Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bwana No!

I have finally seen the worst movie of my life. “Bwana Devil” (see    I tuned into it about halfway through so I did not get to experiences its total awfulness, but I at least had a taste.  It is supposed to be about British East Africa, but was so obviously filmed in the Southern California hills.  There is one scene where these white British railway execs were being entertained by people from India who were putting on their version of “So You Think You Can Dance.”  After seeing and appreciating Bollywood-style dancing, the wiggling and gyrating of the two male dancers was truly funny.  At times one dancer would just stop and look at his   partner and then begin to mimic his actions until the next pause.  It was all very extemporaneous, and seemed to be done without benefit of music, since rhythm never seemed to enter the equation.  There is another scene where the white folk were entertained by native African dancers.  Our dream cast, including Robert Stack and Barbara Britton, watched the pre-filmed dance extravaganza as it was projected onto a screen.  There was no pretense that the actors were even in the same universe as the dancers.  After one of the wild dance scenes, the cast dined al fresco and then headed off to bed.  Someone forgot to cue the sun to go down and the moon to rise since the scene was obviously filmed mid-day. 

In the climactic final scenes, Stack and Britten were clinging to the side of a rocky hill.  They were both perspiring (complements of a spray bottle) but from one camera angle to another, the pattern of the sweat on their clothes changed shape.

 The film’s man eating lions were either blue screened in or were live, but so valiumed-out that the only threat they posed was of falling to the ground asleep.
I often will recommend a bad film just for guilty-pleasure purposes or for potential learning value.  “Bwana Devil” is so bad that my only advice is to remember that you will never get the 90 minutes back.  

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