Monday, May 31, 2010

Worst of the Worst: #51, Fascination

For comedy sake, I can't do better than the promotional synopsis on Rotten Tomatoes:

A thriller riddled with paranoia and distrust, Klaus Menzel's FASCINATION is an
acute study of a man stretched to breaking point by an egregious set of
circumstances. Scott Doherty (Adam Garcia) is both stricken and confused when
his mother, Maureen (Jacqueline Bisset), announces the tragic death of his
father, who drowned during a curious boating mishap while the couple was on
vacation. The incident seems highly irregular to Scott due to his father's
considerable athletic prowess. But Scott's eyebrows are raised even further when
his mother returns from the trip with a new beau on her arm in the shape of the
dashing Oliver Vance (Stuart Wilson). As the newly entwined couple make
astonishingly speedy wedding plans, Scott looks on in horror, although this is
tempered somewhat by the eye-catching presence of Oliver's shapely daughter,
Kelly (Alice Evans). Equally suspicious of the impending nuptials, Kelly joins
Scott in an investigation into the foggy circumstances surrounding his father's
demise. While acting on the supposition that Scott's deceased parent may have
been murdered to allow his mother's new relationship to flourish, Kelly falls
for Scott, and they embark on a passionate relationship together. But as Scott
digs deeper, suspicions plague him, and his waning trust in Kelly disintegrates
into a deep suspicion of who she is and what she wants from him. Stylistically
tilting towards the dusky shadows of classic film noir, FASCINATION plays an
exquisite guessing game with its viewers, who should take nothing for granted in
this inventive and stimulating movie.

As described in the clumsily-worded plot summary, the main character falls for the daughter of the man who marries his mother. He falls in love with his sister. If you think I'm being too simple about it, the very last image in the movie is of a CD of a song, written by the main character, called something like "Fascination: The True Story of a Love Between a Brother And Sister".

No, I had never heard of this movie before I watched it. There are plenty of movies that I never heard of before I watched them that turned into some of my favorites. Battle Royale is one that comes to mind. The mere fact that something is unknown does not preclude it from being epic. Sure enough, Fascination, a movie nobody has ever heard of, is the dark horse candidate for the worst movie ever made. The. Worst. Movie. Ever. Made.

In its summary of reviews, Rotten Tomatoes itself says that this film is the epitome of a so-bad-it's-good movie. There were parts where I laughed. There were parts that I had fun yelling at the screen. At one point, the lead female throws something that shatters a lamp and cuts up the lead male's arm. There is blood running down his arm. They immediately start having sex. During the sex scene, you can see the blood running down his arm. I yelled, out loud, at the screen, "Don't you want to bandage that? Isn't it going to get infected?" It gets even worse at the end of the movie when the two characters are in a car accident that is caused by no particular reason. They crawl out, injured and bloody. They immediately start having sex. It's supposed to be an erotic thriller, but Cinemax laughs at this movie.

From top to bottom, this may be the worst-acted movie I've ever seen. The great Coven (as seen in American Movie) was better-acted. Three of the characters have British accents and the fourth is American. He, the American one, is actually from Australia. He does a pretty good job of hiding the accent, but has major problems with the word "secretary." The lead female is from Britain, but tries to work a little South African into her accent. The accent ends up being so funny that I, out loud, did an impersonation of each of her lines by the end of the movie. It gets worse from there, as the supporting actors are so bad that you expect them to look at the camera after delivering lines.

So the plot is ridiculous and the acting is historically bad. What else? This movie may have the worst soundtrack of any film I've ever seen. I watched it on Hulu and someone had commented that they turned the movie off after one minute because the opening song is so unlistenable. It's true. Imagine Savage Garden mixed with Sanjaya mixed with an iPod made out of monkey feces. Now imagine that sounding five hundred times worse. So bad, in fact, that I can't even find the music on YouTube for a link. If something is too bad to make it onto YouTube, we're into conspiracy-for-the-betterment-of-mankind territory.

I am confident that Battlefield Earth is the worst movie ever. Everybody's heard of that one. Some of the awfulness that goes into Travolta's pessimus opus comes from the fact that one would expect better work from something that was so hyped and involves so many big names. There are still surprises in this world, though. You haven't heard of Fascination? Forget I even wrote this and be happy about it.

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