Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It Came from the Depths of Geelong

I'm currently living in Geelong, about an hour down the highway from Melbourne. I grew up in this town and am residing here during the limbo time before I jet set off to live overseas - if you're new to that personal development (as in, you don't follow me on Twitter) there will obviously be more details to come, but I am not leaving you my dear readers - so it seemed almost like destiny that the local Village cinema should be playing a rare "made in Geelong" feature film on its multiplex screens. I'd first noticed it several weeks back when I walked past the open foyer on my way to a friend's dinner and I had assumed it was British, something along the lines of Run, Fat Boy, Run. Alas, I was stunned to discover that this rather terribly designed poster was actually for an Australian film. A Geelong-made film. I knew there and then that I would have to make the time to see it. I mean, I may never get the chance to see Geelong on the big screen ever again!

Not that I particularly mind, but I needed any excuse to make my cinema going decision valid. Any excuse at all.

The movie's name is Reverse Runner and it is "(p)resented by the director of The Mighty Ducks". That can only mean good things, right? Wrong. It's a sport comedy about the "alternative athletics" events that features such prestigious events as chair throwing (rather than discuss), backflipping, and the titular reverse running. Somehow the jewel in the alternative athletics crown, reverse running is a sporting endeavour that brings with it both prestige and stupidity. I don't even know how much more I need to share because, really, nobody reading this is ever going to see it. And those that already have - it apparently broke box office records in the suburb it was filmed in, which would be Colac - surely already know how bad it is.

Amateur is the word I've been predominantly using to describe this movie by Lachlan Ryan and Jarrod Theodore. Flinging insults at its terrible actors, abominable screenplay, flat and boring visuals, and nauseating score feels akin to kicking a puppy. A dumb puppy, but a puppy nonetheless. Alas, it still must be noted that Reverse Runner is an abomination of a film and really isn't even worthy of direct-to-DVD status. They must have some smart people on their marketing team to get this film in the bunch of regional cinemas that they have since it doesn't belong anywhere near them. There are laughs to be had, sure, but not the kind that the filmmakers likely desired. And I'm sure if they ever read this they will want to spark back with claims like "it's fun and innocent" or that it had "good intentions", but good intentions don't pay the bills and I would have been mightily miffed if I'd had to pay to see this. In an empty cinema mind you, without any friends to make it worthwhile.

However, therein perhaps lies Reverse Runner's secret weapon. Could Australian cinema finally have found it's own version of The Room. One can easily see crowds jazzed up on booze shouting out some of this film's most ludicrous lines. How about "Dick is funny. Dick is awesome. I LOVE DICK!" or "the only running I'm good for is runners up", or the magical "when I saw you the other day it was like you were moon walking. No, moon running." At that point the whole crowd could get up and do a synchronised dance routine of moonwalkingrunning. Instead of Tommy Wiseau's spoon-inspired madness, Reverse Runner's projectile of choice could be tube socks of headbands. I can only imagine what ridiculous lunacy crowds could invent for when one characters compares their car to a breached birth. Actually, maybe I'd rather no imagine that. Lucky that love interest Bianca Linton isn't listed on the film's IMDb page because, really, she gives Juliette Danielle a real run for her money (lol! running pun - gold star to me). Reverse Runner even has its own bizarre reverence for its home town. "BUT WHERE ARE WE" the Geelong locals could yell every time the, ahem, beloved Landy Field is featured. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Like I said, I feel somewhat bad about being so harsh on Reverse Runner, but this is even worse than your below average student feature. What's even worse is that it surely knows how crummy it is, but expects audiences to give it a free pass for a number of reasons. I've watched some really bad Australian films in my time, but most of them I can at least understand how they got released to the general public. I've also seen some terrible Aussie films that never ended up released and Reverse Runner belongs on that pile. It's only real worth is as a punching bag for drunken louts who've perhaps flung spoons at Tommy Wiseau's face one too many times. And even then it can't hold a candle. Run all right, but in the opposite direction. Yiiiikes!

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