Monday, April 25, 2011

Nitpickery --- The Blood Waters of Dr. Z versus Alien vs. Ninja

Hey y'all.  I haven't seen Robocop 2 in years, and I just saw it again.  It stinks.  Apparently Robocop 3 is supposed to be worse, so my interest in the series is officially ended.  The first was good, though.

Anyway, the other night I was looking through Netflix when I saw the movie Alien vs. Ninja.  I figured this might at least be cute to watch, but no.  Absolutely not.  In fact, this is a contender for the worst movie I have ever seen.  The other contender is The Blood Waters of Dr. Z, a movie I saw during one episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (the only way to watch that stinker, if then).  I shall now compare the two and decide which is worse.  I will compare the different parts of movie making and rate which "wins" out of each category to find out which of our movies is the worst ever.

Category 1: Plot/Dialogue

Okay, so Aliens vs. Ninja had this plot to where a comet comes down, bringing with it murderous aliens.  Yeah.  There's not really much other plot to this.  I mean, there's some nonsense about this other tribe of ninjas or whatever, but they get them out of the way quickly.  Just plot dressing.  Nothing really that interesting happens.  It's just like you expect the plot to be: the ninjas are taken by surprise by the alien and several die, then the good guys go and after a big struggle take them down, also taking down the ninjas being mind-controlled by the alien growing in their throats.

Yeah.  I'm not spoiling the plot for you.  The least of all writers could write exactly this.  In fact, the ninjas don't even have to be ninjas; there's nothing specifically ninja-ish about these guys, other than their costumes.  You could replace them with modern day soldiers and the plot would be exactly the same.  At no point is the writing in this crappy movie interesting, unique, or makes you believe in the movie's world.  Worst of all, they offer no reason why the aliens are bothering to murder everyone.  And if they can brainwash people, why go on murdering sprees so soon?  Why not just take over as many people as possible and then take over the world?

As for The Blood Waters of Dr. Z, the plot in one sense was better: it actually tried.  I mean, it failed miserably, but at least it tried to be a science fiction horror movie.  It's about Dr. Leopold (that's right, his name is not Dr. Z like in the title), who is, for no reason they bother to explain, obsessed with marine life, and he wants to take vengeance on the land dwellers for being cruel to them.  His plan is to turn himself into a water creature, find a mate, and then genetically alter fish so that they can come on land and kill everyone.

If they actually made it about the killing everyone, this movie might have at least been hilarious.  Oh no, they focus on Dr. Leopold's internal monologuing and his early, boring attempts at finding a mate once he has become a monster.  So boring...insanely boring.  All of the doctor's lines are voiceover monologues!  He doesn't even make weird monster sounds or something.

Oh yeah, there's also some good guys. Their dialogue is generic, and if they had any background of any importance, I have no clue.  Nothing they said was interesting or anything much other than a reaction to the monster.  Other than the chubby cop, none of them were interesting as people.  They were just sort of there.  I'll get to that in the next category when I deal with characters, but I will say here that none of these guys added any significant plot.

Honestly, the plot doesn't explain why Dr. Leopold is so infatuated with fish, or how exactly he intends to make them all have legs.  How exactly are fish repressed?  Is it pollution?  Is it people building underwater cities?  Or is it just plain insanity?  Nobody who watches this movie will understand what the crap is going on.  And why do they spend so much time talking about what Dr. Leopold does rather than show him doing more bad things?  Oh wait, or was him going around with that squirt bottle spreading the radiation they kept going on about?  I don't understand....

Okay, so AvN's boring genericness versus Dr.Z's incomprehensible and uninteresting nonsense.  It's a hard contest, but I'm actually going to give a tie.  Honestly, AvN never tried, which is why its plot is boring and generic.  Dr. Z's plot could have been made better, or at least funnier, with better handling.  On the other hand, AvN's screen writing, while bad and boring, was nowhere near as horrible as Dr. Z's constant monologuing and lack of backstory.  So, a point for bad plot to AvN, and a point to Dr. Z for bad screenwriting.

Category 2: Characters

AvN's characters.  Wow.  These guys were such stereotypes that I can't tell if they're Japanese or American ones.  They could be either.  You've got the really skilled lead character, a ninja named Yamata.  Apparently he's like a half-blood or an outcast or something, but since they don't bother at any point to explain what that is or why it's relevant, I don't care.  Then there's the feminist stereotype #2, the bungling cowardly idiot (why the crap don't they kick him out of the ninja order?!  Tell me!!), the side character/best friend who gets his brain taken over, the gay guy, and a crap ton of redshirts.

