Sunday, July 24, 2011

Project Terrible: Army of the Dead

It's ba-ack!
Who armed that skeleton?!?  Today's film is an interesting one in theory, mostly due to my own history with it.  Long ago, in the age of walk-in video stores, my friends and I passed by this film many times.  However, I could never convince them to rent it.  Now, it's featured as part of Project Terrible, so you can decide who made the right call.  Is this movie Terrible?  Well, it's not good.  It doesn't *quite* reach the top of my shit-list (Hello, Hobgoblins 2 and Jaws in Japan), but it's not exactly one of my favorites either (Hello, The Abominable Dr. Phibes series).  Now if you don't have my twisted view of good and bad movies, you might consider this film to be Terrible.  The plot involves evil skeletons, stupid racers and gold in them there hills.  It's really silly and really stupid.  Hide your blood as we face off with the...
* In the opening, some Conquistadors are killed by shadow skeletons.  I wish they were just shadows, but this is actually just a way to tease the audience.  This is also the last time you see Conquistadors, save for some skeletons wearing the helmets later.
* Our heroes are a bunch of people going out in the Desert to prepare for a Dune Buggy race.  The 'Coach' tells them a tale of Aztec skeletons that kill people over their gold.  Why?  As it turns out, he's looking for it, working for some guys doing the same...who are waiting for him out there.  You planned a fake race to cover for your real dig?
* Eventually, the skeletons attack the group, using bows and arrows.  I know that I'm watching a movie with animated skeletons, but how do they have the dexterity to fire bows?  I'm just supposed to accept that, I guess.  Speaking of things I'm supposed to accept, we learn that the skeletons kill you and then you turn into one, thus growing the army.  Naturally, they mention this and it only happens once, despite about a dozen people dying!
* The cover of the DVD features a skeleton wearing a Conquistador helmet and holding a shotgun.  To the film's credit, this does happen...well, the second part does.  It's only for a minute, but it does happen.  It also doesn't make the movie good either though.
* With the body-count rising, our remaining heroes concoct a really silly plan.  The building they're trapped in has a working generator.  Using some MacGuyver-style science, they make a giant electro-magnet which will overcharge and kill the skeletons.  The guy, meanwhile, confronts the lead skeleton.  That's so stupid!  How could that possibly...
...okay, never mind.  One point for you, stupid science.  The End.
To be Terrible or not to be Terrible- that is the question.  The plot of this movie is just stupid.  I mean, really! It involves Aztec skeletons killing people who are trying to steal their gold.  That's...extremely shallow.  Is that their only motivation?  Our heroes- save for the Professor- aren't even after the gold.  The skeleton just kill them because one guy was and, I guess, they know about their existence.  I know that you're animated skeletons, but let me clue you in on something- nobody will believe them!  The plot offers up some interesting ideas, but never really makes use of them.  The special effects are...well, you can see them.  They don't look much better in motion either.  They are the only selling point here, as our heroes suck, the plot sucks and just about everything involved feels cheap.  As a real film, it's Terrible.  However, as far as other Project Terrible films go, it only sucks.  Take us away, man who is clearly out of blood now...
Next up, Maynard and I dissect a terrible film series in two parts.  While he handles the first one, I'll watch the sequel...which is also a lie.  Stay tuned...

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