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
Phase-Shift

Parkinsons.

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.

DAY ELEVEN
Brought to you by David Oliver


THE OFFENDER:
Spawn (1997)



THE
SCENE:
Several of them that take place in an almost cartoonish Hell.  Ultimately, though, our (anti-)hero journeys to the hot place with mentor Cogliostro (Nicol Williamson) to do battle with both The Violator and Malebolgia, who is the devil of many realms. Anyway, the CGI for this entire sequence is something akin to Beast Wars meets a bad acid trip…as rendered on an Atari 2600.  Everything, foreground, background, main players, the demon extras, even the friggin’ fire, is just horrendous.  It almost makes the horrific CGI in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation look like The Matrix

WHERE IT

ALL GOES WRONG: Strange as it appears, possibly with the year in which it was made.  Turns out 1997 is a repeat offender on this list (An American Werewolf In Paris, Star Wars: Special Edition, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation).  It’s like there’s a cancer cluster of bad CGI for that particular anno domini.  But actually, a lot of the CGI in this film outside of the bad Hell sequences weren’t great to begin with.  Violator looked OK when he was in dark environs, and a lot of Spawn himself, particularly the face armoring was also fine.  But Cogliostro frequently came off as a bad image from the House Of The Dead 2 video game and, as mentioned, Malebolgia never looked good.  I’m really curious how a creature that’s drawn as such,



comes out looking like a bad take on The Thing circa husky-snacking mode:



My thinking is that his design was envisioned as a bad three-way telepod accident involving the following:




Anyway, if your main baddie looks like an Evil Dead Pound Puppy, chances are pretty good that that’s not going to bode well for many of your other effects.

HOW IT COULD HAVE
BEEN DONE PRACTICALLY:

Well, it’s doubtful that that Hell would have been available for location shooting, but the thing that worked best in the film was John Leguizamo as Clown.  I’d forgotten how entertaining he was and give all the credit in the world to the guy for spending the entire film on his knees.  It just goes to show that some guys can do more with some carny makeup, set of nasty demon teeth and a fat suit, than some (first time director and experienced visual effects supervisor, Mark A.Z. Dippe) can with a few million in effects budget.  Spawn’s makeup and suit also worked and much of his CGI was also fine.  His cape looked sort of like an Avatar lava lamp set free, but I think that was by design. 

I don’t know what it was about Hell that made everything, including Violator, who looked much better both in the alley and Wanda’s house battles with Spawn, look so bad.  In Hell he just looked awful.  I’m only guessing but it looks like there were several practical models, perhaps maquettes, of Violator used in those Spawn battles on Earth.  That could have been a way to go. 

HOW BAD
IS
IT?
I hope the stunt demons got some damn good virtual per diems:



Also:





IN
SUMMATION:
Apparently, the Eighth Circle of Hell is the Bad CGI level.