Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Eeeeeeek! Eeeeeeeeeek!

You can either interpret that as the cry of the "Blood Monkey", or cries of terror in general after sitting through both that movie and "Captivity". Having a kind-of last-minute movie marathon to watch all the movies I hired a week ago that are now due back.

"Blood Monkey" stars Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham as a slightly mad professor who wants to find a tribe of monkeys. Six students are along for the trip. The reason behind the expedition was probably explained at some point, but I was bored about five minutes into this tripe, and some early bits were missed because the disc was skipping. Nevertheless, barely anything happens until at least an hour into the movie, when the unseen monkey finally starts screeching and slaying. There's a bit of blood and gore, but why do we barely see the monkey? What's the point of making a killer-monkey movie if it's never actually going to make an appearance? It could actually be an ape or a chimpanzee, but we'll never know because the idiotic filmmakers couldn't be bothered (or maybe didn't have the money) to provide proper glimpses of the monster they were making the movie about! Tack on an ending that feels like they ran out of film, and the only thing you're left to wonder about is why anybody would care that F. Murray Abraham won an Oscar more than twenty years ago. He hasn't done anything worthwhile since and should probably give it back. Yet they can still advertise their movie as starring an Oscar winner! Let me tell you now - you don't hire a movie called "Blood Monkey" because it stars an Oscar winner. I was expecting some blood and some monkeys. I got a bit of the former and none of the latter.

The story behind "Captivity" is much more interesting than the piece of disgusting, worthless garbage I put in my DVD player. Originally devised as a "Saw"-like thriller, this has supermodel Jennifer (Elisha Cuthbert) kidnapped and imprisoned in a dungeon. She eventually discovers another prisoner (Daniel Gillies), and the two must band together to survive the mind games their captor is playing on them. Preview screenings of the film were so disastrous that the movie had to go back for re-shoots. They dropped about 90% of the cops-investigating-the-case subplot and replaced it with gory torture scenes. You see, apparently the original version of "Captivity" was a psychological thriller with not much gore. The movie I just watched had a woman receiving an acid bath. Another person gets their tooth pulled out. Elisha Cuthbert gets strapped down to a gurney, a funnel forced into her mouth, and fed a blended concoction of human body parts. She's also forced to shoot her dog.

The studio was obviously jumping on the torture-porn bandwagon, but far too late. "Hostel 2" and "The Hills Have Eyes 2" had already failed at the box office. Nevertheless, they put up billboards all over the city advertising their movie, with Elisha Cuthbert in various stages of degradation and torture. There was a massive outcry and the studio was forced to pull the billboards down. The publicity thankfully didn't equate to box office dollars, because this piece of shit doesn't deserve it.

Now, I've said before I don't mind what they call "torture-porn". It's actually a term I don't like, because many of the films unfairly labelled as that were simply trying to provide a more intense, visceral horror experience than the many light-weight horror flicks that had been flooding the market at the time. But when you watch something like "Captivity", there really isn't any other way to describe it. We don't learn a single thing about Jennifer before she's abducted and tortured. Are we supposed to assume she deserves to be force-fed human body parts, or gassed, or nearly buried alive? Maybe if the script had taken a couple of minutes to provide some, oh I don't know, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, maybe I would have cared a little more about what was going down before my eyes. Director Roland Joffe has been nominated for an Oscar twice, for 1984's "The Killing Fields" and 1986's "The Mission" and writer Larry Cohen is the mastermind behind many cult movies, in particular the mutant baby movie "It's Alive". The studio should take some of the blame, but they're all responsible for delivering a movie that's made it onto my Top 10 Worst Movies list. It's a torture movie that's torture to sit through.

1 comment:

  1. What cracks me up is that even though it's total rubbish you'll stick with it to the end. By the way, when are you going to blog your Top 10 Worst Movies list?