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Setting new low for flicks



Published: Fri, January 28, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



This is one movie you don't want to see, alone or with somebody.

By ROGER MOORE

KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS

Too stupid to watch, too loud to nap through, "Alone in the Dark" shows just how tenuous "Plan Nine From Outer Space's" hold on that "worst movie ever" title really is.

All the money, all that filmmaking expertise out there, all those film schools churning out would-be Kubricks, and Uwe Boll still has a shot at catching the late and great-at-being-fifth-rate Ed Wood.

"Alone" is about not being alone, but about having your girlfriend and a team of body-armored paranormal storm troopers with you when zombies and "Alien"-like gargoyles come after you in an abandoned mine.

It's about chasing those assorted beasties with your black helicopters and shooting them with your magic bullets.

And it's about time everybody involved changed agents.

Christian Slater stars as Carnby, an investigator of the paranormal, former government agent for Bureau 713. He's an orphan with a big hole in his memory, and the case he's on may give him some answers, or so his voice-over narration tells us. He's chasing golden artifacts and demons associated with the ancient "Abkani" people, who trafficked in gold and demons.

Didn't they all.

Tara Reid is the sexy archaeologist-girlfriend who acts and looks too dumb for the part. Ah, but there was a time when she just acted dumb.

Another mystery?

There's some incredibly confusing nonsense about a mad scientist, human experimentation, and keys to the "dark side."

And really awful dialogue.

"How come every time you show up my life gets more complicated?"

Better question, "Hey Christian, didya at least get to keep the doofus-cool leather trenchcoat?"

The acting is "Let's do the whole thing over" incompetent, with extras and bit players staring off camera, seemingly taking direction as to how to fake the meaningless hand-gestures movie commandos use to signal one another.

The real evil

As bad as it is, one senses the presence of the cutting-room floor. There are so many idiotic back-story threads that there must be an even dumber, even more awful "director's cut" lying in the vaults, waiting, lurking.

Shudder.

All of which makes one wonder about this filmmaker. Boll's "House of the Dead" (2003) may have been the worst big-budget dead-teenager flick ever. Looking at his bio, we find that he studied literature and economics in Cologne and Siegen. He earned his Ph.D. in literature.

But he makes movies like an economist.

And in Boll's universe, the only money one cannot be embarrassed for taking is renting out the black helicopters and that fake-muscle body armor that all the best-dressed bad movies have these days.




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