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Bad Movie Tuesday: AVP/AVPR/Predators

March 6, 2012

These three movies hold a special place in my heart. They’ve taught me that even the best ideas can be screwed up. All three of them featured spectacular ideas that couldn’t be capitalized on because they forgot to create likable characters. For instance, Predators (read the review) focused on a bunch of tough bland people being sent to a planet to be hunted. The movie lacked any suspense and featured Adrien Brody speaking like he had gravel in his mouth and was coming off a severe sore throat

AVPR brought back the R rating but the dialogue and characters were so poorly realized you had to laugh. You couldn’t appreciate the Alien/Predator hybrid that was running amuck because you were two busy scratching your head at the dumbness of it all.

I would love to teach a class about these bad films because every ingredient was in place. Every measurement was perfect, the oven was preheated to perfection and a fool-proof timer was set.. However, something strange happened in the oven. Something unexplainable.

I would love to write a syllabus on the badness of these films. Chapter one would be entitled “Weyland’s Folly.”

When I was at FSU I watched AVP with my friend 9.5 (he said he was a 9.5 out of 10 on the good-looking scale) and his brother Legs (looked like a barbarian…shaved his legs) We would laugh at the ineptitude and shared many inside jokes that would annoy casual acquaintances. Eight years later we still quote one line from this film.

“Don’t turn your back on meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

This is the best scene in a movie full of bad (in a great way) moments. Weyland’s folly refers to the most unnecessary cheap shot in the history of film. If you’ve followed the AVP series you will know that Lance Henriksen played the cyborg Bishop in the classic Aliens. In this film you see him before he becomes a cyborg. In AVP he is a billionaire who has the sweetest inhaler ever.

He leads an expedition to Antarctica where they get stuck in a large pyramid where predators hunt aliens. Things go bad and everybody dies. One of the victims is Mr. Henrikson.

This is how it goes down. A predator grabs Weyland and scans his guts to check his health. The monster sees that Lance is ridden with cancer so he lets him live. Weyland is put down gently and the predator starts walking away. However, when the dreadlocked creature is several steps away Lance tries to light it on fire.

When Lance unleashes the flame you think it will be a huge blast that will incinerate the unsuspecting creature. However, when the flame hits the predator it simply wipes it off. Lance quickly gets stabbed by a large blade and the monster walks away saddened.

This epic moment was so un-epic that it became epic. The predator was going to let him live and got second degree burns for being nice.

These three movie are much like the Weyland Folly. They could have lived and planned out a better attack. However, they ignored all logic and went straight to futility.

Next week we will cover Chapter two. I will call it “PG-13?”

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