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Movie Review - Llamageddon




A friend of mine recently asked me, “So…when are we gonna talk about Llamageddon?”


Sigh.


Damn you Kelli.


Fine. Now. Apparently we’re talking about it now.


Here’s the story:


As part of an advance vanguard of an invading force of…I gotta type this, don’t I?...fine…space llamas, an elderly couple witness the crash-landing of a…really?...livestock trailer with wings. It isn’t long before the couple is found dead. As their daughter is preparing to sell the farm, her two children…I’m not even gonna try to guess their ages but sure, let’s say late teens/early twenties…see this as a golden opportunity for a killer party. Little do they realize that one malcontented llama is looking to make good on that premise…with as much (fake) blood as possible.


Look, given the movies we review here, I’m not poo-pooing the concept of a killer space llama out to kill a bunch of teens on a secluded Ohio farm. Far from it. And in fact, the amazing opening animation of said space llamas making their way out into the universe perhaps performed it's worst cruelty to me right off that bat: it gave me a modicum of hope.


It was very short-lived.


From the first Ohio license plate you see, this movie goes down in flames rapidly. Bad acting…VERY bad acting, will be the first thing you notice and, sadly enough, as we’re introduced to our main characters, “teen” siblings Alex and Amanda…the first being timid and whiney, the other being a party girl…it only gets worse. Take our ‘scientists’ at the crash site of the llama ship/trailer, I swear the binders they’re holding are the actual scripts because the performance is as strong as any unprepared teenager reading a report in front of a high school class.


So…we need to switch gears here, otherwise this is going to be an EXCESSIVELY negative review. Instead, we need to start looking at this film the way I watched it: through some seriously thick beer-goggles…if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Let’s instead judge this film on the merits of whether or not it meets with ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ criteria. Once we flip that switch, then yes, I daresay we’re venturing into a modern-day Manos: The Hands of Fate territory. Okay…maybe a bit better…but not by much.


The reason I bring up the oft-riffed 60s disasterpiece is that Llamageddon suffers from similar terrible dialogue and pacing as well as not a single character that you feel any attachment to. Sure, whiney Alex makes the transition to kinda-sorta the leading man once he has sex…but by that point, the character is well beyond redemption. Pacing becomes a problem when the one asset your movie has, the killer llama, is absent for too long during the ‘party’ scenes. Now, there’s a way that a competent filmmaker can get away with that…and that’s to make the threat loom over the characters. This way, even though the threat is physically absent, it’s always there…lurking. Instead, we’re stuck with these shithead kids for just too damn long.


The thing is though…when the llama’s there…it’s good. I mean, yeah, you can see all the poor attempts at special effects, but the premise and the goofiness (like the fake llama limbs whenever it’s stomping a character to death) are able to carry these bits of the film. Plus, as one of the characters begins to morph into a killer space llama, a second bit of animation kicks in displaying the transformation…and then the plans the original space llama has for this neophyte. Breeding. Turns out the half-human, half-space llama sits and spews out…fur eggs?...sure, fuck it, why not?...fur eggs at the end of film. Still, when you start to see baby llamas coming out of the eggs (okay…so it’s only one egg, but come on, they made the whole film for $3000)…it’s both kinda cute and hilarious. It’s worth interjecting here that given the animation quality of both the opening sequence and this transformation, maybe this film might have (or may still) work better as a twisted animated feature as opposed to what we ended up getting. There is one last positive: it’s short. At only an hour and nine minutes…and the fact that you’re going to be using this time to both watch the movie and get your buzz on…while the stretches of the ‘party’ make it seem much longer…much, MUCH longer…you can quickly get this behind you to move on to either something worse (if the alcohol has kicked in) or something better (if you realized what you’ve done to yourself and have opted to go on the straight-and-narrow from here on out).


As a straight up film experience, Llamageddon will violate your constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment…and I think the makers of the film knew that. I mean, the credited director is “Howie Dewin”. [And every time you type that, brain cells commit suicide. – Ed.] That said, if you go into this one with enough beers/cocktails/shots/THC in you…and maybe some similarly minded friends that are looking to riff a movie to its bones…you’ll make it through this one okay. That said, we’re gonna give this two ratings. If you’re sober, oh, fuck no…this gets a Dead Cat without a second thought. But, if you’re already heavily under the influence…or you have a friend to pay back for something horrible they’ve done in the past (to which I’m still stumped about Kelli!)…then oh yeah, that’ll boost the score to a Plain Cat: you’ll still wince at parts of it, but goddamn that llama was awesome.


No Booze:




With Booze:



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