Bad vs Worse (2013)


If I was a movie gangster, I’d never lend money to obvious idiots like the one at the beginning of “Bad vs Worse”. It seems like a whole lot of effort, when he inevitably doesn’t pay, to drag him out to a bridge in the middle of nowhere and then shoot another different guy who owes you money, in order to impress on him the importance of good financial planning. I reckon I’d invest in property, a nice steady return on my money.


Of course, “Sound Investment: The Movie” would not be all that interesting, but that would just mean it’d join “Bad vs. Worse” down near the bottom of the cinematic pile. We have one Gus Trapani to thank for this – he produced, wrote, directed, filmed and edited, and made this all with a budget of less than $10,000. While that’s to be commended in some ways, it’s also worth pondering that perhaps there ought to be a bigger hurdle to clear to get into the movie business.


Our tale involves Joey, a fellow who’s in hock to gangsters, and then asks his younger brother Lenny to help him and his buddies rob some houses, in order to pay them back. They’ve been working on low-end houses, but when Joey really needs the cash, he decides to move onto nicer places. But wouldn’t you know it? They pick somewhere a serial killer is finishing off his most recent bit of work, a serial killer who calmly decides to add a few bland white guys to his murder list for the day. So begins a tale of cat and mouse, or “bad vs worse” even.


I’m really struggling to find anything to say about this. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve seen dozens of movies remarkably similar – low budget, made by and for disaffected young white men. There’s no human warmth, any comedy is crude and obvious, and everyone is just angry or swear-y. “Home invasion gone wrong” is nice and easy with a low budget, but it’s also pretty difficult to differentiate yourself from the mass of others that have come before you, especially when you’ve not got the greatest script.


I’ll start with the positive – Trapani is a gifted cinematographer, and a lot of the movie’s visual elements look more expensive than whatever tiny amount is the final budget. I think if he’d not had to worry about his 17 other jobs on “Bad vs Worse”, it could have looked even better.


Okay, that bit was short. Sorry! It’s just an amateur movie, with people whose sole credits are other ultra-low-budget horror crap if they’ve got any credits at all, and it’s pretty tiring to watch a parade of people who don’t look all that comfortable in front of the camera, substituting shouting for any actual emotion. The sound is terrible, too, with some dialogue barely audible and some so loud as to be deafening. And the script! I was shouting at the guys “just get out of the damn house! Go find the police! Stop being so stupid!”


Writing any more about this would just encourage them. This has been distributed by Wild Eye Releasing, who’ve got some real gems of independent horror in their catalogue – check them out and watch stuff like “They Will Outlive Us All” – but sadly not every release can be a winner. I hinted at this earlier, but…there’s too much “stuff” in the world. It’s so cheap, relatively, to make a movie these days, and there are so many distribution platforms, that people who shouldn’t be anywhere near the creative reins of a motion picture are ending up able to get a DVD into the hands of some guy in the UK like me. I mean, okay, it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but is it essential? Did anyone think this particular story needed to be told? Would the world, in fact, be slightly better if the number of movies released every year reduced by 75%? Okay, the low hurdle means people who’ve been marginalised by the mainstream can get their stories out there, like people of colour and LGBT people, but I’m not sure white metal fans in their 20s count as marginalised.


So – go to Wild Eye – – give em some cash, but pass on this one.
Rating: thumbs down


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