Monday, February 25, 2013

Saturday the 14th

From the writer of the Care Bears cartoon comes Saturday the 14th! Get your Scorecard ready, because, if the trailer is to be believed, it gets bad on Friday the 13th, but it gets worse on Saturday the 14th!
  • Setting the tone of the film with a cartoon intro featuring a coughing wolf, a bat wearing 80’s sunglasses, and poorly-edited rain effects. = -11pts (This is going to be a bumpy ride). 
  • One of Jeffrey Tambor’s first roles in a feature film and it’s as a jive-ass Dracula. = +5pts 
  • Not being able to tell if Jeffrey Tambor’s comment about having children as often as possible was in reference to how often he plows his dominatrix wife, how often he drinks underage blood, or how often he… euggh… = -13pts (eughh…) 
  • Knocking out an old lady by giving her the raspberry. = +2pts 
  • “Now we won’t have to be afraid to let the children go out and play!” has never before been said with such heartfelt sincerity by someone who just inherited a cursed Draculahouse. = +3pts 
  • Hold on, the executor just straight up died! Why isn’t anyone helping him? Lady, stop worrying about how you just inherited Draculahouse and call an ambulance! = -14pts 
  • Why is the realtor showing a house that has not only just been inherited, but has the new owners’ MOVING VAN IN THE DRIVEWAY!? -11pts 
  • Vampires inexplicably walking around in the daytime? This shit’s bananas. = -12pts 
  • That girl is one of the daughters from Gimme a Break! Where’s Nell Carter? = -6pts 
  • Turning on candles with a light switch. =-2pts 
  • Did the mom just ask her kid if he was hiding inside a big dog again? = +2pts 
  • Not appreciating a TV that only shows The Twilight Zone. = -6pts 
  • We aren’t sure what’s weirder: the mom finding, dusting, and generally not giving a shit about the human skull in her kitchen cabinet or the dad finding a note from his dead uncle in the refrigerator. = +7pts 
  • Calling the book of evil “The Book of Evil.” = +3pts 
  • Are we supposed to not notice that the dad just took a bite out of a sandwich from an old refrigerator? = -4pts 
  • The 50’s movie monster costumes, including what appears to be some sort of werewolf sasquatch. = In the 80’s, -10pts. Today, +10pts for the genuine charm. Final score= +0pts (a wash). 
  • What the hell kind of real estate agent harasses people in the middle of the night? The kind that deserves to be mutilated by a weresquatch. = +3pts 
  • Mom and Dad hear the horrified screams of a woman outside; Dad blames it on owls and Mom backs him up after seeing a bat flapping outside of the window. = -19pts 
  • How does Dad not smell the alien gorilla monster standing directly behind him? Oh, that’s right, because owls. = -6pts 
  • Sweet claymation sequence of flowers dying at the sight of the weresquatch. = +4pts 
  • Not even the 80’s can explain why the teenage daughter is wearing a canary-colored dress shirt with red hot pants. = -5pts 
  • Why did Paul Blart: Mall Cop just run through their front yard? Oh, because he forgot his badge. What a shithead; he can’t die fast enough. = -4pts 
  • The shots of the bra-less teenage daughter getting undressed, focusing more on her sparkling white panties and less on the sideboob. = -5pts, until IMDB reassured us that the actress was an adult. Now, = +8pts 
  • Subverting the Jaws parody with a Creature of the Black Lagoon spoof. = +4pts 
  • The trumpet accompaniment to Billy running up the steps made it seem like he was ascending a staircase fashioned from clown horns. = +11pts 
  • Fish man not reacting to Debbie’s buffalo shot when, after tripping over the carpet, she scrambles away wearing only a tiny towel. = +7pts for including a gay fish man without making a real show of it. 
  • After shrugging off repeated gunshot wounds (including a headshot), gay fish man murders Paul Blart: Mall Cop and drags his corpse away. = -7pts for embracing negative stereotypes of gay fish men in cinema. 
  • Billy doesn’t sneak a peek at his sister after almost drowning her in the bubble bath. =+13 classy pts 
  • Playing ominous synthesizer music at the mention of the movie’s title. = +1pt 
  • Man alive, Dad just put goddamn peanut butter on a Shag-and-Scoob lunch meat sandwich. = -8pts 
  • Realistic portrayal of a cat being a fucknugget. = +4pts 
  • If Mom was bitten by fake Dracula, why is she getting savaged by bats AND CALLING THEM OWLS? = -9pts 
  • A beardy German exterminator in a three-piece suit named Van Helsing reveals that Draculahouse resides on Elm Street. = +0pts in 1981, but after 1984 = +75pts 
  • Dad says that ten-year old Billy is the smart one in the family. Billy responds by saying how he throws away his books when he’s done reading them. = -11pts 
  • Van Helsing’s appearance causing Mom to go into a fifteen-second screaming fit (trust us, we counted). = +7pts 
