Every now and then, you find yourself watching a film, thinking, "What a load of expensive horse manure." Total rubbish, embarrassing for all concerned. I mean, a person normally has much lower expectations when a film is less expensively-produced. (This might explain the appeal of some independent films, I suppose.)
But when a film's budget surpasses the GDP of many nations, you would think that something of value might emerge. When big name directors and A-list actors join in, you tend to think you will sit down to something worth your time and money.
Oh how innocent I can be sometimes.
With great reluctance, I now turn to Exhibit A. "Splice" stars Adrien (the Shonze) Brody and Sarah Polley, directed by Vincenzo Natali. In 2009, It was nominated at Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival in two categories, best director and best special effects. (Stunning information that.)
Personally, I can't remember when I have seen such an idiotic film as "Splice." I could spend the rest of the week trying to point out ALL the dumbness of the film, the illogic of the plot and the crummy dialogue, but I won't bother. Well, okay, here's a little.
Basically, it is a rehash of the Frankenstein motif- which, as a plot line, has probably come to end of its natural life- even in our own unimaginative, sequel, prequel and remake culture. Man builds human-thingy. Makes God a tad peeved. God takes revenge by making human-thingy naughty. It's become like a corny joke your Uncle revels in telling every Christmas. A long joke with a lot of description. The film uses the "hot" topic of tinkering with DNA and trans-genetic mumbo-jumbo in a poor attempt to revive this dead creature.
Two rebel (according to the studio's synopsis, anyway) scientists break the lab rules and, when Mom's out shopping, decide to cook up a "special" recipe, using a dash of this and a pinch of that. They plunk it in the food processor, baste it with some human chromosomes (a little bit of me, a little bit of you), spurt it into a artificial uterus and wait. Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven- except in this case. They don't have to wait as long as a real baby ( thankfully) before they see the error of their arrogant ways. Believe it or not, there is even the Jackass-type cow fertilization scene when Rebel Scientist A tries to pull thingy out of the phony uterus, while Rebel Scientist B runs about, flapping her arms and screaming. (My eyes rolled so many times, I was afraid they might stick in the roof my eye holes and I would have to be led home with a trained dog.)
Anyway, it is eventually yanked out- pardon, born- and proceeds to scurry about the lab in a scene stolen directly from Aliens. Think very undercooked chicken fricassee on steroids. Scary.. no. Ugly, yes rather. Well, actually it looks like a baby ostrich with a very heavy head.. but.. no, those eyes are human. Hands where the feet should be and.. its legs fold backward sort of.( One look at her/ it prancing around the room and the arches in my feet began to cramp.) Oh, yeah, she/ It has a long tail with a scorpion stinger, tends to lift up the back of her skirt from time to time like a bad practical joke. Basically, as far as creatures go, it's a mess. Over time, it/ she does start to bear an unnerving resemblance to Sinead O'Conner. The scariest part for some people, I guess.
Like most freak shows, the effect, while startling and disturbing initially, fades rather quickly and we are left to ask practical questions, like: how would you build furniture for it? Does it poo? Or, does it taste like chicken or beef? What would its chances of survival be in, say, China?
This film was so bad that people in the cinema were moaning in disgust and then giggling at the collective reaction. In case you are suddenly overwhelmed by masochistic tendencies and find yourself watching this film, I will not spoil that particular scene. To say that this is where the film "jumped the shark" would be giving the makers a LOT more credit than they deserve. The shark jumping apparently occurred in some studio board room about a year or two before production began.