Tag Archives: uwe boll

IMDb Bottom 100: Blubberella

Blubberella

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“Blubberella” is yet another entry in the IMDb Bottom 100 brought to us by the much-maligned director Uwe Boll, who was also behind IMDB Bottom 100 flicks “Alone in the Dark” and “House of the Dead”. His immense unpopularity as an individual (among critics and audiences alike) is almost as notable as his his astoundingly awful filmography at this point, something that has certainly had an effect on the public perception of his works. Given that the IMDb Bottom 100 is in many ways based on popularity and public opinion, it is no surprise to see Uwe Boll pop up numerous times in the ranking.

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Uwe Boll is literally Hitler

However, “Blubberella” sets itself apart from the typical Uwe Boll fare: not only is it a comedy (not Boll’s strength), but it is also a parody movie. If there is anything that the IMDb Bottom 100 can tell you at first glance, it is that parody movies can go wrong very easily, and Uwe Boll certainly isn’t Mel Brooks when it comes to the craft of cinematic comedy.

Adding to the bizarreness, “Blubberella” is a parody of a Uwe Boll flick that was being filmed simultaneously (“BloodRayne 3”), so it isn’t even aping a movie that the audience would identify with.  According to some behind the scenes footage, this was a decision made first and foremost to save money: Boll’s logic was that it would cost the same to make two movies at the same time with the same sets, cast, and crew. In theory, if both movies did well, the profits would be exponentially better. This is an old principal that dates back to the classic Roger Corman B-movies, but those films were usually unrelated apart from the cast and setting: they weren’t designed to be symbiotic.

Personally, I feel that Uwe Boll’s already unpopular personality combined with this economic motivation for the making of the film would have led to a negative perception of “Blubberella” regardless of whether it was any good or not. Unsurprisingly, though, it is absolutely awful. Not only is it the worst Uwe Boll movie in the IMDb Bottom 100, but I personally think it is the worst parody movie as well. That put it is some truly elite company.

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The humor in “Blubberella” is not just crass and lazy (just as with the other parody movies in the IMDb Bottom 100, it relies heavily on stereotypes), but it also comes off as generally cruel and bitter. I think just about every joke in the movie punches down, which is generally a poor practice and sets a thoroughly uncomfortable tone to the movie. By the end of the movie, it is pretty clear that Uwe Boll not only isn’t funny, but that he has a lot of personal ire for women, homosexuals, and fat people (not to mention pretty much everyone else). He comes off as even more of an asshole than everyone already believed he was.

Another huge issue with the humor in “Blubberella” comes from the fact that the movie is effectively unscripted: Uwe Boll left an excessive amount of the dialogue up to the actors to improvise (the two lead actors apparently did enough of this to justify co-writing credits on the film). Shows like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” can pull off this style of improvised scripting because of the comedic talents of the players, but it definitely requires a lot of skill from everyone involved for the technique to work. If you haven’t seen poorly done improv before, I assure you that it is some of the most uncomfortable, miserable comedy you will ever come across. In the case of “Blubberella”, the actors just aren’t up to the improv weight that is thrown on them by Boll. In the behind the scenes interviews, it seems like the actors are appreciative of the freedom that they were granted with this style, but I highly suspect that Boll made the decision to go with improv dialogue because he didn’t want to waste the time writing a fleshed out script (time is money, after all). In any case, it doesn’t work, and the end result is poorly paced and painfully unfunny.

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A titanic comedy duo, in the sense that all of the humor sinks into the icy depths of misery

As far as the cast goes, the only real bright spot is beloved oddball character actor Clint Howard, and even he doesn’t perform up to his usual par. Worst among the cast list by a mile, however, is Uwe Boll himself, who portrays Adolph Hitler. To put it lightly, his acting is atrocious.

