Monday, September 28, 2015

Bashing the awful SWAT:UNIT 887 (2015)

THE HORROR! THE HORROR! THE HORROR! I saw another  film by Timothy  Woodward Jr and my mind reels....

Timothy Woodward Jr must never be allowed to direct another film. People say Uwe Boll is the worst director ever but Woodward Jr is much worse. I've only seen a couple of the 10 films he's directed but none of them have been pleasurable experiences. While many of Boll's films have problems, at least there is a level of fun and competency, hell he actually made one near great film (TUNNEL RATS) Woodward on the other hand is incapable of making an action film with real action or a thriller with thrills. Yes I'm being snarky but not as snarky as you would be if you've seen the film.(Calling Mike, Kevin and Bill)

The plot of the film has the police trying to track down Tom Sizemore as a big ass terrorist.

I don't know what to say except this movie is beyond bad.

The script by Lauren De Normandie is howlingly awful with dialog that isn't remotely realistic. Every line begs an audience response. An early exchange between Chris Cutter (played by director Woodward Jr) and his girlfriend about how she fears every time he goes out the door is loopy in the extreme- I mean he's clearly been a cop for years and its only now is bothering you?

The direction is text book on what not to do. Scenes that should be still have a rapidly moving camera. Action sequences that could use rapid cutting instead are shot in a single shot. As an police officer wrestles with a kidnapper, struggling for a dropped gun, the camera remains still draining all the tension out of the scene- and revealing that its two guys just laying together casually reaching for a gun just out of reach.  One chase scene is so badly put together that it appears as though the bad guy is actually chasing the hero for several shots... The very few fight scenes have no intensity what so ever and look like they are still being worked out by the fight choreographer. Where there should be insert shots there are none and where we should have single takes we have rapid cutting. Many dialog scenes are shot so as to give the impression that each person in the scene was filmed all alone and it was cut together later. I won't get into how some sequences, say Michael Pare talking to his boss about the party attack, seemed to have been filmed by different people since each character seems to have been shot by a completely different cameraman.

Whomever the cinematographer is needs to have his cameras taken away or at least he needs a new guide dog since often this shots are frequently not really of anything. The party siege for example has moving shots aimed away from the action. Other sequences look like an eight year-old's home movie.

I know a filmmaker should find his own voice but this voice is shrill, painful and unpleasant.  While Woodward is a decent enough actor, he is no director. I know we should all follow are dreams but when people are the cinematic equivalent to a serial killer they really need to be told to stop with the dreams and take up basket weaving or landscape painting, anything that doesn't involve inflicting pain and suffering on the rest of humanity.

I had hoped that the director's CHECKMATE was going to be the last word on bad independent films for the year, but that was not to be.  SWAT UNIT 887 is ten time worse.

I hope never to see it again unless Rifftrax gets a hold of it....

This film is released on home video and VOD tomorrow- a void it like the plague.

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