May 7th, 2008

APRIL FOOL’S DAY (2008) ½ *

A bunch of extremely irritating snobby rich cocks and cunts have a coming out party for their BFF (Scout Taylor-Compton from the Halloween remake) on the titular day.  At the party, a goodie two shoes chick dies after a prank goes wrong, which leads to one of the wealthy metrosexual meatheads losing their trust fund.  A year later, a psycho begins to murder the prissy dumbfucks one by one and captures it all on video.  And then… April Fool’s.


Actually, you’re a fool if you think this crappy remake is going to be any good.  The original 1985 flick was no classic, but it definitely had it’s moments and benefited from an excellent cast and a neat surprise ending.  This remake isn’t an ingrown hair on the nutsack of the original.  What’s worse is that it seems like the directors, some jackasses named The Butcher Brothers, were more intent on remaking I Know What You Did Last Summer (with parts of Valentine thrown in for good measure) than the original April Fool’s Day. 


And I’m sorry, if your movie is directed by a couple of dudes named The Butcher Brothers, then for fuck’s sakes, they’d better show us some fucking butchering.  Sadly, the deaths in this movie are all tame and revolve around falling from a balcony, drowning, electrocution, gunshots, and being run over by a van.  All of the murders are filmed without a shred of originality, wit, style, and most importantly blood.  (Seriously, if it wasn’t for the occasional F-Bomb, this flick would be ready to have it’s world premiere on The Disney Channel; right after Hannah Montana of course.)  Yeah, I know that the final “twist” negates all the deaths, but even the ending (which was the best part of the original movie) just comes off seeming worthless and hackneyed. 


Of the woefully inept cast (all of whom look like mannequins who just learned that they can walk and talk), its an asshole blueblood with political aspirations who gets the best line of the movie when he gets hopped up on champagne, goes into a diatribe in front of a camcorder and says, “If that ends up being on the internet, I’ll have you raped by a wizard!”



David (Angel) Boreanaz stars in Crow movie number 4 as a peyote eating satanic cult leader who escapes from a chain gang and heads to an Indian reservation to murder Redskins.  Edward (T2) Furlong plays a white dude who’s messing around with a hot Indian chick (Emmanuelle Chriqui), and that doesn’t sit well with Boreanaz and his nutty girlfriend (Tara Reid), so she eats Chriqui’s eyeballs while Boreanaz rips out Furlong’s heart.  If you’ve seen the other movies in the series, you know what comes next:  A crow shows up to bring Furlong back to life so he can paint his face white and make like a Ronald McDonald version of Charles Bronson. 


I always thought the first Crow movie was a tad overrated and that people usually forgave a lot of that film’s many shortcomings because Brandon Lee died while making it.  Crow 2 wasn’t bad, but it suffered from a horrendous performance by Vincent Perez as the new Crow.  I somehow managed to avoid the next installment, but let me tell ya, 3 must have contained a LOT of plot cuz this one didn’t make a lick of sense to me.


Okay, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the first two (and probably the third too) movies take place in a bargain basement Blade Runner future?  And if so, how come this one takes place in the present day and on an Indian reservation no less?  I have not a clue. 


Anyway, the cast for this flick is probably the best ever assembled for a Crow movie, but it doesn’t exactly help when everyone is woefully miscast.  When you think of The Crow, Edward Furlong is about your 191st choice for the role.  With his cherubic face and his braindead stare, he looks more like an Emo Hot Topic douche bag and not a supernatural specter bent on revenge.  If anything, Boreanaz would’ve been much more suited to play the title character.  He’s tall, stoic, and muscular, all traits befitting a hero.  I didn’t exactly buy him as an evil Satanist cult member either.  To me, it just looked like he was just biding time until Angel got renewed.


The misguided casting aside, some of the movie actually works.  The revenge genre is pretty hard to screw up, and although director Lance (Six String Samurai) Mungia tries his damnedest to sabotage things at every turn, parts of this mess are surprisingly watchable.  The scene where Boreanaz murders the lovebirds has a kick to it, and some of the action scenes are well staged.  (The characters fly through the air so much that the movie’s subtitle should’ve been Crouching Tiger, Hidden Crow.)  Although the kills are kinda watered down (baseball bat to the face, impalings, stabbings, etc.), the movie does feature one of the nuttiest death scenes I’ve ever seen in a motion picture:  Death by Bug Zapper.  I’m not kidding.   


