Reader Bonus: Iconoclast (2012)

This movie is the worst thing I have ever seen. It’s awful, but more than that, it’s not even amusingly awful. In another entry on this list, I suggested that one of the best episodes of television was the MST3K of Manos, the Hands of Fate, because Manos is a painfully bad movie on every level. Manos is bad, but at least Manos is bad in an interesting way. This wasn’t. This was both poorly made and profoundly boring.

I’d say this was an attempt at an art film, but it’s not even that. This comes off more as some middle-schooler who wrote a Hot Topic Fan Fiction and apparently found someone to fund it. There’s leather, some nudity, a guy with an axe, muted colors (and sadly non-muted audio), and random glamour shots of the cast. It’s got all of the elements of a soft-core porn but without the quality and dedication that Cinemax demands at 3 AM.

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Again, this is not soft-core porn.

I started the movie off by having a few drinks. Then, during the film, I had more. The biggest problem with the movie is that there isn’t anything happening during the majority of it. It’s just spinning shots of characters standing in woods and fields and beaches. Some of it is in black and white, but they mute the colors of the film so much it’s hard to tell when the switch happens.

Here’s the IMDB description of the movie: “A dark goddess resurrects a lone warrior to slay the old gods and steal their power so that she can make him into a weapon to battle the knights who are rampaging across the land.” And that’s probably what it’s about, but since there is no dialogue in the film, only voice-over monologues that, due to the terrible sound editing, are only comprehensible because they’re repeated multiple times during the film. I’d say that the total number of lines in this film, discounting repeats, comes in at about 28. In 90 minutes. And those 28 lines are not good. My assumption is that the script was written by two people taking LSD at a show for a mid-price Anthrax cover band.

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Slitting this woman’s throat takes 9. F*cking. Minutes.

The movie is mostly a chain of poorly choreographed fight scenes between the main character, Undead Guy, and some random people to avenge something vague. And when I say poorly choreographed, I mean that these people look like when 8-year-olds play “swords” with sticks. During one of the fight scenes, they re-use the same shot 4 times, and they take a break during the fight. Not for dialogue or emoting or whatever, but just a break. It actually looks like one of the actors goes “just a sec,” takes a breather, and they just didn’t stop recording.

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They inexplicably take a break in the middle of the fight. A fight that lasts 3 minutes without it.

The costumes are what Medieval Faire craftsmen call “whoopsies.” At one point, there’s a group of people wearing cloaks, khaki pants, and no shirt. The cloaks appear to be blankets. Two of the women characters are just wearing lace veils and skirts that appear to be lace veils tied around their waists. One character is supposed to be Mother Earth, but her main character trait is standing around topless in strange poses.

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*Thinking* I wonder if the producer lied when he said he knew Baz Luhrmann.

Also, there is a disturbing amount of circle-walking in this movie. Most of the movie is a character walking in a circle around another character. If you cut out the gratuitous circling shots, the movie would probably be 20 minutes long. If you are aroused by the image of someone walking in a circle around another person, as I can only assume the director of this movie was, then you’ll never find better. Oh, and random cuts of the main female narrator, the Generic Dark Goddess, dancing to what I can only assume is the Flashdance soundtrack slowed-down. If you like Circle Walking and Slowed-Down Flashdance movements, this is your jam.

So, what wasn’t terrible? Well, there’s a guy in the movie who licks a tree. Tree Licker is the best actor in the movie. At no point do I doubt that he is actually licking that tree. I even can look at his face and get the impression that he’s slightly scared of the Undead Guy, which makes one more emotion than the rest of the cast manages to convey. Sadly, Tree Licker does eventually get found by Undead Guy. They have a fight, Undead Guy wins, Triangle Man.

Iconoclast-5Licker.png
R.I.P. Tree Licker.

At one point, an actress who was already killed in the movie shows up playing another character who teleports with the power of terrible 80s blur effects. TelePatty seems promising, right up to the part where she apparently can’t actually teleport during any part of the fight and gets killed by Undead Guy.