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Clint Howard playing a Nazi Doctor

There is nothing to recommend about “Blubberella”: it is a creature spawned from hate-based humor and cheap economic logic. The pacing and comedic timing throughout the film is just awful, and there aren’t any redeeming performances or aspects that can justify sitting through the flick. Worse yet, you can tell how rushed the production was, and it is evident that there was no effort put forth to make this movie. Unless you are planning to watch all of Uwe Boll’s movies for the challenge of it, I would definitely avoid “Blubberella”.

 

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IMDb Bottom 100: Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark is yet another video game adaptation by infamous director Uwe Boll. I already covered another one of his films, House of the Dead, which also resides in the IMDb Bottom 100. I thought that House of the Dead had a little bit more redeeming value to it than Alone in the Dark though, and I loathe that movie immensely. That alone says a lot about my dark opinions of this film (sorry about that).

I honestly try to be a little charitable when talking about Uwe Boll movies, because I think his personality and unpopularity among critics has colored a lot of reviews of his works. That said, it is pretty hard to deny that his movies are terrible, and I’m certainly not going to be one to deny that here. Regardless, I’ll try to start with some positives about this movie.

The first (and, well, only) positive thing I have to say about this movie is possibly a bit backhanded, because it is also a major complaint. I was impressed with his use of lighting in how he used it to relatively cover up some of his cheap/poor CG effects. That actually felt like a pretty good move, given what I assume were imposed budgetary limitations on the movie. However, the CG monsters were a bit integral to the plot, so the whole movie winds up being incredibly dark with random flashes of light (Uwe Boll bargain bin bullet effects), which makes the whole thing a pretty blinding experience. At times Boll tries to make up for this by substituting the CG monsters on screen with off-screen noises that imply their presence, but it winds up being a bit obvious as to what he is doing. Good try though, I guess?

Most of the movie looks like this

The movie’s plot is pretty typical if you find yourself watching SyFy Original movies on a regular basis. It isn’t deep, and there certainly isn’t too much though put into it. If I remember correctly, the monsters are underground dwellers (aliens at one point maybe?) that have been around throughout human history, and the characters find evidence of them in mysterious archaeological findings. The lead character (Christian Slater) is a former member of a secret government organization that tries to conceal the existence of these creatures, like a more militaristic version of the Men in Black. He teams up with some archaeologists (including Sharknado‘s Tara Reid) to try to contain (I guess?) the resurrection of these poorly CG’d creatures.

The acting is all pretty sub-par, and there isn’t anyone playing up their roles to add entertainment value. Everyone seems to be taking this movie incredibly seriously, which is really a shame. I feel like this had some potential if any of the actors would have been able to really let go, but I feel like they were equally constrained by the screenplay and the directing.

The biggest problems with this movie all come down to the lighting. I mentioned previously that this was a good way to try to conceal iffy CGI, but the whole movie comes out as too dark as a result of it. Equally, the constant darkness emphasizes another classic Uwe Boll cheap trick: post-production gun flashes. Uwe Boll loves these cheesy, bright gun flashes that are added in after the fact (I mentioned their presence in House of the Dead as well). In his other movie they look bad, but in a film where the characters are constantly immersed in darkness, the jarring flashes constant, and undo all of the work of concealing the flaws of the poorly CG’d monsters. It doesn’t matter much that you can’t see the shitty details of the monster CG when you are using the cheapest gun effects you can get your hands on.

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Alone in the Dark is a boring and painful watch. There isn’t any entertainment value to leech out of this thing, and you will almost certainly regret watching it once the headache from the constant flashing sets in. Worse, Boll once again concludes his movie by ripping off a much better, cherished cult classic. This time around, it is Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead: Boll concludes the movie with the first-person camera crashing in on the characters from behind, straight out of the fantastic conclusion to the original Evil Dead. Worse yet, the effect wasn’t necessary. The movie was already essentially over, and it could easily have just cut to black with the monster noises and had the same effect. At this point, I suppose that is just what you can expect from Uwe Boll.

IMDb Bottom 100: The Quarter Mark, Part 3

IMDb Bottom 100: The Quarter Mark, Part 1
-SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2
-Going Overboard
-Manos: The Hands of Fate
-Birdemic: Shock and Terror

IMDb Bottom 100: The Quarter Mark, Part 2
-Space Mutiny
-Turks in Space
-Crossover
-Pledge This!

