Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jolly Roger: Massacre At Cutter's Cove (2005)

Oo-wee, what an incredible mess. I had given up on this film before the opening credits were finished. That's due to the fact that there is the worst rock music playing over them - toward the end of the credits, the music becomes a blatant rip-off of an AC/DC song. And the title sequence itself is incredibly annoying, like a cheap, shitty version of something from That '70s Show.

Anyway, the film opens with a group of teenagers camping on the beach. Right away we get the annoying "get a room" line when two of them are cuddling. (I call for an end to using that line, not just in films but also in real life.) And then the game starts: Who is the worst actor of this film? A case can be made for every single one of them. But early front-runners are the guy that plays Tom and the woman who plays his girlfriend. They have some dialogue about ghost stories that is unbelievably laughably bad. Granted, it is not just their delivery that is atrocious, but the lines themselves.

Meanwhile the two that went looking for a room instead find a treasure chest. In fact, the guy says, "Hey, check it out, it looks like a treasure chest." Indeed. Inside it, he finds a human skull, which he plays with for a moment, then throws into the ocean. Typical response to finding a human skull. But both of them are killed soon, so whatever. The girl does take her top off before getting killed, which is sort of nice. And she smiles at the pirate just before he kills her, which is sort of weird. Yeah, the killer is a pirate.

Another couple back at the campsite are talking about college. Alex tells his girlfriend Jessie that he doesn't want to go to college. He's saved up money and is going to buy a boat. Holy shit, what job did he have during high school? I worked all through high school, but there was no way I had enough money for a boat. Not even a canoe. Anyway, he gives Jessie his school ring, and says this sweet bit of dialogue: "Yeah, my mom just got it for me. I don't really like wearing these things, but I love you, and I want you to have it." Seriously.

The guy playing Tom really wants the "worst actor of the film" award, and to get it, he actually runs toward the pirate after the pirate kills his girlfriend, then stands there waiting to be killed with a perfectly retarded look on his face. Incredible.

Bad acting is far from being the film's sole problem. One scene I love is the What The Fuck Time Is It scene. It starts in a room where there are three clocks on the wall behind some guy. Now usually when there are multiple clocks, it has to do with different time zones. However the three clocks are set to 8:40, 12:20 and 5:40. Sorry, time zones don't go in twenty minute increments. The secretary has her own clock. Hers says 10:35. And when the guy moves over to another clock, it says 4:56. Now the entire scene takes place in only a few minutes. So you too can play What The Fuck Time Is It.

There is also the Miraculous Surveillance Footage scene. After the pirate kills a couple of people in a strip club, the cop asks to see the surveillance tape. So the club manager pops the tape in. First of all, the point of view of the surveillance camera is that of someone at a table in the club - it actually looks up at the stripper. Then it cuts to a point-of-view shot of the pirate approaching her. And the camera moves. It's incredible. The tape not only gets multiple angles, but has been magically edited together to mimic the scene we just saw.

The cop keeps watching the tape in fast forward. He then squints, as if he's catching something we might have missed. But we never learn what that thing might have been. By the way, none of the police work is the least bit believable in this film. I love the incompetent cop. The main cop tells him, "Do the best you can." He says that to him at least three or four times.

The cops think that Alex and perhaps Jessie killed their friends. And they continue to think this even after several other witnesses back up their story about the pirate. In fact, even after the main cop has watched the surveillance tape, he still warns the female cop to not approach Alex until backup arrives. This doesn't make a lick of sense.

Meanwhile Alex and Jessie try to solve these crimes by getting on the internet at their high school. When she logs on, Jessie exclaims, "I'm in!" as if she'd cracked some code at the Pentagon. By the way, the girl who plays Jessie is a prime candidate for Worst Actor Of The Film. She loves doing her out-of-breath thing, even if she's only run like two feet or is looking at pirates on the internet. Clearly, everything exhausts her.

The pirate is killing the descendants of the town's founders. How convenient that the descendants all live in the same town, and still have the same last names. So stupid.

So what's good? There is one good moment in the strip club where a stripper gives the pirate a lap dance. She says, "Is that a musket in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" He replies, "Aye, it's a musket." That's actually funny. And it's the only intentionally funny bit in the entire film.

The mayor character is wonderful - well, when she's in focus, that is. I'm not sure how she was elected mayor. She's clearly bonkers. And yes, the focus puller was on acid ("Sure, it's in focus. In fact, things have never been more in focus for me. I am the camera"). Just one more problem in a film full of problems.

Jolly Roger: Massacre At Cutter's Cove was directed by Gary Jones.

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