Thursday, October 9, 2014

Satan's Little Helper (2004)

Doing these reviews, you fake anger – you watch a stupid movie, then you take an exasperated tone and bitch about how ridiculous it was that the movie got made, et cetera – you guys know the deal, you know what I do. But every now and again a movie comes along that I don't even have to fake it for. Sometimes you're just sitting there seething with rage at every new scene and wishing death on the characters every time they utter a new insipid line of dialogue. Sometimes you just reach a boiling point and its name in the tumor developing in your brain is revealed as if in some Hellish vision – and it is called....Satan's Little Helper.

Director: Jeff Lieberman
Starring: Alexander Brickel, Katherine Winnick, Amanda Plummer

Co-written with Michelle.

This is a 2004 ass-fest full of horrible characters, horrible writing, horrible's just a cauldron of everything wrong with the world. If you're wondering why horror these days is so formulaic and bland, well, you can thank the sheer unrepentant awfulness and tastelessness of this piece of garbage for jolting the mainstream studios awake like an electric shock to the nipples and going “HEY! You need to make money off of this and movies like Satan's Little Helper aren't helping!”

Well, as much as I'd love to continue stalling, I guess that doesn't work when you can already scroll down the page and read the rest anyway.

We start off with a little boy named Dougie, who is obsessed with a handheld video game in which you help the Devil wreak havoc on Earth.

This would only be a good game if Daniel Radcliffe was involved.

That's fucking unbelievable – the first thing we see in the film, and already you ask the audience for a Herculean jump in suspension of disbelief. Why would this game exist at all? In the United States of America, where you can be sentenced to prison time for posing for a dick-sucking picture with a statue of Christ? Where atheists are still viewed by the majority of the country as completely amoral, stink-bomb-throwing hooligans with no moral compasses? Where a prayer takes precedence over the National Anthem a lot of the time?

...and you're telling me a game where Satan helps you beat people up would be made in THAT climate?

...well, I just don't find that very likely.

But anyway, Dougie was clearly dropped on his head as a little boy as he then has a conversation with his mother, Amanda Plummer, about whether or not Satan is real and if Dougie can go find him on Halloween and hang out with him. Plummer, who I'm sure was stoned off her ass every second she was filming this shit, makes up some stuff about how Satan is evil and evil is everywhere. Personally I would have just said Satan is film studio executives, but hey, different parenting for different folks.

Then they go to meet Jenna, Dougie's sister, who is returning home from college for Halloween, because you know, Halloween is the type of holiday you normally go home from college for – and yes, apparently classes just give you time off to go do that. She brings her boyfriend with her, Kurt Cobain MK 2004:

It came from art school...

They go back home and start getting ready for Halloween. Dougie runs away and meets up with this guy, a serial killer in a Halloween mask who he sees propping up an actual dead body. Dougie, being a fucking retard, doesn't see anything wrong with this and instead asks if he can help this clearly psychotic killer, whom he mistakes, quite understandably, for Satan himself.

"Even I think you're an idiot here."

Of course the killer says yes, too, because why wouldn't you want some dumbass kid running around with you if you're trying to go on a mass-killing spree? I'm really just wondering here; what did this guy do the other 364 days of the year? Clearly Halloween was a real special time for him as he could be so lazy and just kill people in public, and no one would notice (because as the movie will soon show us, Halloween means people don't notice people being murdered in front of them). Did he just sit at home the other days of the year going “fuck! I got no ideas now that I can't just leave my dead victims out in public in the middle of the day! Oh well. Better just stay home and watch Mean Girls again.”

"I mean c'mon, who would actually fall for this? I'm just doing it to see how long it takes to get caught!"

If you're wondering what the fuck the rest of the family is doing while Dougie just wanders around town by himself (not bad parenting at all), well, good thing I'm here to tell you: Amanda Plummer is dressing her daughter up like a pirate wench, even though Jenna doesn't want to and the costume is even skimpier than what you see most actual prostitutes wearing.

"I forgot what boobs looked like."

I get it, Halloween means dressing up and being sexy – I just find it hilariously misguided that the mother is MAKING her daughter dress up this way. Kinda backwards! I mean the only thing the mother DOESN'T do is physically take her daughter out there and start filming her having sex with her Kurt Cobain boyfriend out there.

Dougie eventually returns home with “Satan” in tow, who he takes down to the house basement, where Satan cracks open an old wine bottle to...pour over his face for no reason, as clearly there's no mouth hole in that mask and you're really just wasting good wine.

