"Curse of the Zodiac"
Suddenly, I feel much
like the falling bowl of petunias in "The Hitchhiker's Guide
to the Galaxy". I'm staring at the box for "Curse of
the Zodiac", and all I can think is:
"Oh no, not again."
And the reason I'm
feeling like a quasi-sentient bowl of petunias is because, once
again, I'm talking about yet another film from horror's very own
short bus, Ulli Lommel.
I confess, I had some
hope this time around. This is the story of the most notorious
serial killer in United States' history that hasn't been caught
yet! For all we know, the Zodiac Killer is living right next door
to any one of us, just waiting for his next psychological brain
fart to lead to all our deaths! Maybe, just maybe, the sheer suspense
of knowing that Zodiac may still be out there and reading this
right now might mean that even Ulli Lommel couldn't screw this
up too badly!
Maybe, just maybe,
the Broken Clock Theory of Life (that states that even a broken
clock is right twice a day) could save Ulli's poor pathetic sham
of a career before Lions Gate wised up and stopped distributing
this man's every steaming shitheap of a film!
Sadly, once again,
I am disappointed. Sorely. "Curse of the Zodiac", a
baffling and boring-as-all-hell adaptation of the life and times
of the nation's most terrifying serial killer still at large,
is standard Lommel fare, every inch.
First, Lommel, proving
conclusively his grasp of the English language is tenuous at best,
writes lines for a black pimp character early on in the movie.
Lines like "Triflin' ass". And "Deez nuts".
I'll remind those reading this that "Curse of the Zodiac"
is set in the sixties to seventies. Lines like "Triflin'
ass" and "Deez nuts" first made their appearances
in the mid to late NINETIES. Worse, if I had to hear the phrases
"Fat Fuck" and "Pretty Girl" repeated much
more often, I think I would have taken the DVD from the player
and tossed it at the nearest hard surface in hopes it would break,
rendering it unwatchable and sparing me a whole lot of misery.
Second, Lommel's alarming
tendency to frequently shoot the Zodiac either from behind or
in blurred frames is probably an attempt at irony as we don't
really know who he is. I just found it annoying after about the
first five minutes.
Third, once again,
Lommel's cinematic attention span is best compared to that of
ferrets, as we'll spend a lot of time watching a jerky camera
jump from plot point to plot point and murder to murder with little
or no actual point driving the whole mess.
Sometimes, I wonder
if Ulli's just cobbling together bits and pieces of random movies
he shot earlier to make one larger movie.
The ending proves that
I should have realized earlier on that the whole thing was a bad
idea. It's very, very hard to get resolution in a movie where
the killer remains at large for the rest of his life.
The special features
include Spanish subtitles, a still gallery, deleted scenes (as
though this wasn't long and dull enough already!), and trailers
for "The Perfect Marriage", "Black Dahlia",
"Drive Thru", "Shadow Walkers", and "Bug".
All in all, I can't
throw any more invective at this man's work. There's nothing that
can be said that hasn't already. His work is universally hideous.
Avoid it at all costs.
of the Zodiac
Directed by Ulli Lommel
Written by Ulli Lommel
Starring Cassandra Church, Jack Quinn, Jon E. Nimetz, Victoria
Produced by Ulli Lommel, Nola Roeper
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