Thursday, November 11, 2010

Watching Bad Movies So You Don't Have To: I Am Omega (Part One)

Because I have little to do when I'm stuck at home with a blizzard, I am watching bad movies. And so other people won't have to suffer the same fate, I'm going to review and describe the movie. That way, your curiosity over what this might contain will be satiated without having to waste an hour and a half of your life.

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I Am Omega is Asylum's ripoff of I Am Legend. In this movie, the Iron Chef America chairman is the last survivor among a horde of bloody zombie-monsters.

We open with a badly filmed scene in which a frantic young woman is hurriedly packing. She keeps calling over to a child on the sofa, asking if he is packed and has his shoes. The child responds by dully staring ahead, possibly at the director, who's waving a toy in an effort to try and get the kid to react. At one point, the woman has finished packing and reaches out to take the child's hand. He looks at her dubiously, so I'm assuming this woman is not his mother. Most likely, she is the new babysitter or a stranger who has kidnapped him. That's the only reason I can figure for the distrust on his face.

She packs him into the car and goes to start it, only realizing she forgot her keys. As someone whose car keys are always in my pocket when not being used to drive the car, I have to wonder why people always forget their keys in these movies. Maybe it's an alternate dimension where every person on the planet can remember complicated passwords to hack the NSA computer defense system, but can't figure out why the toaster is smoking.


Naturally, she decides to go back into the house while ordering the extremely bored child to stay in the car. If the child had any sense, he would have snagged her keys and driven off while she was trying to remember how stairs worked.

Before she can get out of the car, a bloody zombie-monster half-heartedly slaps at the car door. He conveniently steps aside so she can exit the vehicle. She then fights him and yells "stay a-WAY!" much in the same manner one would tell the dog to stay off the couch, not the way you would tell a bloody zombie-monster to refrain from killing you. The child is mildly interested by goings on outside the car, but since he is looking out of the window opposite where the woman and BZM are fighting, he probably just saw a bird.

Fortunately, the BZM kills the woman, leaves her corpse on the hood of the car, and then runs off (presumably yelling "whoob-whoob-whoob!" as he waves his arms), leaving a perfectly good kid alive in the car.

Naturally, the kid decides to get out of the car and immediately gets grabbed by a BZM hanging out under the car. Suddenly, The Chariman shows up with a gun. We think he's there to save the day, but he's just having a nightmare. He wakes up to some alarms going off in his back yard. Clearly these are to detect potential BZM intruders, though I can't imagine how loud blaring sirens would help keep your lair secret and keep BZMs away.

The Chairman goes into badass mode, putting on combat boots and a black...bathrobe. Clearly he is so badass, he doesn't need full combat regalia. He heads outside with a gun in one hand and a machete in another. For some reason, he left his compound gate unlocked and open. Naturally, I think this will be an issue later. I am wrong.

The Chairman is attacked by some BZMs, but he dispatches them with ease, swinging his machete while shooting his gun. He's even so badass, he doesn't pay attention to the BZM sneaking up on him, secure in the knowledge that his booby traps are on the job. He's so badass that even his gun is very quiet in his presence. The Chairman then torches the bodies of the BZMs, waves his machete in true badass fashion...as a warning to others?...and casually strolls back into his compound. He smiles knowingly and lovingly sets his machete down on the bookshelf, then shuffles around for a while. Apparently, being a badass BZM killer requires lots of medication, as we see many prescription bottles scattered everywhere. He lies in bed, dolefully staring at a family photo. Turns out Ineffective Car Starting Woman was his wife and Bored By The Apocalypse Boy was his son. Right.

For no apparent reason, his $10 Walmart clock radio is apparently possessed by Satan and scans through channels even while unplugged. He throws it at the fireplace and screams "THERE. IS. NO. RADIOOOOOO!" at it until it shuts off. Eventually, The Chairman-turned-monster-killer drifts off to sleep, dreaming of an epic battle with BZMs as the Secret Ingredient.

