February 15, 2017

Phantoms

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Back before there was Batfleck...Before there was Argo...Heck, even before a turn as Bartleby in Dogma, there was Ben Affleck in 1998's Phantoms.

Oh, sure, you could mention that it also included future Sabretooth Liev Schreiber, future Mrs.Marilyn Manson Rose McGowan, future Home Alone 4 part-haver Joanna Going, and, it must be added, former alive person Peter O'Toole. But the most important thing to take away from this film is that it is not good at all. And, as it came out the same year as Armageddon--a film which Derek has pointed out numerous times whose mission would have gone off without a hitch, had lunkheaded A.J. (Affleck) not gone along and been the cause of so many deaths and horrible maimings.

1998: Affleck's Year of Being an Idiot
As best as the guys can tell, Lisa Pailey (McGowan) is going to spend time with her sister, Dr. Jennifer (Going), in her little town somewhere in Colorado. When they get there, however, something is amiss. Nobody is anywhere to be found. The entire town's electricity appears to only be intermittently working. Oh, and there's some pies in an oven with severed heads dropping on top of them.

Naturally, Dr. Jennifer comes to the conclusion that this could be some kind of virus (because those things decapitate people all the time), so she and her sister try to find a weapon so they can shoot it. Apparently, they play pretty fast-and-loose with who gets to be a doctor in Colorado.

Not the brightest crayons in the toolbox.
While searching for weapons, they meet up with Sheriff Hammond (Affleck), and his two deputies, Steve (Nicky Katt) and Stu (Schreiber), who join them in searching the town. They head to a nearby inn that appears to have working lights, and begin searching the rooms.

Deputy Stu is also known as "Rapey McRapeface" by close friends and witnesses.
While searching, Steve quickly gets taken out of the picture by...something. Also, Stu gets caught getting a little handsy with a corpse, and Sheriff Affleck finds a mirror with the name "Timothy Flyte" written on it, in an empty, locked bathroom with no windows.

A further search brings the gang to the police station, where Affleck gets the radio working long enough to tell someone from another town to alert the FBI, the CDC, and anyone else who will listen about what's going on in this little town. He also asks them to forward the name Timothy Flyte to the FBI to see what they can find out. Shortly after, Deputy McRapeface is attacked by a giant murdermoth that humps his face to death.

It turns out that Timothy Flyte (O'Toole) is an actual person, and the FBI find him working at a tabloid, where he writes stories. The agents scoop him up, throw him on a plane, and ship him off to Colorado, where they hope he can be of some use.

Like testing their new fart-containment suits.
He teams up with a number of scientists who, armed with mobile laboratories and some military weaponry, head into town and find piles of jewelry, fillings, and pacemakers in front of a crucifix at the local church. While the other scientists believe it is some sort of tribute, Flyte realizes that it is, in fact, the things that whatever is killing and eating people cannot digest. It's monster poop! They get attacked by a dog then, and the whole "monster poop" argument is moot, because they're all dead, except for Flyte, who is forced to hide with Sheriff Affleck and the others.

Monster poop!

Inside the mobile lab, they make a sort of plan that involves a product that is used to dissolve oil spills, based on the idea that whatever the monster is, it is some sort of oil or weird-ass fluid in its rawest form. Vials of the product are shared around, and it comes time for one of them to taunt the monster out of hiding so they can attack it. Flyte--the only one who isn't armed with a gun of some kind--gets the short straw and is shoved outside to see whether the monster is willing to come out and play.

SPOILER: Yes. Sort of.
The group splits up, each dealing with their own problems, to try and take down the monster. Will it work? Will Deputy Rapeface return to be even creepier? Will Dr. Flyte survive? Will they ever be able to frame Affleck's entire forehead into one shot? You'll have to listen to find out!

Jake picked this one. Perhaps in retaliation for last week's movie. That's fine. He digs the practical effects, but despises the shitty "human-nado" at the end. He is right to do so.

Larry has issues with this film. He thinks it is obviously not the best work of anyone involved. He would be correct in his assumption. But is it the actors'or the movie's fault?

Derek feels like there were so many chances for there to be a good movie in this, and none of those chances were taken. He also questions Dr. Jennifer's method of virus treatment.

So put on your hazmat suit, hold your nose, and listen to this week's episode!