At what point does a movie transform (or rather “transmorph”) from your run-of-the-mill awful movie to a absurdly surreal accidental masterpiece? I have no idea, but Transmorphers rocketed past that point and became one of my new favorite movies.
Don’t get confused. Transmorphers is not a parody film. In fact, it seems to have absolutely no sense of humor about itself whatsoever. It’s as if writer/director Leigh Scott woke up one day, sat down in front of his computer, opened his cracked copy of Final Draft Pro, took a swig of Jim Beam, popped his knuckles, and said “This is going to be awesome“. The resulting script is so bad – I mean…just unbelievably intensely bad – that it becomes art. Like when a mentally retarded inner-city youth makes a finger-painting of JFK on some old driftwood and it sells at auction for $40K. And why are art collectors willing to pay that? Because they’re a bunch of fucking jagoffs that deserve to have their eyes raped out by a scabby drifter’s mangy dog cuz they obviously don’t know how to use those eyes correctly anyway, but I digress. What I meant to say is, how does something like this script just blow past “bad” and end up being kind of amazing?
Because it’s completely earnest. There’s no indication that this was some throwaway script quickly turned into a movie to capitalize off the release of Transformers. It was Mr. Scott’s vision brought to life. He honestly put countless hours into writing and rewriting…building intricate back-stories for every character…establishing a timeline of future events…it was the very best he could do and it is absolutely horrible. At some point someone must have said to him, “Jeez, Leigh…you know, this script really isn’t very good” to which he responded “FUCK YOU, JERK”. Then, with the cocksure resolve of a conductor piloting a train down the track the wrong way – truly believing in his heart of hearts that the oncoming train will swerve – Leigh Scott somehow got $250,000 and made his movie.
Let’s see if I can possibly reduce the plot of this tour de force to one short paragraph. Wish me luck.
In 2014 a bunch of robot aliens landed on Earth, killed 90% of humanity, and did something to block out the sun. Some people moved underground and started a military that doesn’t do anything. 300 years later, someone gets a wild hair up their ass to fight the robot aliens. Everyone talks about it for a really long time and a bunch of lesbians fight and say hurtful things to each other. Eventually they send an android that didn’t know he was an android (but kind of always knew he was an android) to some tower that I guess also is a robot alien (in tower form). The android guy does something in the tower that makes all the robot aliens die or go away. Then all the clouds that the robot aliens put in the sky disappear and everyone is happy.
For 85 jaw-dropping minutes, this story plays out like a Cinemax late-night softcore porno with all the “sex” scenes cut out. The already cringe-inducing melodramatically written dialogue spills out of the actors’ mouths with such bizarre inflection yet absolute certainty that it feels less like a movie and more like a kindergarten class staging a performance of Terminator: Salvation – everyone knows what they’re supposed to say and do but none of them have any idea what it means. Because of this, the film becomes strangely endearing. You end up being proud of the actors when they get through a line correctly without looking at the camera or respond to another character with somewhat appropriate tonality.
Have you ever seen a three-legged dog try to hump something? At first, it’s hilarious. Then, as he struggles to keep his balance but keeps on falling, it gets kind of sad. But when he just won’t give up no matter how many times he falls on his face, it comes back around to being hilarious again. Transmorphers is that three-legged dog and you absolutely need to watch it. Have some buddies over, get some pizza and beer or whatever, and get ready for a pièce de résistance of mind-blowing failure that will change your life…or at the very least change your night.
I give Transmorphers 10 out of 10 unnecessary lesbian fistfights.