Thursday, March 19, 2009

Webs (USA, 2003)

Webs, a television flick in North America, was released over here in Europe as a DVD release, and its nifty cover art, absolutely inane plot description, and the fact that it features a total has-been in the lead role (ever hear of a guy named "Richard Grieco"?) really gives one hope that the flick would be fun funny, trashy and possibly even sleazy ride. Talk about deceptive packaging! Damn, one would think that David Wu, the man who edited such Hong Kong classics as A Chinese Ghost Story (1987/trailer), The Bride with White Hair (1993) and Once a Thief (1991/trailer) would at least have a slight idea on how to direct a mildly interesting or visually exciting film—but: Nope! He is a much better editor than director.
Webs is one dull excursion into third-rate filmmaking, as badly scripted as it is directed, as badly directed as it is edited, as badly edited as it is acted. To give credit where it is due, at least a lot of black goo splatters every time some spider-dude gets impaled or shot or slashed, and the computer generated spider queen looks pretty nifty, but everything else—including the laughable fake buckteeth the spider-dudes wear—are an embarrassment to bad filmmaking. Who greenlights this crap?
OK, that the concept of the film got the go is understandable; what is not understandable, however, is how a script so full of illogical holes ever got accepted. One queen spider—that our hero manages to kill near the end—is responsible for the end of the alternative-universe world, a world in which (theoretically) any number of countries could've dropped an atom bomb to ensure the total destruction of a non-flying spider? Spider-dudes with a super-sense of smell and vibrations that continually walk past hiding good guys? Unfathomable adoration of an elderly scientist that is actually responsible for bringing the queen spider into the world? A common electrician that figures out how to (temporarily) repair machinery from notes that read like "Stephan Hawkins and stuff"? We’re talking true cinematic and dramatic incompetence here—but regrettably, the project displays just enough professional competence to prevent it from becoming bad enough to be good and, since it's a TV film, there ain’t no T&A either. Barf in a big fucking way!!!
The plot? OK, I’ll tell everything, so you really have no reason to watch it.
An unrealistic team of four electricians—Why unrealistic? They're in Chicago and only one of them is Afro-American—is going through an abandoned house being prepared for demolition (a scene that gives Grieco some truly inane philosophical meandering about the passage of time) and stumble upon a secret room that just happens to contain an atom-powered inter-dimensional doorway. Whoops! Into the beam they do go and before they can say "Beam me up, Scotty" they are transported to the magic Land of Oz where Dorothy is waiting for them, naked, clean shaven and with silicon mega-garbanzos, arms open wide and ready for a gang bang...
Uh, wait a minute, that's the plot that should've been. Instead, in the plot that is, the alternative universe is actually just a mirror image of the same 5 or 6 locations in Chicago. The world has been conquered by spider queen that came over with the guy who first built the portal; she eats females as food and enslaves the men by changing them into spider-dudes, while the few human survivors left play hide and seek until they get eaten or made into spider-drones themselves. Run, Grieco, run! Run, other characters, run! This way! That way! Back this way! And back that way! Die, secondary character, die! Die, everybody, die! Everybody, that is, but the girl and Grieco, who manage to re-enter the dimension portal after Grieco kills the spider queen and there is no longer any real reason to leave—not that it takes them back to the safety of our Chicago. No, in an ending reminiscent of the much more fun and entertaining (and bigger budgeted) Deep Rising (1998), one knows that they are going to die—like they fucking should.
Images used are borrowed from Agressions Animales and Grusel Seite.

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