Sunday, August 30, 2015

Foodfight! (2012)

Once I was about two-thirds of the way through this movie, I started drinking vodka straight from the bottle and my notes after that contain nothing but "KILL ME" written over and over in an unsteady hand.

This is Foodfight!
abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Overview: This demonic horror masquerading as a movie is an ill-fated feature that, according to the ever-reliable internet, cost between 45 and 65 million dollars to make. Despite this, it looks like Satan's asshole after some Chipotle that's been left out a little too long.

In what I think was intended to be advertising's version of Wreck-It Ralph, we go inside the lives of advertising mascots for food at a supermarket. Once the store closes, they come alive and do cartoony stuff. The filmmakers got a few actual mascots in there, like Mr. Clean and uh... a bunch I don't recognize. That may have also been the dangerous amounts of alcohol consumed to finish this.

Just like Ralph, the filmmakers have a few original characters as the leads. In this case, we have the heroic Dex Dogtective, anthropomorphic dog and cereal mascot along with his main squeeze, Sunshine Goodness, a catgirl who's a... raisin mascot or something. Just go with it. Did I mention these characters are voiced by Charlie Sheen and Hilary Duff, respectively?
you can actually see their careers perishing in this shot if you look closely
However, their capitalist utopia is shattered when Sunshine vanishes and the mysterious Brand X moves in, determined to Borg it up and take over the store with their own mascot who the movie keeps putting in fetish outfits. For some reason.
"I'm in a schoolgirl outfit for no reason PLEASE MAKE PORN OF ME FOR FREE PUBLICITY WE NEED THE CASH"
What follows gave me another reason to drink. There's a resistance to Brand X, food puns, and... oh gods, I can't do this. I can't. I can't. This movie broke me. I might not be able to post for a while after this. I legitimately am incapable of ever feeling joy again. There is no god if he allowed this to be made. Checkmate, theists.

But seriously. How do you spend $45 million on this? There's no justice when this much money can be frittered away on this, unless the whole movie was pulling a Springtime For Hitler on us. How do you spend this much money on this much talent on such an ambitious project and tank it so hard? In a world where millions upon millions are unemployed despite their best efforts, where people starve every day, THIS gets millions of dollars as a budget? That's it, I've thrown off my depression from this movie. It's time to destroy this mofo... after I break you all with some of its quotes.

Notable moments/quotes: Catgirl: "How about we get Chef Boyardee to make us a humongous feast?!"

Sickenly Goody-Two Shoes Furfag Girl: "When in doubt, just do the right thing and it'll all turn out."
Danny, Dex's vaguely racist caricature of a best friend, just after Sunshine runs off: "It ain't like it's the last time you're gonna see her again." Immediately after this line, there is a "SIX MONTHS LATER" title card and Dex hasn't seen her since.
they somehow managed to restrain themselves from making him a fried chicken mascot
The movie features the "real world" representative of Brand X interacting with the store manager and... I just... I can't describe this shit. Just take a look.

Bartender, to post-Sunshine Dex: "Get a shelf life."

After Sunshine vanishes, Dex quits being a detective and opens a nightclub instead. His musical act? The California Raisins. I am not making this up.

Danny, to sex object: "C'mon baby, Dan's your man! Melts in your mouth, not on your hands!"

On a drug called Charlie Sheen, to a detergent mascot: "Sorry, I'm not buying this damsel in distress routine. You've been through the wash plenty of times... I can see it in your eyes."

Gay Nazi Brand X Soldier (seriously): "I could just kill you. That would be fun. More fun than a spanking. Mmmmm..."

Dex, to G-rated drug dealer: "Tricks are for kids."

Lady X, in a sultry tone: "Being filthy can be loads of fun. Don't you think so, Dex?"

Danny: "What the fudge?"

Danny: "We'll be killed. Not that I can't handle it, because I can."

Gay Vampire Cereal Mascot (seriously): "You're not exactly dead, but you're not exactly alive either. It's like homework. C'mon, that's funny. That's funny."

The movie features a roughly twenty-minute (literal) food fight with ketchup cannons and cups of boiling hot chocolate between the forces of brand names and Brand X. This was about the point I gave up.

Dex, to Brand X lady: "I'm gonna pop your corn, lady."
"Mmm, please do."
Dex: "Once more into the bleach, my friend."

Dex: "You cold-farted itch!"

Gay Nazi Brand X Soldier, just before dying from what is heavily implied to be having something forced up his asshole: "I think I just wet myself. I feels rather nice."

Lady X: "But enough about me, let's kill you!" (Note: this was the only thing in the entire movie that got a laugh out of me, but by this point, said laugh quickly turned into a hysterical sob.)

Dex: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a Spam."

Literally two minutes before the movie ends, they resurrect all the dead advertising icons (or "ikes" as the movie calls them) through poorly explained bullshit.

My thoughts: This movie. This movie. This movie. This movie. This movie. This movie. This movie. This movie. 

I've found myself saying this multiple times since beginning this blog adventure, but this is by far the worst movie I have ever seen. Zardoz, The Room, hell not even Vampire's Kiss can hold a candle to this movie. The worst of it is, I find myself at something of a loss to explain why I loathe this film so much. Is it the fact so much money was wasted? Is it the reliance on gross-out and toilet humor that wouldn't appeal to five year-olds? Is it my fanatical hatred of furries? Something about this movie literally sapped my will to live. It takes a very dark, very awful movie to do that to me. I imagined myself fully prepared for any trial filmmakers could throw at me, but this damn near broke me. You will never be prepared for this hellscape of cinematic abortion.

