Monday, July 6, 2015

Karma Kameldoon

Is Patrick Muldoon the worst actor alive to actively get work? I say this as someone who was TOTALLY Team Austin & Carrie back in the ‘90s heyday of Days of Our Lives, but with age comes wisdom comes the realization that, well, this guy kind of sucks.

Naturally, that means his presence in a sleazy low budget thriller streaming on Amazon Prime is a must-watch.

Quick Plot: In one of the best credit sequences of all time, a catchy modern pop song plays while we get a fog-hued montage of Patrick Muldoon and Patsy Kensit tearing through 19th century London as Jack the Ripper and his bloodthirsty girlfriend. It’s cheesier than my dream plate of nachos and I’m instantly in love.

Cut to the present, where Dr. Trey Campbell (Muldoon in smart people’s glasses) works at a mental asylum on the Rhode Island coast. He’s so dedicated to his work that his annoying daughter Theresa and even more annoying wife Carly (Cry-Baby’s Amy Locane, who went on to have some of her own very bad karma via a vehicular manslaughter prison sentence) complain that he never has time for them. New England island vacation it is!

Before we can hop on a ferry, we first meet schizophrenic patient Maureen Hatcher, a beautiful murderer currently under heavy restraints in Trey’s hospital. Maureen believes that she’s really Agnes, the reincarnated gal pal of Jack the Ripper, and that Dr. Trey is the current embodiment of the famed killer. It’s a complicated doctor/patient relationship.

As Trey leaves to vacation with his horrid family, Maureen flirts with his substitute doctor. Like a true gentleman, he rebuffs her advances in the name of professionalism only to then pull a Kill Bill and attempt to rape her under sedation. 

It doesn’t end well.

Maureen escapes the world’s worst guarded mental hospital with ease, taking out a few more employees and stockpiling random body parts along the way. She makes a quick stop at a lesbian bar to pick up a similarly sized blond with an even worse southern accent than herself to murder and stage the body in a car accident. The world’s best car accident ever.

One of the signs of a great movie--I mean a REALLY GREAT MOVIE--is spontaneous combustion.

Like a gorilla drinking a martini, it just makes everything better.

Don't lie: Seeing this just improved your day tenfold

In the case of Bad Karma, we get our dose of Best Movie Ever when Maureen props her victim in the vehicle, puts it into drive, and watches it coast over a cliff, blowing up before it hits the water. I may have almost failed high school physics, but I’m fairly certain that this is not possible in modern engineering.

From there, Bad Karma slowly goes downhill. Sure, we do eventually get Patrick Muldoon attempting a British accent, and there’s a lot of inefficient police work and severed hands to keep the cheese cold. We get some token sleaze as Maureen hitchhikes with a dad who puts the moves on her despite his kids being the backseat, but the overall energy just doesn’t quite stay where the dairy queen in me wants it to be.

It’s a hard feat.

High Points
If a spontaneously combusting compact doesn’t get you going, check your pulse

Low Points
Needs more cheddar

Fun Fact
Bad Karma was produced by Mark L. Lester, the demigod responsible for Class of 1984 and far more importantly, Class of 1999. Note that it's never the wrong time to discuss Class of 1999

Lessons Learned
Rhode Island mental hospitals for the criminally insane can also be used as public school classrooms

A gunshot to the shoulder is not nearly as fatal as you think it is, despite your medical school education

Extremely violent mental patients are allowed daily eyebrow plucking sessions

No woman can resist the charms of Patrick Muldoon

Look, there’s nothing GOOD about Bad Karma, especially when you realize director John Hough is the same man responsible for The Watcher In the Woods. But hey, those in the mood for a mildly sleazy thriller with high doses of Patrick Muldoon in a top hat won’t find anything better.

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