Bad Moon. Eric Red. 1996. ⚁
This movie concludes our Eric Red film festival, and… Red didn’t direct a movie for twelve years after this one, so I’m guessing that it didn’t do well?
Oh! … ouch…
But it could still be great! Let’s see!
[half an hour passes]
I love the saturated colours here. So much of it takes place in the woods, and the rich green colours look great.
But… we’re more than one thirds in and I don’t feel the movie has started? I mean, stuff has happened, but it feels like we’re still waiting for something? That’s not a great feeling.
The cast is so-so, and it’s all pretty so-so. But at least we get that Eric Red staple: A woman killed in front of her boyf… just for fun, right? Right? Oh, and the squash-o-vision (that’s a technical term) repeated from Body Parts, but this time when we’re watching from the point of view of the dog. It looked stupid in Body Parts, and it looks stupid here.
[twenty minutes pass]
I really admire the commitment the filmmakers have to using practical effects. The werewolf’s head looks great, for instance. But whenever the werewolf moves, it looks exactly like a guy in a rubber suit. In a very stiff rubber suit with a bunch of electronics. And the guy has problems moving under all that, so he’s moving around like an 80 year old guy with arthritis.
And then… the transformation… which is “digital”? It’s the cheapest, ugliest thing that has been shown in a movie.
Everything about the wolf is painful to watch. It’s not even risible; it’s beyond that and way over into embarrassing. You just feel bad for the people who worked on this.
When a movie is this bad, is it a ⚀ or a ⚁? It’s kinda academic, because I’m saying “this is bad”, so it’s just… bad or really bad? It’s really bad. But there’s three things I like: 1) The quality of the images (the popping but well-composed colours; it’s just pleasant to look at), 2) Mariel Hemingway, and 3) that dog. It’s a good dog.
So I’m ⚁-ing this, but I understand why others would not find those three elements compelling.
Like I said at the start here, Red has directed one feature after this (and some TV and video stuff): 100 Feet. So how did that go?
I didn’t get that one? I think? It may still be stuck in the mail; that’s kinda irregular because of The Situation, but I think I may just have forgotten.
So this is the end of the Eric Red festival! And… I’m disappointed. Near Dark is a classic, of course, and The Hitcher is really exciting.
But then all the other movies … suck. Sorry. I don’t know a more eloquent way to put it. They all suck.
And I don’t quite know why. Listening to the commentaries on these blurays (and most of these have been magnificently restored by Shout! Factory and others), these people seem so enthusiastic about these crappy movies that I almost feel they’re gaslighting me, absurdly enough.
He’s got top-notch, smart technical people working with him, and they’re all convinced (at least for these documentaries) that these movies are good.
I think the key clue here is something Red said in one of these: He doesn’t have an agenda; he just wants to make entertaining movies. That means that there’s really no reason for these movies to exist? There’s nothing here, just somebody wanting to make a movie without having something to say.
And listening to Red talking about how he used a “director’s trick” on Hemingway, because she’s a “limited actress”: Making her do take after take until she was furious with Red, just to make her do an over-the-top horror acting job…
Fuck that guy.