Okay. Let me begin at the beginning, this movie's concept of its world. So, these little characters who are mascots, literally embodying the soul of their brands, all live in this one supermarket. It's clearly not uber important, as the Brand X guy is able to bluff past the manager by saying "corporate" sent him. Are there a bunch of other Sunshine Furfags running around in every store in the country? If not, why do they all congregate in this store? Does it sit at some kind of leyline of concentrated avarice where a few Enron executives are buried or something? Furthermore, the movie shows us that when an "ike" dies, their product is recalled or their particular product starting going downhill. Unless this process actually works in reverse and the characters die off because their sales plummet, this doesn't make any sense. I guarantee that if companies had some tiny little catgirl whose life was essential to their success, they wouldn't let her out of their sights, let alone let her innocent little degenerate half-breed self mingle with other crimes against God. Besides, what about companies without mascots? There are plenty of food companies that don't feature some cartoony mascot on their packaging. What then, movie? What then?!

So, the world is nonsense. What about the characters? Dex is classic noir rip-off, Sunshine is all happiness and rainbows, and so forth. Every bit as one-dimensional as you'd expect. However, Lady X actually gets a bit of depth. It's revealed late in the movie that she used to be... ugly! She was a mascot for a prune company. Her sole motivation is revealed to be petty jealousy from seeing Sunshine's success in contrast to her own ugly looks. I'm not some Tumblr user calling for an end to body shaming, but holy shit, really, movie? A character who turned evil just because she was ugly? Why not just put a gross, vaguely Jewey witch nose on her and...
oh. oh, you already did.
Seriously, are they this dense? Like... ugly people are a vast majority of the populace. Being one myself, I know. Why do you go out of your way to shit on people who aren't perfect little porcelain dolls? Couldn't be bothered to actually write a motivation, so you made a vaguely Jewish stereotype modeled after your ex-girlfriend instead? By Set, I can't believe these hacks. Jealousy is a perfectly good character motivator, but instead of using her disguise as a hot babe to make a point about being genuine or honesty being best or some other goody-two-shoes bullshit, you just went to "HAH HA, SHE'S UGLY AND STUFF." This is the laziest kind of writing, and it's stuff like this that convinces me that this had to be a massive con on the financiers from the get-go.

Speaking of bad writing, this movie also seems to misunderstand what a "recall" is. In the real world, companies voluntarily institute a recall if they realize their products are harmful or some government agency realizes so. In this movie, anyone anywhere can institute a recall for apparently no reason, as Brand X got Sunshine's raisins recalled. How? Why? Who knows! And for one of the movie's climaxes,
oh hey dude where've you been lately
Dex and Danny have to venture into the real world to send an email "to corporate" to get all of Brand X's products recalled. Now, at this point in the movie, they do have proof that Brand X's products are harmful, so this barely gets a pass, but srsly. Unless there was some massive conspiracy about how the raisins were made completely of cancer, you can't just send an email to the FDA and say "Uh, yeah this other company's food has asbestos in it and stuff, signed, their competitors totally not their competitors" and see their business topple. Yet, in the universe this movie takes place in, that's enough. I really don't know what they were thinking.
"Our target audience are weird perverts, furries, and five-year-old kids with ADHD!"
However, I have saved my biggest issue with this movie until the end: the fact that the good guys are the good guys. It's pretty clear that this movie is meant to say that name brands are good and wholesome, while generic and store brands are literally Hitler. However, you know who loses when name brands push out generics? That's right, the consumer. After all, the movie shows us that Brand X is beating the tar out of the other products in sales. Clearly they're doing something right. Now, the movie states that Brand X products are addictive and actually toxic to humans (yeah, sure, just throw that in in a throwaway line. You bad movies always sow the seeds of your own destruction), but clearly that's just name-brand propaganda. To begin with, Lady X's goal is supermarket domination, so it makes no sense to kill her customers. Only cigarettes get away with that shit. Somehow. However, and most damning to the brands' crusade against poor ol' Brand X beyond all their mudslinging, beyond portraying them as Nazis, beyond even saying their secret ingredient is addictive... is that the movie outright says the secret ingredient was extracted from Sunshine.

"I'm made of cocaine!"
Ah-ha! So, really if you think about it, Sunshine's company was pulling the same shit as Brand X, hiding behind a cutesy character that they were hooking their customers on their products. And this allows us to unravel one of the great mysteries of our time: Charlie Sheen was on a drug, and that drug was not called Charlie Sheen. It was called Sunshine Goodness. After all this moralizing, all this high-horse crap, it turns out that they're only mad at Brand X for beating them at their own game using the same tactics. And when the brands beat X at the end, there's only one real loser: the consumer. Because we're still going to get addicted and poisoned, just by a creepy catgirl instead of a Nazi. And we're going to pay more for the privilege just because of name loyalty/recognition.

Wait, did I just build a case for a movie that's 99% product placement being some kind of postmodern, bitter commentary on the state of modern capitalism?

Eh, whatever, it doesn't matter in the end. This movie still exists. I, sadly, cannot unmake through sheer hatred alone.

I think my thoughts on this movie can be best summed up by a note I wrote roughly around the time when the titular "food fight" started: "I want all these characters to die." The only way this film could have been saved is if it had never existed. The only way the film could be improved from the broken state it's in is if it were shorter, so reviewers like me had their suffering shortened. I literally would not wish this film on my worst enemy. Watch at your own risk, and keep any sharp objects or firearms far, far away, lest you commit suicide rather than continue watching. I'm a professional at movies like this; do not try at home. For the love of whatever you consider holy, do not watch this movie.

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to hug my Nicolas Cage body pillow while weeping softly in the hopes that that will allow me to feel again. Feel anything, really. I think I need a hug.

I give this a Bees out of five. Facebook and help me regain my sense of hope and wonder.