarely pause when I go to the bathroom. But it’s only for a few minutes, and never do I find the movie hard to follow as a result. With this one, I literally watched every frame. And I still couldn’t tell you what the fuck the point of it was. The entire movie is literally hippies arguing, then getting killed, then the killer calls a writer (who I assume is supposed to be Robert Graysmith, he is never named in the film and the end credits don’t bother providing character names anyway) and taunts him with 8th grade ‘evil’ dialogue like “I feel their blood beneath their skin” or whatever. There’s also a mildly cute girl who has visions of the killer and spends most of the movie looking panicked and then screaming. After 20 minutes, you could shut the movie off and be left with the same impression that watching the whole thing would give you, since it just recycles the same 2-3 scenes over and over and finally just ends, seemingly for the hell of it.
But it’s not enough for “director” Ulli Lommell to tell a paper thin story in an at least normal filmmaking manner (as he did for Devonsville Terror). Instead, he films the entire movie like an acid trip, with shots super imposed over themselves and shifted to the right, flipped images, occasional black and white footage, avid farts galore, etc. I am not exaggerating: the ENTIRE movie is like this. It’s obvious he was trying to disorient the viewer a la Natural Born Killers (or the underrated Marc Forster film Stay), but he only succeeds in making himself look like a fucking idiot.
It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the film didn’t even have a script. Many of the dialogue scenes between hippies just sound (and look) like odd improv class exercises, giving us puzzling gems like “Did you know that a molecule knows if it has ever been loved or not?” and my personal favorite, “Left in the fucking men’s room again... same old story.” (said by a woman, by the way). There’s also another scene, I think the only one where the hippies do not argue, with a guy playing the piano. When you’re not looking at the shadow of the cameraman on the wall, you will find yourself lulled to sleep by the guy’s voice, which can best be described as sounding like he simultaneously has no testicles and a few extra.
Worse, Lommell apparently couldn’t afford, or just didn’t want to bother, obtaining the rights to tell the real story. Other than the fact that the killer’s name is Zodiac and is based in San Francisco, there is absolutely no relation whatsoever to the real killer/story. For starters, the killer in this movie is a sexual sadist, which the real killer was not (at least in relation to his murders). This gives us more ridiculous dialogue, like “Do you like my cock, fat fuck?” and “Are you a faggot, fat fuck?” Yes, the charming insult “Fat fuck” makes its way into just about every other line the “Z-man” speaks in this piece of shit. Also, the killer in this movie breaks into people’s homes to kill them, whereas the real killer only struck people in the outdoors (or in cars). Why he couldn’t at least keep with the basic ideas behind the killer is beyond me, I assume it is because the real killer was never caught and thus his exploits are wide open to interpretation. But I suspect if the real killer was still alive, he might give himself up if for no other reason than to answer all mysteries surrounding his identity and ensure no one ever made as god-awful a film as this ever again.
What say you?