The Gardener (1998) Poster


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It lacks a whole lot of fertility …
Coventry5 April 2004
Oh please…this film really mocks the intelligence of its audience. It's a complete pile of garbage and a giant waste of time. Not one little aspect in this film makes the slightest bit of sense, the acting and directing are abominable and – which is the worst thing – it takes itself far too serious. I wanted to give it a change, because I always liked watching Malcolm McDowall. Ever since `A Clockwork Orange', I liked his vicious style and macabre personality. I hope he had fun while shooting this film, because the rest of the world sure didn't. Malcolm plays a genius florist who uses kills young, beautiful women to turn them into plants! He's on a mission from God to recreate women. Ha ha ha… It's all in the fertilizer, let's say… Angie Everheart is the yummy female police officer who's after him…The whole thing becomes even more stupid when McDowall seems to suffer from a disease that makes him look older than he is (we're led to believe that is character is only 35 years old) and that he had a traumatic childhood and depressing collage years. Not only does the story STINKS, Garden of Evil also suffers from the worst casting job in the history of cinema! Richard `Booker' Grieco as the angry, boisterous police-lieutenant?!? What fertile (?) mind came up with that? Grieco looks utterly ridiculous and his voice sounds like a cheap Bruce Willis imitation. As always, Angie Everheart is gorgeous to look at, but that doesn't necessarily means she has got the required acting skills. Few blood, no comedy, not even an attempt to build up tension…. All we receive are pointless and endless speeches about Mother Nature and the beauty of flowers. `Garden of Evil' (or The Gardener, as IMDb likes to call it) surely is one of the worst films I ever saw. I should have known…it's from the hand of the Hickox-clan. The director's brother Anthony once messed up the Hellraiser-franchise with Hell on Earth. Now he has a tiny role in his brother's piece of junk. Avoid it, people…I'm doing you a favor!
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Pretty bad.
gridoon17 September 2002
The miscasting is almost fatal (Richard Grieco as a police commissioner??? Whose bright idea was that?), and the storyline is painfully obvious (we are forever waiting for the thickheaded heroine to figure out what is in clear view). Those two factors alone make the movie a waste of time (and a warning to Angie Everhart fanatics: don't come here looking for nudity). Even if you happen to catch this on TV, viewing it will offer you nothing; renting is simply out of the question. (*1/2)
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Another chance missed for Everhart and McDowell
Yergan18 August 2003
The two couldn't be more different, yet they seem to share a similar fate: appearing in bad movies again and again. While McDowell has the best of his films tucked away fairly deep in his filmography, Everhart still is looking for the one feature that will allow her to really shine. Both get offered the wrong kind of parts - for the wrong reasons. "The Gardener" is a classic example of this: there's the mad scientist (McDowell plays that stuff without thinking about it - and it shows) and the abused beauty that brings the villain down in the end is played by - yes, a beauty. How could that be interesting? I know that many would disagree with me but I do believe that Everhart has talent, all she really needs is a solid script and a decent director to bring it out. And would please someone offer McDowell a part in which he's not some freak that makes the Mad Hatter look like Al Gore?
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The Whole Ecosystem
tedg6 March 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

(Cat's eye comments follow.*)

This is a remarkably intelligent idea, worthy of Peter Greenaway as it combines sex, death, eating and counting. It is about the eternal bond between excrement and beauty. The Greenaway approach would come at it from the side of beauty. This takes an apposite, opposite approach. The film takes beauty (flowers, the statuesque Ms Everhart), kills it and turns it into a vile product. Presumably, the intent is to trigger the viewer into creating their own internal garden in the life we have outside this film.

Thus, an intelligent film viewer will see this as a matter of art, deliberately bad. The clue is Ms Everhart's subsequent involvement in a Dogma film, and McDowell's past role with the master of visual indirection, Kubrick. The notion is that beauty must pass through the digestive system, a notion treated here with exaggerated sexual connotations. Everhart is a famed companion of Hollywood stars, and already at 30 is an icon of this process, something of deliberate focus in `Jade.'

*Cat's eye comments result when nothing intelligent can be directly said of a film.
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Little Shoppe of Horrors Meets House of Wax
sas-730 December 1998
What starts off as an unfunny LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS retread eventually implodes into an unintentionally funny HOUSE OF WAX regurgitation with McDowell instead of Vincent Price and Everhart in lieu of Phyllis Kirk. In fact the only notable ingredient in this unremarkable formula pic is Everhart's evolution to budding Action Star in its earliest sequences! Shorn of the long red hair that is her trademark, she delivers more genuine strength than Sharon Stone does in her unwatchable rehash of GLORIA; she singlehandedly projects more serious intensity than the starlets in either of the two NIKITA remakes (POINT OF NO RETURN and that toothless teleseries); and she takes one giant leap toward establishing herself as a formidable Star when she finally makes the transition into studio Action Movies. Check it out under its current title SILENT SCREAMS to watch the progress of a future MovieStar in Everhart -- otherwise get the weed whacker.
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Absolutely, unequivocally the worst movie of all time.
ZFPeterson15 December 2001
A friend of mine bought this film on DVD because he wanted to see Malcolm McDowell in it. After watching it, and consequently spending several weeks in therapy, he somehow convinced me to do the same.

You have to understand, this film is diabolical on almost every conceivable level. There is simply no redeeming feature to it. The script, premise, acting, direction, sets, costumes, stunts, score and special effects are all excruciatingly insufferable, but it doesn't even stop there.

