Friday, April 1, 2016

Beneath the Mississippi (2008)

There are two groups of people who can never be succinct: conspiracy theorists and low-budget moviemakers. Seriously, there is no reason for this Blair Witch-on-a-boat nonsense to be nearly two hours long, but I'm a sucker for movies that take place in flooded/submerged towns (I actually paid to see Hard Rain, in the theaters), so here I am again, wading (heh) through another badly-made shitfest just because it toggled one of my weird, highly-specific triggers. (Other bizarre, specialized triggers I instantly respond to are: cute Asian chicks dressed as ladybugs; any movie where someone has sex, willingly or otherwise, with a tree; and anything involving giant bees). Unlike giant, Asian bee sex however, this movie is completely incomprehensible. The picture looks like shit -- alternately too dark or super washed out -- pretty much 100% of the time, which means that while you could say that you've watched this movie, you can't honestly say that you've seen it.

Beneath the Mississippi - the thrilling climax. I'm totally not kidding here.
You can't hear a goddamned thing either, because the sound is usually completely muffled, except of course when they suddenly get one sound effect or scream right and it blows out your speakers because you had them cranked to maximum to hear the dialogue. (Maybe their microphone guy was recording the dialogue portions from... beneath the Mississippi! Ha ha! Seriously though, I wouldn't be surprised if that really was the case.) Hell, even the size of the picture keeps changing: it's like watching two people with dueling remotes fight over what aspect ratio they want to watch the movie at. I kid you not, the only way a movie could be any more visually and audibly inaccessible is if it was shot by tying a video camera to the back of a truck and dragging it around the parking lot. At night. And of course it's too fucking long, even for a movie that wasn't a fucking torture-chore to watch. (The back of the DVD case says that it's 109 minutes; when it reached the 110-minute point and still wasn't over I'm not ashamed to admit that I started crying.)

So what is it actually about? Well, since you can barely see or hear anything there's really no way to know, although the front and back of the DVD promise a flooded/haunted town so I guess that's what all the muffled assholes on screen (whoever they are) are looking for. (Of course, we never actually see this submerged town, because that might actually be interesting.) There was this ominous musical sting every so often, so I guess whatever was going on at those specific moments was supposed to be ominous, but it never seemed particularly ominous to me. Usually it was just washed-out blurs standing around mumbling. There's no sting when the audience (but not the characters) sees the first dead body though, something most people would consider pretty ominous, so maybe that's the key: maybe this entire cunt movie was made on Opposite Day, so that's why it has sound you can't hear and a picture you can't see and is ostensibly entertainment but in practice is simply waiting for it to be over. Honestly, it's all so jaw-droppingly incompetent that eventually I was just grateful that the picture was right-side-up most of the time. (Yes, at one point it isn't. But that was on purpose, probably.) 

I'm not one to engage in hyperbole and shit, but everyone who worked on this movie deserves to die.
Want to avoid bad movies like this one? Mr. Satanism can help.