  • Monsters can do the dishes, clean your room, and put a severed head in your fridge, but they can’t spell “dead.” = -3pts 
  • We get it, Debbie. Everything is creepy. Now go get a job. = -5pts 
  • Risking legal action for unlicensed usage of Froot Loops, Wonderbread, Mickey Mouse, and the likenesses of Laurel and Hardy. = +3pts 
  • Implying that, for opening the Book of Evil, Billy’s soul is damned eternally. = +7pts 
  • “Selling the house now would be like closing the barn door after the horses have eaten your children.” Everything that Van Helsing says is pure fucking gold. = +18pts 
  • Three words: pink pajama cameltoe. = -14pts 
  • Plot twist: weresquatch is the housekeeper! Up yours, Nell Carter! = +5pts 
  • How does Debbie not smell the gay fish man as they fumble around in the foggy bathroom? Don’t answer that. = -9pts 
  • Implying that Jeffrey Tambor is actually Dracula, only to have him frightened off by a beaker of smoking Kool-Aid in the scene that immediately follows. = -6pts 
  • Van Helsing eating a bowl of Count Chocula and shouting about old Barbara Streisand records. Seriously, why isn’t the movie all about him? = +7pts 
  • Dad’s joke about not being able to “stand the sight of” coffee with eyeballs floating in it. = -9pts 
  • Whose liquor store delivers Doritos, club soda, and Streisand records? = -3pts for setting unrealistic expectations. 
  • The director includes a scene of the mom buying a Venus flytrap earlier in the film in order to set up a Little Shop of Horrors joke in the last act, but he doesn’t explain why Jeffrey Tambor can walk around in the sunlight? = -21pts 
  • Van Helsing’s knocking over of a vase while trying to light a match didn’t seem to be intentionally included the film. + 6pts 
  • Of all of the times for Debbie not to call something creepy, it’s when creepy-ass Cousin Phil shows up. = -3pts 
  • Old lady from the start of the movie getting eaten by a monster in a fur coat. = +4pts 
  • Van Helsing’s muttering to himself and generally being the best/worst bartender. = +2pts 
  • The “who’s that guy?” joke about the kid from the liquor store manages to stay funny after the third time. = +2pts 
  • Van Helsing suggesting that the first person who finds the missing Billy gets to keep him and then looking genuinely dismayed when Mom tells him no. = +6pts 
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop’s wife nagging her husband’s severed head to save her from the weresquatch. It doesn’t. = +3pts 
  • Real-estate agent re-appearing as a vampire or a ghost or something. = +1pt for her Don King hair. 
  • The buck-toothed gorilla’s “O” face as it strangles a houseguest. = +3pts 
  • What the!? Van Helsing is the bad guy and Dracula is the good guy? Jeffrey Tambor admitted to doing unsavory things to children at the start of the movie! We call shenanigans. = -38pts 
  • Van Helsing’s final showdown against Jeffrey Tambor and wife consists of them making silly faces and noises at one another, including Van Helsing laughing like Renfield when the 667 he painted on the wall goes up in smoke. Meanwhile Billy floats in the air while wearing a cape. = +24pts 
  • Oh, snap! Gay fish man just broke through the window and accidentally got to second base with Debbie! And he’s never seen again. =+3pts 
  • Van Helsing disintegrates after touching the book and now Dracula’s wearing a white bowtie. As stated previously, this shit’s bananas. = -10pts 
  • Dad ruining the liquor store kid joke by explaining it. = -1pt 
  • Did the movie just end with the family cheerily mugging from the doorway of the neighbor’s house? But why did Dracula want the book – just to beat Van Helsing? To rule the world? Is the mom forever cursed with vampirism? What happened to Cousin Phil? Was this even a movie for kids? Fuck it, roll credits. = -99pts 
  • Composing an ending theme longer than the credits, and then letting it play over half a minute of black screen instead of either making the credits longer or cutting the music short. -7pts
Total Score: -123pts
Available on: Netflix Streaming, your childhood in an alternate dimension

Saturday the 14th has no idea what it wants to be. The humor is derived equally from intentional gags and unintentional awfulness, with dialog that swings from clever to groan-inducing without warning. Some parts are too silly for older children and others are too gruesome for little kids. This confusingly silly spoof tries hard enough to move it beyond the Wayans Brothers’ league, but fails to achieve cult status thanks to its own asphyxiating ineptitude. It makes for pretty tragic viewing, but, hey, at least it’s an amusing failure! It’s enjoyable for (mostly) all of the wrong reasons and can really only be properly appreciated with a Scorecard in hand.

Score Technician: TJ Geise

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