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 FOURTEEN
Brought to you by Renn Brown


THE OFFENDER: Let The Right One In (2008)



THE SCENE: Ginia, survivor of an interrupted attack from the vampiric Eli, is wandering around town as the thirst for blood settles in. While paying a visit to local weirdo and cat-man Gosta, instead of sucking on a dude, she ends up getting some seriously poorly-rendered pussy. The scene is a not unintentional moment of levity, but the tremendously terrible CGI on the dozen or so cats takes us from laughing with to laughing at the scene.



WHERE IT ALL GOES WRONG:  This is another case of bad CGI happening to a great movie, and may very well be in the running for the highest disparity in the quality ratio of film to effects on this list. That the movie is so quietly beautiful, deliberately paced, and gracefully chilling makes the immediately dated cheapness of the CGI cats that much more disappointing. In fact, these terrible little digital furballs may literally be the only thing keeping this film from reaching true perfection from first frame to last frame.



Aside from a few cut-aways, the cats in the scene are composited in from the start, which includes them swarming and hissing at Ginia before leaping up to attack her. The quicker shots, once they get their piranha on, might have slid past without seeming quite so terrible if we didn’t have plenty of time beforehand to absorb the shitty kitties.


HOW IT COULD  HAVE BEEN DONE PRACTICALLY:  Last I checked these creatures aren’t goddamn dinosaurs or 50′ gorillas- there’s a couple real ones floating around. Frankly there would have been no easy way to accomplish this scene –anyone who’s lived with cats knows they tend to do what they want, when they want– but the lead-up to the attack could have been more convincing and horror films with low-budgets have been faking animal attacks for as long as they’ve been made. Now granted, puppets may not always be the answer.




Scale-up! Enhance!





Just scrounge up some fucking cats or shoot the scene more mysteriously. Can’t we leave the laughably bad, sci-fi channel animal effects to other, shittier vampire movies?

HOW BAD IS IT? I couldn’t track down which effects house managed those shots (you’ll be shocked to learn that neither seemed to have them on their demo reels) but whichever company is responsible animates a cat like Sonny Corleone throws a beating.



IN SUMMATION: Perhaps the scene was too much for the effects budget or schedule…? If that’s the case it should have been scrapped or re-worked. The filmmakers shouldn’t have made the mistake that so many high and low-budget productions have, and simply assumed that the effects house can make something work in post– certainly not when the value of an entire scene relies on it. The misjudgment of the cat attack takes a moment of dark comedy and turns it into a laughable stain on a virtually flawless film.