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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Valuable life lesson: You can't always judge a book by its cover.
Usually that means beautiful things may be hidden by a ugly exterior.
In the case of 'Unspeakable' it is the exact opposite. It actually
hurts to write the following review because it pretty much admits I'm a
superficial person who was suckered into watching a movie that was
stashed in the box and write-up of a much more interesting looking
'Unspeakable' is a very nearly perfect storm of bad movie-making. Hampered by any number of problems, one of the worst is a ham-handed anti-capital punishment message that tries to put a human face on the issue. The problem is that it has a lot of competition and 'Unspeakable' does not stand up very well to it. In fact, it doesn't stand up well in a light breeze. Granted many movies aren't going to compare favourably to 'The Green Mile,' but in 'The Green Mile' similar themes are dealt with. Prisoners in 'The Green Mile' are treated compassionately and it becomes deeply effective in decrying capital punishment through the actions of a sadistically incompetent guard. In comparison, every guard in 'Unspeakable' is both sadistic and incompetent. The problem is that the film seems to believe that if one mean guard is good, 100 mean guards will be great. This, I assure you, isn't the case. If you were going for satire it might work. The tragedy (for the film makers -- and comedy for us) is that it takes itself extremely seriously and begins to implode at every opening.
Pavan Grover wrote the screenplay and there are glimpses of good ideas. There is an unfriendly look at religion, the nature of good and evil, the capacity for cruelty and the psychological and philosophical motivations for it. Finding these blurred and hidden themes though isn't worth the effort. There are clever aphorisms scattered like breadcrumbs for Hansel and Gretel but they don't lead anywhere.
I already mentioned 'The Green Mile' and that it is one of at least three superior films that 'Unspeakable' unsuccessfully compares itself to. From 'The Night of the Hunter' comes the tattooed knuckles of love and hate as well as an attempt at the cool charisma and menace of Robert Mitchum. From 'The Silence of the Lambs' there comes a psychiatrist and serial killer playing an information game.
There are many failures that contribute to 'Unspeakable' and its near total collapse. The dialogue is comically horrendous. The music sounds like the theme song for clowns at a carnival and it plays with full comic effect. As weak as the Grover driven script is, the Grover driven performance is even worse. He's dreadful and it spreads through the rest of the cast like a virus. The director needs to take some of the blame for his failure to reign in the actors and the script (although when your lead actor is also the writer and the producer ...). It is a vision less and clunky mess. The only bright light is Lance Henrickson. No matter how bad the film, he always approaches it with stoic and reliable professionalism. I'm amazed he didn't get swept up like Dennis Hopper and Jeff Fahey in the sea of bad things. Fahey turns in at best a bemused performance and is clearly remembering the good old days.
There was an exchange of dialogue near the end of the film between Henrickson and Meyer.
H: "You were really fascinated by him weren't you?" M: "Yeah, grotesquely fascinated. I probably could have studied him for years." H : "Yeah, but at what cost to your psyche?"
That's really what 'Unspeakable' is all about. Yeah, you could watch it. But at what cost to your psyche?
Lance Henrickson is far too good for a movie like this. Dennis Hopper is too good for a movie like this. Dina Meyer is too good for a movie like this. Jeff Fahey, I repeat, Jeff Fahey is too good for a movie like this. And let's be honest: you and I are too good for this. Life is too short. Go hug your kids and promise to protect them from all the bad things in the world. Start with 'Unspeakable' and you could do a lot worse. Take my word for it and avoid this dog at all costs.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After searching the video store for 10 minutes - I settled onto this
little gem of Hollywood barf.
There is no redeeming value to this movie at all - the scenes with the worm coming out of his ear and the one found in dead Dennis Hopper's brain are not even worth the paper that they were written on.
As for using the electric chair in a room full of guards who blindly watch the "warden" go insane, rip his face off, and be autopsied in a matter of hours is so unrealistically stupid that I find myself wanting the actors in this movie to be lined up together and pimp smacked for agreeing to appear in such a piece of drivel~! Writer, Producer, and Star of the movie...what can I say...he has the bad boy looks that Hollywood likes, but he better keep his day job as a doctor in order to have something to fall back on....because there is no way he should ever be allowed to write anything again! And if he does want to write something...collaborate with me, I've had better nightmares after eating Mexican!
