It never ceases to amaze me how many bad movies are out there. Sure the law of averages rules the world and therefore not everything can be good but the volume of bad movies is incredible. I doubt people start out to make bad movies. I read a comic book series, one of the “Concrete” stories by Paul Chadwick, about the making of a movie and how everyone starts out with the intentions of making a good movie but then things just happen. A bad movie is a result. The story was based on some time Chadwick spent in the movie industry so I figure that is how a lot of bad movies get made. They can’t be made on purpose. Can they?

The first bad movie I saw this week was Open Water 2. I saw Open Water just a couple of weeks ago and was ambivalent about it but it is a quantum leap ahead of this one. I know it’s just a sequel to cash in on the success of the first one and I expected it to be bad but it was so Hollywood predictably bad.

Open Water 2 has a lot in common with Blair Witch Project 2. You may have liked Blair Witch or Open Water or you may not have but either way they were both small budget, outside the mainstream movies. They were different and quirky and not made by the big business movie machine. How do you make good sequels to such singular movies? I don’t know and neither did the film makers. They made crappy ones.

Open Water was a “based on a true story” account of a couple left behind in the middle of the ocean after a scuba dive. To up the ante Open Water 2 is a “based on a true story” account of a group of people stranded in the ocean. They weren’t quite stranded; they jumped in the ocean without lowering the yacht’s ladder and couldn’t get back on the boat. Yes, there was an episode of “King of the Hill” with the same plot but our cartoon friends managed to get back on the boat in half an hour. Once again proving cartoons are smarter than people.

What made the the first Open Water interesting was the film makers’ efforts to capture what a real couple might go through if stranded. Open Water 2 was more like what would happen if six (or was it five or seven, eh who can remember) bad movie characters were stuck in the ocean. Movie characters ain’t people that’s for sure. And did I mention there was a crying baby on board the boat? Nothing increases the tension like an infant in peril. Like they are really going to kill a baby in a movie.

The rest of the movie was filled with our heroes doing really dumb things to put themselves in even more danger. They couldn’t just tread water they had to fight amongst themselves. The highlights included: two of the guys fighting over a knife and one of them accidently being stabbed. Another guy swimming down to recover something (I can’t even remember what) and then panicking and bashing his head on the boat’s propeller as he surfaced. I think there were some floatation devices accidently destroyed also. I watched the second half of the movie on fast forward so I’m unclear on all of the dumb things they did. But don’t worry the baby was saved.

I guess it is inevitable that a big budget Hollywood movie would lose all of the outsider stuff that made a low budget film interesting but couldn’t they at least try? C’mon, a crying baby on board? Did they have to use the cheapest trick in the book?

The second bad film is the Black Dahlia. Any similarity with the actual case is purely coincidental. This movie could have no association with that famous murder and be exactly the same. Except it’s easier to market a film about a famous case. There you go.

I watched about the first third, payed little attention to the next third and was baffled by the ending. The movie is really about two cops and their careers plus a girlfriend. She’s the girlfriend of one of them or both of them it was hard to tell because boredom kept me from caring about their strange relationship.

And the ending, ahhh… One of my favorite comedies is “Murder By Death”. A picture that spoofs all the great celluloid and pulp detectives. The ending of “Murder By Death” has each detective, having just survived a murder attempt, confront the would be killer and reveal the killer’s master plan. As each detective speaks the explanation gets more convoluted and wacky (including Peter Falk, as Sam Spade, being “In disguise, in disguise, in disguise” noting how many layers were in the plan). I think “The Black Dahlia” lifted this ending. Only they took it seriously.

In the final scene first one person would enter the room and explain what happened and then another would and then another. I had long since stopped paying attention to the sleep inducing plot and all the different explanations of “what had really happened” only made for comedy. This movie begs for the MST3K treatment.

It’s a wonder anyone goes to the movies. I certainly prefer to see them on TV so I can ignore them easier.