Sunday, 14 November 2010



Enough. I've had enough. I can't be going on like this and I have finally decided to stop. Last night I reached that point where I realised the truth: I can see clearly that it simply wasn't worth the hassle, and I'm absolutely not going to do it any more. This isn't a cry for help, it's not just looking for attention - I quit. It's over. From today I shall no longer inflict DVDs on myself that are clearly, evidently, blatantly garbage. Hallelujah! Open the doors and let the light come in! Today I am putting aside the metaphorical razor blades, flushing the theoretical bottle of strychnine down the sink, locking the non-existent loaded revolver back in the cupboard and stepping back from the hypothetical twenty-three storey rooftop. Instead I'm embracing the real, practical, life-changing concept of going through my rentals queue and deleting all those movies that are likely, on the balance of probability, to be dispiriting time-wasters. I cannot be doing with that much mediocrity concentrated into 90-minute slabs. Not any more. Life, quite literally, is far too short for anyone - not just me - to be watching films this punishingly dreadful.

The cause of this revelation is Megafault, another Asylum quickie in which Eriq LaSalle accidentally starts a mega-earthquake that cuts the whole of America in two, swallowing towns in one gulp and racing towards the San Andreas; he and the late Brittany Murphy race across the country to [1] save their loved ones and [2] try and stop it - crucially in that order of importance. Happily the US military have a superlaser satellite weapon that could freeze the water under the Earth's crust and [insert vast indigestible slab of seismogibberish and big words], and thereby stop the quake. But it doesn't work! The only thing they can do now is to "move the Grand Canyon"!

All the quake damage, collapsing cities, vast yawning chasms, crashing planes and exploding buildings are pasted in on the computer afterwards, possibly by nine-year-olds. It's flat and uninteresting to look at, with the production values of a porn video, and the writing would stink on a daytime US soap opera. Why did they bother? Why did they even bother to get out of bed in the morning if this was the film they were working on? Do they genuinely believe they're making something other than worthless crap, or do they just not care? In some ways they're even worse than barrel-bottom Troma, who revel in the deliberately offensive: nudity, sadism, rape, senseless gore and infantile taboo-busting. But at least they provoke a response, even if it is one of contempt. Asylum films don't appear to revel in anything except computer effects that would have set the industry back 20 years, 20 years ago, and they don't provoke any reaction except tedium. It's just there, and that's simply not good enough.

I've never really believed in the idea of films that are "so bad they're good". Bad movies can be fun: they can be enjoyable, but they're not good - in the sense that the kittenburgers from Frankie's Kebab Van might be hot and tasty and spicy but they're not even slightly nutritious and they're absolutely not good for you. I can enjoy Lifeforce and enjoy its full-throttle stupidity and laugh at the terrible dialogue and acting, but I don't believe it's a great movie. It's fun, but it's terrible. Although there are good things in Lifeforce - a terrific cast, a thundersome score, grisly zombie prosthetics - it's not a good film. But there truly is nothing good about Megafault: it's consistently mediocre in all departments.

I know it's my own fault (hahaha), I was the one who added it to the queue in the first place but I'm going back to that queue and give it the mother of all prunings. If I miss the occasional minor gem as a result, then so be it, because I'd sooner that than continue to hurt myself with the likes of Megafault. It takes just as long to watch a good 90-minute movie as a bad 90-minute movie, so why not aim for the good ones? Doubtless a few stinkers will slip through the net but they'll be disappointments rather than films that lived up to rock-bottom expectations. I really don't want to dish out solitary stars any more, so here's hoping this is actually the last one.


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