Movie Reviews

Worst Of Netflix: Pocahauntus

Worst Of Netflix

Every week, I scour Netflix for a movie rated at one star and put it in my queue, suffering through it for your entertainment so that you don’t have to. In the past, I’ve taken on anime cancer demons, softcore Iraq War porn and racist ventriloquism, and now it’s time to do it again.

POCAHAUNTUS (1992)

Starring: A version of history that’s only slightly less accurate than Disney’s.

Pocahauntus is the story of the ghost of Native American heroine Pocahontas coming back from the dead to kill the descendants of the Jamestown colonists, and before we go any further, I assure you that it’s nowhere near as good as it sounds.

You’d think that with a high concept as undeniably, almost beautifully stupid as that, this thing might be able to be so dumb that it could go past bad and loop back around to being entertaining, but in practice, it just goes past bad and comes out somewhere near atrocious. Of course, I figured that going in, as the one name I recognized from the credits was Eliza Swenson, originally seen on WON as the sexy lesbian general in Transmorphers. Here, she takes a dramatically different turn as a sexy lesbian hippie, and as unbelievable as it is to type this, she’s actually better in Transmorphers.

Pocahauntus

Swenson and the rest of the cast are descendants of the original Jamestown colonists–of which there are only six, apparently–that are lured to a campsite in Virginia by a ghost that seems to have mastered second-class mail, and while the prospect of seeing them murdered is something that you’ll look forward to after about fifteen minutes, the producers even manage to screw that up. Part of this comes from the fact that they’re less “characters” and more “annoying people doing terrible accents,” to the point where I’m pretty sure that most of the actors are just playing other, better actors. There’s one guy who tries (and fails) to keep an impression of Matthew McConaughey going for a full hour, and–even more embarrassingly–one guy just doing Chris Kattan’s “Mango” from SNL, but even more dumbed down and called “Mangina.” Mostly, though, it’s just that the faster they’re offed, the sooner the movie’s going to end.

According to the IMDB, director Veronica Craven had a budget of $10,000 to work with on Pocahauntus, and while that might sound pretty meager by film standards, I’ve got no idea where all that money went. It looks like it was shot on VHS and recorded with a cell phone, the props are so bad that the sheriffs are obviously carrying cap guns that are held in holsters cribbed from a kid’s cowboy dress-up set, and there are occasionally scenes where one character is overdubbed, but nobody else is.

Also, it’s worth noting that I’m pretty sure nobody bothered to watch this movie before they transferred it from the camcorder directly to the DVD. If they had, they might’ve decided the scene where a character mispronounces the word “impudence” could’ve stood another take, or that they could’ve dropped the footage where one of the characters wears a wig so that she won’t be recognized, and then is immediately recognized, taking the wig off and then vanishing for the next half hour. Or maybe, just maybe, they would’ve seen that there’s a scene where a character gets killed, then shows up completely fine in the next shot before being killed again in the exact same way 45 minutes later.

As for the effects, I think this sums it up better than I could:

Pocahauntus

Come to think of it, the only thing that actually looks real in this movie is the cocaine, which would actually do a pretty good job of explaining where the money went.

Check out the Worst of Netflix archive.

1251216230_chris_sims.jpgChris Sims is a freelance comedy writer from South Carolina. He briefly attended USC before he dropped out to spend more time with Grand Theft Auto, and his career subsequently took the path that you might expect from someone who makes that sort of decision. He blogs at http://www.the-isb.com and creates comics at http://www.actionagecomics.com.

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