Sunday, October 30, 2011

Warning: This Review Will Save Your Life

I cant post this on Retro Review, due to the mandate that all films posted there must be at least 15 years old. But this movie needs to be addressed, not to incite people to see it, but to warn them. It is indeed the worst film ever. Trust in the review, DO NOT see this film, it will F*** you up for life.

Title: Actium Maximus: War of the Alien Dinosaurs
Starring: Mark Hicks, a box with a blue knob, and a stalagmite. 
Written by: Mark Hicks
Directed by: Mark Hicks
Rating:  Negative * * * * *

Let's talk about bad movies for a moment. A bad movie tends to fall in one of two categories. The first being that it has some redeeming quality. Maybe it's funny in spite of itself, maybe it becomes a guilty pleasure. The other category is one that is so abysmally bad that it can only be enjoyed with friends over beer and pizza, laughing and making MST3K-esque comments throughout the film. The later was our intention when deciding to watch Actium Maximus: War of the Alien Dinosaurs.

This movie was far beyond bad. It belongs in a category all by itself (and then that category, along with the film, needs to be shot into outer space). In fact, ten minutes into this film we could no longer make fun of it. It became physically painful to watch, and may have caused permanent psychological damage (I now have an incontinence issue when confronted with play-doh). So bad was this film, that upon completion of watching it, I fully expected my phone to ring, and a voice on the other end informing me I would die in 7 days.

It is unclear what writer, director, editor, composer, weight watcher's drop-out, village idiot, and star Mark Hicks was shooting for, but what is clear is he was not taking his medication. You would think a movie, containing both a narrator and subtitles would make the plot easier to understand. Not so. The narrator speaks as distinctly as the Daleks from Dr. Who with a bad case of strep throat. The subtitles, often paragraph long and displayed for only 3 seconds, was certainly in need of a spell checker. I'm no expert, but if I was to venture a guess, Mark invested his life savings into this film, all $140.00, and $25 of that was spent on Chinese food while editing. 

There were very few humans in this film. Mark Hicks plays Jacinlun Axezun (say that fast 5 times), a character similar to Han Solo. That is if Han was an overweight, monotone, lifeless dullard with all the bravado and sex appeal of a substitute chemistry teacher on anti-depressants. The arch-villain of this film is Grand Automaton Polpox (sounds like a disease) wonderfully played by a box with a blue knob. In order to divert the masses from his genocidal plans to exterminate the Rebel Laffrodites (I seriously am not making these names up)he holds these grand exhibitions pitting alien dinosaurs in mortal combat. Get ready, some serious blue-screen work here. I guess Phil Tippit was booked, because these dinosaurs were crafted from sock puppets, coated in play-doh, bacon and corn syrup. 

Every good director knows to have an establishing shot, especially when moving from one location to another. Mark doesn't disappoint here, as he creates an establishing shot of the exterior of the city which was actually the surface of a water-less aquarium.

Sounds good so far right? So while Mark and his crew (consisting of some woman who may or may not of had dialogue, as she apparently didn't have a microphone) Polpox's right hand man, played by a stalagmite, warns him of an assassination plot against him. The assassin, as it turns out, is a moth. Go figure. 

The subtitle, "War of the Alien Dinosaurs" is also confusing. To be defined as "alien", it must come from an alien world. That's fine, as Polpox gathers dinosaurs from other planets. But dinosaurs? Unless he has a time machine, these beasts would just be indigenous animals. Or are the indigenous animals once prehistoric animals from the homeworld that somehow migrated across space. But, considering that these dinosaurs are made out of sock puppets, play-doh, bacon and corn syrup, I suppose it doesn't warrant much thought.

The one saving grace this film offers is intellectual higher ground. What that means is, if someone is engaged in a conversation and utters the phrase "(insert name here) is the worst movie ever", take comfort in knowing they're wrong.As for me, if I was the sole survivor of a global holocaust, and this was the only DVD left on Earth, believe me when I say I would glee-fully coat my eyes with honey and face-plant into a pile of dirt covered in fire ants.

Sadly, Mark intended this to be a full on series. This was to be his grand gift to the world. If Mark truly wants toi give us a gift, he should climb the highest building and jump off it, with the master copy of the film, and his  chinese food.



  1. Bill, I feel for you because you watched this film. I seriously think you might be suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and you should seek professional help. But thanks for saving the rest of us. Way to jump on that grenade, man.

  2. i know the feeling, i watched it with him that fateful night. and let me tell you brother after the first 10 minutes we actually ran out of funny comments..thats how bad it was. if mst3k could make this movie watchable (if they didnt slit there wrists after 10 minutes) i would still take a pass at watching it again. but as it is the military turned down my medal of honor, and bills citation of civic duty medal for watching this. just a sad turn of events all the way around