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October 18th, 2005

Deep Hurting

I'm not sure, but I think my DVD player sacrificed itself to save me last night. I was watching the Pendragon Pictures direct-to-video adaptation of The War of the Worlds when my player died mid-movie. I think it's only a coincidence that my Panasonic player gave up the ghost in the middle of this film and flashed the dreaded "H07" code (meaning the spindle motor died)1 on its display, but I'm not completely sure.

A while back I joked about the awfulness of Asylum Pictures production starring C. Thomas "What the hell happened to my career?" Howell, but that movie looks like a Kubrick production compared to this piece of dreck. This movie was so bad that 25 minutes into the film I was rooting for the Martians to start killing as many of the actors as possible.

I honestly don't think I can properly convey the wretchedness of the film, but here's my best attempt. During its stint on the Sci-Fi Channel, there was an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 where Mike got to choose whichever movie he wanted to see, and hoping for the type of refined culture he hadn't experienced since the experiments started, he decided on Hamlet. He was sent an amazingly bad German production dubbed into English with Ricardo Montalban providing the voice of Claudius. ("Hamlet tasks me! I shall chase him around the stairs of Elsinore castle, and Laertes shall have him!")2 If the show was still airing new episodes and Mike asked to see The War of the Worlds, he'd get the Pendragon version.

I know I shouldn't heap more abuse on the film, especially as I only saw about half so far. However, I have to finish my WotW project for SF, and if I have to suffer through the rest of this film for completeness sake, then I get to unload on it. Especially considering that I actually bought it.

1 Apparently, this is a very common problem for Panasonic DVD players sold a few years ago. Usually, this happens just over a year after the player was purchased. I should consider myself lucky that my player lasted three years before refusing to play another second of this version.
2 No, that really didn't appear in the MST3K version, but it should have.

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