Saturday, 26 March 2011



There are bad movies and bad movies. There are bad movies that are nonetheless entertaining despite their badness - Lifeforce, Hudson Hawk, Mirrors, the best of the Carry Ons. There are bad movies that are fun precisely because of their badness - think the Golden Turkeys, Troll 2. (Actually I don't recognise this group: I just don't get the so-bad-it's-good joke.) There are bad movies that aimed high and failed - such as Troy. Then there are movies that actively attempt to be as repugnant as possible for the sake of it: most Troma pictures, Hobo With A Shotgun. There are even movies that are simply plain boring.

And then there are the bad movies made by people who simply have no damned business making movies because they're simply not up to the job. You can look at the sheer inadequacy of something like The Summer Of The Massacre, where people without even the most rudimentary of filmmaking skills have nevertheless taken it upon themselves to make a film and then expect an audience to cough up hard cash for their efforts. This is what happens when the filmmaking process is made easier - it's not that it allows talented writers and directors into the game, it's that it allows hopeless idiots into the game as well - and at no stage of the production (or ideally pre-production) does anyone get to say "Stop. This isn't good enough. Go home and start again."

Perhaps then we might have been spared the thoroughly wretched The Scar Crow, a so-called excuse for a film in which not a single facet is marked by a shred of noticeable talent. The plot tells of four imbecilic douchebags, each of whom you would cheerfully push through an industrial mincing machine with your bare hands, who bunk off their team-building weekend and turn up at a spooky farm run by three weird sisters in 18th Century dress. Thinking solely with their tiny cocks, our dumbass heroes ignore all the warning signs, which include a blatant American Werewolf steal, with a village pub full of sub-Michael Ripper locals muttering darkly about the local curse and warning them not to spend the night at Castle Dracula the farm - and go back for beer and shagging despite one of their number having already disappeared.

Turns out the weird sisters aren't some kind of allusion to MacBeth, but are ghostly witches condemned to haunt the farm forever after their father laid a curse on them with his dying breath (they'd murdered him when he tried to rape one of them), and can only be freed with body parts from five victims to replace the scarecrow in which Dad's corpse was placed. The last of the four has, however, formed some kind of friendship with one of the sisters: will that be enough to persuade her to thwart the plan and set him free?

Everything - everything - about The Scar Scow is sub-standard. All the performances are "I-stand-here-and-say-this-line-then-move-to-the-table" recitations with less feeling than the women on the phonelines asking you to press 3 for billing enquiries. The plot is nonsensical: they need five victims but with our heroes' best mate and then another killing at the pub they've already killed that many, so why do they need the last of the douchebags? And it's all framed as a flashback from the sole survivor, including a bunch of scenes he wasn't in. Directorially it's the most functional point-and-shoot, with night-time interiors blatantly shot in daylight and the brightly lit windows permanently visible. The photography is ugly digital video with no grading applied to give it any kind of artificial film sheen, and the night exteriors are so badly lit that you can't tell what's happening. Sure it's got gore scenes, plenty of blood and offal (and a ripped-off cock) but done with no panache or style.

In summary, it's an unprofessional piece of rubbish made by people who really should go and do something else - paint watercolours, run a fish and chip shop, form a trapeze act, anything - and not try and make films until they've some kind of clue what they're doing. Look: I'm no good at neurosurgery, so I don't get to be a brain surgeon. I can't play the violin so I don't get to be a first violinist with the Royal Philharmonic. And if I can't write and direct films, I don't get to be a filmmaker. So why the hell should these people get to call themselves filmmakers? If they want to be paid money for making films they need to do a hell of a lot better than this. It's beyond pathetic. It's beyond beyond pathetic.

To summarise the summary: it's absolute dross with not a single hint of a redeeming feature to be seen. Everyone involved deserves nothing but your pity, your contempt, and a smack round the face that you could feel on the surface of the Moon.


This is where I'd post an Amazon Link. But I'm not going to dignify it with such a thing. Instead, buy one or more of these, all of which have been made by people who know how to make films, to write scripts, to act, to tell stories and create interesting characters in a way that the makers of The Scar Crow don't even know how to dream:

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