Friday, May 21, 2010

Immortal Enemy

I didn't realize it at the time, but this week has become a theme week! Aren't you excited? Yep, both features feature ghosts, though the quality of the two entries varies pretty dramatically. Since you already know that the last MaR entry was something good, you can likely assume that this week's is going to be bad. Calling Immortal Enemy bad seems a bit unfair, but it most certainly isn't good.

Due to bad subtitles disagreeing with the IMDB and with, um, themselves, I have no idea who plays anyone. Not that their performances stand out, but if you just have to know the minor roles of Thai people in silly films you're going to be disappointed. Anyway, the film starts in the past, as some douchebag decides that he really wants to marry a woman who may or may not be named Bonnie. Unfortunately she is married to Don, so he does what any sane and rational man would do, and that's kill Don's family and tear Bonnie's face off. No, wait, sane and rational are the opposite of the words I was thinking of, never mind then. In the process, he also drinks some foamy eternal life potion, and makes an aquarium implode, not exactly sure how that works but whatever.

Then we go into the present day, where worst boyfriend ever Eddie or Ned - Neddie? -takes his girlfriend Elly, or Cherry, depending on the scene - for convenience, I will call her Chelly - to the basement of his new (haunted) house, which is filled with scary mice, snakes and cockroaches. Then, apparently off screen, he becomes best friends with senior Douchebag, who is a ghost, and also a vampire. He goes around killing people and doing vampire things. Don and Bonnie are also reincarnated as Willy and Lorna/Ellen respectively (Lorlen?) who have to beat the vampire through a magical incantation or something. Also, nobody questions that, for Thai people living in Thailand, everyone has western names, which change constantly, making everything obnoxiously hard to follow.

Okay, one of the main faults - astonishingly bad subtitles - might be part of the reason for one of the other main faults - this movie makes no goddamn sense. There are nuggets of an interesting idea - something about reincarnated people living out their past lives again could be pretty cool if properly handled - but there are also mysterious ghost hunters, vampires who are also ghosts who are also perfectly fine on a sunny day, everyone's name changing by the minute, and it never being completely clear who represents what and how.

What it feels like is a situation where someone made a list of all the scenes they want in a movie - sex! action! snakes! comedy! someone getting their face ripped off! - and then just tried to construct a narrative around it. That's the only explanation for the plot, which goes off the rails completely in the first 10 minutes and then bounces merrily through the field of incoherence.

I actually don't always hate a movie that makes no sense, provided it's done with style, but that's another area where Immortal Enemy doesn't work. It makes heavy use of bad handheld, as though it's not confident enough in its own stunts, and the special effects aren't even trying half the time. It looks like what it is, an amateurish mess. Sometimes that can work, sometimes it can even get a cult following, but here, it's just a bizarre ramble, and for the biggest crime of all, it's a midnight movie that doesn't make incompetence fun.

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