Friday, March 17, 2006

Intercessor : Another Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare - 2005

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I hate to trash independent film. I am quite aware of how logistically difficult it is to complete a film and especially on a low or zero budget. I never expect awe-inspiring effects, competent acting, or even a firmly laid out plot. Most times these Z-Grade films come across as either charming in their simple effort or brilliant in their illustration of absurdity. Sometimes however, they’re painful to watch and really never should have been made in the first place. Intercessor, Another Rock’N’Roll Nightmare unfortunately is one of those films.

Believe it or not, Intercessor is actually a sequel to a 1987 film titled Rock’N’Roll Nightmare. The only connection really is the role played in both films by 80’s heavy metal musician Jon Mikl Thor as the Intercessor. Time and doughnuts have not been kind to Mr. Thor as he appears in the opening sequence flashback (to the original film) looking like a Beastmaster clone to the present where he seems to have gained over a hundred pounds.

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As soon as the movie began, I was blasted with caterwauling high-pitched early 80’s metal, a style of music, which thankfully and deservedly never gained any real success. As bad as the music is however, it’s probably the highlight of the film. All taste aside, it was at least produced efficiently, something I cannot say about the movie, which is just about as bad as filmmaking gets.

The plot is about as contrived and erratic as can be and is overly ambitious for such a mediocre production. There is just way too much going on in this movie to make any sense and it’s presented in such a disorganized fashion that you’ll think there are two films happening at once. It mainly consists of two competing villains, the cheesily named Zompira and Mephisto, who both have the lamest schemes to overthrow humanity. In fact, I’m not sure exactly what they were up to. There was something about an innocent little girl named Laura and if they could corrupt her soul they would rule the world. Then there was a handicap teenager named Harry, who is believed by the villains and anyone watching to be the reincarnation of the Intercessor. So then supposedly the story is about killing him and his true love and that will let either of the villains rule the world or defeat the other or something! Like I said, how they could achieve overthrowing humanity by doing either of these two things is beyond me.

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It doesn’t end there mind you. The confusion heightens because for about half the film Harry deftly dispatches undead minions with his crutch and terrifies their masters, who talk endlessly about their fear of him and lead you to believe that he is in fact the Intercessor. Oh, but wait, it turns out that Harry is not the Intercessor after all and Mr. Thor shows up in his cheesy leather costume and metal mask to take over the battle and for some reason he has to get his power back from Harry (why or how Harry had it in the first place went by me). Then there’s the four horsemen, wearing even more pathetic Halloween costumes than Thor, four elemental demonesses wearing street clothes, human followers of Zompira or Mephisto (not sure which), zombies that talk like they’ve got a throat full of phlegm, a hitchhiker-loving dude with a magical car, and an alien lady with no midriff who I wasn’t sure was good or evil or what her purpose was at all. Oh, and I can’t forget how the film segways by having flashbacks done in black and white drawings with actors voices dubbed over (yeah, you read that right).

Now take this mass confusion and add terrible acting, another subplot about Harry’s brother who committed suicide, dialogue that is supposed to sound like gothic poetry but falls absurdly flat, fight scenes with cardboard swords and rubber armor, and effects that consist of Thor reaching above his head and grabbing a tree branch and then pretending that the tree is attacking him. Oh, I don’t want to forget the hellhound who looks like the friendliest pooch you’ll ever meet, the plastic baby’s head on a stick, or how walkie-talkies sound like the person is standing just off camera either. Whew! I’m sure there’s more ineptness I could point out, but I think you get the idea.

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Some may read this review and think Intercessor sounds like campy fun. Well, it isn’t. I like camp. This is not camp. This is a catastrophe. I actually didn’t know that the film had been intended to be a comedy until after I had watched it and checked out the official site. It really played as if they were trying to be serious, saw the results, and then decided to tell people it was a comedy. Any quirky unintentional humor will wear thin real fast and viewing this film will turn masochistic if you continue to watch it through. I implore you not to watch it.

The DVD release has a behind the scenes featurette, 3 music videos, a slide show, and deleted scenes, none of which I could bring myself to watch.

Review by !Vision! (Brandon Begley)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol Well, the review was fun to read...

4:24 PM  

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