Monday, November 1, 2010

Note: No 'Abbot White' Review

Okay, I kind of jumped the gun here.

While Abbot White is hilariously-bad, I watched it on Instant Viewing with my friends, as opposed to renting the disc and getting my shots.  When I went to get pictures to fill in the review, I could find none.  Seriously, none.

I guess this film is so obscure that nobody has felt like reviewing it.  Hell, it's Amazon page has only one review itself!

This is what you need to know:
* The film is hilariously-dubbed.  Basically, they cut out the original dialog audio, but kept in the soundtrack.  As a result, the music cuts in and out whenever people talk.  It's especially-bad with a Princess character who has music playing in all of her scenes.  It seems like she can make music start and stop at will!

* The plot is ridiculous.  A young monk accidentally removes an object from a box & unleashes an evil spirit.  He runs off, only to return ten years later and get revenge against all of those who killed him.  However, he can't maintain control of the body, leading to moments where the now-teenage monk does good deeds.  Mind you, they don't explain this until the end.

* The dubbing is really, really bad.  As one of my fellow viewers (also a member) noted, it seems like it was dubbed by the original Chinese actors, who are speaking English phonetically.  Hell, at times it sounded like Tommy Wiseau was dubbing it!

* The best part is how they keep referring to the spirit being that of a man who died thirty years ago.  However, they never say it that way.  You hear them say...
"He died of thirty years ago."
"He was died thirty years ago."
"He has been dead of thirty years."

Seriously, if you can make it past the first fifteen minutes or so, you'll have a good laugh at the dubbing quality.  Check it out here:

P.S. It also has a man firing off his metal hump and the villain firing off his own hand!  They never explain how this works- it just happens!


  1. This...was...awful. Hilariously at times, mind, but awful. Not surprising, given that it was a movie with a moderately complex (not good, but complex) plot which was apparently translated and dubbed by people with barely the slightest knowledge of the English language and the same dedication to a job well done as a three year old on a sugar high, but it really was stunning.

    First...why is it called "Abbot White?" An "abbot" does not really feature much at all in the story, and while there's a head priest or two there, no one would ever call them the main characters. The main character is a former apprentice monk, so sure, you could have some kind of religious reference or something, but...Abbot White? Did they watch the same movie?

    Second...the dubbing is truly awful. I know we've all seen crappy dubbing in martial arts movies before, but this one is the single worst I have ever, ever seen. It is simply amazing to behold. The review covers some of it, but let me just emphasize that very little of anything ever said in the movie makes sense at all. Ever. Most lines are also spoken with improper pacing and emphasis, and nobody seems to have a proper understanding of proper places to pause or where sentences are actually beginning and ending.

    But the most hilarious bit by far, to me, was the lady with soundtrack powers. There's one particular character who always has these flute themes and such going on in her scenes, as she's the big love interest of sorts (until she dies...I think it was her, anyway). Except that when they did the dubbing, they clearly dubbed over the entire original audio track instead of dubbing over just the dialogue, so whenever anyone is speaking, the music very awkwardly cuts out and then very awkwardly comes back when they're done talking. This happens a hilariously huge amount of times in every scene she's in, making it seem like there's a soundtrack specifically written to highlight her walking from spot to spot in the room. Words cannot adequately describe how cripplingly funny the overall effect is, but we pretty much completely lost it and were literally rolling on the floor laughing after a couple scenes of that.

    The plot is terrible and filled with holes. The possessed monk, for instance, is recognized as being possessed by the bad guy because a guy that fought against the bad guy when he was alive "of thirty years" ago remembers the bad guy's face. Note that the only physical transformation the monk goes through when possessed is that his eyebrows get frizzy and turn red. It's not like his face totally changes. So there is no way whatsoever that this guy could possibly have recognized him through knowing the bad guy's face. O_O I mean, yes, he was right, but it was a random guess! (Oh, by the way, even if the eyebrows did it...the monk didn't have the frizzy red eyebrows in that scene because he wasn't fully possessed at that time--something the movie doesn't bother to explain until much later.)

  2. Part 2:

    The ending, by the way, is utter crap. It's better than in some films where they literally pause and show "the end" while the villain is falling, but it basically does a "problem's resolved (in unsatisfying and stupid manner), quick shot of person walking away, movie over." For the curious:

    SPOILER WARNING (like you care)

    The monk finally admits to someone that he's possessed (by the way, this happens near the end of the film and due to the horrid translation, all of us only realized at that moment that the monk was still in control some of the time). A girl--not the love interest girl, the other love interest girl who doesn't have soundtrack powers--convinces him to fight the possession and gives him a charm to ward off the spirit. He gets better, so he goes back to his old monastery and begs to be allowed back in to the tower to seal the spirit. After quite a while, they agree. So he gives the girl the charm that she gave him to help him fight the possession (why no, no one bothers to say why he has to give it back) and climbs the tower alone, going to the chamber where he was first possessed. Some very weird stuff happens and the ghost attacks him, sort of, and he maybe manages to seal the ghost again or something. Then he falls off the tower and explodes in midair, and we cut to the girl outside the monastery the next day, walking away in the grass. Movie over.

    And by the way, they spend about as much time dwelling on the SPONTANEOUS DETONATION OF A HUMAN BEING IN MIDAIR as I did up there. Probably less.