The next morning, The Chairman futzes around on an old white Powerbook that isn't plugged in. Fighting BZMs in a bathrobe I can believe, but this is just stupid. My damn Powerbook won't run for more than three hours without begging to be plugged in, much less through the BZM apocalypse.

At this point, the writers thought it would be beneficial to the plot if they showed shots of The Chairman getting his Folgers and brushing his teeth. Did I really need to see him spit out his toothpaste? No. No I did not.

However, The Chairman is a total badass and we should not question his daily routine, part of which is loading up on guns and nunchuks. I do not care if I spelled that wrong.

As the sun sets...wait, no, it's rising, isn't it? I mean, it was night before, so it should be dawn, right? So why is the sun setting? Oooooh, I get it! The director didn't feel like waiting for the sun to actually rise and figured we wouldn't know the difference. Gotcha.

Fortunately, it's mid-morning immediately and The Chairman does his badass workout montage in between footage of home videos of his family. Nothing gets the apocalypse anger rolling like memories of your slaughtered family and the knowledge that you are all alone in the California hills.

I should take a moment to give a shoutout to the music director, who's synth-heavy style of intermittently hitting a keyboard is spot on for a movie whose director clearly just dumped a dictionary into a blender and pulled words out at random when he wanted to frame a scene.

His rage full on, The Chairman angrily kicks down some fencing, which one would think might be useful to keep as a fence. Then he sits on a swing and sobs for a while. Either that, or he's trying desperately to not burst into laughter. It's hard to tell the difference and one can't really blame the poor guy. BZM apocalypse bringing about the destruction of the human race and slaughter of your family...or having to put this on your resume.

The Chairman's training montage finished, he goes inside to make a bomb. I would assume that "45:00:00" on the timer is important to the plot, but considering all the other things seemingly important to the plot that went nowhere, I'm going to assume this is another bit of pointless information. He then packs up his guns...again...along with the bomb and a map. It's late afternoon now, so he'd best get a move on!

I can't believe I'm seeing this next part...

The Chairman grabs a timecard and punches it at the timeclock, quipping, "Another day, another dollar."

No it isn't, you twit! You aren't getting paid for this! Everyone is dead! Even if they weren't, would you really engage in such hazardous work to hunt and kill BZMs for a dollar a day? That's insane! You can get infomercial life insurance for that!

I am not directing that at The Chairman, oh no. I am directing that at the script writer and director. It would have been far less idiotic to have him strolling out while quipping something blatant, like "Time to kick some ass." See? That is cheesy, but it's the good kind of cheesy. He's going to kick some ass and therefore announces his intentions while carrying a load of weapons, thus affirming his badassedness. The timeclock is just lame. Shame on you. Shame.

How am I only 15 minutes into this thing?

Our hero finally leaves the compound. Why he has "restricted area" signs set up, I don't know. His compound is his house with some razor wire around it and BZMs can't read. Anyway, he gets into an old muscle car and drives around in the late afternoon sun while fiddling with the radio. Of course there's nothing on in the BZM apocalypse, so he pops in a generic synth rock tape to drive around all badassedly in the countryside, passing rusted out cars and dilapidated buildings.

My excitement over Something Happening Finally dims when The Chairman stops to check out an old barn. He talks to a corpse, grabs some beer from the fridge, and naturally, pays for it. Pays the corpse for the beer. Cause that's what you do in the apocalypse. He then hallucinates a BZM, goes into badass mode, and leaps in his car. He sits in his car, pointed at the corpse in the open doors of the barn, and glares for a while. Then he leaves, driving to yet another generic rock song.

At some point, The Chairman engages in a pointless stunt car maneuver to stop and catch a bunny rabbit, possibly for next week's Secret Ingredient. The bunny rabbit gets away. Then he hallucinates a BZM, but surprise! It's real! So he runs back to his car, grabs a random assault rifle, and hits the BZM in the face with it. Then he shoots it and drives some more. At this point, I fully expect the ending of the movie to be that the BZM is all just a dream and he strapped to a chair in some mental hospital, doped up on thorazine and drooling.

