Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The latest installments in the SciFi Extravaganza that is my vacation:

Dark City (also known as the story off of which The Matrix was ripped) and Mesa of Lost Women, starring (believe it or not) Uncle Fester.

I must admit, the details of these valuable cinematic classics are a bit fuzzy in my head. Perhaps the infamous weed machine has something to do with this, but I think perhaps the fragile premises of the films and, in the latter case, the fact that it was filmed by two different directors at two different times have more to do with it.

Over the course of the evening, which also included an unbelievably slow side trip through MST3K's Gunslinger (yawn), I managed to grow quite fond of Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Lace Cookies (not pictured here, but approximated). They left more of an impression than the films, on memory, tongue, and waistline. Not that I expected the films to leave an impression on tongue or waistline.

A few of the more memorable bits from the films, however, so as not to appear remiss in my newly-assigned mission of spreading awful science fiction far and wide:

-Dr. Aranya's exotic, Mexican, bulletproof spider-woman (named Tarantella) dancing "seductively" to incessant guitar music (about which more later)

-The unbearably repetitive cadence of Kiefer Sutherland's "German" (I guess) accent. I swear he was speaking in some sort of ancient Greek meter. However, the accent was clearly German because he was a psychiatrist.

-Richard O'Brien playing, as one expects, a balding and strangely formal superhuman alien

Now, about the soundtrack to Mesa of Lost Women. I have been known to state, on multiple occasions, that The Village has the worst everything of any movie I have ever seen. The worst script, acting, direction, costumes, plot, etc. I must admit, sadly, that this statement is now a lie. Mesa's soundtrack is worse. Far, far worse. Hoyt S. Curtin, my hat is off to you.

As Mesa is set, largely, in Mexico, someone decided to have a "Mexican" soundtrack. This translates as "some jackass very rapidly strumming one chord on a guitar over and over again." Wow. I can practically taste the corn tortillas! Combine the music with Pepe the almost-mute Mexican servant and Tarantella the exotic dancer, and you have an amazingly offensive film, even before you add in Wu the Chinese servant who speaks only in fortune cookies. But that's not the worst part of the soundtrack.

It's on loop. I swear. It's not reprises of the same music; it's just the same track played again and again and again for 70 minutes. Without the slightest regard for scene length, of course, so the music continues unabated through blackouts and strings of scenes with no emotional connection to one another. Way to utilize the composer, guys.

Here's my brilliant theory as to why this travesty was allowed, nay encouraged. Ron Ormond, director #2, understood that he needed to film many more scenes and somehow integrate them with Herbert Tevos' (director #1's) scenes. "I know!" he thought, "I'll just have Hoyt here strum his guitar over the breaks between my footage and Herb's, and nobody will ever notice that they have nothing in common! It's so crazy it just might work!"

Well, Ron, it didn't. Your movie still stank to high heaven, and the soundtrack was the icing on the diseased-vagina frog cake.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

But Dark City is actually a good movie! I'm serious! It's one of my favourites! And Ebert and/or Siskel named it as their favourite movie of the year the year it came out!

You should watch it again without a weed machine.