Holy shit, CGI has changed the way we
look at the world around us. Back in the 70’s if you were waiting for
the movie to start and the bucket of popcorn grew eyes and started
dancing around the counter top assisted by a reanimated bag of Skittles
you’d puke in your hat and call a ventriloquist, a priest, and a burly
cop six weeks from retirement to come deal with it. Now we can’t flip
through the channels without seeing a seemingly living 2,000 foot robot
whipping up a lather in his 17,000 foot shower or a muffin writhing out
of some bitch’s grasp as she does a walk-and-talk about menopause being a
real pisser. Superman
made us believe a man could fly but it wasn’t until The Revenge of the Sith
that we could believe that Christopher Lee had both Jedi Powers and
CGI is an amazing tool that many
filmmakers wield like a digital Mjolnir,
creating worlds and creatures that take our breath away. Unfortunately
through the years some have used it as a scythe, slashing our dreams and
severing that muscle that connects our sexual pleasure organs to the
muscle that tells our mind we’re really good at using our sexual
pleasure organs. The result is oblivion.
So with that we bring you CHUD’s
latest glorious list. The twenty worst instances of CGI in movie
history. In no order. Well, except the order we decide to do them.
Brought to you by David Oliver
THE OFFENDER: An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)
SCENE: We ain’t talking a scene here, friend, we’re talking the whole flea-bitten movie. If you’re seeing these Eurotrash* fangy pooches on the screen, you’re getting the Iditarod view: the business end of a dog’s ass. This sequel to one of the all-time great werewolf flicks / horror flicks / Agutterflesh sightings is awash in bad pixels that think they can outdo the undisputed master of creature effects. One of the things that has notoriously been a pain in the ass to CGI is fur. And, well, there’s just a teeny bit more than an assload of it in this film.
Of course, it’s not just the rendered final product up on the screen, but the design of the lycans as well. These are, with little or no exception, the worst-designed werewolves in film. I’m pretty sure I figured out the design template, though:
ALL GOES WRONG: I’m thinking somewhere around the budgeting stage. Even back in 1997 dollars, $22 million wasn’t a lot to throw to a CGI budget, let alone an entire movie. The money certainly didn’t go to big name stars. The biggest thing Tom Everett Naughton had on his resume back then was That Thing That Tom Hanks Did! And although Julie Delpy was slumming, she was still best known as that French chick who kept Ethan Hawke up all night and helped Chris O’Donnell fuck over Michael Wincott. Throw in some location shooting in Paris itself, and I’m thinking the animators of this thing had about the same amount of scratch to work with as a single mom on WIC. And computers don’t take food stamps.
Another thing is that this film had werewolves…plural. The original had a werewolf. Yeah, you can throw in the awesome demon Nazis and a progressively putrid Griffin Dunne, but the money was well spent on the wolf in that film. Here, more puppies + slim budget equaled well…you saw what it equaled.
HOW IT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE PRACTICALLY: Three words: Richard. A. Baker. Not using the guy who literally invented the Oscar for Best Makeup, for the predecessor to this film for cripes sake, or at least even using some of his werewolf designs is simply booty. Baker’s werewolf gave me nightmares. These werewolves gave me indigestion. And if not Mr. Baker, then perhaps Mr. Franklin. Lots more of him.
IS IT? You remember how Martin’s dog ended up after that little telepod jaunt?
That was the benchmark for An American Werewolf in Paris…one that wasn’t reached…at all.
SUMMATION: Beware of dogs.