WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Good God I love movies that fail as epically as this one did! Rarely does one find a movie that attempts to mash together as many genres as The Collapsed did, but in its attempt to be a horror-thriller-drama-sci-fi-mystery ultimate combo, it proved that it couldn’t pull even one of those elements off. I’m not a movie snob (as this site will well attest to), but I do believe that if you’re going to make an end of the world movie, you can only really go one of two ways: option one is to have a big budget so you can make it really convincing or, option two, you make it cheesy enough to distract the audience from the lack of budget. Here, The Collapsed does it wrong again: it wants to be a very serious end of the world movie, but with no budget for the necessary mayhem and destruction. Couple all of this with several attempts on behalf of the director to make the film look artsy and all you’re left with are 82 minutes of unrelenting pain and mind-numbing boredom.
So it’s the end of the world; how it’s the end of the world you’re never going to find out, but ‘the government’, ‘conspiracy’, ‘weapons we’ve never even heard of’ and ‘the horror’ are all phrases being thrown around by survivors of this invisible apocalypse. Our story follows dad Scott, mom Emily, and siblings Aaron and Rebecca as they attempt to find safety and supplies in amongst the few apartment fires and the occasional cannibal that are ravaging their generic movie city. Dad has the strangest accent I’ve ever heard come out of a human being (although I imagine it’s quite similar to how a Swedish person imitating a Canadian accent would sound), but despite this inherent flaw in his being he’s decided that the only way he’s gonna keep his family alive is to make a break for the wilderness. Because nothing bad ever happens when you run off into the woods in a horror movie.
Getting to the wilderness, however, is going to require that the family does a little road trip. This is set up in such a way that it’s as painful to watch as it would be to do an actual road trip with your own family. Thrown in for not-so-good measure is a half-baked plot point about Scott and Emily’s other son, who apparently has gone missing. He’ll be thrown into conversation every now and then, but since we never see him it doesn’t really matter. Along the way the family discovers an abandoned little shop and decide to stop in and pick up some supplies; this is when things start to go very badly for them. While they’re doing a little shopping and Mom’s taking a bath in a sink, a group of heavily armed men wearing gas masks arrive as well. Making a very slow and blundering escape, the group makes for the surrounding woods, hoping it will provide them with a little safety and respite.
Naturally, the woods offer no protection whatsoever. Our family is still pursued by various groups of crazies, supplies are running low, and there are strange sounds and voices coming from the trees. To judge by the musical score, they’re also being relentlessly pursued by a group of poorly trained trumpeters and cellists, but that’s a separate issue entirely. As members of the family are slowly picked off by the different forces out to get them, Swedish-Canadian Dad needs to think of the best way to keep what remains of his family alive until they can escape this wilderness and find the supposedly safer wilderness he has in mind. Of course, not all enemies out to get you are necessarily mortal with a corporeal form…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean we can’t have manners.
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean that feminine hygiene should be any less of a priority.
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean the risks of teenage smoking should be taken any less seriously.
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean that grave-digging techniques should suffer.
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate an old-fashioned rifle that doesn’t blow up in your hand.
- Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean that revenge still isn’t a dish best served cold.
THE COLLAPSED TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Movies like this are the reason you should always double-check IMDB. When I got my copy I checked IMDB and it had a rating somewhere in the vicinity of 7 so I got it thinking that I could watch it one night when I was in the mood for a real movie. About 15 minutes into it I started thinking to myself, “none of these characters are at all likeable”, and my b-movie senses started to tingle. I checked IMDB again and to my delight it now had a 3.9 rating. My guess is that the people involved in making it hopped on and gave it the original good rating. Shame on you! I’m no stranger to bad movies but it’s not nice to catch someone off guard; I didn’t at all have my game face on. So far as the movie’s concerned, should you find yourself about to watch it, imagine The Descent but with less likeable people and a few Nazis thrown in for good measure.
If we are to believe this movie then everyone in the world enjoys nothing more than getting bombed out of their skulls at a little rave. While this applies across the board the people who are most likely to enjoy a rave are soldiers returning from fighting the war in Iraq. At least this is true for Eric, Storm and Mira. Luckily this particular rave is being held at a mysteriously abandoned US military base so the three should feel a bit more at home and they’re accompanied by a few others whose names completely escape me. Names aren’t particularly important anyway; every character is just a distinctly overdone cliché. Eric’s the badass sergeant type who’ll never leave a man behind, Storm is Latino so he’s obviously a gangster and Mira is the tough girl who, despite all her bravado, needs a man to help her through everything she does.
While everyone’s getting jiggy with it on the dance floor some guy gropes the arse of one of Storm’s friend’s girlfriend. The friend is obviously upset and gets into a little tiff with the man that’s twice his height but, since Storm is Latino and therefore obviously a gangster, it suddenly gets taken to a whole other level. I accidentally blinked at this point and when I opened my eyes again people were lying sprawled on the floor, knives were on people’s throats and guns were being fired at random. The guns must’ve been the final straw because the next thing you know Eric and Co. are running for their lives and taking shelter behind a rather heavy-duty door. The opposing Latino gangsters have the attention span of a fridge magnet so they quickly leave but Eric decides that they need to find another way out rather than facing what’s on the other side of the door. Poor guy, you’re in a horror movie! It’s what’s on your side of the door that you need to worry about.
