Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ed Wood Jr.?, Part 1

Alone in the Dark
(Lions Gate Films, 2005)
Starring: Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff

Slant (.5/4)
Saying Uwe Boll's Alone in the Dark is better than his 2003 American debut House of the Dead—possibly the worst horror film of the past decade—is akin to praising syphilis for not being HIV. The director's second straight videogame-to-film misfire boasts slightly bigger stars and higher production values than his previous catastrophe, but neither comes close to obscuring the fact that Boll remains mainstream cinema's most awesomely incompetent living filmmaker. One would have to list every facet of filmmaking basics to catalog Alone's innumerable shortcomings, but suffice it to say that jagged pacing, laughable use of slow-motion and bullet-time effects, seizure-inducing strobe lights, mismatched editing, ready-for-TV framing, a constantly unmoored camera, and jumbled audio mixing all rear their ugly heads at one point or another during this cataclysmic, cacophonous fiasco. -Nick Schager

Mr. Filthy (1/5)
Supposedly this dungheap cost 20-million bones to make, but it looks a hell of a lot cheaper than that. It's filmed in dim light, not for style, but to hide the cheapness. The dialog is so routine that I could have predicted every single line after seeing Sci-Fi Channel Originals like Boa Vs. Python and Sabretooth, or the one about squids that can instant-message submarines. Other movies this reminded me of are the appalling Arizona Werewolf in which an Eastern European playing an American says in her best phonetic English "You and Dr. Noel is only in it for fame and forchoooon," and an old Golan-Globus disaster called Treasure of the Four Crowns that at least was in 3-D. All of these movies are notably lousy, but better than Alone in the Dark.

Ed Wood Jr., Part 2

Note: Score ratings in bold are Select Reviews, and "( )" the authors cited.