Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blah, Blah, Bang, Bang

Continuing my quest to watch every movie in the Los Angeles Library catalog.

Moses: Fallen. In the City of Angels (2005)

They say Ed Wood is the worst director in the history of filmmaking. Well, he’s apparently been reincarnated in the form of a muscular Israeli named Benjamin Maccabee, who produced, wrote, directed and starred in this movie. Not only that, but according to the credits he also was casting director, martial art choreographer, a stunt man, wrote several songs, provided the production with the use of his car and residence. This guy loves seeing his name so much I’m surprised he didn’t thank himself for being in his own movie.

Here is the DVD back cover synopsis word for word (grammar and punctuation is verbatim):

“A tale of a fallen angel who was sentenced to a human life sentence…Moses (Benjamin Maccabee) the angel of life is haunted by the visions of a dead child works as an assassin for Mrs. Mier whose true identity is Gabriel the Arc Angel…the assassination of Lucky Palermo (Hank Garrett) was a mistake. Julius Palermo (Tony Digerlando) Lucky’s brother whose true identity is the dark angel…Makes a vow to destroy Moses. Sending his daughter Angel Eyes (Penny Ray) a top underworld assassin to kill him…Touched by the Arc Angel Gabriel, Angel eyes falls for Moses instead. Moses finds out from Mrs. Mier that he is a fallen angel and his mission is to bring the Dark Angel back home to heaven…Together along with Jesus (Amos Cawson) a homeless Vietnam Vet, the trio hit the desert highway. Jesus leads Moses and Angel eyes to his old time Vietnam Buddy John J (Alfred Taylor) whose life he saved in Nam. Together they will fight what ensues a show down between the forces of good and evil. Who will prevail?”

Say what you will about Ed Wood movies, but at least they were shot on film and at least they were always interesting. Yes, this turd was shot with a camcorder and little else. They threw in some black bars to give it a 2:35 to 1 widescreen appearance, but they’re not fooling anyone. They also did some image squeezing, which slightly distorts the people on screen (I won’t call them actors), so that's not doing them any favors.

This is without a doubt the worst thing I have seen in quite some time. A total vanity piece for a guy wanting to be the next Jean Claude Van Damme (way to aim high, Ben). I hate to say it, but Van Damme has charisma and a real screen presence, compared to Maccabee. We would expect Angel Eyes (Penny Ray) to be a sultry femme fatale, beautiful and deadly, instead we get a chubby chick (think Kirstie Alley after she goes off Jenny Craig) who can’t seem to get all the buttons done on the front of her blouse (and she should button them up). The rest of the cast consists of friends and whomever they could get to stand in front of the camera.

And that plot? Moses? Archangel (or here, arc angel) Gabriel (hey Ben, the movie Constantine already did the Gabriel is a woman schtick)? Italian mobsters? Master assassins? What, you couldn't rustle up some Ninja costumes?

I’ll leave you with this tidbit - I watched the trailer before I watched the movie. Not only was the trailer a rambling over 2 ½ minute mess, but they included a scene where Maccabee’s Mustang muscle car backs up a few feet, then drives forward. It wasn’t an action or chase scene, just the car backing up a bit then driving on. By all means, have a shot of your muscle car racing by in your trailer, but showing it back up? Ed Wood never showed a car backing up in one of his trailers.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, now you made me want to see this thing! You should send a copy along to Joel, Trace and the rest of the guys at Cinematic Titanic.

    Glad Ben's first name wasn't Judas or he'd have had music by Handel (and probably some weird story angle--or is that angel--with his buddy from the 'Nam).