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May 6, 2014

Movie Review: Freakshow Apocalypse (2007)

Okay, people. I need to come up with a new movie rating system. I’ve given films negative scores before (or zeros) but this flick has reached an all time low on my soulcrushometer. My buddy, Tony, suggested a ‘middle finger in the eye’ system. Unlike the hatchet rating, however, the more middle fingers you get, the worse the film is. Thank you, Chemical Burn, for opening a window to a whole new world of suckage.

Freakshow Apocalypse is vomited upon us by Matthew Broomfield (Director, Editor, Executive Producer, Sound, Set Design/Construction, Costume Design, Videography, Lighting, Grip, and he’s in one of the bands that provided music). I assume he wrote it but no writing credit is listed on the DVD and who could blame him? Perhaps he wanted to avoid the angry mobs with pitchforks and burning torches.

The screener I viewed contains the first two parts of a four part mini series (you have got to be shitting me). It’s the story of the epic myth of our modern apocalypse. Riiiight. A secret society, The Order of Mystery, has been using magic to extend their lives. Naturally the necromancy they practice has opened doors into realms of the undead. To preserve humanity, the Master of the Order created a ritual sacrifice of appeasement  (why the fuck else would you have a ritual sacrifice?) to hold back the Armies of the Abyss. Over time these knuckleheads have laxed in passing down their traditions and knowledge and so the pressure at the ‘doors’ has grown stronger.

The Unholy Freakshow will never be admitted to the order because one of their members, Malerkus, continues to use magic in crazy experiments. For example, he has what looks like a half melted Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in a cage. He also threw some green liquid on a victim and the guy goes all Total Recall and sprouts Kuato on his chest. And let’s not forget Lazari, a magician who is warring with Malerkus (probably to see who can be the bigger douche canoe), by putting people under spells and making them do stuff like spray atomic zombie juice on Masonic graves.

WTF? Kill it! Kill it with fire!
Then The Order fucks up the ritual and zombies are running amok. Now they need the Unholy Freakshow’s help in closing the doors to the world of the undead before the shit really hits the fan.

All of this unfolds over the first two installments, The Great Reckoning and The Ritual. I can only hope Parts III and IV have been tragically destroyed in an act of God like a tornado, or hurricane, or earth quake, or a small fire like the one that destroyed Chicago in 1871.

My major problem with this movie (besides having watched it) is the opening scene. There are multiple screen shots of exposition - like in a silent movie.The ‘action’ provided is lame at best and instead of dialogue, we get voice overs. If you have to take 20 minutes to sell your story this badly, because you can’t afford to act it out, then perhaps you should rethink the entire project. (And there was even more screen shot exposition further into the movie!)

I came so very close to turning off the film at this point. I mean, the opening credits were still rolling for Christ’s sake and I just wanted to stop my own suffering. But CHC is counting on me to do a review and the screener was free so how could I let them down? Even if it meant having a burning agonizing pain seared into my soul and I am now dead inside

My soul…it weeps...
The ‘actors’ in the movie are honest freak show performers. You know the type. They hammer nails or shove power drills up their noses, swallow swords and fire, stick coins in their eyes, pierce their flesh with needles and other sharp objects, and there's that guy who has tattoos inked all over his body that look like puzzle pieces and had horns installed under his forehead. So obviously acting is not their bread and butter but I wasn’t impressed with their showmanship either.

The editing was a disaster. Perhaps it was meant to be artistic but they failed spectacularly instead. The cut-aways and fades seems discombobulated and unnatural. It made the disjointed story telling seem even more chaotic. 

The special effects, costuming, and sets are what anyone would expect from a low budget film: shitty. The crappy writing creates a story that comes off as a slap-dash collection of varied snippets from magic folklore, satanism, mad scientists, and torture porn that were overheard at the water cooler then glued onto the frame of a Freaks wanna-be. It’s like decoupage for posers.

If Matthew Broomfield wanted to bring the spotlight to the dying art of the traveling freak show, he should have found one and made a documentary. This abortion has done nothing but make me pity everyone involved in the film while at the same time souring me against ever wanting to witness the true entertainment provided by real side show performers.

3 middle fingers in the eye (out of 5)

1 comment:

  1. Another winner from Chemical Burn Entertainment: