Saturday, March 8, 2008

Vacationland

Just watched a movie (can’t believe I ate the whole thing) that rose right to the top of my list of worst movies of all time before I got ten minutes into it. So bad I couldn’t let go. Had to see what they were going to do next. It occurred to me this dreck would work splendidly as a case study in Filmmaking 101 on what can be done wrong. Giving a camera (in this case a video camera) to this guy Todd Verow is like giving a gun to a child.

It managed to get reviewed by no fewer than six people on Rotten Tomatoes. God knows why. All six agreed with me (only a dead person would not, I suspect) so the movie actually has a dead zero rating. Never seen that before.

Nathan Lee, of The New York Times, sums it up quite well.
Too bad the title “Another Gay Movie” is already in use; it would have worked nicely for “Vacationland,” a generic coming-of-age movie whose arrival on the scene suggests that the audience for gay indie clunkers is inexhaustible.

And that says it all about this curious phenomenon, this desire gay people (using myself and projecting, of course) have to see other gay people portrayed on screen, or maybe the hope of a little man-kissing or a little man-flesh.

Whatever you’re doing, gay people, stop it. Get out the real rotten tomatoes and fling till people get the message.

This film has

• not a single sympathetic character
• endless moments of people walking from A to B
• a main character who looks 30 playing a high school kid
• a teacher who looks younger than his students, hangs out in toilets, sweats like a pig, talks like he’s in a melodrama playing Simon Legree, and is blackmailed into writing a letter of recommendation which gets the main character into the Rhode Island School of Design
• a drunken slut of a mother who seems to bore her kids rather than disturb them
• a love interest who steals things from stores for a while and then kills somebody only to elicit a no-big-deal response on the part of the other characters
• Or, maybe, the guy doesn’t die. Whatever.
• a contest in a gay bar with five or six people in it where the main character pulls his pants down and moons them and wins $200
• the worst acting in a film since creation
• the worst writing in a film since some time before that

Verow’s other movies include Swallow or Spit, made in 2006, the same year as this clunker, “a documentary of sorts…about how porn has evolved over the years.” (http://www.pornfilmfestivalberlin.de/spot_verow.html).

From these accomplishments, he went on to make Hooks on the Left the following year, which sets out to “examine…how the world of prostitution has changed since the advent of the internet.”

Shot entirely with a Nokia cellphone.

Shame, shame, gay people.

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