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 THIRTEEN
Brought to you by David Oliver


THE OFFENDER: Lost In Space (1998)




THE
SCENE:
This is one of those entries where it’s a character rather than a scene.  It’s a cartoonish space monkey that didn’t happen to be palling around with neither Space Ghost nor the Wonder Twins: Blarp.  So what’s so bad about this creature that likes space rations and families that can’t be bothered with getting GPS on their space Winnebago?  Other than the fact that he’s a badly rendered character in a film which otherwise featured some pretty good special effects, not much.  But like Amerie once said, it’s this one thing that’s got me trippin’. 



“We appear to be near two large, D-class planetoids…”



I honestly don’t know what happened with Blarp.  Such a poorly-rendered piece of animation, he almost threatened to take you out of the film whenever he was on screen (when the film itself didn’t threaten to do that).  He would have looked more real if he’d remained the tennis ball on a stick that usually subs for a CGI character on set.  Say what you want about Lost In Space, it did feature some pretty good set and production designs.  The space spiders, although also not rendered to complete satisfaction, were suitably mean-looking things.  But Blarp?  He’s the worst example of bad CGI: a character that simply never looked real.

WHERE IT

ALL GOES WRONG:
It never went right with poor ole Blarp.  He seems to be the victim of either budget shortfalls, last minute inclusion into the story or perhaps an effects company that couldn’t deliver what they promised.  Leave us look at his basic design for a moment, shall we?  Check out this pic:



Other than the fact that he looks like a Mogwai with bipolar disorder, he was never realized well enough to come across as anything better than a test, a first draft.  I’ve seen more realistic animatics of other CGI characters in making-of special effects featurettes.  If Lost In Space had been a cartoon adaptation rather than a live action film, Blarp would have been fine.  In the real world, he looked worse than one of the toon extras from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.  If you can’t produce a photorealistic character that pales in comparison to a film which used traditional hand-drawn characters interacting with humans a full decade before, you know that you’re going to end up on this list.

HOW IT COULD HAVE
BEEN DONE PRACTICALLY:

Easily:

CGI:



Non-CGI:




Seriously, though, Blarp didn’t necessarily need to be done practically, although a Muppet would have been very welcome here.  He just needed to be done better. I think the majority of the special effects in Lost In Space were fine.  The exterior shots of the Jupiter 2 in take off and the space stuff were good (although some probably hated that opening fight between West and the Global Sedition forces).  The spiders were passable, and Spider Smith was as good as I think he could have been, considering he was a 15-foot-tall alien spider-man.  Blarp’s deficiencies I think came down to time or dollars or both.  But somewhere, someone along the line simply crapped the monkey cage on this one.

HOW BAD
IS
IT?
When compared with the rest of the film, Blarp sticks out like a sore thumb on a monkey’s foot.  Making use of the telepod reference once again, I believe I’ve deduced the origins of Blarp’s design:




IN
SUMMATION:
Space monkeys are a dodgy bit of business.  If you’re going to make use of said animal, make sure it’s done well.  Otherwise the damned thing will shit on itself and toss the feces all over your movie.