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 SEVENTEEN
Brought to you by Renn Brown


THE OFFENDER: Blade (1998)

THE SCENE: The ultimate epic climax, and that’s the problem.

Blade is an interesting little film that acted as a harbinger of sorts for the coming wave of superhero films. Leading the pack meant that it managed to be greenlit as a comic book film and a definitively R-rated vampire flick with lots of swearing and violence and porn stars. This is a wonderful thing, but the film suffers from the same poorly thought-out mess of a 3rd act that would similarly plague a number of good (or even great) superhero films to follow. Blade starts off with a bang and pushes through with enough energy and charm to weather some of the rougher, cheaper, and sillier elements that crop up –the vampiric pseudo-science, Stephen Dorff, and “Use it to blow up some vampire heads.”

Blade was never destined to be a great film (though it spawned a hell of a sequel, which then spawned a shitpiece), but it could have remained a solid one, had it not been for an ending battle augmented by CGI so bad, that it destroyed the meager goodwill built up to that point.


WHERE IT ALL GOES WRONG: Blade ceased to make a whole lot of sense the moment the villain’s plot started to unfold, but once the grand scheme has been implemented and we are left with the super-powered vampire baddie, quality and sense decide to fuck right off.



Imbued with the supernatural might of La Magra, villain Deacon Frost becomes a being of pure blood (because a God-Vampire made flesh would, of course, be a menstruation monster) and immune to Blade’s arsenal of weaponry and Kung Fu. This is demonstrated with a few stunningly bad moments of unconvincing liquid effects that make you realize that no one really knew how to fucking end this film, or what a good climax would be.


HOW IT COULD  HAVE BEEN DONE PRACTICALLY: There’s plenty of legit gore and viscera in Blade, which makes it even more of a shame when it collapses into a red mess of digital nonsense that was aging poorly before it ever left the animators’ computers. Rick Baker and the other legendary gore artists have managed much more ambitious mutations, growths, and transformations than the ones on display here, and a little bit of that kind of work would have gone a long way. Unfortunately though, the silly story backed the film into a corner that required big (read: silly as fuck) moments that the effects budget simply couldn’t deliver convincingly.



What’s sad is that I can even tell that the effects artists tried to incorporate some old-school styled texture and feeling into the explosive moments (the fisting clip above not being one of them), but it’s just not enough.

HOW BAD IS IT? I’ll admit there is at least a modicum of Total Recall-style appeal to the final explosion (in fact, it seems there is legit model work being unfortunately digitally composited and stretched for the scene), but for the end-all be-all triumphant victory of your grim and gritty vampire-hunter film to be this…




…that’s never going to send anyone out of the theater thinking they just saw a real film.

IN SUMMATION: It is well documented on the DVD and in commentaries that the original ending of the film was much larger scale and involved an even BIGGER mass of formless blood that Blade would defeat, but disastrous test screenings and failed effects resulted in a scaled down approach that allowed for one more sword battle. While a look at the tests for the originally envisioned La Magra show they definitely chose the less shitty of two horribles, they frankly didn’t do much better here. Had they more carefully considered the evil plot at the heart of the film and devoted their full resources towards an original climax of reachable scale, then Blade might have been a true gem of the early comic book film renaissance. Instead we’re left with the terrible taste of the over-reflective pixels that pass for blood in this film.