In case you're wondering, a feminist stereotype #1 is your generic action hero girl who is out to prove that women are always "equal to" (better than) men, and doesn't need a man's help to do anything, including open a jar of pickles.  A feminist stereotype #2 is a strong chick who is there to support women in name only; she's either trashy and/or treated as a mere sex object by the director.  Crap, there's this one fight scene where the chick fought an alien, and it was disgusting how much unnecessary innuendo was in that.  I mean, they were trying hard to make it disgusting.  This is the kind of thing that makes me hate feminists.  Where the crap are they when you need them?

I hated all the characters in this, other than the cool master.  The master of the ninjas was actually a pretty good actor, though he was only in the movie a short time before the entire village was murdered off and their body parts spread all over the ground randomly.  The movie at no point gave us enough background or interest in the characters, so when they died we had no real reason to care about them.  In fact, besides the three main characters, everyone was pretty annoying.  Either that or had no lines.

Like I said before, in Dr. Z, none of the good guys were interesting.  They didn't have anything to say that was relevant.  The marine biologist Rex has a plot as a black guy who went to college and is now doing pretty well for himself, but that backstory only serves to give probably racist Sheriff Krantz some hilariously bad lines.  Actually, it's to Dr. Z's credit that Krantz has these lines, because it means he's pretty much the only interesting character in the story.  There's also Martha Walsh and Walker Stevens, who play these scientists who come in and investigate.  They apparently have like a romance or something going on, but this is only explained in one scene where they kiss.  In other scenes, no romantic actions at all are ever taken: no looking at each other, no showing concern, and no flirting.

Worst of all is the mad scientist himself.  Most of the time he just kinda wanders around, doing weird stuff.  He offs a few people he had pictures of on his wall, takes drugs, kills a kid, watches the scientists kissing, and stumbles around.  Oh, and this story has a feminist stereotype #2 as well: a random chick that swims around in a bikini until she's kidnapped and forced into becoming another fish monster, only it doesn't work and she dies.

So, yeah.  To be honest, AvN's characters annoyed me more.  Then again, Dr. Z's characters were so boring.  Hm.  Well, boring isn't as bad as annoying (in this particular case), and the sheriff was funny to laugh at.  The marine biologist was okay.  It looks like AvN gets the point here.

Category 3: Set and Sound

I guess the sounds were okay in AvN.  Actually, they had lots of gross and disgusting sounds, but they matched the general action/gore of the film so if I'm going to complain about that I'll do it in a different category.  The music was good, except for this song with weird lyrics.  It was one of those ones that only makes sense in Japanese, but I like those.  Nothing in this department to criticize.

In Dr. Z, the soundtrack was so dang weird.  Some parts it made sense, but other parts it was just off.  Some parts just had really annoying bleeps and bloops going on.  Z gets the point on this one.

Category 4: Costumes

I cannot stand any of the costumes in AvN.  First of all, the ninja outfits look cheap.  Secondly, the girl's costume is only there to emphasize her woman parts.  The helmet they stuck on the annoying guy was so stupid.  I have to admit, I really like the master's costume, and he actually looks pretty cool in it.  Everyone else?  They look like extras on live action Sailor Moon episodes.  That's not a compliment.  The alien costumes were fine for the apparently limited budget they had.

Dr. Leopold looks like a clumsy, furry, sea horse-ish thing in his costume.  It's so dang lame.  As bad as it is, it doesn't really bother me that much because I enjoy ghetto things.  It's sort of like Godzilla in a way.  Then again, this costume is far worse than the Godzilla puppet.

Thing is, the other costumes were just regular clothes.  In fact, the girl in there wore a dress that I very much want for myself.  No big deal.

So, cheap crap versus one bad monster suit.  AvN gets the point, simply because most of the characters are affected.

Category 5: Cinematography/Editing

AvN is mostly fine in this category.  You can tell that the film was cheap, and it's sort of annoying at first, but it's not that big a deal in the end.  The editing for FS2's fight with the alien was garbage.  Generally though, you can tell what's going on.  Since there's virtually no backstory at all, you don't even need to bother it having it dubbed in english.  Just watch the mind-numbing action and try not to be bored/grossed out of your mind.

