Thursday, July 2, 2009

A rip off that Paul WS Anderson did NOT work on

Another crusty eye booger from the L.A. Library's DVD shelf.

Guardian of the Realm (2004)

Do you remember the great, the legendary, Joe Bob Briggs, THE Drive-in Movie Critic of these United States? Well, he's still around, thank Ipthar, but if he ever watches this gravy stain of a movie, he might well turn in the hubcap that bears his drive-in critic's license.

This movie is that bad.

First off, what's with the title? Guardians of the REALM? The story takes place in Los Angeles (in the "near future"). I don't know 'bout you but I don't know anyone who uses the word REALM except if they have a D&D club. No one says REALM unless they are on a horse and riding alongside King Fucking Arthur!

The filmmakers, if they can be called that, had the brilliant idea to take Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and its spin-off Angel), cross it with Dragnet, add a heaping dash of Power Rangers, and make it really, truly awful. The two leads are the worst cyphers for Angel and Buffy. Glen Levy as Angel-esque Josh Griffin: Demon Hunter looks like a cross between Jason Priestly and Samm Levine from Freaks and Geeks and Not Another Teen Movie (he was the very funny Bruce Lee Wannabe). David "Angel" Boreanaz, on his worst day, with a case of dysentary and two broken arms, would out act Levy, a veteran stunt man and martial arts dude, who is better suited to comedy, with his constantly moving eyebrows and rubber lips. Tanya Dempsey, in the Buffy role as Alex Marlowe "from the New York office" (that's what they say in the movie!), lets her visible thong straps do her acting for her. Dempsey has NO IDEA what to do with her eyes when she recites dialogue, looking up, down, this way and that. Her eyes and Levy's eyebrows acted as if they were controlled offscreen by rusty animatronic cable controls.

So what's it about? Do you really care? Griffen and Marlowe are two ace demon hunters employed by the C.O.R.E., one of those MIB-like secret agencies with secret headquarters dozens of stories secretly underground. There's one problem with their secret HQ: its back alley door is this elaborate Jack Kirby-esque metal thing that makes bank vault doors look quaint. In other words for a secret door, it really sticks out. If the Kirby door had been BEHIND a regular old door facade, it would have been fine, but it's just one of the many things that proves to me the filmmakers have no idea what they are doing.

Back to the plot. A bunch of demon worshippers, lead by a fake boobed chick with a Soviet Bloc accent, is trying to make reservations on this side for some uber-demon to make the trip over from AN EVIL DIMENSION. The worshippers look like they're all wearing cheap Halloween costumes - because they ARE - while the skanks wear some leather and rubber numbers and stripper heels that look like they were picked up from Larry Flynt's Hustler store on Sunset (because they WERE).

To tell you where this movie's head is, the big fight between Griffen and the lead skank's chief Power Rangers hench-demon takes place in the Warehouse with Haphazardly Stacked Empty Cardboard Boxes on the Back Wall (TM). (I'd love to have a screen grab of that for my laptop's wallpaper.) Another example of where this movie's noggin is, there is some bare bewb-age (yay!), but it's not the best looking (boo!) and it is usually poorly framed (up in the top right corner of the cropping). You get a girl to take off her top (which is production value as Joe Bob might point out) and you can't even correctly photograph it.

This is a serious waste of time. At 110 minutes it is WAAAAAY too long: there are long slow shots of things like characters walking down one flight of stairs, then another, then another flight. Apparently brevity is a dirty demon word.

Joe Bob Briggs might be kind and give this turkey one star. I would give it none, and adviseth you to keepest out of this realm.

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