It is the *only* film I can think of where I can stand up and say "Yes, even the props are awful." In that respect, I am referring to the typical example of a random DEA Officer - little more than an extra - who, for some unknown reason, brandishes a pistol that is so enormous, one would normally expect to find it on the deck of the Bismarck.

In this way, an inconceivable absurdity permeates every facet of this motion picture. The US Government would not be unreasonable to establish a special agency tasked with keeping James D.R. Hickox (director), Joseph Gunn (writer) and Angie Everhart (`actress') away from movie studios from now until the end of time.

Frankly, I would happily welcome a visit from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, rather than watch this film again. When compared to suffering The Gardener in all its nightmarish glory, passing a dozen kidney stones would be considered a joyous and uplifting experience.
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Where Have All the Flowers Gone
wes-connors22 November 2009
"When her beautiful partner mysteriously disappears, Detective Kelly Jones (Angie Everhart) traces her to the Garden of Eden Nursery. There, she meets the master gardener (Malcolm McDowell) who is elegant, brilliant, and deliciously sinister. Everyone thinks she's crazy to hunt for evil in such a peaceful place, but horticultural horrors await for those brave enough to dig beneath the surface," according to the DVD sleeve's synopsis, "in this incredible unearthing of a madman's mind."

If you want to make a case against film preservation, dig up "The Gardener" (re-titled "Garden of Evil" on my DVD). The hammy starring duo can't get their lines to match, and nobody notices. The props are awful. At one point, Mr. McDowell is presented as a teenager, an age group notable for aged faces and bad wigs. Ex-"21 Jump Street" resident Richard Grieco and ex-"Juliet" Olivia Hussey are upstaged by President Clinton's brother Roger and "Dynasty" regular Pamela Bellwood.

** The Gardener (1998) James D.R. Hickox ~ Angie Everhart, Malcolm McDowell, Richard Grieco, Olivia Hussey
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watching flowers grow is more interesting!!
titantrap219 August 2003
I got this flick at big lots for two dollars. and after watching it, i fell as if they owe me twenty. This movie is like a study in bad acting, scriptwriting, acting and sets. First off the casting was atrocious. Grieco looks as if he doesn't belong within 500 feet of this movie, playing the lieutenant, a role that seems to have been written for a much older actor. Everheart has no range, no emotion and is as stiff as richard simmons staring at stone phillips. malcolm mcdowall, well he looks as if he has to keep repeating in his head, "i'm being paid for this, i'm being paid for this." Poor malcolm, he has so much talent and spends all of is time in awful movie after awful movie. the dialoge seems as if it was written by a group of spider monkeys on payotee, lines seem to be thrown in grabastically without rhyme or reason. the worst thing though, has to be the directing, actually the complete lack of direction, Greico's character stays angry through the entire flick because he's not sure about the point of the character. Everheart is pointless, and francis ford coppala couldn't drag a decent performance out of her. there is a complete lack of connected storyline, and because of that, the bad acting is all the more evident. there is really nothing i can say that can relate the awfullness of this movie. i'm afraid that to understand you will actually have to watch this poor excuse for a film. i almost forgot about the cheaply done and completely out of the blue cgi effects. i apoligize, the movie has fried my brains.
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Almost Superior to The "Hannibal Lector Series"
The Creeper12 November 2001
I would say this Movie is Almost Superior To The Silence of the Lambs, I should say it was better, except the fact that i think this movie was inspired by It. It is the Gardener's Absolute Genius, lack of Sanity, and Twiztid Sense of Humor that make this movie a must see for all Serial Killer Movies. I would Recommend it for Fans of: The Psycho Movies, The Hannibal Lectors Thrillogy, and Ed Gein (considering the fact that is not Gory or a dumb fakey slasher movie; but it can Deliver a good scare or to.) You should also consider that it took VERY little money to make this movie that instantly became one of my favorites. INSTEAD OF TAKING MY WORD FOR IT, RENT IT, THEN BUY IT!!
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Great stuff
zeta928 August 2000
Great movie with wonderful role played by Malcolm MacDowell. Everhart's good, Grieco - OK. There are some unexpected twists,CGI special effects and unusual camera's angles . It's a little bit like Stephen King's works only...better !
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and I thought the fat boys movie was bad!
R.T.23 February 1999
This is unmistakably the worst movie I have ever had to endure watching. This movie was bad all around. The director clearly thinks that a moving camera is what makes a film great. Unfortunately the constant moving only helps the existing nausea. The DP was real bad, no other way to put it. "Day for night" shots were poorly matched to day shots and so on. I don't know what that other person was talking about regarding Angie Everheart. She is a terribly bad, bad, actor. It's no suprise this movie has no distribution after a whole year. If I were a distributer I would run as far away from this "film" as possible!
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Too damn dark
fromwalking1 January 2008
Although I'm sorry to have seen this film in the first place, my wife came home with it, she loves Richard Grieco. Yeah, he's good looking. So am I.

Anyway, we've seen this almost funny piece of experiment that could have been a film if it was better written and especially filmed! It was too dark! I hate dark films. I've spend more then 500$ on my Philips television, it's a very good one so it had to be the film. That was my first and worst frustration.

But it was also too obvious. And at the end, ... leave that stupid plastic on Kelly's naked body: come on! When you're running for your life, you don't care if you're bare naked!!! (I wouldn't)

Stupid film, and I'm kind of ashamed to have watched it.
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