Thursday, March 24, 2005

"Dead Birds"

So, I rented semi-balleyhooed straight to video horror flick 'Dead Birds', and would like to mention that it isn't especially good. Asshole soldiers rob a bank inducing a bush league Pekinpah shoot-out where they gun down children, the elderly, and many innocents. There are few things I enjoy more in life then the sight of my fellow man being torn limb from limb on a movie screen, but in this movie it is so patently obvious that the wanted to add some of the hep violence that the kids love at the expense of logic or story or decent acting to back it up that I couldn't even enjoy someone getting their head blown apart, or a small child being shot. Two things that, may I note, usually result in me masturbating after viewing. So yeah, fuckheaded tough guys, led by the kid from ET (when he's your tough guy leader of brutal soldier/thieves, your movie is in some serious trouble, fella) take their gold, which I was waiting to be revealed as washers, but the filmmakers thankfully didn't add three subplots too many (folks behind 'Dog Soldiers', take a bow), and then they hole up in a cabin. Supernatural doings transpire, along with music cues blatantly stolen from 'The Shining', oh wait, did I give anything away?

It's a decent cast, but it is mostly wasted in too many shots of people looking around in pointless horror movie cliched shots when there is no real reason for the characters to be doing so. All the Confederate Soldiers, including, um, Isiah Washington (did I miss something?) look like well fed actors from Orange County, except Mark Boone, who looks like an exceedingly well fed actor from Brooklyn. I don't think anyone on set even knew what the Civil War was, much less had the time to do five minutes worth of research about it when they were too busy staring blankly off into space. As for the sole female cast member, she about as convincing as a tough as nails Confederate Spy who will cut your throat at the slightest provocation as the bargain basement special effects, which is to say, not very. The ending is straining for some kind of circular profundity, and the filmmakers fell right on their faces. Yes, this is a movie where a character shoots in the first twenty minutes what appears to be a Chupacabra. The soldiers, who would presumably know such things, Civil War era Southern soldiers having a passing familiarity with the outdoors, don't find it the slightest bit out of the ordinary that a naked, hairless hominid with fangs was shot and no further comment is made once the shit hits the fan. "Yeah, Jethro, I know I just shot an unearthly monster, but even though we are all at a rural outpost a dozens of miles from anywhere that even we couldn't find, we should just go inside after shrugging our shoulders. Wait? He disappeared? Oh, he's probably just wandering out around in the dark for no reason. Let's go look around the house again, but be sure to split up first. Yeah, I know we already went through here and there is no reason to do it again, but let's do it anyway.".

The lead characters are all total pricks/morons/scum/shit for brains hicks who I was rooting to get murdered and tortured. Apparently Tarantino's influence stretched to the civil war era, where all the characters tote a gun in each hand, get in Mexican standoffs, and spout choice macho jargon. I never even got to see a really good murder at the claws of a demon. If this movie was a person, you would never, ever want to spend any time with them.

Something that people should notice when watching a movie and react accordingly, by becoming suicide bombers and attacking poor filmmakers (and I don't mean poor in the economic sense):
"Yeah, I know I just saw a child with fangs and visions of unspeakable suffering, but it's RAINING OUTSIDE, therefore I cannot go anywhere. I mean, shit, RAIN, you know? I don't want to get wet or anything. We'll just stay here, even though a few of our numbers just disappeared, and I just saw visions of hell, but I'm sure everything will be fine. I just don't like getting wet, you know?"

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