Bad Movie Club: Foodfight!

2012 animated movie

Bad Movie Rating: 5/5 (Olivia: 5/5; Eric: 5/5; Jeremy: no rating; Johnny: 5/5; Josh: 5/5; Fred: fell asleep)

Rating: 1/20

Plot: In a grocery store where the products come to life after closing time--Toy Story style!--a fascist Brand X threatens to fart all over everything.

I generally reserve the 1/20 ratings for movies that are not only aesthetically terrible but also somehow manage to offend. Foodfight! really hits you hard both ways. Rare is the movie that makes you feel like you were sodomized after you watch it. Rarer is the movie that makes you wish you were sodomized instead of watching it. It would be tough to pick between this and the Titanic cartoon with the rapping dogs as the worst animated feature film I have ever seen. Both have to be in consideration for the absolute worst movie of all time. Whether it's actually an enjoyable bad movie is probably up for debate because I could easily imagine somebody wanting to end his or her life rather than sit through this movie. I really can't remember seeing a movie this tone deaf, a movie that gets every single thing so dreadfully wrong. And it's this ability to get everything--and I really mean, everything--wrong that makes it something special.

The tone is completely off. The movie's too violent, too sexualized, too innuendo-fueled, too dark, too silly, and too dark and silly at the same time. Characters die (or seem to die) and characters find opportunities for terrible puns. Airplane things are unleashed from a villainess's hoo-hah. An anthropomorphic dog voiced by Charlie Sheen and a human female engage in grope fests and trade double entendre. Writer/director Lawrence Kasanoff apparently never decided what he wanted his movie to be nor who he wanted it to be for, and therefore, everybody suffers. Especially Mr. Clean.

How about the product placement in this thing? I can't imagine any company--Hostess, Procter and Gamble, Vlasic, Mrs. Butterworth, Kool-aid, StarKist, Chef Boyardee, Chiquita, and others--being happy that their mascots ended up in this crappy movie. Mr. Clean has no lines but might be in the movie the most. Once, a frog farts a green mist on him. Seriously, that's the kind of thing that happens in this movie. A frog that looks like something Picasso would have sketched while drunk out of his mind passes visible gas on the bald neat-freak mascot who then looks disgruntled before disappearing from the movie for a while. I think it was supposed to be funny, but it just made me feel, for the first time in my life, sorry for a mascot. Their appearances in this movie almost makes me want to boycott the products, and I'm sure that wasn't the intent.

This might be the ugliest movie that I've ever seen. The camera kind of swoops all over the place, never sitting still long enough for your eyes to figure out what the hell is going on. The characters are boxy and move awkwardly and inconsistently. The backgrounds change without warning, and I'd like somebody to explain to me why there's a fucking sky above the supermarket aisles when the lights go out. Watermelons splat with goopy green, like the animators had never actually opened up a watermelon before. Background characters look and move identically, even when they are standing right next to each other. The colors are wrong, the movements are wrong, the physics is wrong. The whole thing looks like a video game, but one of those video games in that weird transition phase before they started looking good. And don't get me started on Christopher Lloyd's character's movements. Actually, I don't even know where I would start. Even after the character is explained in what I believe was some kind of twist, the herky-jerky movements didn't make any sense.

Speaking of Christopher Lloyd, this has an impressive cast of voice actors. It doesn't make the movie any better, especially since some of them seem to come from the Eric Roberts (A Talking Cat?!?) school of voice acting. Charlie Sheen may have contracted HIV from this movie, and it's clear from the onset that he isn't bringing whatever Charlie Sheen considers his A-game. There are a pair of Duffs, an Eva Longoria who might be overdoing things, Edward Asner, Harvey Fierstein, Wayne Brady, Chris Kattan, and Jerry Stiller. Even writer/director Lawrence Kasanoff himself gets involved as Cheasel T. Weasel, a phallic and oily mammal. There's no rapport at all with the performers, likely because their lines were recorded separately and assembled later. I'm not sure how these B- and C-listers were tricked into having their names attached to this, but it's the kind of thing they'll want to leave off their resumes.

They're not helped by one of the most godawful scripts of all time. Take a look at these gems:

"Franky, my dear, I don't give a spam."
"Cold farted itch."
"More fun than a spanking." (A line followed by a creepy laugh.)
"For frying out loud."
"How about some chocolate frosting?" (A reference, I believe, to ejaculate.)

The puns will not only make you cringe; they'll give you a migraine. When Kasanoff attempts to go for more sentimental dialogue, he fails just as miserably, lines festering with cliches. It's enough to make a grown man sick to his stomach, and there aren't a lot of children who would even understand any of it.

Worst of all is the central message this movie seems to have, something about generic brands being evil while the name brands are somehow our saviors. I'm not sure what kind of message this is sending to children actually. Think I'm exaggerating? With the evil Brand X characters--a green, scaly Lieutenant X who sounds like a rejected Hanna Barbera character; the sultry Lady X who borrowed some of her moves from Jessica Rabbit although the latter never shot flying machines from her vagina; and a squat General X voiced by Jerry Stiller--you get flamboyant Nazi marches, intimidating regalia, and not-even-hidden references to genocide and concentration camps. It crosses straight across the line into tacky but then keeps marching until it reaches something beyond tacky.

This movie will offend every sensibility you have, but your moth will be agape as you've likely never seen anything this deliriously inept. I'd recommend it for the bravest of bad movie aficionados, but I wouldn't eat beforehand.

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