Monday, June 8, 2009

The Rise of STDs!

There is something that has been bothering me lately... the rise of STDs.

I’m not talking about sexually transmitted diseases (they could be rising too for all I know, but that isn’t my particular area of expertise).

I’m referring to Straight-To-DVD (STD) movies.

Traditionally, low budget (read: tragically bad) films with no hopes of garnering any box office bucks are typically released straight to the streets in an effort to recoup the budget more rapidly.

Such releases are mostly referred to as Straight-To-Videos, but since only about 14 people still utilize VCRs to watch rental releases, I think that the phrase can be justly labeled an anachronism.

Now, for the record, I’m not a movie star nor have I ever been one (to my knowledge), but that doesn’t mean I’m not disheartened to see the once-Hollywood-elite desperately clutch fruitlessly for a second round of fleeting fame by appearing in films so odd that they should be labeled DIRJST films, or Did-I-Really-Just-See-That?

I’ll give you an example. Not too long ago there was a movie released Straight-To-DVD called Abominable, which starred Lance Henricksen and Dee Wallace Stone. Both thespians just so happened to be in different blockbuster alien films in the 1980s (albeit, those films were polar opposites in terms of tone): Aliens and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

I am not a huge fan of either film (they haven’t aged well and I always felt Aliens would be better if the alien creatures were actually misunderstood pacifists, and E.T. would be much improved if the alien turned out to be an unstoppable juggernaut hell-bent on conquering Earth). Still, the movies made beau coup bucks so Lance and Dee were A-listers once upon a time.

Less than 30 years later, the two headliners of such bonafide classics are no longer at the top of their game, but they have enough star power in their tanks to team up and fight the most famous alien of all-time: Bigfoot.

The movie’s actual tagline is: “Some Things Are Better Left Unfound.” (How can you not love the irony of that one?)

When you combine that with a name like Abominable, well, you have no choice but to reasonably anticipate the best cinematic experience of all time.

It could just be me, but when I hear the word “abominable” I tend to immediately follow it with “snowman.” I have never heard people say the phrase “abominable Bigfoot” so the title is kind of misleading. Bastard marketers!

Now, while I whole-heartedly support films about big hairy monsters shredding up, and then digesting, teenagers out in the middle of the woods, I am nevertheless gravely concerned that studios are mass churning STDs in a greedy attempt to make copious amounts of money with no regard WHATSOEVER to the quality of the final product.

Absolutely shocking.

Hopefully we can still expect classics of Abominable’s caliber in the future, but if the studios keep overproducing these Straight-To-DVDs, won’t the end result inevitably be water-downed B-movies that fail to make the grade?

For shame. For shame.


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