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April 20, 2011

Movie Review: Idol of Evil (2009)

Here is the law of diminished returns, shot-on-video style. This British import is ambitious, and yet… not. An Indiana Jones/DaVinci Code hybrid ripoff that looks and sounds all right, but still manages to lay there and smell like the turd that it is.

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An anthropologist named Kixley disappears and his friend, David Hilton, is sent in by the Vatican to search for him. We soon learn that Kixley discovered the eye to an ancient skull idol with mysterious and ancient powers. He has been kidnapped by armed cultists with mis-matched uniforms who want to use if for their own nefarious purposes. Dr. Kixley’s assistant, hottie Lucy, joins Hilton on his quest to recover the artifact. The cultists are led by an under-acting over-achiever in a Tom Baker Dr. Who fedora who now holds the power to rule the world! Before it is all over, guess what? Hilton and Lucy fall in love, and she gets kidnapped, upping the stakes! After over an hour of dull cat-and-mouse and some really lack-luster fight scenes, we finally are “treated” to some supernatural gore effects reminiscent of a high school re-enactment of the resurrection scene in the original Hellraiser. The resulting creature is a normal-sized spawn of the War of the Colossal Beast monster without the entertainment factor, and is dispatched almost immediately.

What makes this so disappointing is the fact that it looks half-way good. The sound is excellent, the cinematography passable, and the acting competent. The script is slickly formulaic. Everything here reminds me of a mediocre TV movie, and yet is was clearly produced by ambitious amateurs who seem to aspire to by-the-books mediocrity. Everything looks okay, but nothing stands out. Worst of all, since we really don’t care about any of the characters or anything they are doing, it is boring. I found this a tiresome chore to get through, even at 80 minutes.

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