Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Zaat (1971)

ZAAT directed by Don Barton

Ranked 2.5/10 on IMDB

Warning: Spoilers!
--does anyone truly care?

Quick Synopsis:

Talon: Written, directed, and produced by Don Barton. Made in the 70's with a seventy thousand dollar budget. Now, that amount of money isn't a lot by Hollywood standards, but some pretty great films have been made for less.

Main roles are Marshall Grauer as Nazi mad scientist Dr. Kurt Leopold.  

Joe: He was a Nazi? Did the movie say he was a Nazi?

Talon: I don't remember. I'm going by Wikipedia.

Wade Popwell as The Monster Man.

Joe: While not as bad a costume as ROBOT MONSTER, it comes close.

Talon: Paul Galloway as Sheriff Lou Krantz.

Joe: Leading all the singing hippies to jail for their own safety.

Talon: And Sanna Ringhaver as INPIT Agent Martha Walsh

Joe: She was the best looking thing in this incredibly ugly film.

Talon: In the very beginning we deal with five minutes of fish swimming stock footage, and amazing narration of Dr. Kurt Leopold's evil plan.

Which was something about sharks, and fish, and conquering the universe.

Made sense.

Joe: It did not make sense. You were lulled into a trance-like state by the droning repetition and lack of any sort of rudimentary meaning.

Talon: Another five minutes pass of him walking on the beach, then entering his lab, which is filled with aquariums, boxes with various colored flashing light bulbs, and more narration of him talking to a catfish on how it's viciously aggressive.

Spoiler alert:

Neither Dr. Leopold nor the catfish ever conquer the universe.

Joe: At this point, I was so anxious for something to happen that I think I began hallucinating. Ten minutes in and not a single thing has happened.

Talon: So eventually Leopold creates a serum called Zaat with his brilliant MIT graduate mind by mixing glowstick fluids and pressing the buttons on his "high-tech" flashy boxes.

Joe: I counted more than three different color light bulbs. These were needed because: science!

Talon: In order for the serum to work, a rather dangerous stunt is performed: Strapping himself to a makeshift steel gurney and submerging via pulley into a pool of bubbling Zaat water.

I know it was a dangerous stunt because many of the underwater shots showed he was actually drowning.

Joe: I was rooting for the drowning. 

Talon: Once a simple man,


A furry green rubber monster!

Have to admit, I did find my new Halloween costume.

Joe: You're going to have to work extra hard to make sure it looks as bad as the one in the movie.

Talon: Next came Zaat swimming under water and spraying lakes with Zaat, which looked like a pain in the ass to do in the suit, I'll give Wade Popwell props.

Joe: He could have used props! Or at least flippers!

And that joke was more entertaining than the entirety of ZAAT. I've seen a lot of bad movies. But at this point I was praying for death's sweet embrace.

Seriously. Watching my fingernails grow would have been more fun than ZAAT.

Talon: Zaat's quest biggers to kidnapping a woman to make his fish bride, and killing colleagues that had laughed at his research.

Those scenes are amazing by the way. I'm a changed man.

Joe: Didn't we keep pausing the movie and reassuring each other that it had to get better? Or was that one of my hallucinations?

Talon: Meanwhile, I guess the Sheriff called a team of INPIT researchers to investigate the weird stuff going on in town. 

Joe: INPIT? I thought it was INEPT. My bad.

Talon: After failing to create a fish bride in another cringe-inducing stunt that could have resulted in death, Zaat dissolves her remains in acid and goes back to the lake. To find another girl, I guess.

Joe: It was a big vat of water, with a metal gurney attached to a pulley perched precariously on the edge. Strap yourself in the gurney, and the only possible outcome is to sink to the bottom of the vat and drown. I don't understand how no one was killed. I doubt there were medical professionals standing by, or safety inspectors checking the jury-rigged equipment.

Talon: Then the other INPIT agent, Walker Stevens, captures Zaat when he swims directly into their obvious net trap.

After an epic battle of holding each other, Zaat gets stabbed and escapes the scientist's grasp by using his ultimate mastermind genius...

...running away.  

