Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Worse than Terrible: Serum

It's not often that my father brings me a movie.

This is mainly due to the fact that my father has much better taste in movies than me.

This is also because my father, in having an actual job, doesn't have time to waste on B-movie trash.

That was why I was so surprised to find a suggestion in my mail, one for a movie I'd never heard of before.

Let me begin by saying it was terrible.

I'm not just throwing that word out, either. I really mean this was an awful piece of trash that had no purpose soiling good television screens.

I'm talking, of course, about Serum.

Let's begin by analyzing a critical flaw in the movie's production. While only a minor detail to some, this really affected the overall enjoyment of the movie.

It was filmed in Texas (something I generally recommend, as Texas is awesome) during the summer (now we're getting into dangerous territory) and, apparently, they couldn't afford air conditioners for the shoots. Everyone, and I mean everyone, looks as though they just ran a marathon.

I mean dripping with sweat.

This makes sense for some scenes, such as when something tense is happening, but when you have two guys in a house watching their neighbor sunbathe, I really don't feel comfortable with the sweating.

Let's also address the acting. It was terrible. I'll come back to this later.

The story centers around Eddie (Derek Phillips of nothing ever again) a budding young adult with a strong future in medicine. His father, a well known doctor, has just remarried to a whore.

I'm not being mean here. This woman seriously is a whore. And a drunk. All that and she seems to want to sleep with her step-son.

Anyway, Eddie recently lost his girlfriend, Sarah, who is the least attractive girl in the film.

Now, don't get all mad at me for being shallow. I'm not saying that a girl needs to be perfect in order to be attractive. I don't believe that at all. But when you center a film around a guy's love for a girl, and he could honestly do MUCH better, it loses some of the effect.

A lot of the problem stems from the fact that the minor characters, including some without any lines, do a better job of acting like human beings than the leads. This makes scenes with just the main actors almost unwatchable.

The drama begins when Eddie, drunk and despondent after Sarah informs him he can't have her, is hit by a car. He ends up a vegetable in a hospital. That very night, his mad scientist uncle steals him and takes him to a secret lab. The father consents to a radical "serum" which brings dead cells to life.

Does this sound derivative? It should.

Anyway, one of the noticeable side-effects is a severe swelling of the face and a sudden urge to beat people to death and consume their still-warm flesh.

Basically, it's a lot like Claritin D.

As you can imagine, Eddie soon becomes a monster and kills most of the cast, except, of course, for his sweet Sarah.

Now, you might think this movie is likened to "Frankenstein", or some other man-makes-monster story.

You would be wrong.

This movie is more along the lines of Dzigo Vertov's "Man with a Movie Camera," in that the director just turned his camera-phone on, told people to do stuff, and then went to get a sandwich.

A lot my time watching the film was spent crying, so my tears may have actually added some drama to scenes that lacked it.

The make-up is terrible, to the point of being laughable. In a scene of particular crapulence, Eddie (post-monstered) goes to see Sarah. Before he can go into the diner she works at, he suffers and episode of "the swells." The make-up is clearly coming off his face. I mean falling off. I mean not attached well.

We live in a world with spirit gum, rubber cement and Elmer's-freakin'-glue. There is no excuse for this kind of crap.

I consider this to be the worst movie I've seen all year. Yes, that is something I tend to say a lot, but this time I mean it.

Don't see this movie. Ever. Don't rent it. Don't allow it to be rented by friends.

This is the most mindless drivel to come out of Texas since the Branch Dividians.

I give it a negative forty-three out of ten.

Watch carefully.