Every week Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: I’m starting to think Satan worshipers are bad people.
It takes a certain type of chutzpah to release a movie with the same name as another film that was released only a year earlier. To be fair, Bob Badway’s The Uninvited, recently released on DVD by MPI Home Video, seems to have been made before Charles and Thomas Guard’s The Uninvited, the American remake of A Tale of Two Sisters.
Badway’s film, a psychological thriller, sat on the backburner for two years before finally getting distribution. There’s a reason. The film blows harder than a prostitute on performance enhancing drugs.
Marguerite Moreau stars as Lee, a young woman who has finally beaten the phobia that has afflicted her for her life. Similar to agoraphobia, Lee is afraid of the presence of space — she only feels comfortable when she is surrounded by walls.
With the help of Nick, the husband she met when he filmed a documentary about her affliction, Lee has been able to slowly ease herself back into the real world — away from the self-imposed isolation she spent most of her life in.
As luck would have it, though, Lee’s newfound progress is sent spiraling downwards when she finds herself embroiled in a convoluted plot involving kidnapped babies, Satan worshipers and demonic possession. At least that’s what I think the movie was about. In truth, it’s very hard to tell — the film is a mess of half-baked ideas, terrible camera tricks and horrendous acting.
Colin Hay, the former lead singer of Australian pop group Men at Work, co-stars in the film as Nick, Lee’s shady husband whose dealings with a group of Satanists damns the couple’s future.
As a huge fan of Hay’s music, I was disappointed in his cringe-worthy performance. Hay delivers his lines with a mixture of apathy and half-hearted threat — like he somehow got tricked into staring into the movie when he was kidnapped from his recording studio and thrown onto an independent movie set and told — gun to his head — he would be acting. Her performs out of protest.
At least when ‘80s pop stars like Tiffany or Debbie Gibson star in bad independent horror movies, audiences are typically treated to a new song by the pop princesses. Colin Hay, though, gives us bupkis.
Moreau, as the terminally shy Lee, isn’t given much to work with in the film besides hiding behind her hair and staring intensely at elderly people dressed in ghoulish grey makeup and given electronic voices reminiscent of throat cancer patients.
The solitary character for most of the movie, the film sits squarely on Moreau’s shoulders. It is through her eyes that audiences are introduced to the evil that lurks in Lee and Nick’s home. Unfortunately, Moreau doesn’t seem to have quite what it would have taken to elevate this morbidly dreary film from its doldrums.
Bob Badway’s script is a complete mess. It’s like he had an idea for half a dozen films and decided to combine them all into one bad movie stew.
Badway can’t decide what should menace Lee. She is chased around by a demonically possessed biker who wears heavy-duty chains as if he’s the retarded younger brother of Ghost Rider, haunted by an elderly woman who appeared to her in her youth and now hides in closets chewing on the dismembered arms of infants, and has a gun pointed to her head by a pissed off single mother searching for her kidnapped baby.
There are a lot of scares in the film — just no connectivity between them. An underdeveloped story about Nick’s involvement in the manifestations peters out without any real emotional oomph.
While a talented cast or a gifted director’s eye could have salvaged the script and made a half-decent Rosemary’s Baby knock-off, The Uninvited is weighted down by some of the worst actors to ever had their names appear in a film’s credits. The film’s supporting cast acts as if they were recruited from a high school’s remedial drama class.
Even worse is Badway’s insistence of using tired camera tricks ripped straight from ‘80s MTV music videos.
There is little to like in The Uninvited. It pains me to say this, but I’d rather watch that horrendous remake of A Tale of Two Sisters again than even touch Bob Badway’s cinematic turd with my big toe.
Robert Saucedo wonders if Bob Badway isn’t a made-up name. He wouldn’t blame Badway for using a pseudonym. Follow Robert on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.
Tags: A Tale of Two Sisters, Bad Movies Done Right, Ghost Rider