Although the flick sorta lost me around the time Boreanaz became the second coming of the Antichrist and started acting like a game show host on LSD, I say to you that any movie in which Dennis Hopper plays a Mexican pimp named El Nino, can’t be all bad.   


Hopper of course gets the best line of the movie.  While presiding over a satanic wedding he says, “I now pronounce you devil and his shorty!” 



Okay so you know you’re in trouble when:


1.  You’re watching a sequel to a movie that was based in name only on a Stephen King story. 


2.  This sequel has an alternate subtitle.  Sometimes it goes by Lawnmower Man 2:  Jobe’s War.  Other prints are labeled Lawnmower Man 2:  Beyond Cyberspace.  Many movies have alternate titles, but precious few have alternate SUBTITLES.  You can probably guess the quality of said films. 


3.  Jeff Fahey, the star of the first movie is nowhere to be found.  Seriously, what movie has Jeff Fahey EVER said, “Thanks, but no thanks” to?  Answer:  This one.


4.  The replacement for Fahey is Matt (Max Headroom) Frewer.  How many theatrical movies do you know of actually STAR Matt Frewer?  Answer:  This one.


5.  Not only did Frewer use to play Max Headroom, he plays him again… in this movie.


6.  The filmmakers explain that Frewer’s character Jobe, suffered from severe burns and had reconstructive surgery in order to say “Hey, we got ourselves a new actor who doesn’t look anything like the guy from the first movie, but it MAKES SENSE!”


7.  The first seven minutes of the movie are projected through a tiny box in the middle of the screen.  There’s letterbox, then there’s Crackerjack Box.  This movie is filmed in the latter.


8.  The only person returning from the first movie is Austin O’Brien.  He was in another sequel.  It was called My Girl 2.  That does not bode well.


9.  Austin O’Brien is four years older than he was in the first movie, but the “future” setting of the film looks about FORTY years after the first movie. 


10.  Virtual Reality is a main plot point. 


11.  The movie features inane futuristic techno-jargon like “jacking in”, “full-on sensory involvement”, “Kryon chips”, “nano-matching hardware” and “trans-matrix”.  Jacking in?  I’d rather be jacking off than watch this crap.


12.  Characters say things like, “I don’t get it”, “I’m unclear how all this fits together”, and “Who are you?”, and you wholeheartedly agree with them.


13.  The flick supposedly takes place in the “future” but Patrick Bergin dresses like Dances With Wolves. 


14.  The “cyberspace” computer effects make the ones from the first movie look like Tron by comparison. 


15.  “Security footage” is actually just scenes from the movie we’ve already seen.  I mean how many security cameras out there use editing, dolly shots and close-ups?  Answer:  The ones in this movie. 


16.  You start doing your laundry mid-movie and suddenly, finding that ever elusive missing sock takes precedence over trying to understand the plot of the movie. 


17.  The corporate villain of the film is about as menacing as James Lipton from Inside the Actor’s Studio. 


18.  Out of sheer boredom, you start calling this movie names like YAWNmower Man 2:  Jobe’s SNORE.    


19.  Out of sheer boredom, you start thinking up porno spoof titles for this movie like Cockblower Man 2:  Jobe’s Whore


20.  You hear the line, “People will look to him as the new Messiah in cyberspace” and try with all your might not to piss your pants with laughter.


21.  You hear the line, “The womb of cyberspace is a chance for a new beginning” and you ALMOST succeed in pissing your pants with laughter.


22.  The climatic swordfight is worse than anything in a Highlander sequel. 


23.  Characters start flying around for no apparent reason and the effects are worse than anything in Superman 4:  The Quest for Peace. 


24.  When the movie SHOULD be over, it isn’t over.


25.  When Jobe, the main villain of the movie, a guy who tried to cripple the world’s financial market, caused the death of several people and tried to slice up Patrick Bergin with a samurai sword has his plans for world domination thwarted, what happens?  Nothing.  In fact, everyone is all buddy-buddy with him.  They even get him settled into a wheelchair and wheel him out so he can see the dawning of a new day.  What kind of movie has the villain immediately being forgiven of all wrongdoing without even TRYING to apologize?  Answer:  This movie.


Honestly this movie is so bad that after you watch it, you won’t even want to LOOK at a computer for three weeks.


It’s so bad you’ll probably swear off any movie with the number 2 in it for at least a month. 


Seriously folks, as far as cheapjack sequels to Stephen King movies go; Lawnmower Man 2 makes Children of the Corn 7 look like The Shining by comparison. 


AKA:  Lawnmower Man 2:  Beyond Cyberspace.