Legion of the Dead
(2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
When people discuss the worst movie ever made, a
common choice is Plan 9 from Outer Space. Ed Wood's reverse
masterpiece has long endured and its reputation continues to grow,
although many similar films from its era are only dimly remembered
footnotes. Why? Because Plan 9 is so incompetent and so memorable in
so many ways.
- The plot is illogical and incoherent.
- The editing ignores the entire concept of
continuity. Day becomes night becomes day again.
- The special effects are among the worst ever
assembled. (Tin plates for flying saucers. Wobbly gravestones. An
airplane cockpit which looks like somebody's dining room, in
which the walls shake when touched. A body double who must be six
inches taller than the actor (Lugosi) he subs for.)
- The acting is incomprehensibly poor.
- The actors are not only incompetent, but
outlandish. They look like the people rejected by the traveling
carny for excessively odd appearance.
- The dialogue and narrative are rhetorical.
- The director, although responsible for the script
and the other major problems, took himself seriously and thought he
was making a masterpiece.
- Screen legend Bela Lugosi died during the
- Tim Burton made a movie about director Ed Wood.
Legion of the Dead will probably not be remembered
next week, but it is, like Plan 9, utterly incompetent across the
- The acting? Fuggitaboudit. If you made a movie by
hiring the first twenty people who walked past a certain spot, the
acting in your film would be far better than in this one. They made
the cast of Plan 9 seem like the RSC.
- Is the cast odd? Some of these guys make Tor
Johnson and Vampira and Bunny look like senior executives at IBM.
- The script and continuity? The film has about
fifteen superfluous characters.
- The special effects? Halloween night in The Big
- Is it self-important? They made a film about the
making of this film (also on the DVD), in which they discuss it as
if it were Apocalypse Now. They even have several deleted scenes,
although it is impossible for the human mind to grasp how a scene
could be too incompetent to get into the film itself. Best of all,
all the people involved with the film talk exactly like "Dieter" in
those SNL "Sprockets" skits. "Und now vee tahnce".
I don't know if anyone died during the making of
this film, but what the film lacked in fatalities it more than made up
in failed humor. In fact, that's what really put the film in the bad
film major leagues. In addition to all its other flaws, it tries to be
funny, and nobody in the cast or crew appears to have any concept of
comic timing. Although that didn't really matter, because the material
wouldn't have been funny if Groucho and Seinfeld had delivered it.
Nothing is sadder than when humorless guys don't realize it.
These is one very attractive shot of a reclining
female nude. It is supposed to be the character played by
The original concept was to make a film something
like From Dusk 'Til Dawn. Imagine your Uncle Dwight, the one with the
cheap toupee, who always tapes family Christmas on his home camcorder.
Now imagine that guy trying to remake From Dusk 'Til Dawn from his
memory, using other family members and some circus sideshow freaks as
the cast, and creating special effects from common materials lying
around his house. Is that film fixed in your imagination?
Well, Legion of the Dead isn't that good.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this description, it
is an F, but a very low F. Und now vee tahnce.
the Movie House home page