Joe: Running is a generous description. Waddling awkwardly is how I'd put it.

Talon: Heading back home, Zaat/Dr. Leopold draws a crude picture of his new bride, the blonde INPIT agent, Martha. And then the audience must endure a five minute shot of him walking out of the lake, onto a street, and then pausing and heaving over to say a dubbed "The pain."

Joe: I felt the pain. Boy, did I feel the pain.

Talon: So after wasting five minutes of my life that I'll never get back, after all that slow walking he breaks into a pharmacy and looks for something to help with...

My guess?

The pain.

Joe: The pharmacy set was, hands-down, the best set ever. And I've seen all the Ed Wood, HG Lewis, Doris Wishman, and John Waters flicks. This was clearly a bedroom, with bookshelves on the walls holding a few dozen bottles of pills and shampoo. Plus, a mini fridge.

It was just like walking into a CVS.

Talon: So Zaat drinks a bottle of whatever, trashes the place, then brutally murders a teen trying to get some action on a swing in front of his house.

I thought it was cool. But it freaked me out when Zaat killed the boy and then started sucking on his blood.


Poor Zaat.

Zaat's just confused from all the zaat going into zaat mind of his.

Of course, I knew zaat was going to happen next.

A stampede of people singing down the street.

Joe: Filthy, ugly hippies, going to jail for their own safety. They probably had drugs on them.

Watching ZAAT, I would have strangled my parents for some of those drugs.

Talon: So Zaat eventually finds Martha's house. They have an epic battle scene which consists of her running around a table, throwing a pencil at him, and fainting. He takes her. Straps her in the cage gurney.  Gets found by the sheriff and other agent...

And then flees to the ocean.

Plot twist?

Martha had somehow been hypnotized and she follows Zaat to be his bride.

The end.

Joe: You forgot the epic chase scene of that guy limping through the woods after Zaat. I timed it. That chase was 1826390 minutes long.

Talon: Seemed longer.

First Impressions:

Talon: I went into Zaat with some-what high expectations. It already had a fascinating title, with the tag line:

"Is the monster devil?" 

Spoiler alert:

Zaat's a man in a costume. 

Looking at the Blu-ray cover I figured, what the hell, maybe this so called "bad movie" doesn't need to be on my blog. Maybe this movie was a classic, and everyone who saw it was a mad jealous hater, hating on its awesomeness and perfection. 

Turns out, it's not awesome nor perfection. But I guess you could call it a classic because it was made in 1971.

Joe: ZAAT might be the worst film I've ever seen. And it wasn't a "so bad it's good" kind of bad. It was a "so bad I'd rather get a colonoscopy without anesthesia than watch another minute" bad.

Talon: Here's some of the dialog my dad and I had while viewing. Try to imagine some of our phrases as catchy slogans:

"No! Oh, no! Don't attack me monster devil!"

"I like the part when he's walking."
"That's half the movie!"

"What are ocean fish doing in a pond?"

"The seventy thousand all went to paying for stock footage."

"Okay, this is the worst movie of all time."

"I can't. I just can't."

Best Worst Scene

Talon: Oh, geez. I guess when Zaat ran into the ocean so I never have to see him again. 

Joe: Wow, this one was so awful. I gotta vote for the endless stock footage of fish swimming around.

So, after that life-changing experience, here's our trademark.

Watch it?

Talon: Yes. It makes you wonder how this was even made.

Joe: Yes. You have to. It's an out of body experience. You'll need three espressos to stay awake, and four beers and a shot for the pain.

Share it?

Talon: Yes, my pet fish warned me to or else Zaat would haunt me for the rest of my life.

Joe: Yes. ZAAT needs to be taught in film school.

Re-watch it?

Talon: Yes. Not anytime soon though. My brain still hurts.

Joe: Yes, but I'll need a minimum of ten years between viewings.

Talon: Have you seen ZAAT? Do you have any other Best Worst Movies to recommend? Do you know how to use the Internet to make $5000 in only 15 days? Then post in the comments section!


Talon will now spout off five reasons you should watch the next movie we're blogging about, Uwe Boll's amazing ALONE IN THE DARK!

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