This film is packaged as a psychological thriller, yet it has no thrills and the depths of the psychology used in the writing are that of a small child's capacity. The plot comes off very silly, and this film is a waste on so many levels. The film had a good dp, good director, a big name, and a good budget. So where did it go wrong, well the writing was terrible filled with cliches and babble and the plot really doesn't go anywhere. It almost seems like it is merely a ego stroke for the guy who is the writer, star, and executive producer. That is a bad combination, note to aspiring film makers... This is what not to do, filmmaking is an art developed through a team. Not an attempt to glorify one's own false perception of him/herself. It is sad when a film so badly gets so much money and produces such a bad product. Imagine 3-7 quality well thought out "true" indies could have been funded for this and they would have given society something. I was shocked to see name actors doing such poor cinema. Hoppers performance was a bit silly also, but I will chalk that up to poor writing. Like Bob Evans said "if ain't on the page it ain't in the picture." I would give this a strong D-, the only reason why it is not an F is it is destined to be a mystery science theatre film due to some accidental laughs. It is also a good learning tool for young filmmakers of what not to do...
It's hysterical how so many people have found it to praise this crapola
so highly and have the gall to accuse people with OBJECTIVE negative
opinions of having some kind of personal problem with this Pavan Grover
I'm a big fan of Lance Henrikson and Hopper. I even fully admit Pavan Grover demonstrated clear acting talent and ability. It's just too bad he didn't decide to stick with what he is good at. He would have been hard pressed to pull a less competent and "Unpraiseworthy" screenplay out of his behind.
The problem with this movie began and ended with that ridiculous screenplay.
It was simply a nonsensical mess, with terrible dialogue that branched out in tons of directions with no development, focus, rhyme or reason.
If cinematography, production value, quality of actors, sound and special effects were all that mattered then it would be a good movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hello, movie lovers... I, StroGirl (Astro fan to the EXTREME) would like to give my unbiased opinion of UNSPEAKABLE... Yes the movie is unspeakable, unspeakable as to how bad it really is. What makes the movie so bad? Well alot of things, however, all that is bad centers around Dr. Pavan Grover... The shocking thing is that Dr. Grover asked for millions to do this film, just as out of touch with reality as DR. EVIL... He should have asked for billions! Maybe then he could have made something that wasn't so bad... I mean with a billion dollars he could have got every big name in Hollywood to surround his lack of talent. The acting was a joke, especially Grover. Take it from a warm blooded American girl anyone who thinks Grover is hot has got real bad taste, he was creepy and that is just how he is that is not acting. And what is up with his lips? He reminded me of a Simpson's character, maybe a young Mr. Burns. The worst part for me was the fight scenes that looked like something out of a 1970's movie. The writing was absolutely the worst... This is not a horror because it is not scary, not a pyschological thriller because it has no real psychology or thrills, it is bad just bad that is it. I know why I have never seen Grover in a film before he is bad... Furthermore Hopper was terrible too! Maybe Grover rubbed off on him. This is not a spoiler but, some interesting moments to look out for: 1.) During the Mexican carivan scene first the guy drops his gun then a black man in a animal wrangle outfit walks into the shot, real bad editing... kinda funny though... 2.) Grover in the office fight scene is a riot 3.) Any execution scene in the chair is pretty funny too, in one the guys in the background crack up, also I don't think the writer (the Grover-inator)did much research on the electric chair. None of the electri-cuties (NOT!) had their head shaved? I guess Grover was too attached to his big hair to respect realism. There was no sponges... and no hood. Oh and there were like 50 people in the room, I guess the flesh burning smell is good? OH I love it when a writer says "the heck with realism, research, and writing a good script; all I care about are Zoolander-ish shots of me in the lead role." I could go on forever, but some dumb souls will see it, somewhere, sadly...
Dennis Hopper had to have fun with this one. It's clear he didn't take
himself too seriously, and that's what really sold his character to me.
I though Dina Meyer's performance in this moview was much better than
her performance in Starship Troopers.
Lance Henriksen was a hoot. He seemed to have fun in this show. Too bad his Millennium series didn't work out.
Some folks rated this movie low. There were a few terrible parts, but I think the movie as a whole was moderately uncomfortable and rather tense ( which is great for a psychological thriller ). There are some scenes that are a bit goofy, but you can deal with them.
Dennis Hopper's final scene ( I won't wreck it for you here ) was absolutely superb. I was surprised how many recognizable faces were in this show. it's a good flick, and worth your time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The worst movie I've seen in a very long time, granted I don't deliberately set out to find horrible movies to watch. Banal dialog, callow story telling sense, and (except for Lance Henriksen) tumid acting.. People who make these movies should be throughly castigated. (hey, the movie was terrible. Gotta have fun writing my review..). The first half of the movie is a mess, needlessly jumping around in time 3 days ago, an hour ago. The rest of the movie is filled with drastic over explanation of points the audience throughly comprehends and with 'intelligent dialog' that the majority of viewers actually found intelligent back when they themselves were asking the same questions when they were 9 years old. Pointless, confusing ending (she was the one who was supposed to be able to kill him because she had an abortion?? because..? Abortions are magical, mystical events that empower you to kill the metaphysical metapycho??) The tacky explanation of what happened to everyone after the end of the movie in the This-was-a-true-story manner of simply splashing some text is even more annoying here than in the 'true story' flicks. Production quality was good though ie. the autopsy scene, cinematography in general (cept for the shot-on-video look).