This is the category which takes Dr. Z from a horrible movie to the worst movie ever.  Monster Leopold is constantly jumping from place to place doing random things.  At one point he's watching that film's FS2, then he kills a guy, then he suddenly is back with the girl, deciding to kidnap her.  The rest of the movie is edited just as badly, and you don't even have a clue what happens when or why it matter.  And then, for some stupid reason, there are random videos of sea creature faces at several points.  Crab, fish, shark...they just show up when Leopold is killing somebody or monologuing or changing himself into the monster in the first place.

Dr. Z gets the point.  It gets five points.  Holy Crap.

Category 6: Action

If you like stupid action, you might actually like AvN's action.  It was, however, very stupid.  Admittedly, I have a hard time caring about normal action. Unless I care about who is on screen, I don't care about fighting.  It's boring to me.  Given that AvN has no backstory at all, I care nothing about the fight or who is fighting.  It says I should care because the aliens are baddies, but honestly, I can't relate to anyone in the movie at all.

Also, it's cheesy.  AvN goes for the lowest, cheapest fighting.  It's the kind of fighting that's not about actual skill, but the grossest kills and the biggest computer generated stunts.  Boring!  That's one reason why the Star Wars prequels were such bullcrap when it came to fight scenes.  There was so much computer crap and so little reality that it was pretty much impossible to give a crap about what was going on.  I've seen a food fight more interesting than this mess.  They might as well be dancing ballet or something.

Dr. Z, on the other hand, has very little action at all.  It shows Leopold kidnapping the bikini clad FS2, him killing a couple of guys that pissed him off, and some dumb fighting with the good guys near the end.  Not only is there very actual fighting, what fighting there is remains dull, awkward, and nowhere near as scary as the movie needed.

Dr. Z gets the point here.  As worthless as AvN's fighting was, at least they tried to make the aliens and ninjas intimidating.

Category 7: Sensitivity and Offensiveness

This is a weird category.  First of all, by sensitivity, I mean how negatively sensitive people are affected by the movie.  Certain people, myself included, can't watch or read just anything.  Some people are just more sensitive to plot than others.  I mean, all fiction impacts every mind in one way or another, but some people are just less affected.  It can be because they're more stubborn, less artistic, or not particularly spiritual.

I'll explain it another way.  Have you ever read something, watched something, or listened to some music that just made you feel dirty or disgusted?  Did you ever see a show that just creeped you out and got stuck in your head, refusing to go away?  If you answered yes to these, you're likely a more sensitive person.

If you say no, this doesn't apply to you as much.  I will say movies and such do affect even you because they get you to think about certain issues or ideas, but you're probably not going to have serious problems from watching weird stuff.

That being said, I felt pretty sick after watching both of these.  Just the sheer, disgusting gore of AvN made me want to puke.  Like I said, it went for the cheapest gore and scares, all while not at all taking life seriously. Crap, if you want me to care about these ninjas, don't treat them like alien chew toys.  I realize that movies are a visual medium, but some things are perfectly appropriate to be left to the imagination.  It's even better that way. For the movie UHF, this one crazy guy decided to teach poodles to fly by throwing them out the window.  The movie was funnier without showing the poodles hit the ground (no poodles were harmed in the making of that movie).

As for Dr. Z, I felt pretty sick after watching that the first time too.  This movie has a depressing view on life, particularly the horrible ending, which I will get into later.  Neither does this movie value life, as all of the main cast ends up dead.  I think a couple of extras lived, but that's about it.

A lot of people mistake sensitivity for being offended.  I'm not particularly offended by AvN's action, it just makes me want to vomit and...hurts me on the inside.  I don't know how to explain it other than to say it's like pollution in my heart.  That sounds nuts, doesn't it?  Anyway, be graceful if some people don't like movie violence.  It's not bad because people are offended, people are offended because it's bad.

AvN gets the point here.  As sick and freaky as Dr. Z was, there's just about no way it could compare to the gorefest and cheapness of the ninja movie.

Category 8: Acting

AvN's acting was atrocious.  Everything was overacted and extremely hammy.  Good acting makes a person forget that they're watching a movie.  That being said, the only actor who pulled me into the worthless and inch deep plot of this mess was the master, and he was only there (and indeed alive) for one scene.  Everyone else was a stereotype, without even bothering to try to give their character depth.  This is the essence of "paint by numbers" plot.  Everything is laid out.  Can't the actors at least try to give their characters depth?  Pretty please?

