Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blockbuster Trash: Ancient Evil 2- Guardian of the Underworld

I was not looking forward to this movie.  The original film was really bad.  I mean, really, really bad.  Well, let's try to be positive for a bit here.  For one thing, David DeCoteau is not directing here.  I'll get enough of him next month with the Puppet Master films!  Instead, it's some guy I've never heard about.  Given how the film turns out, I doubt that aspect about him is going to change.  The film involves a bunch of people in New England who manage to summon the ancient God Anubis in humanoid form.  Why?  Why the hell not?!?  I summoned Set last weekend and nothing bad happened.  Well, not to me anyways.  Will their experiment go worse than mine?  Get out your ancient Egyptian Hummel figurine for my review of...
The film begins in ancient Egypt- at least, that's what they say.  It's clearly filmed on the same kind of beach you see in New England.  Considering that I've both been there and seen The Flesh Eaters, I can assure you of this fact.  Anyhow, a fat mummy- NOOOO!!!!- wanders around in pursuit of a Prince of Persia-reject and they fight.  The man with the sword dies, but a light from the sky vanquishes the monster too.  After the credits, we arrive in present day to see a slutty woman go to an antique store.  You see, the film is set in one of those small, New England towns that don't make for good movies.  There's practically nobody there, nothing to do and nothing of interest around.  On the plus side, it's cheaper than hiring extras.  The woman buys a figurine from the owner, but finds out that it has a convoluted origin.  You see, someone took this object from Egypt and brought it all the way to Canada, whereupon the dying man sold it to this black guy who returned it to New England.  No, really.  The guy gives the girl a whole speech about how the object is dangerous, apparently fulfilling a contract he had with the guy.  Bear in mind that he still gives it to her after she makes it clear that she wants to resurrect Anubis on Earth.  Oh yeah, this guy never appears again after this part- hurray!  On a beach, two idiots are discussing their plans, one of whom wanting to rent porn.  The other one jokes about that 'being gay.'  Is that a dig at your old director or just shitty writing?
After some filler, the woman is greeted in her home by her dead mother, who apparently tried something like this.  The girl scoffs at her concerns & makes plans to do the ritual right.  To do so, she needs more souls around.  Thankfully, she's dating the jerk who thought something 'was gay.'  As a side-note to that, we later learn that the girl is a virgin, but lets the guy do 'the other thing' to make him happy.  You're the one talking about things being 'gay' again?  The trio- counting the stoner idiot- convince the store owner and his prude of a girlfriend to go out with them to the woods to summon the creature.  Well, they were just having a conversation that included the phrase 'Let's agree not to negotiate for your hymen,' so they had nothing better to do.  One music video/montage later, they arrive in the woods...and walk some more.  Finally, they get to the place and do the ceremony, but only after introducing a sub-plot around baby murdering.  Thanks, movie. The ceremony only works when the girl bleeds on the tablet.  Unfortunately, she bleeds some more when she walks out of her own protective circle and is killed by Anubis.  By the way, Anubis is just the fat mummy, but with a dog mask on.  Our heroes run off, but get separated from the stoner guy.  He runs off to a shed mentioned earlier, finding a spotlight left on in the abandoned building.  Why?  So we can see him die, of course.
After the jerk guy splits up, he gets killed alongside a truck driver who stops for him.  Why is he here?  To drive up the body count.  That's also why we get to meet two hunters (killed), a Torgo-looking bum (killed) and a hitchhiker (you guessed it- killed).  Our two Final Girls/Boys backtrack for the manuscript and read the conveniently-translated part about how they can send Anubis back.  The catch: they must be near Anubis.  Seconds later, he shows up...and they run away.  What was the point of that?!?  They had him unarmed and pinned to the wall, so they ran away?  This happens again, as they hide on an out-of-place semi-truck trailer.  Our hero actually fends off Anubis with a stick he just picked up off of the ground.  Eventually, they get to a barn and the girl is placed out of reach.  She spends five minutes whining and worrying instead of, you know, reading the scroll.  When that doesn't work, she finally remembers how the girl bled before to make the stone work, cuts herself and a light from the Heavens sends Anubis away.  Shouldn't it be from Hell?  After all that death, the movie just abruptly ends.  Okay than.
This movie sucks in a big way!  The premise has real potential, even if the setting, cast and production values are not up to par.  Had Anubis actually been interesting here, I might have been more forgiving.  Instead, he's just the same fat mummy from before, but he wears a gray wolf mask.  The only plus: he actually runs.  It looks silly as hell, but it's a change!  The writing here is terrible, as the characters are given very little motivation for doing anything.  The girl wants to summon Anubis, people will die.  The boyfriend and the stoner guy go along, her performing the ritual will be funny.  You make a several hour drive and mile-long hike for that?  In addition, the random extras/body count add nothing to the story.  The hunters shoot Anubis, but get killed after talking for five minutes.  The bum is there for, I guess, comedy relief.  Of course, he's not funny, his character makes no sense and he dies while making a joke.  What a freaking waste of time!  The hitchhiker literally gets mere seconds of screen time and, when she next appears, she dies at the doorstep.  Did she walk all the way there while wounded or something?  There are some good kills here, but you have to be really patient.  For wasting such a good premise, this movie gets what it deserves: a beating.
Next up, the final week of September brings us a VHS cult classic.  Will it tell the truth or dare to be utter shit?  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Did you even SEE the cover? If only you had reviewed that instead.. Good luck with Axis of Evil, I was hoping it would be the film to finally turn the series around..