He stops at a random "no smoking - gas line" sign and sets his bomb. Then we are treated to a few minutes of him marking things on a map before he drops down into a random tunnel that looks suspiciously like a set. He darts around furtively, listening to the BZMs walk around on the surface. Even dead, BZMs make sure to wear heels and walk with an upbeat gait. This seems to be an odd activity behind the usual BZM motivation, but what do I know? Perhaps they are on their way to an important BZM meeting on how to increase human-killing productivity. Shame on me for assuming all BZMs are mindless, lumbering stereotypes.

Our riveting hero stops to plant some more bombs on gas lines. He's been very careful to keep quiet, so naturally, he whistles as he duct tapes the bomb to a gas pipe. Fortunately, a BZM shows up to alleviate our boredom. Then The Chairman and the BZM stare at each other for a while. Then The Chairman rapidly stabs the BZM while frantic music plays. Once the BZM is dead, our hero finishes setting the bomb, while whistling some more. You'd think he would have learned his lesson the first time.

Then, sigh, The Chairman drives home. Look, the apocalypse has happened. Everyone is presumably dead. We want to see badass BZM-killing action and epic explosions, not the daily life of the last guy on earth. He wanders into a shed, noisily digs around in some MRE boxes and finds an inexplicable suit coat which he throws on the floor. Then he grabs a box of MREs and leaves.

After that, he eats supper, reads a book, and talks to a random dummy in a top hat he has sitting at the supper table. He's also wearing the suit coat he left behind. He then falls asleep on his book.

THIS IS EPIC DRAMA, FOLKS!

The Chairman is awakened by an obnoxious alert on his computer that's still magically running, but has suddenly become a newer silver Powerbook. This message popped up before, but he ignored it. I don't know what this means. Soon after, the alarms go off. He grabs his gun and goes stalking for monsters. I cheer for the hope that something is finally happening. He discovers a BZM being electrocuted at some breaker box, shoots it, and goes back inside to read some more. I sob in frustration.

That trusty magic laptop starts making the alert noise again. The Chairman glares at it, tells it to "shut up," and goes back to his book. It buzzes again. After glaring at it for far too long, he accepts the incoming message. It turns out to be a video chat of some woman. Having never before seen other people through his magic buzzing box, The Chairman freaks out and falls out of his chair while shrieking "Nooooo!" at the computer. He then runs screaming into the back yard where he claws at the electric meter and makes random panicked noises.

Our brave hero's next move is to chew a handful xanax and sit in the dark, staring straight ahead. End scene.

The next day, The Chairman wisely repairs his outside electric box and puts a lock on it. That will stop those BZMs! He then goes about his day, reading the newspaper classifieds, probably in the hopes that a better movie is casting. This enthralling tale of the human condition is interrupted by yet another buzzing message on the computer. He accepts the message and this time, doesn't freak out.

The woman on the other end appears to be in some distress, judging by the conveniently-placed black smears on her face. Somehow, there's still servers running network connections. The woman and The Chairman proceed to have a conversation in such a way that I'm convinced this scene was patched together out of order in post. Impressive work considering it's a 20 second conversation. Apparently she's from some big camp of people in the mountains blah blah and is now stuck in the middle of town. She wants The Chairman and his friends to rescue her. He bitterly declares that he has no friends, clearly thinking of his agent. She has no problem with that and asks him to come get her though she knows it's such a big thing to ask of him, seeing as how the city center is filled with a giant nest of BZMs. He's less than interested in this prospect and hangs up on her.

The next scene opens as our Nimble Chairman is standing on a random hill watching the road with binoculars. He's armed to the teeth and looking for trou--no...no he's not. He's standing around looking at a map. Then he hallucinates BZMs and sets up more bombs on the disturbingly large number of exposed gas lines this area seems to have. A BZM attacks him, and he shoots it. When I mentioned these BZMs are bloody, I wasn't kidding. He gets all spattered, freaks out, and dumps alcohol on his face, then rips his shirt off. Of course.