I actually think that writing was a worse problem in Dr. Z than acting.  Dr. Leopold's actor has no excuse, however.  He did a terrible job.  Before he changed, he was unconvincing as a scientist, and afterwards he was weak portraying a monster.  Atrocious.

The other actors weren't that bad.  If the writing was better, Rex's and the Sheriff's actors would have done just fine.  The other scientists were dull, but again for them it's more the fault of the writing.  Well, I can't excuse them much, because they were pretty awkward and boring.  Every other actor in this stinker was a glorified extra, including the scientists Dr. Z actually wanted revenge on, so it has at least that in common with AvN.

AvN gets the point here.  Dr. Z almost earns it through Dr. Leopold's actor alone (the movie does depend on him), but that movie at least has two non-annoying actors in it.  Can't be said for AvN.

Category 9: The Ending

This is the category that separates the crap from the extreme crap.

So Alien vs. Ninja's ending.  Well, can't you guess it?  Everything else about the movie is perfectly predictable and cheap.  Likewise is the ending.  First of all, the lone survivor of a alien-destroyed village is a young boy, and he is rescued.  At the ending, the ninjas finally kill off all the aliens, and the three of them go arm and arm through the woods, happily disregarding the facts that they no longer have a home, their clan is completely slaughtered, and those three ninjas are the only three left in their order.  The other clan of ninjas will probably end up taking over.

They are being followed by a young boy that found them after his village was destroyed.  We find out that he is being mind controlled by the aliens, or possibly just allied with them, or maybe is one of them in disguise.  The alien thingie that's supposed to be down his throat is in a bag.  Still pretending to be a good guy, the boy tags along with the ninjas, then the credits roll.

I can't say "meh" enough times so I'm not going to try.

Dr. Z's  This is the extreme crap I was talking about.  First of all, the Sheriff ends up being killed by Dr. Z, and so does Rex.   Rex was trying to save Marsha from being turned into a monster, but while her body remains human, her mind is still messed up.  Rex dies without knowing what happens to her or anyone else.

Walker, who was chasing Dr. Z and is bit by a snake as he does so, ends up finally shooting Dr. Leopold.  Leopold was at the beach with these two unexplained capsule thingies that were supposed to do something that the audience isn't told.  These things get pulled into the water.  As Walker is on the beach trying not to die, Marsha passes him by, walking into the water like a zombie.  No matter how much Walker calls her name, she just keeps on going, presumably drowning.  In fact, the only people who survive this movie are random extras.

The ending point goes to Dr. Z.  Not only can you not figure out what's going on, but when you kill off the entire cast in the most tortuous way plot allows....dang.  Just dang.

So anyway, which of these movies earns the title of "Worst Movie As Yet Seen by GrimMoody"?  The "winner" is...


...Tropic Thunder!  This movie is about as funny as dog poop, with shoddy acting, bad plot, and nobody who deserves to die actually dies.  I was hoping that the producer would get killed, but he never did.  It's a bunch of stupid, perverted mess that thinks it's something because it's got big namers in it.  The previews had me fooled, but the one joke that was all over the previews ended up petering out and being lame.

Honestly, the other movies may be bad, but nobody actually likes those.  How many of you heard of Blood Waters of Dr. Z before reading this or watching the Mystery Science Theater episode?  No one who has seen it thinks it's good.  Aliens vs, Ninjas is just one of those little niche movies that only nerdier people who actually enjoy stupid violence will watch.  Even those people don't think AvN is necessarily a good movie.  They just like it for what it is, fully aware of its stupidity and shortcomings.

Tropic Thunder, however, makes me ashamed of humanity.  I'm very sorry that such a movie was made at all, and that so many people actually liked it.  Those people have no taste whatsoever.  This movie has no redeeming qualities, but is simply a collection of the dumbest, lowest of all jokes.  Doesn't Hollywood know that the world judges us by our stupid movies?

I hope that the Hollywood movie machine gets a serious rehaul.  It sucks.  So many things produced today are throwaway movies only made for quick cash.  There's not going to be a "Gone with the Wind" or "Terminator" any time soon.  They're too busy making "The Last Avatar" and "Suckerpunch", as well as other stupid bullcrap that has no depth and never should have seen the light of day, other than on Mystery Science Theater.

I wish people wouldn't like all that crap.  Geez, humanity, what's your deal?

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