28 June 2015

Project Terrible: BABY GENIUSES + SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2

My, erm, buddy Christian knows how much I hate kids and babies in general, so he thought there's only one film in the Bottom 100 that perfectly fits my distaste: "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2" (ugh). When my other, erm, buddy Robert saw what Christian gave me, he instantly knew that this screams for a, erm, baby-tastic double feature and so he gave me its predecessor "Baby Geniuses" (ugh).

Christian... Robert... to quote from a "Happy Endings" episode: "My revenge will be served like the tennis serve of a seventh grade girl: slow, out of bounds and I will pull balls out of my skirt." ;)))

BABY GENIUSES

German Title:
Die Windel-Gang

USA, 1999
Direcor: Bob Clark

3,5/10








I'm not a fan of Bob Clark's work, but I admit that he and his filmography utterly fascinates me. I mean, this guy switched between genres with such an ease, it's hilariously impresive: low-budget horror flicks ("Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things", "Dead of Night"), Sherlock Holmes mystery-thriller ("Murder by Decree"), teen sex comedies ("Porky's I + II"), or comedy-dramas ("Tribute",
"From The Hip").

He also made two of America's most popular Christmas films of all time, the Christmas-themed proto-slasher "Black Christmas" and the critically acclaimed still-uber-popular "A Chrstmas Story" - but he also made crap like the Silvester Stallone / Dolly Parton musical "Rhinestone" (won 2 Razzies, nominated for 6 more Razzies), the critically panned Gene Hackman / Dan Aykroyd box office disaster "Loose Cannons" (has a 0% rating on RT), and toddler crap "Baby Geniuses" (2,5/10 on Imdb) and its sequel "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2" (widely consideres as one of the worst films of all time | 1,9/10 on Imdb / among the Top 20 of Imdb's Bottom 100 for like ages | 4 Razzie nominations).


"Baby Geniuses" follows two scientists who study super-intelligent "genius-babies" to fund their popular baby-themed theme park, while at the same time trying to decipher the code to "baby talk", a super-sophisticated language which allows intelligent toddlers to communicate the knowledge of the secrets of the universe, because... well, according to the scientists, all babies are born possessing vast, universal knowledge... um, yeah.

I admit, the movie's basic concept isn't that bad. You could perfectly use it for a horror film in the vein of classics like "Bloody Birthday" or "It's Alive". Unfortunately, Bob Clark and the 4(!) other people who worked on the movie's story / screenplay turned it into an extremely silly family-oriented comedy that just doesn't work because for the most part, it's super-dull and just not funny.


The whole thing feels like an awkward mix of "Look Who's Talking" (annoying talking babies) and "Rugrats" (even more annoying talking babies) with elements of "Problem Child" (typically 90s over-the-top characters) and "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" (kids-aimed semi-scifi), at times mildly entertaining, but most of the time just boring and unnerving.

Great actors like Kathleen Turner (nominated for an Oscar, won 2 Golden Globes), Kim Cattrall (won 1 Golden Globe) or Christopher Lloyd (won 3 Primetime Emmys) making a fool out of themselves, delivering solid but completely unremarkable and totally forgettable performances. Clark's direction is odd, the pacing is too tedious and the rather high amount of supposed-to-be-amusing action-movie clich├ęs is simply tiresome.


A few scenes were quite okay, like the ones were the babies talk about Pavlov's Dog and New World Order stuff, or one that was clearly inspired by "Home Alone". Music and camera work are neat, some nice tunes like Taco's "Puttin' on the Ritz" or Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" and a couple of lines that made me chuckle ("Have you said 'Dada' yet? They'll love that." -  "I've decided the first words I want to say will be 'The Gettysburg Address'). Overall: pretty bad,
but watchable, I guess.




SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2

Working Title:
Baby Geniuses 2: Return of the Super Babies

Australia / New Zealand / UK / USA, 2004
Director: Bob Clark

1/10







Believe it or not, the first part was successful enough to warrant a sequel, so just 5 years later, Bob Clark returned to helm the follow-up, this time making a kid-friendly version of Nazisploitation by letting a few of the oh-so-genius babies team up with Kahuna, a legendary baby that is part superhero, part super-spy who once saved East-Germany Berlin from a a Nazi commander called "Kane" (where is Batman when you need him?), and is now back to save the world from the insane media mogul and children-kidnapper Bill Biscane... who is actually Kane! Mind blown.


Part 1 was bearable. Part 2 is pretty much unbearable and it's fully understandable why it's considered one of the worst films of all time. Ok, I've seen many, many movies that are FAR worse than this... still, this one's really one helluva turd. It's way more over-the-top, way dumber, way more bonkers and way more inane than the first one. Mildly funny lines? Mildly neat scenes? Forget it. This is just an endless of succession of fucking brats talking completely unfunny shit, while idiotic Superbaby Kahuna constantly dropkicks oh-so-stupid not-really-villains who are all plain retarded.

Not once did I chuckle. Not once did I smile. I just sank deeper and deeper into my seat, because the movie's so unbelievably dull and boring. The CGI effects, which were semi-okay in the first part, are all bad and look totally unconvincing, direction and writing are beyond awful, Jon Voight (won 1 Oscar & 4 Golden Globes) gives the worst performance of his entire career as dumb Nazi with a HORRID semi-German accent, and the other actors (Scott Baio, Vanessa Angel, Skyler Shaye...) are all incredibly wooden.


There's not much more to say about this stupid piece of baby shit. In case you wonder why I don't give it a 0/10... well, the movie looks at least kinda solid, mainly because of the insanely high $20 million budget, and the one scene where a baby crawls around on the ceiling somehow felt like a tribute to my beloved "The Exorcist III". Aside from that, "Baby Geniuses 2" just sucks and deserves to be forever in the Imdb's Bottom 100.

6 comments:

  1. I won't defend those Films. Not one bit.

    I will say this: 'Loose Cannons' is actually not that bad. The set-up is very similar to a more whacked-out version of 'Monk'- though this one came a good Decade earlier.

    That said- it is still weird as hell.

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    1. "Loose Cannons" somehow looks watchable, but I'm not sure if I should really check it out. Give it to me next round ;)

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  2. ...am I the only one who wanted to blow up them creepy animatronics with a grenade launcher?

    ugh, hate these films. If these babies were so smart, why won't they invent a time machine, go back to 1981 and meet Sam Niell as Damien during his baby slaughtering spree? THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FUN! -3-

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    1. Can't argue with that, Kai. That would have been really, really fun :-D

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  3. I worked with Bob Clark twice - he was a wonderful presence on set and a very cool man. I treasure the time one afternoon that he and I and Ken Goch (who'd worked with him back to Deathdream) were chatting about Deathdream and Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things. Amazing hour of my life. I have always been boggled by the breadth of the quality of Bob Clark's movies though - from the high points of Deathdream, Porky's, Murder by Decree, and A Christmas Story to the dregs of these movies and Loose Cannons. I'll never understand how one man could be responsible for all of these movies as director.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, exactly my thoughts. It seems as if he himself wanted to 'destroy' his very own career for whatever reason. I like it when movie directors are versatile, but Clark's versatility is insane and makes not much sense to me.

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