Vicious (2004)

Starring F/X master Tom Savini, Brinke “Three Minute Pre-Title Cameo” Stevens, some guy who starred in Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000, and the absolute worst CGI monster ever put to film

Directed by Matt Green

I’ve been accused in the past of sometimes being to harsh when reviewing certain movies. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes that’s true. This, however, is not one of those occasions. The simple fact to the matter is that I absolutely bleepin’ hated every bleepin’ thing about this bleepin’ piece of bleep movie! There isn’t a single nice thing I can say about it. Every aspect of the movie, from the script to the directing to the acting, is complete and utter garbage and everyone involved with the monster effects should be embarrassed.

Top secret military experiment gone amok. Madman in control of the top-secret military experiment gone amok must be stopped. Madman feeds innocent victims to the top-secret military experiment gone amok. High-ranking military officer sends two Marines that look more like really old Boy Scouts to stop the top-secret military experiment gone amok. Duller than dirt group of friends on a vacation in the woods unwittingly become targets of the madman and the top-secret military experiment gone amok. Top secret military experiment gone amok kills soldiers sent to stop it. Madman feeds a couple of the friends to the top-secret military experiment gone amok. The single most boring couple in the history of cinema must stop the madman and destroy the top-secret military experiment gone amok. Top secret military experiment gone amok kills madman. The single most boring couple in the history of cinema destroys the top-secret military experiment gone amok.

There you go, folks, the whole damn plot in a nutshell. I just saved you a rental. Okay, it is slightly more complex than that but not by much. The only thing a movie like this can possibly have going for it is the monster itself and some cool kills, which is exactly what Vicious does not have going for it.

Vicious is one of the most unoriginal, unimaginative, and uninspired pathetic excuses for a monster movie I’ve ever seen in my entire life made even worse by the filmmakers using a CGI monster that wouldn’t even look state of the art in a first generation Playstation video game. You only get to see the CGI beast for a few split seconds but what you do see makes you wonder if they would have been better off just creating the monster via flash animation. It certainly wouldn’t have been much worse. You can actually see the pixelation in it as it was literally sparkling in more than one shot. Okay, the monster isn’t 100% CGI. There are several scenes where the monster’s head is brought to life through puppetry. Yet even the puppet head never interacts with the actors and it appears that several headshots were recycled throughout the movie.

Just think about this for a second…Somebody made a monster movie where the monster and the actors cannot interact because the filmmakers either couldn’t afford or didn’t have the means by which to make it possible effects-wise. The majority of the monster interaction is just reaction shots by the actors spliced with footage of either the crappy CGI or the crappy puppet head. At no point do you ever get the sense that there’s anything tangible threatening the characters. You see chattering teeth that sometimes appear to be chomping on a body part spliced with a monster POV shot of the victim screaming while some blood splatters about. Yeah, whatever!

I have a personal message to all low budget filmmakers out there. If you cannot afford the special effects needed to bring the monster to life, then maybe you shouldn’t even bother to make the damn movie! Look at the monster movies of the past. Yes, many of them had less than convincing rubber monsters, but those rubber monsters were tangible and could interact with the actors on the set. There’s a reason why people fifty years from now will still be watching those movies and films like Vicious will be a long forgotten bad memory. Do not fear the rubber monster!

Everything involving the monster in Vicious looks like it was inserted in post-production with little rhyme or reason. Honestly, I just don’t think I can truly put into words just how pathetic it all comes across. I was tempted to grab a still from the movie to post here along with the review but decided I had already wasted enough time of my life just watching the movie and writing this review.

What makes this all the more dumbfounding is that F/X master Tom Savini is one of the producers as well as one of the stars. Does the man just not give a damn anymore? Savini probably could have pulled a MacGyver right there on the set in the middle of the woods and built a monster costume with just some twigs, electrical tape, some cables, a dead squirrel, and a stick of chewing gum; and I bet you it would have been a vast improvement on the actual creature.

Just what does the monster look like, you ask? A big, four-legged, pale looking dinosaur-like creature with lizard spines running down its back and a head that is like a thinner version of the toothy creature from the Deadly Spawn. You’re constantly shown the monster’s point of view, which I found odd because I don’t recall seeing any eyes on it. Oh, that cool-looking demonic head on the box art is just a cool-looking demonic head found on the box art. It sure as hell isn’t in this movie.

Unless you love movies where people walk through the woods a lot, sit around and drink beer, and run away from monster POV shots or you just want to watch Tom Savini do his best Lance Henriksen impression, then I suggest you avoid Vicious like the plague.

Oh, how can I forget to mention the excruciatingly long scene where the guy teaches the girl how to fish? This is one of those movies with no shortage of dull, pointless exposition, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t make liberal use of the fast-forward button during this tedious turd.

If Vicious were a real live animal, then I’d put it in sack, beat it with a bat, toss it off a bridge, and say “Good riddance!” How’s that for vicious?

0 out of 5

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Jon Condit

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