Saturday, September 17, 2011

Project Terrible: Ulli Lommel's Black Dahlia

You probably should have stopped at The Boogeyman, Ulli.  Mr. Lommel is an interesting case in the video market, as his career has gone on far longer than anyone could have guessed.  In 1980, he made his most famous movie.  I should point out that this was three years before I was even born.  In the thirty-one years since, a good chunk of his films have been labeled as 'From the Director of The Boogeyman.'  Imagine if the next Steven Spielberg film said 'From the Director of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.'  Now imagine that every film he's done since then- including Jurassic Park, A.I. and Munich- were also labeled like that & you can see life as Ulli Lommel.  That brings us to 2006 when a mainstream film was being released called The Black Dahlia, attempting to address the unanswered questions about this famous L.A. murder.  That film was made by Brian De Palma- a man whose reputation helps cover for the fact that he's kind of a one-note Director.  A lot of people like that one note, so they excuse it.  Ulli Lommel, however, has no such luxury.  As a bonus, this film is not directly about the famous case, pretty much just trying to piggy-back on the famous film.  To see how Terrible this is, read on...
This young woman is clearly up to no good.  That binder just screams 'serial killer.'  Well, that or Dylan Klebold.  Too soon?
A good 70% of the movie consists of women showing up at an abandoned factory for their 'audition.'  They are subsequently-tortured and killed.  I could just do a whole review of these screen captures...
...but I won't.  There is so much more to mock, like our hero going to the All-Exposition Website.  How convenient!
Watch our hero take a nice nap in this Day-For-Day Shot.  Seriously, close the blinds or lose the candle!  How do you mess this up?!?
Okay, just one more shot of the victim showing up- honest.  This is also here to set-up my 'stinger' for later.  Don't cheat and look ahead, class!
Stop- dance break!  Stop- re-use this entire scene later for padding.  Stop- making movies, Ulli Lommel!
The finale involves the final girl (not capitalized for a reason) who is overseen by the gang and...this old man.  Yeah, if I actually explained anything here, it would just be stupider- trust me.  The End.
Seriously, stop making movies!  The plot of this film is just plain ridiculous.  It's a bunch of 'snuff-lite' scenes connected together by a lazy framing device: random cops investigating the crime.  The sad part is this: they really don't investigate it all that much.  The extent of the investigation is them standing around at crime scenes talking about Bangers and Mash.  The young cop- who I've deemed Officer Beiber- just goes home, goes on the internet to look up the story and goes to sleep.  After about four more murders, he finally goes to a different website and sees that people have an open Casting Call for a film about the Black Dahlia.  Yes, this is the murderers announcing the site of their murders and just waiting for someone to catch them!  That's amazingly-sad.  The film is not only redundant in the murder scenes, but in the random shit that they flash on the scene for no reason.  Woman doing push-ups in a military outfit- check.  The Black Dahlia murder (in random Sin City vision)- check.  That same Black Dahlia footage- BIG CHECK!  As short as the film is, it's padded to the brim and is made all the worse for it.  It would be the most Terrible film this week if it wasn't for Mummy Maniac.  You lucked out this time, Ulli.  Next time, you won't.  Take us away, only good part of the film (again)...
Next up, the final Project Terrible film involves transsexuals.  They're ticked off and now they have knives- yea.  Stay tuned....


  1. I was going to skip this movie and read some Albert Camus instead, but since it has a cameo from a pair of tits, I may have to check it out. Or possibly not.

    I kinda like Lommel's early stuff, when he was a second rate Rainer Fassbinder of sorts (like Tenderness of the Wolves and Olivia). Since about Boogeyman II, he seems to be making movies solely for money without any regard for quality.

  2. I still love that this was basically the same movie concept as "Kill the Scream Queen" (which I'd watched--kind of--earlier that night before offering to help you through this), but despite its horrible, horrible nature, "Black Dahlia" came off better simply because it actually bothered to have some semblance (if a very small semblance) of a plot. O_O Oh, and it wasn't as outright disgusting. That too.

    And it sounds like "Mummy Maniac" was basically the same thing too. How did we end up with three movies for Project Terrible that were the same horrid concept?

  3. The answer is simple- God hates me.

    How else do people get cancer, dogs get run over by tractor trucks and 'Hobgoblins 2' get made.

    On the plus side, I can use the Almighty's anger and direct it at others. Prepare for Round 4, victims!