Sunday, June 19, 2011

REVIEW: 5ive Girls (2006)

Director: Warren P. Sonoda
Starring: Ron Perlman, Jennifer Miller

You know, if there was ever a movie that automatically disqualified you from intelligent discussion just by the mere mention of the title alone…this would be it. I mean, what were they thinking? The title basically comes out to say ‘Five-ive Girls.’ What on Earth does that mean? Was it made up by someone who got dropped on his or her head as a kid? If a movie can’t even get basic sentence structure right, then how can I expect it to get anything else right? Fortunately I expected nothing, and that’s what I got.

I mean it; this is scum of the lowest level. I don’t want to think about this. I don’t want to acknowledge it. I don’t want to grace this stupidity, this idiocy, with my time. It’s not worth it. This movie is so bad that I can’t even sum up how bad it is. It just…needs to be witnessed to be believed. And since I wouldn’t suggest actually WATCHING this pile of heinousness, I have prepared this review for your benefit. Isn’t that nice of me? Well, I hope you think so, because MAN was this tripe hard to sit through.

Our three ring circus of a movie starts with a hot blonde in a little schoolgirl’s outfit – can you say fetish fuel? Because this movie can – drawing a picture for a class assignment that I think most 4th graders would find too insultingly simple. Seriously, her assignment is to draw a picture of a Biblical event? Hello, Sunday School! But it’s OK, because her priest is played by Ron Perlman.

There we go!

They exchange some pointless dialogue, and then she gets killed by a mysterious demonic force. Will this be explained in the movie? If you think so, then you’re in for a much more devastating ride in this movie than I was.

Then we cut to five years later, where we see a disgruntled father driving his daughter to the same school, which has only recently been reopened after the event. The girl, named Alex, argues with her father because she doesn’t want to be in this movie – a wise decision – but he gets out and physically forces her to go in, driving off with little more than a cursory goodbye. Great parenting there, guy. Almost Casey Anthony level there. And no, the movie never really explains why she’s so bad that she had to be sent off to a place like this, either. I guess they couldn’t think of a reason.

"I really can't wait to get out of this movie, so get your ass up to that school and subject yourself to demonic possession, young lady!"

So then we see that the school is so prestigious that they lock it up with chains even in the daytime. I guess that’s because nobody would ever want to leave, right?

OK, OK, wishful thinking. But since literally the WHOLE REST OF THE MOVIE takes place inside this damn building, you can’t really blame me. I’m fine with these kinds of closed-room movies when they’re done well, but the problem with this movie is that the setting is just SO DRAB and uninteresting that it becomes completely ineffectual, like they might as well have staged this movie in a blank white room. It’s really that dull of a setting.

Then we see the absolutely wonderful quality of the education here as the headmistress, Miss Pearce, pretty much abuses these girls for no real reason. Like this exchange:

Black Girl: I was just wondering where the phones were. I wanted to call my parents and let them know I arrived safely.

Miss Pearce: Your parents don’t want you. They do not care about you.

Geez! She asked to make a PHONE CALL. A phone call, for Pete’s sake! What are you, a fascist dictator? No, even fascist dictators would say that’s pretty harsh! I mean…sheesh, lady!

"You will BOW DOWN TO ME, for I am the queen of all things on Earth! Muahahaha!"

She makes them strip down to their underwear and gropes them all to “check for drugs,” although really it’s just an excuse for the girl-on-girl action that this movie will use as a crutch throughout the film to make up for the lack of any other substance. She forcefully jams needles into their arms to take blood samples, not bothering to, you know, make sure to get it lined up with their veins properly, or anything. Health? Who needs THAT in a Christian boarding school?

Then Alex says she has a ‘bleeding problem,’ and when Miss Pearce sticks her with the needle, her arm EXPLODES with blood all over the place and knocks some stuff over. This is probably a real disease, but it serves no purpose to the story and is never brought up again, so it’s mostly pointless. Oh, except to show us how horrible of a character Miss Pearce is! Sure makes me want to give her a black eye or two. I love how the first thing she says when it happens is to tell Alex not to curse out loud. And then “Oh, I guess we’ll have to take everyone’s blood all over again”…shut up! God, I can’t think of a worse character I’ve seen in a movie recently. She’s asinine! She’s atrocious! Literally every line she says makes me want to reach through the screen and smack her. She makes Bridget Fonda from Lake Placid look like a pleasant little housewife in comparison. This movie is turning me into a woman beater. SHAME ON YOU 5IVE GIRLS!

Ugh, so then we get to see what the girls all talk about when they’re alone. One girl says she’s a witch! But then later on she doesn’t even know what wiccanism is, despite having a book about the black arts and everything. She says that her interest in the dark arts isn’t something she wants to advertise, but it was established in that first scene that she was already open about it, and she even seemed proud of it. It’s never a good sign when your writers can’t even remember the scenes they wrote for 15 minutes earlier in the film. Did anyone proofread this?

Ha! Yeah right...

Then we find out that all the girls have special powers! One of them can phase through things, one can see into the future, and oh yeah, Alex is telekinetic! Forgot to bring THAT incredibly important plot element up earlier, didn’t you movie? I mean…wouldn’t that be one of the first things you’d like to know about a character? And even beyond that, where’s the logic in these powers anyway? Am I to assume this is just some MAGICAL world where people sometimes have supernatural powers and it’s just an everyday thing? What’s the back story? I’m not asking for this film to create a whole new intricate and detailed universe. I just can’t honestly sit here and swallow this half-cocked nonsense without questioning it. This is a movie that operates solely on the philosophy of ‘the only explanation you need for anything is that magic made it possible.’ And that’s as cheap a cop out as you can get in a movie. If you care about cinema or writing at all, this will piss you off too.