Before this point you know that there are bimbos in this group but now you learn that they’re the constantly whining variety, which becomes very irritating very quickly. Unfortunately for them (but luckily for us) there are some demented creatures running around in this mysteriously abandoned military base that might just do away with them soon. You see, back in the day when World War II was coming to an end, the Nazis had a doctor especially trained in horrifying genetic experiments. Not seeing why the fall of Nazi Germany should bring an end to his work the American government brought him over to see what he could cook up for them. By using a few kidnapped women, lots of piping, a gas mask and by combining the DNA of humans, a crocodile and a few other select beasties he managed to create a species of hominids that think like soldiers, have the teeth of crocodiles, are afraid of nothing, are amphibious and remarkably good climbers. Eric and Co. will have to fight their way through the dark labyrinth of the base if they ever want to see daylight again while fending off fear and monsters with a taste for flesh.
Since everyone in the movie is irritating as hell I was personally rooting for the monsters, but you can watch for yourself and decide who you want to win.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- At the slightest sign of any trouble the US military will just abandon its bases and leave all their weapons behind.
- Despite being 3 stories underground a military base can still have windows that let in plenty natural lighting.
- US military bases are relatively uniform and dead easy to escape from.
- Women think it’s a much better idea to run off alone into the darkness than stay in a group for protection.
- There’s a huge market for well-trained but unemployed mad scientists with a Nazi background.
- You can ram any amount of tubing into a pregnant woman’s belly without there ever being a risk to the baby.
Year of Release: 2010
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror
IMDB Rating: 3.8 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
It doesn’t get much cheesier than a SyFy creature-feature produced by Roger Corman, which is exactly why I was drawn to this one 🙂 Admittedly it is more of a sci-fi movie than a horror one, but when you have the opportunity to watch a half-shark, half-octopus creature swimming around and eating its way through Mexicans you really can’t pass up an opportunity like that. This is a perfect example of a b-movie because it’s not the acting (Julia Roberts must be so proud of her brother for being in this) that makes it bad but rather the complete absurdity of the monster the characters are faced with and the microscopic budget the effects must have been made on. I enjoyed a good few giggles staring at the screen while this played while constantly muttering ‘no, no way’ to myself.
The military’s up to its old tricks again: not content with nuclear weapons, missiles or allowing Justin Bieber to go platinum they’ve decided that they need something better, something that can take out pirates (aargh matie!). So what better plan than to genetically combine a shark and an octopus? It can have the shark’s teeth and ferociousness with the octopus’ tentacles and intelligence. Of course if you’re working in a corporation like Blue Water and need to prove that the billions of dollars used to fund this little f**k you to nature was worthwhile you need to take the creature, codename S11, for a test run. And what better way to test a creature with an antenna lightly strapped onto its head that allows you to control its movements (the only thing, in fact, that stops it from escaping) than making it chase after a small boat with rapidly spinning propeller blades? As is usually the case when idiots are testing mutant man-eaters the propeller blades cut through the strap and dislodge the antenna, making it impossible to control S11, who now gladly swims away while the people back at mission control sit and vaguely ponder what should be done next.
Now you obviously can’t just let the escaped sharktopus run around the ocean on its own little mission down along the Mexican coastline so Blue Water needs to find someone with a knowledge of the waters to help them bring it back to the lab. Enter Andy Flynn, a one-time disgruntled employee of Blue Water until he asked Nathan Sands, the boss, for a raise. Thinking that asking for a pay increase is an insult Nathan fired Andy, who has been living happily in Mexico drinking tequila and swimming in the pool. Joining him and his $300 000 pay cheque on this little mission are Nicole, Nathan’s daughter, and his best friend Santos. The plan: to dive underwater, tranquilise the sharktopus, bring it to the surface and launch darts into its head that will allow Nicole to interface with its brain again and command it to stop eating everyone.
There are several problems with this search and recovery mission, however. For a start this thing is really fast and can quickly grab a snack in the shallows by throwing its tentacles onto the beach to grab someone. If that doesn’t prove to be effective the sharktopus can also walk on land (water? fish? anyone?) and chase after people that way. Its skin appears to act like a forcefield and repels bullets or anything else you shoot at it and, perhaps the saddest of all, nobody in Mexico takes you seriously when you tell them a half-shark, half-octopus is coming their way to eat them, so civilian casualties are rather high. Add to this the fact that Nicole’s daddy went behind her back and altered the sharktopus’ brain to make it a killer rather than just a hunter (meaning that it kills at random rather than just for food) and you’ve got an enormous list of odds stacked against you. It’s now up to Andy, armed with a machine gun and against ever wearing a shirt, and Nicole, sweet and brilliant, to save the day and take down the sharktopus before more people get eaten and before daddy gets really mad.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- There really are fish in the ocean.
- Sharktopodes speak whale.
- Sharktopodes shoot ink despite having no squid in them.
- Mexican women don’t own clothes, just bikinis.
- A woman’s breasts will not get up and dance.
- The military does not need to get any form of permission from government to fund really weird genetic experiments.
- Chum should be used as a last resort when hunting a giant man-eating sea creature; try diving after it first.
- You should shoot giant man-eating sea creatures after they’ve eaten your friend, not as an attempt to save him.