Things get even more wretched as Dougie makes a plan with “Satan” to kill off Kurt Cobain boyfriend guy because Dougie is possessive of his sister, or some crap like that – apparently Dougie and Cobain-boyfriend are going to the costume store to get a costume and then “Satan” will jump out and kill the boyfriend. I guess the storyline here is that Dougie doesn’t think “Satan” is actually going to do anything serious, like he’s just playing around or something. Even that’s pretty flimsy though – was there nobody to tell this kid that hanging around with weird grown men in Halloween masks who don’t talk is a bad idea? Even three-year-olds could grasp that!

"It's just so obvious it hurts!"

So “Satan” knocks out the boyfriend and then goes home, where Jenna and Amanda Plummer both assume it’s the boyfriend in a mask and costume. This could maybe be plausible for a few seconds when they’re playing around in the living room together, but when Jenna takes “Satan” upstairs (still thinking it’s her boyfriend) to have sex with her? HOW DOES SHE NOT NOTICE IT ISN’T HIM?!

"I'm your girlfriend and should probably pick up the signs that your touch feels different and you're not acting like him, but I'm also a complete idiot!"

And I get it – the movie is trying to be funny with all of this. It’s obviously not asking us to take it seriously as a scary movie or some kind of drama; that much is clear. But it’s just so unfunny. If the script were written with any clever satire of horror movies, or actually funny moments, a story like this might work - but everything is just so fucking bad. It’s seriously incomprehensible how this thing ever got out of the editing room.

Because get this – nobody guesses that the guy in the Satan costume ISN’T Jenna’s Kurt Cobain-esque boyfriend for the next forty minutes of the film. Are you shitting me? Am I even in reality anymore?

No, clearly I’m not – because we have a scene next where the guy in the Satan costume tries to eat out Jenna – while still wearing the mask which has no mouth hole.

Another horrible scene - she constantly gets a scared look on her face when she suspects the guy in the mask might not be her boyfriend, but then as soon as he does stuff like this, she forgets about it and is suddenly super aroused and not suspicious at all. Either she's just as horny as a horned toad or...the movie just makes no sense.

Just...every fucking scene makes me hate myself in this movie. Every scene just goes lower and lower, not “lower” like that. You perverts!

Then Dougie and “Satan” go out and buy a bunch of knives and hammers and ropes to kill more people with, which Dougie still thinks is just fun and games. Guys, we’ve gone far past the point of this kid being retarded, and into the new and terrifying realm of “this kid is actually some kind of subterranean Mole Person who has never had contact with human beings before the movie began.”

When “Satan” stabs a worker from the store right in front of Dougie, there’s still no reaction – he just thinks it’s cool. You little douche. I hate to be mean spirited, but I really was hoping this kid would die at this point – he’s just so awful. This kid is making me yearn for Rush Limbaugh speeches and reddit commenters talking about how the Jennifer Lawrence nude picture leaks really WERE her fault. That's how bad this kid really is!

"Coooooool...let's bomb an abortion clinic next!"

What’s that? Don’t believe me that he should die? Well, check out the next scene in which “Satan” goes on a shopping cart rampage through the parking lot and runs over a pregnant woman, a woman with a baby carriage and a blind man.

I not have WORDS to describe how despicable that is, so instead I’ll just muse on the incredible coincidence that a pregnant woman, a woman with a baby carriage and a blind man were all walking in the same area right when that scene happened. Just one of those wondrous coincidences I guess!

Oh, are you not convinced this kid is the worst human being in cinema yet? How about the next scene where he watches “Satan” break into some old lady’s house and murder her, and still doesn’t care? Is THAT proof enough for you?!?

I hate this kid so much, I want to age him rapidly to the age of 35, then force him to rewatch all of the awful things he helped do in this movie. Over and over again.

Back at home, because we can’t have anything likable in this movie at all, Jenna complains because her boyfriend and Dougie haven’t come back and it’s been several hours. Rather than be worried about silly things like their safety or the fact that it’s not normal for people to disappear for several hours after just going around the corner to the store, she’s worried that her boyfriend is cheating on her.

"How dare you make me think I was getting cheated on!"

Really. THAT’S your big worry? Why not focus on the REAL problems like “what kind of nail polish should I wear?” or “what should I buy my parents for Christmas?” Geez, get some perspective!

