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 TWENTY
Brought to you by Alex Riviello



THE OFFENDER: The Langoliers (1995, TV)

THE SCENE: A stable of nine stereotypical Stephen King characters (including a writer, an annoying businessman who’s about to snap, and a little girl whose days are numbered) wake up alone aboard a plane in flight. They have no idea where the other passengers have gone, but wherever they went off to they’ve left all their stuff behind- including anything that was once inside their bodies, like their bridgework, surgical pins and hatred of the Dutch.
 
Not knowing how silly their plane looks like from the outside during flight (the model plane from Nightmare at 20,000 Feet looked more convincing) they thank their lucky stars that there’s a pilot on board and despite the usual bickering and a repetitive, annoying soundtrack they manage to land in Maine. Of course, going to Maine is never a good idea when you’re in a Stephen King story, and they soon find out that the place is abandoned. Why? Because they’re stuck in a discarded piece of the past, where sounds don’t echo and food doesn’t have taste, like many actual parts of Maine. Through some supernatural and telepathic nonsense our unlucky heroes learn that they’re soon to meet the Langoliers, the “timekeepers of eternity”, a race of stupid-looking creatures that eat up the past and likely them if they don’t get out of there ASAP. Thought the plane looked fake?


RUN IN FEAR


WHERE IT ALL GOES WRONG: The whole movie is a mess. Even with the horrible CGI it could have been an excellent ensemble piece if they didn’t hire actors that chew on more scenery than the actual Langoliers do. But we’re stuck with these awful people and their bickering for almost the entire running time of this three-hour, two part miniseries (not including commercials) before we get one scene with the actual Langoliers. All that buildup, all those attempts at tension, and this is all we get.



While the actors looked on the creatures with horror we looked on with shame and sorrow for the loss of valuable time that could have been spent watching any other superior King adaptation, like Thinner or The Mangler or Silver Bullet.

HOW IT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE PRACTICALLY: Critters, anyone? Even though CGI was getting popular at the time thanks to that little dino movie they could have easily
gone the practical route with these and made memorable creatures with the budget they had.

HOW BAD IS IT? It makes Lawnmower Man look tangible. Look how happy it made Stephen King, who notoriously has terrible taste when it comes to his own adaptations.


“I’ll show that Kubrick how to make The Shining!”

 
IN SUMMATION: Most of the films on this list looked serviceable enough when they were released, but Langoliers looked like crap right from the start. CGI was supposed to be used to show us amazing effects and creatures that couldn’t have been been realized any other way, but this horrible thing wasn’t fooling anyone.

One of my biggest pet peeves with CGI beasts (or monsters of any kind, in any media, for that matter) is when a monster appears on screen and roars or bellows, and this one is one of the worst, with an annoying metallic screetch that sound like someone rubbing two forks together. Worse than that, they play with their food and make dumb decisions in their quest to eat up the whole world, letting the plane full of idiots make it back home to safety. Easily some of the lamest creatures in film.