Archive for June 23, 2019

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack. And you may find yourself in another part of the world. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife.

Or, you may find yourself browsing through the recent horror offerings on Amazon Prime and giving Texas-based writer/director Joseph Mazzaferro’s Dybbuk Box : True Story Of Chris Chambers a go simply because any movie that’s so sloppy as to omit an obvious “The” from its title is bound to at least be an interesting mess — and then, and only then, will you ask yourself “Well — how did I get here”?

That’s because this movie, in truth, isn’t interesting, occasional fuck-ups aside, such as our protagonist, Chris Chambers (played by — shit, you already know. The film’s only other “character,” Sarah Bently, “stars” as herself, as well) bitching about how no one on the “dark web,” where he purchases the purportedly “cursed” box in question, takes anything other than BitCoin before scoring it for $12,000 in cash. Those kind of brain farts are few and far between, though, and not enough to keep your attention between the lame dialogue, risible acting, shoestring production values (usually not something with criticize a film for around these parts), dull-as-dry-toast setting (get used to Chris’ apartment — it’s all you see), and stupid story.

Speaking of which — dude doesn’t believe the stuff he’s heard and read about Dybbuk boxes, buys one, records everything that happens after he gets it (and plenty before), his life goes right to hell, there’s your plot.

Could I say more? Sure. Do you need to know any more, though? Beyond “avoid this at all costs,” absolutely not.

I take no pleasure in slagging home-made efforts like this, but come on — if you’re gonna whip up a “mockumentary” that purports to show a true story — sorry that should just be “true story” — put forth at least a little bit of effort in making the illusion convincing. It needn’t be much — we all know the drill. But play along. Humor us. Show that you give even half a flying fuck about meeting the non-existent expectations of your living-room-sized audience. Otherwise don’t bother. Mow the lawn. Wash the dishes. Spend some time with the wife, the kids, your friends, anybody. Hell, do anything other than make a movie. Watch the flagpole rust. Time how long it takes your toenails to grow. It doesn’t matter.

And neither does this movie. It wouldn’t know how to if it tried. Which is really the crux of the problem here.

It doesn’t try. At all. No one involved with it does. And, as a result, you shouldn’t try to watch it. I mean, that’s only fair, right? Speaking of watching the flagpole rust or timing how long it takes your toenails to grow — you’d be far better served, and more entertained, engaging in either of those “activities” than you will be by Dybbuk Box : True Story Of Chris Chambers. If a worse film is made in 2019, then it’ll have proven to be one lousy year indeed.

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This review, and all others around these parts, is “brought to you” by my Patreon site, where I serve up exclusive thrice-weekly rants and ramblings on the worlds of movies, comics, television, literature, and politics. What I lack in knowledge, I make up for in attitude, and joining only costs a buck a month, so seriously — you’ve got nothing to lose. The beatings will continue until you sign up.

Oh, and I suppose a link would come in handy. Here you go :https://www.patreon.com/fourcolorapocalypse

 

Okay, so in truth I wasn’t aware that Nigel Bach had cranked out a sixth film in this, the most unlikely “franchise” series in cinematic history, and I usually pride myself on being on top of these sorts of things, but hey — when I learned that Bad Ben : The Way In had shambled its way from Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey all the way to Amazon Prime back on May 1st, I can’t honestly say that I was surprised or anything.

And, really, why should Bach stop? When he sub-titled one of his films “The Final Chapter,” it looked like maybe he was going to retire this admittedly played-out concept, but let’s be honest : these things cost no money to produce, he doesn’t necessarily “need” anything other than his iPhone to make them (although he’s expanded the cast a couple of time in the past, it’s not like anyone actually expects him to hire actors on even a semi-regular basis), and a new “production” can probably be completed in, like, and afternoon. Or an evening.

I’m not sure how much cash they make, but seriously — even if it’s only a few thousand bucks (not an unreasonable assumption), that still represents a very nice return on investment when that “investment” amounts to nothing but time. And not even much of that.

All of which is to say, yeah, these are pretty lousy movies, but if you came up with this idea, and it paid off even modestly, then you’d keep coming back to the well, too, even if only for beer money.

But dammit, just because Bach can (and likely will) keep this up until the end of time, that doesn’t mean I have to like his flicks. I’ve been marginally impressed, all things considered, with a couple of them in the past — check back through my old reviews if you don’t believe me — but this latest one represents the possible nadir of the franchise, a dull and un-inspired “found footage” romp that sees Bach’s Tom Riley character returning to the house he supposedly “left” (that being his own “real-life” residence) in order to rid it of its evil spirits (say it with me) “once and for all” before new owners take possession of the place. Things “don’t go as expected” — which is to say that they go precisely as expected — and Tom ends up in a battle for his very soul against nine separate demons that are all, ya know, him. Hey, look — it is what it is.

And you and I both know what that is, and yet here I am, once again, not only having watched the film, but having taken the time to review it. So I can piss and moan all I want, but who do I think I’m fooling? Bach has me beat. He’ll make another of these — and another — and probably another after that — and I’ll be back. I’ll moan and groan, sure, but does it even matter? He wins by getting me to press “play” on my screen. That’s literally all it takes. Bach may be the biggest grifter in horror, but there are plenty of willing “marks” just like me, and he damn well knows it. Who says you have to be a talented filmmaker to be a cinematic genius?

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This review, and all others around these parts, is “brought to you” by my Patreon site, where I serve up exclusive thrice-weekly rants and ramblings on the worlds of movies, comics, television, literature, and politics. My small-but-loyal legion over there seems to like the stuff I’m coming up with, and since I recently lowered the minimum tier price to a dollar a month, come on — what have you got to lose? Join up and help out yet out one more grovelling critic, will ya?

Oh, and I suppose a link would come in handy. Here you go :https://www.patreon.com/fourcolorapocalypse