Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker!Reviewed By David Cornelius
Posted 04/08/05 17:15:52
There are terrible movies. There are unwatchable movies. And then there is the work of Chris Seaver.Seaver is the guy behind the appropriately-named Low Budget Pictures, a Troma wannabe that shot all of its features right on VHS using what I’m guessing was Seaver’s dad’s camcorder. With a little gumption, LBP managed to sell their work at various conventions, building a name for themselves among the Troma/Sci-Fi Channel/Z movie/indie comics geek crowd. And so Seaver and Company finally managed to splurge, upgrading to a digital video camera and blowing $2,000 on what I think was supposed to be a horror-comedy. Unfortunately, the damn thing still looks like it cost no more than thirty bucks and was edited by hooking up two VCRs together and hoping to hit “pause” at the right time.
The $2,000 movie in question is “Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker!” (The exclamation point belongs to the title, not to my sentence.) It gives a new low to homemade movies that managed to scrounge up a nationwide DVD release; this is a work of sheer incompetence, an unholy mess of a film, the kind that makes you hope and pray for the quick release of death. But hey, at least it’s got a nifty title.
Imagine, if you will, the worst skit ever performed on the worst sketch comedy show ever to air on TV - you know, something like “Blue Collar TV” or Kelsey Grammer’s “The Sketch Show.” Now picture it as being captured on home video by your uncle, who has yet to figure out how to properly use the damn machine. Now add on the thought of it being edited together by someone who just got their first video editing computer program, but hasn’t bothered to look at the instructions. And wrap it up with the notion that it was all made by and for a group of friends who aren’t funny at all but think they are. It’s the kind of not-quite-a-movie that Seaver, had he not been given DVD distribution, would wind up pulling out at parties, so that he and his drunk buddies can giggle about how much fun it was to make it.
And yes, I’m guessing it was indeed fun to make. A bunch of pals clowning around on camera for an hour? Sure, sounds like a gas. But you know that queasy feeling you get when you’re forced to watch somebody else’s vacation videos - especially when the subject of said video likes to ham it up by humping statues and impersonating Adam Sandler? That, my friends, is the essence of “Mulva.”
Actually, “Mulva” is worse than that. The film starts with a lousy idea: let’s watch as somebody acts like a nerd for an hour! Har! The result is Missy Donatuti, the star and co-producer of the project, running around, barely audible (thanks to the sloppy production that forgot to include such items as workable microphones), pretending to be some “Saturday Night Live” reject character. Ooh, she wears big glasses! Ooh, she spits her esses! Ooh, she has chocolate smeared on her face! Ooh, this is not remotely funny!
The entire movie can best be summed up by one early scene, in which Mulva fixes herself breakfast. The camera lingers on her as she veeeerrrrryyyy slowly pours a bowl of cereal. Seaver includes every obnoxious second of this, as though his editing technique is to include every frame of footage shot. Why are we watching this? Why are we wasting our time with close-ups of Frankberries getting dumped into a bowl? Because Seaver doesn’t have the first clue how to make an actual movie, that’s why.
Nor can he write a script, at least not one that’s not dependent on an endless chain of references for laughs. What’s not improvised on camera (and from the look of the thing and the awkwardness of the performances, I’d guess that ninety percent of the movie was ad-libbed) is watered down into cheap steals from better sources. A villain is named “McLargehuge” - which comes from a “Mystery Science Theater” joke that’s famous to fans of the show. His Asian accomplice speaks with a deep, bad kung fu dubbed voice - because we’ve never seen that before. And the title character is named Mulva because Seaver hopes we’ll connect “Seinfeld,” which was funny, to his movie, which is not.
I haven’t even mentioned Seaver’s on-screen work, probably because it’s so painful that I had to put off thinking about it for as long as possible, just to remain sane. You see, Seaver, who is white, appears as Mr. Bonejack, who is black. This masterful interpretation is caused by smearing Seaver’s face with brown shoe polish, slapping on a Don King fright wig, and cracking slang that would disgust Amos n’ Andy. Offended yet? To be honest, you’ll be too irritated by the performance (in which Seaver badly impersonates Adam Sandler’s retard act, and churning out Bill Cosby Jell-O “jokes” in the process, too) to bother with offense.
I have not mentioned the plot, because there is none. Zombies overrun Tromaville (yup, Seaver co-opted Troma’s fake hometown, even bringing in Troma regular Debbie Rochon and Troma honcho Lloyd “I Won’t Even Pretend I Can Act” Kaufman - now we know where the budget went!), Mulva and her friends try to save the day. That’s it. If it sounds like fun, it’s not.
The odd thing is that although “Mulva” has multiple connections to Troma, Troma apparently stayed away when it came time to actually release the thing. So that duty came to Tempe Video, which is essentially a bottom-rung Troma would-be. Like Troma, they know they can sell anything they buy if they slap a hot babe on the DVD cover and hype up the horror. But even for the Z-grade Tempe, “Mulva” is a new low.
It does not boggle my mind that movies as bad as “Mulva” can get made. With cheap cameras and workable editing equipment, everybody’s a moviemaker nowadays, and amateur flicks like this are getting churned out in basements and backyards across the globe. What boggles my mind is that somebody thought that people who weren’t actually involved in the production of “Mulva” would actually want to see it. I cannot say that this is the worst movie ever made; too many homegrown productions are out there, and surely millions of them are this painfully inept. But I can say that “Mulva” is unquestionably among the very worst movies to ever land an official, professional public release.A final thought. I’m told that some people actually like this movie. This is true. Also, some people think Ashlee Simpson is an accomplished musician, some people think the capital of Canada is Milwaukee, and some people like to drink other people’s urine. Good night.
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