7 March 2010 | ErikAngelofMusic
David Lister tries for a second time and has an epic fail... again.
Once upon a time, David Lister, the director of this version of Beauty and the Beasts(2009), directed another movie called Blood of Beasts(2003). It was another film based on Beauty and the Beast and it was awful, but terribly funny in a way it was never meant to be. Because Blood of Beasts(2003) was so awful, it made sick and twisted sense for him to try to go ahead and redo it.
With David Lister (as one of the most ineffective directors around), I knew what I was getting into. Low-budget? Yes. Bad costumes? Yes. Bad directing? Yes. Bad acting? Heh, let's try NO acting. It was perfectly set up for accidental comic brilliance.
Let me say this: David Lister has really out-done himself this time. Beauty and the Beasts(2009) is even worse than Blood of Beasts(2003), and that is no small feat.
I laughed the whole way through. Between the miniskirt with the brown vinyl corset thrown over it, inappropriate uses of CGI, the Botox lips-of-doom, the high school theatre costume department reject wigs, and the ketchup-for-blood effects, if I did not laugh I would have cried, it was that painful.
Even then, let's chalk that up to low-budgeting. If there are good actors and good directors, any film can shine. My favourite Beauty and the Beast film, the Czechoslovakian Panna a netvor(1978), is riddled with the signs of a low-budget: simple special-effects, second rate costumes, natural and sparse sets. Still Panna a netvor(1978) is brilliant, making up in plot, intensity and acting what it lacked in money. With this in mind, Beauty and the Beasts(2009) has no excuse.
It was excruciatingly painful, so much so that you have to be masochistic to watch it more than once, but I think I could have forgiven much of it had the film had even the barest sense of humour. Everyone takes themselves much too seriously. Imagine a campy Vincent Price flick like the Abominable Dr. Phibes(1971) in which they try to be serious? It wouldn't work, and it didn't work here.
I'll give it a point for the potential of the story. It was an interesting idea which happily did not conform to the established version of Beauty and the Beast, and it *could* have had interesting repercussions. Still, and not surprisingly, it failed to deliver.
This is the sort of traumatic experience in which an "I survived Beauty and the Beasts: A Dark Tale 2009" t-shirt should be made so that you can be admired and pitied all at once.