With about 30 minutes left in the movie, they introduce the King which Undead Guy and Generic Dark Goddess are apparently supporting, and he can kill people with his mind. I was borderline angry that King Mind-Kill had been hidden until this point, because it’s almost an interesting character. He promptly gets killed by a random new character, and is never spoken of again, nor is his killer. The remainder of the movie is people walking in circles around each other on the beach. That takes 25 minutes.

Iconoclast-6Stabbing.png
Wait, we had a costume budget?

The best part of the movie, though, is the credits, not only because they signified that the movie was over, but because the names were more interesting than the film. Much of the cast apparently went by their Metal Pseudonyms, including “Smaug,” “Rathamon,” “Whoreyevo,” and “King Caveman.” The production company was Blue Cthulhu, also a good name. Oh, and at one point, I’m pretty sure the cameraman scratched his balls during a shot. The camera tilts for a few seconds, and you can hear a soft “aaaah” that sounds like you found just the right spot for testicular satisfaction. That was probably the only moment where I felt someone in the shoot might have done something worthwhile.

Iconoclast-7Cast.png
The cast pseudonyms took more effort than the character names.

Everything in this movie is bad. I have seen student films better than this. Hell, I’ve been in student films better than this. I can’t even be that angry at the movie, it’d be like punching a group of toddlers for bad artwork. Clearly nobody involved in this movie had any experience in any way. I’d love for RiffTrax to see this film, but I honestly don’t know what would happen. Most of the movie is just too boring to even riff on. Watching it doesn’t even feel like an experience, it just feels like a void in my life.

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I’ve decided to include the notes from my viewing. Enjoy.

Notes:

ICONOCLAST

Preliminary: Drank 2 beers and ran 2 miles before starting. Hopefully the endorphin and alcohol combo will help. Internet problems are limiting the stream quality. I don’t know how much this will impact the experience.

11:40 – Opening shot on some cliffs and the ocean. Music appears to be a mix of a Theremin and a buzz saw.

11:42 – Woman in generic revealing costume comes on, and the sound editing is so bad I can’t figure out about half of what she says. The half I do understand appears to be written as a high-school fan fiction.

11:52 – The entire movie so far has been voice-over of the same woman walking around. It hasn’t been in focus for much of that, and I can’t tell if it’s on purpose to be artistic, or if the crew didn’t know how cameras worked.

11:53 – A second character and a gratuitous nipple shot. Hooray, progress!

11:56 – Pretty sure the sound for the last 5 minutes has been a 5 second digeridoo clip on endless repeat. It really complements the very odd semi-sexual knife play that the first woman is engaging in on the bound second woman.

12:00 – Don’t play with knives and naked women, kids. Someone always ends up sacrificed to… Fuck if I know, but knowing is half the battle!

12:03 – The cellphone upon which this was shot was not of good quality. It’s really making it hard to appreciate the 4 minutes of half-naked chick, who is apparently a goddess or a witch, walking around a dead guy and… I guess bringing him back to life?

12:06 – I’m 90% sure the guy holding the camera just tilted it while scratching his balls, because it just did the exact tilt and duration of a quality nut-scraping, and there was a soft “aah” of relief in the audio unrelated to anything on screen. This comforts me, because at least someone got some enjoyment out of filming.

12:09 – There’s a fight for some reason between the undead guy and some new woman. Fight choreography confirms my “high-school fan-fiction” theory.

12:10 – They took a break during the fucking fight. They took. A break. In the middle of the fight. Not for dialogue, or anything profound, they both just kind of waved and signaled a break.

12:12 – THEY HAVE JUST RE-USED THE SAME SHOT 4 TIMES. YOU WERE TAKING A BREAK IN THE FIGHT, AND YOU STILL COULDN’T FILM 2 MINUTES OF ACTUAL BAD STAGE COMBAT????

12:13 – So far, all of the movie has been voice-over, and most of it has been the same lines repeated multiple times.

12:14 – We’ve hit the 30 minute mark. Mercifully, it appears that the copy is damaged for now, and I’ll have to try again tomorrow.

12:24 – God hates me. Still going.

12:28 – There’s a new guy in the movie licking a tree, and it’s the best acting so far. I genuinely believe he’s licking the tree.

