one of the early inspirations for this site is michael adams’ entertaining and resourceful book showgirls, teen wolves, and astro zombies. it chronicles a film critic’s year long quest for the worst movie ever made. that’s also my para-quoting of the subtitle of the book. when we started more than a year ago, i put every movie mentioned in the book on my netflix queue and narcosys was available on netflix instant watch. though i didn’t see it until it finally expired.
for those of you who have the book (published by harper collins’ it books imprint), it’s on page 145 in the down and under chapter. its retail price is $13.99 but if you are one of those people who don’t mind waiting a fucking week or two or if you’re loaded and love to pay for shipping, it’ll be even cheaper.
from the people who brought you shit my dad says, steve harvey’s act like a lady, think like a man, confident parents, exceptional teens (a parenting book by ted haggard inspired by the columbine massacre), sex tips from a dominatrix, and sex tips for straight women from a gay man…
showgirls, teen wolves, and astro zombies
now available at fine book stores everywhere!
i would say that you can get it at any fine book stores and chains anywhere but there are no fine book store chains anymore. at least one that doesn’t sell used books.
snarks aside, narcosys premiered in 2000 at the melbourne underground film festival and as far as i know, it hasn’t been released anywhere until the 2003 dvd release. if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll not be surprised by that at all. in his book, narcosys didn’t make adams’ final list of the worst movies ever made, and though i’ve only seen a few of the movies on his final list, narcosys is no doubt one of the worst movie i’ve ever seen.
it also doesn’t help that this australian movie was on netflix instant without subtitles, so there were more than a few occasions where i had no idea what they were saying. but in this case, it might be a blessing in disguise.
with a combination of watching the movie and researches after watching the movie, narcosys apparently tells the futuristic story of four futuristic hot topic shoppers in search of pure drugs. the future is 2018, apparently, and also, what a surprise, bleak. the world is controlled by one major corporation named IT (hey that sounds like computer speak!) who pollutes street drugs on purpose so they can sell (and mind control) legal drugs.
narcosys would have fit right in with the video game based movies we did a few months back. except that there’s no narcosys: the game. the opening scenes have a crawl like star wars except it somehow looks crappier than a movie that came out twenty years before. they also have a woman doing the usual computer voice just in case reading is not your thing. talk about targeting your audience. in addition, we also get a voice over narration by one of the lead characters, something about how she’s sentenced to die but given a chance to live by going undercover for the big evil corporation to infiltrate a drug gang. objection your honor, leading (audience to think that there is going to be a plot).
we also get the character stats on the screen with their names and crime history a la video games but don’t worry, you won’t need to know any of that for the movie. this device works in movies like doa: dead or alive but here it simply leads you to think that these facts are important and will eventually go somewhere. don’t worry, they won’t. they are just in the movie for the cyber/video game feel, for no particular reason.
the other video game-ish thing in the movie is that there are several “level complete” screens that show up every once in a while, with body counts and the drugs they scored. except that once again, it looks so bad that you can barely make out the words on screen. they look more like a thumbnail blown up to full size with pixel(s) in tact. like the character title cards, they also lead you to think that there is some kind of progress or levels going on, but no. in fact, most video games have a better idea of progression and goals than narcosys.
oh, and the four characters are named matrix monopoly, sin tax, candybar satelite, and metro confetti, played by an actor who later becomes contestant on big brother australia. there’s a chubby gadget guy named orbit america, played by an actor who looks like nick frost, wearing a mickey mouse hat. maybe that’s supposed to be a statement of some sort. there’s also a drug dealer/dj broadcasting throughout the city named mc square. and this was before black eyed peas were popular.
though i’ve complained about the graphics and special effects, they are more or less expected in a low budget movie. they actually look at least as bad, and sometimes better than most asylum movies. this is something that i’m willing to overlook, as long as other major things work, i’m sure most ladies understand this.
like the asylum movies, we also don’t get to see the action scenes. we see someone plant a bomb, then the screen fades to black, and we hear explosion sound effects. the heist scenes shows the characters running down a hallway with guns, then we cut to them running the other way post-heist.
one thing that i don’t hate, and actually find quite amusing, is that the dialogue is written in such a way that it almost sounds poetic. consider these exchanges:
“management has the right to refuse entry!”
“refusal is the right entry to management!”
“…you should feel like home.”
“home is where the heart is.”
“well then i guess you’re homeless.” (hahaha)
it’s reminiscent of all those tarantino ripoffs except not as annoying. but it does eventually get ridiculous when a phone metaphor is used in pretty much the rest of the movie. i’m just say, of all the bad things in the movie, the dialogue is the least worst.
the movie gives you a lot of time to ponder other things. for example, it proves that david mamet knows what he’s talking about when he said the hero has to have a goal in the movie and each scene in the movie is the hero trying to reach that goal. for a while i was thinking maybe it tries to work like one of those plotless reggio type documentary where visual imagery edited together and you’re suppose to find the messages. or maybe it’s suppose to be an absurdist comedy where when one of the characters see a tv in the street with an out of order sign taped to the screen.
but i am afraid not. narcosys reeks of college student film at its worst. some have accused it of a matrix (and pretty much every other sci-fi movies) ripoff but i’ll just assume that the filmmakers is into raves, gothic, fetish stuff. the rebellion against authority theme is typical juvenile against all authorities standards. in a way it reminds me of the doom generation, which is also one of the worst movies i’ve ever seen (oooh bisexuals, oooh threesome, how edgy!) except that was a road movie, so they kind of have a destination. narcosys is like if someone took a poll of random 13-year-olds in hot topic and ask them what they think would be cool in a movie and stitch them together in random order.
among our group i’m usually known as the most forgiving one who frequently comments “that’s not as bad as i thought” after most screenings. you can tell by most of the asylum movies we have here. i can’t remember the last time i hate a movie entirely. and we’ve seen the happening, birdemic, troll 2, and the room. and unlike roger ebert, i don’t have any rules on giving zero star to movies truly offensive. so here it is, our first zero rating. it’s the worst movie i’ve ever seen (so far). usually i would love to see our friends and neighboring bloggers to see even the bad movies just so i can read their takes on them. in this case, i would not recommend anyone to see this. the badness is pure and simple bad. there’s no cheese, joy and fun to be found.
*narcosys actually won best film at the melbourne underground film festival. but it was the first year, competing with masked avenger versus ultra-villain in the lair of the naked binkni. they later also awarded best film to porn star: the legend of ron jeremy. but even good festivals make mistakes.