Monday, February 21, 2011

A Star Is Unborn

*Note: I had every thrilling intention of littering this review with screenshots, but sadly, my computer seemed allergic to the DVD. That’s probably a good thing. In place, I’ve decided to have a few of my Puppet Master and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves action figures, promotional toys from baseball games, creepy nun dolls found at thrift stores, Russian matryoshkas, and cats reenact some of the film’s key scenes. *

No month of the Vertically Challenged Villains! would be complete without the presence of at least ONE angry spirit of an aborted fetus. In full disclosure, I actually planned to screen two but even I--who as you’ll see, can handle a whole lot of bad cinema--couldn’t get through the dull grossness that was Hanger. Instead, we’ll cut the budget to about a buck fifty for today’s very special, very bad, and weirdly lovable feature, 
Quick Plot: An afterschool counselor or teacher or something (don’t worry) brings over two lovely little girls to her boyfriend’s house for him to babysit while she runs errands. How else does a total stranger entertain new kids? Why, with a ghost story of course!

Now here’s the thing: The framing device of Unborn Sins is actually promising. The two child actresses are perfectly natural and charming, and the very idea of an irresponsible babysitter filling their little heads with awful tales of abortion and vengeance is neatly twisted.
Don’t get your hopes up.
So the real ‘story’ of Unborn Sins follows Theresa, a pretty young woman on her way to a sad, eh, whatever abortion. 45 minutes later, she’s done, mildly depressed (though I hesitate to call her such as the actress only displays one emotion for the entire film, so she may actually be constipated or cranky, who knows?). More importantly, the guy who drove her to the clinic (who may or may not have been the baby daddy, I don’t remember/didn’t pay attention) is about to begin the least sexy love scene in cinema history with the most unenthusiastic booty call of all time when the gods of eyesight step in to spare us from their nudity.

I’ve never been happier to see a short man with a painted white face carrying Halloween store knives.
So this creature, later dubbed Bowlegg, turns out to be the angry spirit of Theresa’s aborted fetus. We know this because someone, at some point, for some reason, narrates the mythology of how such creatures are born and live for 24 hours to get vengeance on any person involved in the procedure.
So why does the film seem to span what feels like years?
Wally Backman before and after watching Unborn Sins

Anyway, Bowleggs hunts a doctor, nurse, and other people that I guess had something to do with Theresa’s decision. It's mildly tense.

I wish I could say this with confidence, but there are three things that forbids this:
1-The audio, which varies from zero to eleven throughout the film and is never easy to understand (and of course, not aided by the absence of subtitles)
2-The video quality, which makes me suspect the lens came with some little strip of plastic protection that the cameraman never thought to remove

3-The fact that it’s really hard to stay focused on such a bad movie.
Now don’t get me wrong: I kind of enjoyed Unborn Sins in a way akin to Black Devil Doll From Hell. It’s an atrocious movie, made by amateurs who didn’t even think a framing narrative needed to return to know, frame the narrative. It’s shot by a person I assume is slowly going to a Bjork in Dancer In the Dark style blindness.  Acted in an impressive variety of awful styles of acting (they range from trying reallllly hard to stumbling over every line). In other words, it’s awful. Feeders awful. Feeders 2: Slay Bells awful. 
Except for the fact that for some reason, the Feeders series made me want to poke my eyes out and eat them with barbeque sauce while Unborn Sins simply kept me in giggles. 

A few reasons why:

-There’s a 3 minute dancing sequence by a chubby dude. Alone. For no reason other than...I don’t know, maybe, in the way a lot of ‘80s horror films HAD to incorporate zombies, modern urban horror REQUIRES solo dance sequences, even if it's by a man with considerable girth?

-In what may be the best director cameo of all time, writer/director Elliot Eddie inserts a scene in which a newswoman announces the success of ‘superstar director and producer Elliot Eddie.’ Good on him.
-Chubby Solo Dance Guy’s death note:
Player Player
What a Slut
(f)Or Being An ass
You got to get cut
(Note: I didn’t see the ‘f’--probably because it wasn’t in frame--and was very confused trying to figure out how the word ‘or’ fit in. It makes SO MUCH MORE sense now)
-During Chubby Solo Dance Guy’s big scene, he picks up two plastic guns to hunt Bowleggs. This goes on for about a minute (less than the amount of time for his solo dance) and then he gets bored, goes to the fridge to grab a bottle of water, and gets killed

-The time cards that appear throughout the film gradually start to do more work, filling in plot holes and reading much like script notes
I don’t know what else to say. The high point? Perhaps the fact that a scene involving a mirror did NOT show any cameras? Or the fact that a character describes the villain as “the spirit of my child turned into a midget freak with homicidal tendencies?” The entire film is a low point, know, a low point in which the main villain is a midget freak with homicidal tendencies. So there’s that.
Lessons Learned
Abortion is a very touchy subject (this is directed primarily towards the doctors that perform them, in case they forgot)

Always get two purses in the same design (make one beige) so you can sneak out the window when scared of midgets

Stone, it ain’t your fault. It ain’t your fault Stone. I know that because your friend has just repeated this line more than Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting

So. How do I say this without incurring the wrath of the viewers who actually rent this, only to despise me later for daring to recommend it? Unborn Sins is a terrible movie. Deadly Little Christmas terrible. Santa Claws terrible. Made by those guys that sniffed a lot of White-Out in fifth grade terrible. And yet...and yet...I found it hilarious. Especially as it gets progressively worse with each reel. At the end of the day, I don’t know who lived, who died, where the midget with homicidal tendencies evaporated to, or what the heck it meant. But...I had fun.
Sometimes I’m convinced that I really am a bad person.


  1. So if I read this correctly, a chubby guy solo dance scene can redeem even the most horrible of movies?

    I need to get my audition video up on youtube and wait for the offers to roll in! ;)

    Also, I want to see the Deadly Doll's House Players reenact more horror classics in the near future. It could be a feature--bobbleheads do THE EXORCIST, or the Polly Pocket version of THE SINFUL DWARF!

    Think about it, Emily: IT'S TOO GOOD NOT TO DO!!! ;)

  2. Something so terrible with so little going for it can only be awesome...

  3. I think the Deadly Doll's House Players will be getting a lot more work in the coming weeks. And this core is such a TINY representation of the full enchilada--notice how there were no Star Wars actors? Believe me, that expands the troupe IMMENSELY, not to mention the Tales From the Crypt cartoon gang, Spice Girl Barbies, a 12" Benjamin Franklin doll, enough Smurfs to storm the Bastille...

    yes. A regular feature hath been born!

    And BHorror, as you can guess, you are so totally, totally right.

  4. Think i'll pass on this flick, but Mookie and company would sweep the oscars if there was any justice in the world. Bravura performances.

  5. I like to think they gave at least double the energy of Mark Walberg in The Fighter, if nothing else!