12:30 – Tree licker is clearly the thespian in the crowd. His face has actually shown an emotion. I get that he’s afraid of the undead guy.

12:31 – Tree Licker is seriously upping this movie’s game. Now he’s making a fight sequence look at least college-production level. And there’s some not-terrible metal music to accompany it.

12:34 – Tree Licker is dead. Undead guy bit him on the shoulder, and apparently that was his one weakness. You will be missed, sir. Godspeed.

12:44 – 10 minutes of backstory flashbacks, and, while I now kind of understand what’s supposed to have happened in this movie, it’s profoundly stupid.

12:45 – More gratuitous nudity. This character is apparently Mother Earth, because of the voice-over, but I would also have accepted “Tits McGee,” as her main character trait appears to be nudity.

12:50 – Tits McGee has made two guys appear. They wailed on Undead guy for like 5 minutes while Tits McGee posed for 15 different album covers. They are not good albums.

12:52 – Periodically, it cuts back to the Generic Dark Goddess that started this movie dancing on the shore. I’m assuming that she’s listening to the soundtrack to Flashdance.

12:54 – Undead guy is killing some random guys in cloaks who appear to be determined to attack him one at a time. Also, they’re clearly wearing khakis.

12:57 – The woman from the first fight sequence has returned, playing another character, in another fight sequence. She can now apparently teleport through 1980s-style editing effects. I’m going to call her TelePatty.

12:59 –TelePatty appears to have forgotten that she can teleport now that the budget’s used up. She’s just getting punched in slo-mo. Now she’s been beheaded.

1:01 – Okay, apparently there was a king that the Generic Dark Goddess and Undead guy were supporting, and he magics people to death with his mind. WHY WAS THAT NOT MENTIONED IN THE FIRST HOUR? This is the first thing in this movie that almost looks interesting.

1:05 – Undead Guy has knelt before King Mind-Kill and said that he is broken just from from “feeling his potence.”  No man should ever say that about another man’s potence. Also, is potence a word? Shouldn’t it be potency? Okay, I guess it is. Thanks internet.

1:08 – King who magics people to death with his mind was just killed by completely new character in about 30 seconds.

1:11 – Generic Dark Goddess has just told Undead Guy not to kill the guy who killed the king, even though he totally could. So he can kill him later. My protagonist hasn’t read the Evil Overlord List, apparently.

1:12 – We’re now in black and white, and there are waves, and a cave, and I can’t feel things anymore.

1:16 – If people walking around in slow circles for no apparent reason is your fetish, this movie is for you. I feel like half of this movie has just been walking in circles around stuff.

1:18 – Okay, so, Undead guy has now assisted Generic Dark Goddess’s suicide in 5 completely irreconcilably different shots, for no apparent reason.

1:25 – So. Much. Circle-walking. This character hasn’t even been in the movie until now, and it’s just circle walking.

1:26 – New guy and Undead Guy are fighting for no reason, and Generic Dark Goddess is alive again? What the fuck is this movie?

1:27 – AND SHE’S JUST WALKING IN A CIRCLE AND DANCING TO SILENT FLASHDANCE.

1:28 – And Undead Guy is dead again? And Generic Dark Goddess is dead again and New Guy is doing the Bodyguard for her body?

1:31 – And Undead guy is re-alivened. For reasons.

1:32 – Merciful Odin, the movie is over. And the credit names are already better than the movie. We have actors named “Smaug,” “Rathamon,” “Whoreyevo,” and “King Caveman.”

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jokeronthesofa

I'm not giving my information to a machine. Nice try, Zuckerberg.

5 thoughts on “Reader Bonus: Iconoclast (2012)”

  1. I actually laughed so much at your review 😊 I am Stellar, The Black Goddess of the South Gates. Nice to meet you. You’re correct in every way … there is much underlying meaning to it but when other people take your ideas and trash them; this is what happens. This was the result of people who couldn’t agree and people who sabotaged production coz they were children. I’ll always be fond of this film for I knew what it was meant to be. But I laugh so much as everything you said is so true. Haha. Thanks for the laughs 😉

    Like

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