Friday, April 25, 2008

Adam West's Tales From Beyond (2004)

So. Adam West's Tales From Beyond. Or, more accurately, just Tales From Beyond. I suppose something should have seemed amiss by the very fact that they are using the fame of Adam (fucking) West as their main selling point. I mean.. i've seen Zombie Nightmare. I know what the man brings to the table. It's not pretty.

And, in all reality Adam West (from now on referred to only as Batman) is only in the film for the wraparound segments, as a creepy bookseller in the cleanest "spooky" bookstore ever. Wraparound segments in anthology horror films are almost always total shit, since they have to come up with some sort of introduction to each segment and then end with some sort of awful twist. Just like this one! Though, I did enjoy the wraparound in that Tales From The Darkside movie. Or maybe I didn't. Anyway, I think Christian Slater is in that movie.

Not this one, though.

So, Batman is a creepy old guy and he introduces a young couple who are shopping for a rare book for a friend. And each book is a TALE from BEYOND.

The first is about.. something. Basically a guy and his wife are having issues, and she might need therapy. Or, maybe she doesn't. And, the guy is having weird sub-sub-David Lynch dreams of creepy stuff, including seeing a sign marked "Abernathy" on the door.

But, it turns out that the GUY is crazy! And Abarnathy is an insane asylum. Wow. This segment felt like there were three scenes missing that would have made any of it make sense. Not interesting, and not scary, and the lead actor can only speak in monotone (and this isn't his last appearance in this thing).

The second segment is much more traditionally Twilight Zone-ish. A watch salesman (foreshadowing!) stops into a diner where people from different time periods in history all meet to chat about.. bullshit. He gets upset that they aren't sharing information that could prevent suffering, and eventually freaks out and runs out of the diner. But, the twist is that.. um.. he's in the middle of the desert. And there's a broken clock on the ground. And the diner isn't actually there. There ARE lots of tire tracks on the ground, though, so I guess he can't be that far from civilization.

The third segment is like that Adam Sandler movie Click, except even worse. Some random guy has a magic remote that can fast forward or rewind the.. uh.. universe. He finds out about his own death on the evening news, and then goes to where his body was found with a friend of his to stop the murder from taking place. Sure, that's a good idea.

The twist is that.. he ends up running into himself and dies somehow. The friend destroys the magic remote and gets him out of there, but main dude calls his friend up a week later saying that he has a magic remote that controls the universe. And history repeats, or it doesn't. The segment ends there.

I should mention that whenever we go back to the couple at the bookstore, they are responding as if what they are reading is the greatest thing ever scratched onto paper. It's all rather sickening.

The fourth (and final) segment is a period piece focusing on a boxer, but notable mostly for having one of the worst Irish accents i've ever heard. It's basically The Karate Kid except Mr. Miyagi is the ghost of the young boxer's father. And, yes, that's the twist. This segment has more than two locations, which is all I can say for it.

It ends with Batman trapping the couple in a couple of the books he's selling. That creepy guy was evil all along!

All of the segments are competently directed, though as bland as unsalted butter. Everything feels very DV, and if someone told me this was originally a porno film with all the sex (and anything else interesting) cut out I wouldn't be too surprised. The acting is pitiful (and performed mostly by the four directors), and the Special FX is mostly non-existent.

The DVD has trailers and scene selection. Trailer you say?

Batman couldn't save this film.

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