Pod People


Most MST3K fans are likely familiar with the movie “Pod People”, a poorly constructed and confused mess of an ET ripoff film that was famously featured on the show.

I almost feel like this movie could have been decent. If someone has taken a keener eye to the script and done some better camera work, this might have been a perfectly mediocre movie. As it stands, it is an incredibly bad, confused mess of a film. There are some laughs to be had at the poor special effects and horrible acting, but in general the writing is too unfocused to keep your attention throughout the movie. The famously bad recording studio scene is about the only part of this movie worth watching, save for the poor effects during little Trumpy’s tirades. The plot just takes too long to get moving, and there are too many threads introduced too early in the movie. If you can stay awake through the first half-hour though, you are golden for making it through the rest of this mind-numbing movie.

About the only thing I can credit to this movie is that it was easy for the MST3K crew to tear to shreds. Their riff on this one is one of the better episodes of the show without a doubt, and is the only way I could possibly recommend watching this movie. Otherwise, it is just an incredibly boring time killer.

Girl in Gold Boots

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I have been ruminating on this one for a while. I initially procrastinated writing out my review on this so that I could read up more on the fascinating man behind this film, Ted V. Mikels. There is certainly a lot of interesting reading about his career and personality, and he has a lengthy filmography of crap to sift through.

Now, after sitting on this movie for a while, I think I actually like it.

This isn’t as good of a bad movie as “Manos” or “Plan 9”, but it really is an enjoyable watch if you are hunting for a B-movie. The acting is all way overdone, which is exactly what you want to see in a film like this. The same goes for the writing and dialogue, it all just hits the spot for what this movie is. The editing mistakes are actually pretty entertaining as opposed to jarring, which is ultimately a boon to the entertainment value of the film.

Last but not least, I think I have actually come to like the music in this movie. The whole film relies on the intermittent musical numbers, which alternate between Critter’s sappy acoustic bits and the backing band’s rock(?) numbers. The main theme is actually pretty catchy, and the others can actually grow on you if you aren’t careful. Kind of like “Hear the Engines Roll Now” in Pod People, they are sort of endearingly terrible. Honestly, I think that sums up the whole film: Endearingly Terrible.

House of the Dead

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To start off with, the movie isn’t unwatchable. It is bad in just about every way, but it isn’t particularly difficult to sit through. That is about the only thing positive to say about it.

The practical effects in this movie are somehow not over the top enough, believe it or not. There are times when zombies are briefly on screen when I’d swear they didn’t have any make up on the extra at all. The ones that they do put effort into came out way too cartoony if you ask me, and i just didn’t buy them. I actually think in this aspect Boll was a little too loyal to the games, whose zombies are a bit too sci fi and not very horror.

Speaking of loyalty to source material, this is a mighty inconsistent movie. Boll goes so far as to splice in direct shots from the game for transitions, but can’t be bothered to actually set the movie in a house. I actually appreciate that he tried to give the movie a video game feel with the death screens, but he didn’t do those consistently with every character. Even the few things he does decently wind up being used ad nauseam or inconsistently applied, which dulls down the whole movie. There were times I would groan at yet another bullet shot, and be let down when I anticipated a death screen.

The special effects are typical Uwe Boll schlock. A ridiculous amount of slow motion is used, along with inexplicable fireballs and CGI gunshots. That’s basically a trade mark of his movies at this point.

The acting is actually not particularly bad for low-level horror movie, with the exception of “Captain Kirk”, who I swear starts drifting into a Russian accent at one point. In general, these people had to do what they could with the script, which wasn’t doing them any favors.

