Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Turf War [2017]

[Cross-posted on the Bad Movie Night Facebook page.]

When you watch a movie by a bad director, sometimes you can tell who their inspiration is. Tommy Wiseau famously wanted the screenplay of "The Room" to be like a Tennessee Williams play (and relatedly, might have been looking up to Elia Kazan in his direction). Neil Breen seems like he wants to be an early David Lynch. Alex Maisonette, the director of this Monday's film, really, really wants to make elaborate three hour crime dramas like Martin Scorsese. Too bad he can't write dialogue or direct. Also rather than a three hour epic, we got an hour and 45 minute film that didn't actually have an ending, and it's nearly impossible to find information about this movie to explain why. It looks a little like Maisonette actually made one film, possibly called "Lady Rider," but had to divide it into two: "Turf War" and "Checkmate." We'll probably watch "Checkmate" next week. We aren't exactly invested in the plot, hell we could barely follow the plot, but this movie was a good time nonetheless.

The turf war from the title is a war between bikers, drug dealers, and the cops (both crooked and not crooked). There are too many characters to follow but the primary ones include a good cop duo (one who is trying to act and one who is having his lines fed through an earpiece or something), an undercover "FBA" agent, a crooked sergeant played by the director, a drug dealer named Flash played by Fat Joe, two raping and murdering bikers, their boss, a woman who wants revenge on them for raping her when she was 17 ("lady rider"), and that woman's mom who was thought to be dead. A good portion of the movie consists of various combinations of these characters having flat conversations. Occasionally a murder will happen and we get a glimpse of the best character: Lenny G, the news correspondent for "News News Today." There isn't really a plot outside of Lady Rider's quest to get revenge, but somehow this movie is still captivating. There are so many bizarre lines. The budget was used primarily to put up cheap posters in an apartment building and pretend it's a police office, to give the guns really fake explosion graphics, and to pay Fat Joe for his presence. Pausing the movie is a real delight as you can take in all the little cheap details.
For example:

Aside from the amazing program name, look at that angle. Look even harder at the guy wearing a shirt with "crime scene" on it. It is clearly made of duct tape and was probably originally meant to say "crime scene investigations" before they couldn't figure out how to do that.
This is supposed to be a murder scene where someone was stabbed through a white sheet. Instead, they took a pillow case or something with a totally different texture from the sheet and covered it in fake blood and two sausage links.

Watch this movie and use the pause liberally. I would say to fast forward through the really dry dialogue bits, but you might miss gems like the ones below. 

"The body was murdered."

"You can't trust anyone in your department. I mean no one. You can't trust anybody. This is between us. This stays between me and you. Is that clear?"
"The only one that I can trust is my partner."
"If you say it's okay, it's okay with me."

Spoon Rating: 7

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