Meanwhile, “Satan” gets arrested by the cops, but apparently, off screen, he kills them all, because this movie secretly wanted to be a Terminator sequel. And because this is a small island town, apparently that also means the entire town is now without a police force and complete anarchy will reign, as highlighted by this scene where “Satan” high-fives some idiot who calls him “Nigga.”

Hmm, let me check – yup, I do think my life span went down a few years just watching that short two-second scene. Thanks, movie! I didn't want to live that long anyway.

So “Satan” comes back and acts weird, prompting Jenna to think SOMETHING isn't quite right about her boyfriend who hasn't spoken a word or taken off his mask to prove it's actually him! Really?!?! Is that your brilliant fucking conclusion? You truly are the next Einstein. But it isn't until “Satan” kills their father that Dougie and Jenna truly see it isn't really her boyfriend and IS actually just some murdering psycho! Oh man – nothing gets past you guys.

"I just can't believe something bad happened after we didn't notice a guy in a mask who was obviously a killer, was killing people!"

Then “Satan” kidnaps the mother, ties her up with tape and forces her to go to this party, where of course nobody realizes she's being kidnapped and just assumes the guy in the Satan mask is her husband.

"WOAH! What good costumes! We're going to choose to ignore the fact that you look scared as shit and just assume it's logical that someone would choose to dress up as Chiquita Banana wrapped in cellophane as a Halloween costume! And that guy with you who we don't see his face and he never speaks a word, and has to hold you to keep you from trying to run? I'm sure that's not suspicious at all! Let's not even bother checking!"

Because like I said – Halloween is really just an excuse for psychopaths to get away with murder, and everyone in this world is so dumb they might as well just be a colony of lemmings, damned to extinction on their island which they were probably exiled to because of their stupidity – they're certainly not equipped to survive in the world anyway. I mean they didn't even notice when two people dropped on the floor dead from poisoned punch – which, by the way, is what the killer did in the movie's rolls of fat in the last 10 minutes.

"Woah! Such realistic Halloween death effects! Great costumes, guys! We'll just leave you on the floor to lie motionless like you're actually dead, because it's Halloween and we can't tell the difference!"

What's this killer's plan again? Either he's just the MacGyver of serial killers, or he's got the attention span of a speck of dust. “Muwahaha, time to kill random people and pose them like Halloween, wait, time to follow a little boy around and do whatever he, wait, now it's time to kill a bunch of people at a costume party I didn't know was happening until fifteen minutes ago! I'M NOT RANDOM AT ALL!”

The boyfriend and Jenna finally meet up again and kill who they think is the killer, but it's actually just the boyfriend's dad, which was a plot element explained while we were being lobotomized by the other scenes.

Then, apparently, the killer shows up again wearing a Jesus costume. I don't know why, but it does make something very clear to me that I wasn't sure about before: God really is dead.

He somehow kills the boyfriend, then does the old “disguise the boyfriend in the Jesus costume so they shoot and stab HIM instead of the real killer” trick, which doesn't make me at all want to kill myself. Oh wait yes it does. My bad.

The movie ends with the real killer coming back with this incredible disguise and presumably slaughtering the entire family, which is as close to a happy ending as we're liable to get.

I don't know whether to be angry that Dougie couldn't tell that was a mask and that it was the killer, baffled that the killer found a police officer costume so fast or relieved that the movie is over and these miserable, miserable characters died. So many complex emotions!

Of course, the only actual happy ending there could be to THIS film would be the director just appearing on screen and apologizing profusely for the whole thing, then erasing our memories of it via Men in Black thingamajiggies. But as is, this is pretty much the worst of humanity.

I mean it – this whole thing was about as funny for me as watching a concentration camp video. I just don't get it; what was supposed to be funny about this? The fact that it was doing traditional horror tropes badly on purpose? Well, congratulations – do you want a medal for that? It doesn't take effort to make a fucking shitty movie like this. It DOES take effort to put actual jokes or satire into your script that have a point and actually SAY something, which is the point of any satire – not just to be bad for the sake of being bad. Which this movie does not do.

It's just complete shit – they regurgitate a couple really old cliches, throw in the most unlikably stupid, asinine characters you've ever seen and beat the whole thing into your skull with a near two-hour runtime until you're too dumb to think about anything, and then wallah, the movie has succeeded! It's seriously beyond comprehension until you actually see it yourself. But don't subject yourself to this. Save your precious brain cells! This movie deserves to be burned in a garbage can.

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