Saturday, September 5, 2015

Oh, lordy! Timothy Woodward, Jr.'s jaw-dropping CHECKMATE make its DVDebut

If you've a mind (and the patience or maybe courage) to discover what bottom-of-the-barrel currently looks and sounds like, movie-wise, by all means watch CHECKMATE. This brain-boggling, jaw-dropping piece of nonsense features a bunch of actors who've all seen better days and now make utterly disposable films -- the least of which may be this one, which occasionally comes very close to entering the realm of unintentional camp. It's almost bad enough to be good.

Why is Checkmate so terrible? The director/co-producer, Timothy Woodward, Jr., shown below, hasn't a clue to most anything from pacing to action, and he is saddled with one of the worst screenplays imaginable, credited to Calvin Cox, Jr., Jennifer Lynch and Henry Mitchell, who are, according to the IMDB, neophytes all.

These writers' objective, it soon appears, is to discover how many times they can cram the word "fuck" (and its many variations) into a single full-length film. If you start tallying from the beginning, Ill bet you'll be well into the triple digits before the movie ends. Their one remotely original idea (perhaps only because this particular reviewer has not seen it done previously) is to make one of their characters a priest who doubles as a paid assassin.

In any case, the bank robbery around which the film revolves is embarrassingly staged, as are the actions of the police on hand. There's lots of over-acting on view, to be expected when the script is this bad. And, perhaps because the filmmaker is a Southern boy who wants to toss a bone to Christian fundamentalists, we get a simultaneous sub-plot involving God and the devil in a chess match. But the filmmaker clearly doesn't know chess well enough to allow us to see any of the moves being played. So this, too, fizzles out. Whew.

Films like Checkmate do serve a purpose. They act as a kind of touchstone for all else you might view. After this one, just about anything you watch will appear to have some merit. The movie hits the street this Tuesday, September 8, on DVD.

No comments: