Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dying God (Redux): I Watched This So You Don't Have To

Okay, so in my first post on Dying God, I suggested that it might be my new standard for worst movie I've ever seen. This is a distinction that gets thrown around on the Internet for pretty much every movie ever made ever, and I think it's important to have standards. I like having a movie to which I can compare others to say "is it really worse than this movie? Is it really?" As I started watching Dying God, I thought that it might be the new standard by which terrible movies should be judged. But, to be fair, that was after watching maybe a third of it. So I went back and finished watching it, mindful of my current standard, Four Boxes.

Final decision? It is not worse than Four Boxes. There are moments in Dying God that are entertaining in their badness. Four Boxes has no such moments.

This is not to say that Dying God is a good movie. It's not. It's fucking terrible. As entertainingly bad movies go, there are better bets out there. But if you're at all curious about what's going on in this direct-to-video pile, here are some highlights.

So as I said last time, this is a movie about Sean Fallon, a hard-bitten renegade cop on the edge who doesn't play by the rules and has his own code and does what it takes to solve the case even if the brass doesn't like it and yadda yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah blah argh fuck. But it wouldn't be fair to call him a walking cliché, because this movie can't even be bothered to follow up on the cliches. Fallon isn't an antihero who is willing to bend a few rules, he's an alcoholic, misogynistic thug who engages in unapologetically criminal activity and treats his follow cops with utter contempt. He isn't so much charged with investigating a series of bizarre sex crimes as he is constantly butting into the investigation and making things difficult for all of the cops trying to do actual police work. Once he's done insulting all of the people trying to do their jobs, he runs some confiscated guns to local criminal groups and slaps a few hookers.

This, folks, is our hero.

So there's some kind of monster running around the city raping women to death, and this bothers the pimp community considerably, so Fallon allies himself with the cities' pimps (instead of, you know, the cops) to track down the killer. There's also a prostitute who alternates between serving as Fallon's punching bag and making him nice dinners and dreaming about settling down with him, and a pimp named Chance. Chance is confined to a wheelchair, which he has equipped with a harpoon for no goddamn reason. Some people say some things and the pimps corner the killer in an old factory. The killer turns out to be a cheaply made green bodysuit with a retractable, anatomy-defying penis. Apparently it's driven to mate with every woman it sees. Sometimes it impregnates them, and they don't survive delivering the children, or it kills them if the woman is infertile. Why? Who knows. It just does.

So long story short, Chance (played by Lance Henriksen, in the best slumming-it part since Eric Stoltz in the entertainingly bad Anaconda and Sir Alec Guinness in the surprisingly-pretty-good Mute Witness) spears the creature with his wheelchair harpoon (WHY THE FUCK WHY A WHEELCHAIR HARPOON WHY) and Fallon takes a circular saw to it. The creature dies, Fallon dies. There are some dying words and then the credits run, The creature might be dead or it might not be. Who cares.

So that's pretty much Dying God. You don't need to watch it now, but here are some choice pieces of dialogue for your enlightenment and edification...

(a woman lies on the floor with a fist-sized hole in her abdomen, and a pile of intestines in her lap) "She's dead."

"Nothing I like more than seeing a cop hit another cop."

"Buy me a bottle of booze or I'll punch you in the mouth."

"It's not a good time to be in a wheelchair."

"Thank you for your help. Doctor."
"I'm not a doctor."
"Well, you should be."

Dying God. I watched it so you don't have to.

Part 1

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