For those of you considering the rental (or god forbid, purchase) of
this movie, I have strong advice - DON'T DO IT. This movie should be on
the all-time worst list. Where should I start . . . First, the actors
in this movie are guilty of phoning-it-in and accepting a paycheck. If
you're a Dennis Hopper fan and considering this flick, don't do it. It
was determined a long time ago he would appear in ANY movie for cash
and this movie is further proof. I suppose the actors shouldn't be
condemned completely for their performance, as the writer, director and
producers bear the weight of blame.
The dialogue - more often than not, makes no sense. And please don't try to tell me this movie is delivering some sort of powerful message of good vs. evil and the grey area in between. It simply doesn't. It completely relies on clichés, inaccuracies (the death chamber/electric chair is one example) and stereotypes. The gross mistakes and overly clever dialogue (which is in fact, borrowed completely and incorrectly from other, more successful movies) completely distracts from the attempted emotional examination of abortion, death penalty, etc.
Any talk of the "hunk-quality" of the writer/star of this movie should be immediately dismissed. If I were to note the "beauty" of some model in "Beach Bimbos III" I'd be considered a sexist. This person should not be able to make another movie again.
Honestly, what recourse do we have when we buy/rent a product of such inferior quality? With the exception of this site and others we have none. Movies like this piss me off. They promote/promise something they simply don't deliver. And if it were anything else, we could file a complaint with the BBB or return for a refund.
Don't get me wrong, my wife and I enjoy this genre. But this movie just plain sucks. Don't waste your time or money. Don't fall victim like we did. Don't watch this thinking it's an 'indie film' or some sort of psychological thriller. Don't be tempted by the cast. Just don't watch this movie. It's crap and everyone involved in this mess/deception should provide an apology for stealing our time/money.
I was requested to screen a part of this movie (roughly 4/5), and to give
honest review of it. When initially questioning about the film I was
interested to see why a film made in 2001 took so long to be purchased,
considering it was starring Dennis Hopper and was about serial killers,
appealing qualities? Who was this new actor Pavan Grover who starred in
film. After watching it I had no more questions.
TECHNICALLY: the film was sub par. It appeared like a B movie. The sound was terrible and one of my biggest annoyances was the continuity was unbelievably bad. I thought I was watching dailies, not a finished product. At one point you can see an actor drop his gun, and then the animal wrangler an camera leads a horse of camera.
DIRECTING: uh... I am not one to give directors too much credit, therefore I won't rip him. I don't think he had much to work with.
WRITING: I would be hard pressed to determine what was worse the corny dialogue or the pointless idiotic plot. The script was "unspeakably" drowning in psuedo intellectual psycho babble... And it gets old real quick to anyone with half a brain.
ACTING: Well the acting wasn't bad. Fahey was Fahey and Hopper was Hopper... Although I will give it to Hopper for keeping a straight face while reading terrible lines. Meyer impressed me, I really liked her. It appeared as if there was no thought or time put into casting anyone else and it made the production look amateurish. Pavan Grover the star of the film was laughable, and the character didn't do to much to help. This was this persons first film and I really don't know how he got cast, until I read the credits and I noticed he was the writer and executive producer also. Acting tip 1 yelling real loud doesn't make you a good actor.
CONCLUSION: If this stinker gets released somehow... Don't waste your money... And if someone wants you to go to a free screening, go see GIGLI at the dollar theatre. This is what happens when a void of talent meets a megalomaniac personality.
"Unspeakable" is a laughable but entertaining horror\thriller.
The Plot: Jesse Mowatt (Pavan Grover) is a serial killer who is sent to the toughest prison in New Mexico. The Warden (Hopper) is one mean guy who spouts lines like "I am God!". The only person who could save him (I don't know why someone would do that but okay...) is Diana Purlow (Meyer) a scientist who has a device that can look into people's minds. Does she find the truth?
This movie is hilarious! Dennis Hopper goes so over the top you can't believe it. He also has a couple more "great" lines like ("I want to kill a hundred times over!" and "I want to grind your bones!") Meyer goes through the motions. Grover, who also wrote this mess, is very self-absorbed in the role. Fahey and Lance both make cameo appearances and they put in their usual good work. The ending is completely ridiculous. It involves ghosts, Fahey's character and abortion.
Overall, if you want to laugh, watch "Unspeakable".
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