Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bio-Dome (1996)

[Seen for the White Elephant blogathon. Format reused from my review of The Stepford Wives, which was itself lovingly ripped off from Ebert's review of Halloween: H20.]

What can one say about Bio-Dome, a film so bad that it essentially killed the career of professional crap merchant Pauly Shore? Desperately unfunny, the film offers nothing to engage the interest on the surface. Thus, I was forced to make my mind wander off on tangents so that it didn't tear itself from my skull in rebellion. Here, then, are the thoughts that kept me from going insane during Bio-Dome.

* Funnier than anything in the film is the suggestion that girls who look like Joey Lauren Adams and Teresa Hill would be caught dead around Bud (Shore) and Doyle (Stephen Baldwin). Believe me, I've seen some offbeat pairings that make my sensibilities cry foul, both in film and real life. But, ya know, no fucking way.

* I never realized it before, but Pauly Shore's stoned California drawl is a hair's breadth away from the stereotypical queer voice. It has the same lilt, the same round vowels, the same slight lisp. Could Mr. Shore, in fact, be a closet case?

* If the above is true, it would certainly explain the odd overtones of sadomasochistic romance between Bud and Doyle. Consider that the first thing in the film is Bud smashing Doyle over the head with a book so the two can avoid going out with their put-upon girlfriends. Consider the infamous scene where Doyle chews Bud's toenails (with Bud commanding, "No, not that one! The one with the corn on it!") Consider the bit where they fight for a bed but eventually end up sleeping together anyway, with Doyle getting shafted out of the blanket. This is conceivably the only relationship in which Pauly Shore could be considered the top.

* This is the sound of what you don't know (killing you) / This is the sound of what you don't believe (still true) / This is the sound of what you don't want (still in you) / TPC, motherfucker / Cop a feel or two!

* The opening credits are a barrage of loud music (by the band Fourth Grade Nothing) and quick-cut abstract imagery. It's like a bonus music video before the film. It's also completely unrelated to the film at hand; thus, it's the best thing about the whole thing.

* Kylie Minogue was deep in the image-tweaking phase of her career when she consented to appear in this. As far as that sort of thing goes, it's way, way less dignified than her duet with Nick Cave. Or, say, if she'd agreed to do a donkey show in Tijuana.

* Nice hair, William Atherton.

* I stayed sober during this film. Why? There was a twelve-pack in the fridge. This all could have gone much easier if only I'd cracked into a few beers.

* Just to compound my hatred, this film kept crapping on things I like. The Rugburns song "Suburbia" shows up in the opening scene. Shore imitates Frank Booth from Blue Velvet during an inexplicable scene involving junk food and nitrous oxide. The big dome party includes the aforementioned Fourth Grade Nothing badly covering Cheap Trick's "He's a Whore" (which I love because of Big Black's slash-and-burn version of it at the end of their seminal album Songs About Fucking). And there's a shot near the climax that visually quotes the bit where Martin Sheen rises out of the water at the end of Apocalypse Now. And what's worse than a terrible movie? A terrible movie that keeps reminding you that you're forgoing time with valid, useful works of art to wade through crap instead.

* I like Cadbury Cream Eggs. Why have they been so difficult to find this year?

* The best thing Stephen Baldwin ever did for the craft of acting was stop. I enjoy him much more as an evangelical Christian -- he's much easier to ignore that way. (How does one go from The Usual Suspects to this in less than a year, anyway?)

* Four months on, I still have yet to finish my review of Out 1. I should get on top of that soon.

* Joey Lauren Adams wears a shirt with a cut-out window on the chest at one point in this film. It's certainly a fetching choice of clothing, but I think I spent much of the time wondering where her breasts went. I know she's got 'em. I've seen Mallrats.

* My girlfriend fiancee wouldn't let me throw my Chippewa boot at the TV, not even after I promised to buy her a new TV afterward. I shouldn't complain, though -- she was sporting enough to watch it with me so that I wouldn't suffer alone.

* Hey, credits! YESSSSSS!

Grade: D-


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