Then it's over.

No, not the movie, just the action. It's like the director keeps doling out just enough hope of awesomeness to keep us watching, but not enough to quench our thirst. At this point, the only thing keeping me watching this travesty is because I committed myself to writing this damn blog entry.

After The Chairman's freakout is over, he hears some woman sobbing and calling his name. It's the same woman from the video. I have to be impressed at her ability to get from "city center" to the middle of nowhere, especially since she couldn't even get out of the building without The Chairman's help. He runs towards her sobbing and screaming that "they" took her baby. He gets to her and...

SURPRISE! She's not real! He hallucinated the whole thing! Oh, and he left his gun back at the gas pipe. Will this spell doom for our hero?

No, no it does not. He just walks back to his pack, taking off his other shirt while the screen fades to black.

I am only half an hour into this monstrosity.

Next we see our debonair daredevil standing on some rock formation in the middle of a desert, drunk off his ass, littering the wilderness with empty beer cans, and urinating. Just to make sure we know what's going on, he screams about pissing on the world. Then he throws a rock, falls down, and starts laughing hysterically. Then he sobs and the screen fades to black. Again, I am absolutely riveted by the action.

The next scene opens with him in a snazzy button-up shirt, being alerted by the honking of a vehicle. Puzzled by this as most people who operate such devices are long dead, he goes to investigate. A white van pulls up, honking some more. A random stereotype walks out and tells The Chairman to open the gate. The Chairman glares silently. The Stereotype then makes some random racist remark. The Chairman glares harder and asks who he is. The Stereotype and The Chairman have a standoffish chat, wherein The Stereotype wants to come in and talk about the woman trapped in the city, whereas The Chairman isn't having any of it. He probably thinks this is another hallucination.

Honestly, I don't blame The Chairman for being a little nervous. The guys in the van don't look all that trustworthy and the way they're talking, they sound like their first order of business would be to pillage The Chairman's compound before burning it down and leaving our hero staked to a post out in the open. Don't open the gate! Don't do it!

The Chairman does not heed my yelled advice and goes to open the gate, declaring if The Stereotype and his buddies make any move, he'll "waste" them. The Stereotype and his partner just laugh. The Chairman brings them inside the fence and orders them around, while The Stereotype just laughs at him. The Stereotype insists he's just trying to rescue the trapped woman.

Since this is the most conversation that's happened so far, I'm riveted. Turns out The Chairman was in "special ops" which could mean anything in this universe. The Stereotype and his pal are also ex-military. They want The Chairman to get them into the sewers to get the girl before the bombs go off. We discover that the woman has some sort of "antivirus" in "her blood" that keeps her from being infected and they need her to save humankind.

I did not ask why in the hell they would risk such a woman to leave the damn survivor encampment. I was too busy fixated on the miracle antivirus she has in her blood.

The Chairman still doesn't care and orders them off his lawn.

So they pull out a rocket launcher and blow up The Chairman's house. Now he's forced to help them. Fortunately, the fire didn't touch him, so he's okay. Naturally, they refrain from showing his blowed-up house just in case they have to, you know, actually blow up a house to make it realistic.

The Chairman is then ordered to do some magical computer stuff with magic computers that never need recharging. Then BZMs attack and everything goes into chaos! They're everywhere! Now all three must fight or die!!!

Through all this, The Chairman thinks it's much more efficient to fight using his assault weapon as a bludgeon than, you know, shoot them. The Stereotype forgoes guns in favor of throwing knives. In less than thirty seconds (sigh), the fight is over. The Stereotype tells The Chairman that he really didn't want to blow up his house, but The Chairman left him with no other choice. The Chairman quietly plots his revenge. They do this while watching the third guy shoot a dozen BZMs coming out of nowhere. At this point, I don't question why they aren't helping out.

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I'm going to end this as being Part One because the post is getting far too long. Also because I couldn't bear to watch it anymore and had to take a break. I'll post the remainder tomorrow afternoon.

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