Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I Swear I'm Not Making This Up

When I was perusing through the newspaper Express (a publication of the Washington Post) after work today, I saw a review for a movie that had me thinking that I was reading the Onion and not a publication of the Washington Post. But when I saw that you could buy this movie on Amazon, I realized it was no joke. I'll let the review speak for itself:

In the more than two years I have spent reviewing DVDs for washingtonpost.com, I've certainly received my share of offbeat box sets and lame collections.

The first two seasons of "Punky Brewster."

Numerous Lifetime Original Movies.

Almost any film starring Vin Diesel.

But nothing prepared me for the beyond-bizarre DVD that recently arrived from the independent home video distributor Vanguard Cinema: "Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls," a schlocky comedy starring Eric Roberts, Evan Marriott (aka Joe Millionaire) and ... Michael Jackson. Yes, in the upper right-hand corner of the DVD's case, surrounded by beams of angelic light, lies the face of Mr. Thriller himself, promoting what Vanguard touts as "the first new Michael Jackson DVD in the retail marketplace since closure of the recent trial events."

Normally I don't review straight-to-video titles, mainly because there are so many other high-profile (and typically more worthwhile) DVDs on the market. But this one seemed so out there (Evan Marriott and Michael Jackson??), so deserving of a place in the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" Hall of Fame, that I felt compelled to watch. When the train looks this crazy, you can't help but board.

As expected, the 90-minute movie was terrible -- a disjointed mishmash of Zucker Brothers-style comedy and fantasy-adventure. The convoluted plot focuses on a batch of beauty pageant contestants who crash land on a deserted island that happens to house Noah's Ark and a huge wild boar named Jurassic Pork. Their mission -- along with that of their co-pilots, played by Roberts and Charlie Schlatter of TV's now-defunct "Diagnosis Murder" -- is to escape the island and stop the ark from sailing and creating a "Perfect Storm" that will somehow cause the Earth to be taken over by apes. And who is their spiritual adviser in this quest? That's right, Michael Jackson, who plays a secret agent commissioned by the pope to appear as an Obi-Wan Kenobi-esque hologram -- stay with me, people, I swear I'm not making this up -- and help the castaways save the planet.

I'm definitely putting this movie on my Netflix list.