But anyway, the movie plods along doggedly and we see that despite the numerous instances of supernatural occurrences and ghostly happenings, Alex barely even bats an eye at any of it. There’s no tension built here. They act like the ghost stuff is just a small inconvenience, no more lethal than having someone tap you on the shoulder while you’re trying to concentrate.

There’s one scene where Alex is writing on the board and one of the ghosts writes something in Latin for her in big letters. She’s clearly not touching the board and is freaked out, but the laws of horrible filmmaking and lazy writing dictate that she gets in trouble for this. She’s sent out to the hall to transcribe some Latin pages, but gets distracted by a ghost and goes to explore some stuff. When she gets back, the pages have all been written for her again by the ghost! I guess it’s just one of those homework helper ghosts. My favorite kind. But what really gets me is when Miss Pearce says that the Latin, which is super detailed and correct, is probably a prank. Yeah, that must be it…the movie is full of moments like this. I think it literally, actually made me stupider.

Like how about when two of the girls go up to the forbidden third floor and then Alex takes the blame for it when Miss Pearce interrogates them? She makes Alex bend over a desk, lifts up her skirt and spanks her with a ruler. I am dead serious. It’s like something you’d see in a 1920s-era elementary school or something and is totally ridiculous and silly. Then this other chick puts her hand on Alex’s ass and heals the spanking wounds instantly, revealing yet another contrived super-power and also dually giving more fanservice for the crowd. Wow, two birds with one stone! You go, movie.

"Here comes the mighty hammer of Christian justice!"

OK, so when the movie actually DOES try to have some semblance of a plot, we find out that the demon Legion is haunting the school and killed that girl from the opening – why? Because she was religious, and there are no other religious people in the world I guess. Miss Pearce is actually, conveniently, her sister, who is such a pious and good Christian that she wants to conduct an occult ritual, complete with silly pentagrams and blood dripping and everything, to ‘trade’ the five main characters to get her dead sister back. OK, well…whatever then.

Really, I don't see why I should care. It isn't like this magically makes the movie more interesting or anything...and what the hell is that thing? An oil spill survivor? One of the Mud People? WHAT?

Then we get this thing about how wicca-girl is possessed by Legion now because a little CGI worm crawled into her arm one night while she was sleeping. Now she’s got all kinds of cuts and bruises everywhere. During a urine exam (not sure why they’re doing it now as opposed to when they first got there, but OK), hers comes out a very questionable looking shade of murky brown. Yergh. And one night when they’re taking baths, she vomits all over one of the other girls and transfers the possession to her!

Yes, this movie contains female breast-groping, excessive bleeding from possibly un-sterilized needles, and now brown piss and vomiting. Truly a movie to play at your next gentlemen’s club meeting. Hell; just take it to your girlfriend’s for some lighthearted family fun. It’ll be the best movie night you ever had.

So, anyway, the new possessed girl goes and talks to Ron Perlman in a deep voice that sounds completely ridiculous when coming out of her feminine body. If this was going for comedy, maybe I’d buy it, but not in a supposedly serious horror. Then she kills him, making his entire existence in this movie completely pointless. He didn’t even do anything, when you think about it, so why? Miss Pearce could have easily run this whole operation alone. But who am I kidding? Asking for logic now is like eating 3/4s of a Big Mac and then deciding you don’t want the cholesterol.

Goodnight sweet prince. May you star in a hundred more Dark Countries and Hellboy 2's before this kind of slop again...

The blind chick gets it next, while Alex and the other surviving girl run into Miss Pearce. She breaks the healer girl’s hand, which is apparently the only hand she can actually use her power with. Well that’s weird. Who ever heard of a healing power that’s only in one hand? I think this chick got the short end of the stick from the special powers gene pool, or whatever you want to call it.

Then Alex and the healer girl make a circle on the ground that will keep out demonic forces, because derp-dee-doo, magic is just everyday knowledge in this crazy world! Gotta love it! Oh, and they have a lesbian make out scene, because otherwise NOBODY would give a crap about this heinous pile of nothing! And two girls making out is SO HAWT even though there was nothing in the movie before this to indicate that they would do it. But hey, who needs standards? Anything’s fair when you’re appealing to the nerdy Internet-dwelling teenage population!

It's like Harry Potter...the delinquent lesbian white girl version. Isn't that what every Harry Potter fan secretly always wanted?
Yay, lesbians! NOW the movie doesn't suck...right? Right?!

Ugh. Then the other girl gets possessed, and the movie rips off Buffy’s season 3 moment by having the whole “You want this knife? You can have it BACK!” scene done almost word for word. Yeah, real original there. They both get knocked out, and then healer-girl wakes up and tries to heal Alex, but fails. The sister comes back to life, and we find out that her father is really the weird old caretaker guy who had maybe 3 minutes of total screentime in the entire movie. WHAT AN IMPORTANT REVELATION! Then Alex turns into Legion (I guess her transformation was delayed for plot convenience) and kills them all. The end!

I really hope everyone involved with this feels remorseful about it, because this was just horrible! Terrible! There’s really nothing interesting or even slightly dignified about it – it’s purely artless trash from beginning to end. It’s just so completely toothless and robbed of any kind of tension. Then it tries to go for the fanservice thing with the lesbianism, but that doesn’t work either, because it’s just so hard to actually buy it. Everything this movie does it botches up. It’s boring, it’s stupid; it’s all around crap on every level. There’s a reason you saw a billion copies of this sitting on the shelves at Blockbuster with nobody renting them. Keep it that way from now on!