Ooh…. So it’s one party and one local bar later. We went as Lex Luthor and Catwoman. Almost immediately, we ran into Superman and Batman. “Well, this is a tense moment,” I said. Somehow, it all suits this next review.

“Put out an APB on all suspicious Bags of Crushed Children!”

It started as a joke. Scott Slemmons wrote a gag review of a non-existent low-budget ’70s horror film and posted it online. Then someone actually went and made the film, and it’s our short feature for Halloween ’04.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info:

Director: Merrick Meyers
Writers: Merrick Meyers, Scott Slemmons

Features:
Brian Beloian…Luthor
A doll and some meat shoved into a bag…Bag of Crushed Child
Jay Simon…The Guy
Merrick Meyers…Sheriff

Available at online here (bitTorrent)

Premise:

Some guy travels around the country with a child who was crushed and sealed in a bag by some dark forces. Angered by his past, Bag of Crushed Child strikes out at victims, innocent and otherwise.

High Point:

The woman who sporadically appears for no apparent reason and insults Luther.*

The sheer idiocy of the musical number. Heavy-metal band “Thunderland” consists of a singer, some distortion, and a girl with a trombone, playing, according to the promotional material, “a finely-crafted song that was in no way written literally five minutes before” the camera started to roll. Apparently, the composers misjudged the length of the song required, because she finishes the set by blowing “Smoke on the Water.”

The fact that everyone, regardless of context or past experience, refers to the title character as “Bag of Crushed Child.”

Low Point:

The actors really should’ve muffled their laughter more effectively.

The Scores:

Originality: 6/6 Apart from the lunatic originality of the premise, we also see a Blair Witch style introduction in which the actors search for the “original” film at the local video shop. I shudder to think what it reveals about our culture that the clerk acts as if someone requesting Bag of Crushed Child is not the least bit unusual.

Effects: 1/6. The effects largely consist of someone off-camera throwing Bag of Crushed Child at various people. I was tempted to use negative integers, but obviously, the lameness of the effects are half the fun here.

Story: 3/6 Easily the best account of a Bag of Crushed Child’s homicidal rampage I have viewed anywhere. You will likely agree.

Acting: 2/6: Brian Beloian is pretty good as Luther, and the prostitutes manage passable performances.

Production: 2/6 You’re kidding, right? Actually, they did pretty well with really limited resources.

Emotional Response: 4/6 This film is actually funny.

Overall: 4/6.

In total, Bag of Crushed Child receives 22/42.

Additional Comments

The film is a joke. However, I can think of a good many big-budget flicks that don’t manage to entertain as much as this thing, shot by a bunch of friends in their spare time and thrown together quickly using a pirated copy of Adobe Premiere.

I didn’t know if I should just pull a pokerface and rate this “6” in every category or be wildly unfair and rate it relative to serious movies. I decided to go with an honest response that tries to keep in mind the film’s origins.

*Actually, she’s a tribute to a real-life encounter between the filmmaker and a verbally abusive stranger.