Speaking of the script, the writing is just miserable here. The dialogue is all pretty forgettable, but the story really disappoints. We are treated to the legend of the island well past the halfway point, and the truth behind the island is all crammed into the last few minutes. At that point, why even bother? Nothing bothered me about this quite as much as the botched attempt at a “The Reanimator” ending. For all I can say about “The Reanimator”, the last scene / shot of that movie is awesome. This movie tries to do the same thing, but decides to cut that crucial shot, instead just telling us what happened over the course of the helicopter ride home via voice over narration. There are so many better ways to end the last couple of minutes of this movie that it is actually infuriating to watch this happen. You don’t even have to tweak the outcome or story in any way, and you could dramatically improve the effect of this ending. Did Boll not put any basic thought into his finale at all? “Show don’t tell” ring a bell, dude? Surely he’s seen “The Reanimator”, or he wouldn’t be blatantly ripping it off here. Maybe he just needs to take better notes the next time he makes a movie.

Speaking of blatantly ripping off other movies, there is a baffling and unnecessary sequence that directly rips off “Fellowship of the Ring”. Remember when Frodo famously hides behind the log when being chased down by the Nazgul? It is a really fantastic sequence that is impressively creepy and builds a lot of tension. Well, this movie decided to do that exact same shot, but without any of the ambiance or tense buildup that made the original sequence so excellent. It is painfully obvious that the scene was taken from LOTR today, so I can’t imagine how blatant it looked for people watching this in 2003. Just a really lazy move by Boll to throw that in, especially since it contributes nothing to the movie. The character who is hiding is caught and killed literally seconds after the shot concludes.

“Fellowship of the Rings” scene

“House of the Dead” scene (1:28-2:15)

There are so many more things to complain about in this movie, but I don’t really want to write a novel on how much Uwe Boll sucks. This movie has rocketed from #25 to #16 since I froze the IMDb bottom 100 for this project, which doesn’t surprise me. This movie has the internet’s nerd rage and Uwe Boll’s unpopularity as both a filmmaker / human being working against it, which is obviously going to show up on a democratic ranking. For what it is worth, the movie is watchable. It is worse than a typical Hollywood box office bomb, but not nearly as bad as the stuff you would find in MST3K. It probably belongs on an objective list of the worst somewhere, but this is honestly mostly a victim of the democratic nature of the Bottom 100. I could actually recommend this one to people who enjoy crappy horror movies. There isn’t much in the way of laughs to get out of it, but it is an interesting one to dissect in order to see how it ticks.

Pumaman

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I watched this movie twice, just to make sure I caught everything.

This is a very bad movie. A very bad, amazing movie.

The trailer alone lays out most of what you need to know. The attempted flying effect in this movie is just pathetic, to the point of being absolutely hilarious. It is something that you need to see to believe. Aside from that, there are a number of other really unimpressive attempts at special effects, that mostly come down to shaking the camera. It does not come out well.

The acting is unsurprisingly sub-par, but Donald Pleasence does ham it up a bit. There are a number of moments where you can tell that he knows how bad this movie is going to be, but he still puts a little bit of effort into it. It has to be hard to effectively act like a sinister villain when you are having to peek out from behind a giant ridiculous mask prop the whole movie. I’m amazed he put any effort at all into this movie, especially since he apparently listed it as the worst movie he was ever involved in.

The story makes very little sense. I’m still not clear on why the main character is a “puma” man, given his powers involve teleportation, flying, and faking suicide. Are those typical puma behaviors that I wasn’t aware of? I also particularly like how his powers are granted from aliens in a way that is directly hereditary(?). I’m going to try not to put too much thought into that, but I will note that the alien spaceships look like the Monarch’s Cocoon from “The Venture Bros.”, or alternatively like leftover Christmas ornaments. Clearly a lot of effort was put into this film.

This movie has been moving up the Bottom 100 with all of the grace and stealth of an actual Puma. It popped into the top 20 just recently, and is sitting at #19 currently. I am actually perfectly happy with that placement at this point, because this movie is a fantastic brew of various incompetencies that churns out a genuinely entertaining product. It is absolutely terrible in every technical aspect I can think of. It is a hilarious experience to watch it confusedly stumble its way through the run time. This is one that I may honestly go back and watch again just for the fun of it.