TV Review | Ed the Sock’s This Movie Sucks! 1.1, 1.2

The first episode of Ed the Sock’s This Movie Sucks! (CHCH/CHEK/CJNT/Silver Screen Classics/Movieola: debuted May 29 at midnight ET/PT) is strictly amateur-hour, not the best of comebacks for Ed the Sock.  The show promises a celebration of bad movies.  All This Movie Sucks! celebrates in its initial outing is how half-baked it is.

Ed and Liana K are flanked by Ron Sparks, Andrew Young and Charlene Zacks.  Ed makes with the insults.  Liana throws popcorn, while Sparks and Young lob token wisecracks.  Bride of the Gorilla is screened, largely free of Ed’s cutting wit.

This doesn’t play to Ed’s strengths, since Bride of the Gorilla is boring as hell.  Raymond Burr is cursed by a witch doctor, becoming a gorilla mentally and/or physically.  It’s a weregorilla film that half-asses on the monster itself.  Bride of the Gorilla cries out for a riffing that never comes.

I don’t know what to make of Charlene.  She’s gap-toothed and awkward.  I’m not even sure if she’s acting.  Charlene and Ed play off each other, not that it makes This Movie Sucks!‘ debut more watchable.

This Movie Sucks!‘ debut goes for a Dinner and a Movie-type format, the worst format a show like this could pick.  Ron Sparks is almost completely wasted.  Even Ed the Sock creator Steven Kerzner states how bad the first episode is in the closing credits, calling TMS!‘ debut a “beta test.”

This touch-and-go approach to show creation is almost gone from North American television.  This Movie Sucks!‘ debut should have been better thought out, but this is CHCH in the Channel Zero era.  You can painfully see the feeling-out process firsthand.  At least This Movie Sucks! is honest about its own shittiness.

Here are the first four minutes of This Movie Sucks!, from CHCHnewsfan’s Youtube account.  I wonder if Charlene Zacks will appear on This Movie Sucks! in the future.  She might be to TMS! what Beeper is to Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The second episode of This Movie Sucks! has Ed and Liana K embrace the Mystery Science Theater 3000 house style.  The riffing on TMS! isn’t nearly as clever as on MST3K, but it’s adequate enough.  After TMS!‘ first episode, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Wraparounds for the second episode have Ed and the gang attend Anime North 2010.  Ed explains that the studio shoot for this episode is so terrible, they’re scrambling to fill time.  Young and Sparks are still around, yet Zacks is nowhere to be seen.  Thirty minutes of airtime have also been excised.

Attack from Space is the target of Ed and Liana’s riffing.  The “film” stitches together two Super Giant short films, The Artificial Satellite and the Destruction of Humanity and The Spaceship and the Clash of the Artificial Satellite.  Super Giant is redubbed Starman for American audiences.

The dubbing is of 1960s standard.  Dialogue is heavy.  A narrator neatly delineates the plot – well, as much of it as he can, considering Attack from Space‘s ill-thought-out nature.  We’re talking about a film where Starman’s wings flap in the vacuum of space.  Attack from Space deteriorates from there.

I hope future episodes of This Movie Sucks! use the second episode’s format.  Riffing is familiar Ed the Sock territory, a fact Fromage viewers well know.  Young and Sparks should also be riffing, since they’re comedians, but the show’s format is not yet etched in stone.

The Anime North footage is an excuse for Liana K to cosplay.  There are some half-decent moments, like when Ed tries to sell conventioneers on the wonders of Everyburger, pork jerky and Cream Collon.

The fans are initially put off by odd examples of Japanese food culture.  That’s so much better than Ed the Sock constantly referencing an overexposed YouTube clip in the first episode.  Come on, Cream Collon!

I hope This Movie Sucks! improves from its second episode.  For one thing, CHCH isn’t going to turf TMS! for more badly-dubbed martial arts films.  TMS! might as well be the best damn Mystery Science Theater 3000 ripoff it can be.  What does This Movie Sucks! have to lose?

As a bonus, here’s a poor-quality clip of Ed the Sock at Anime North 2010.  Watch as Cafe Delish gives love to a dessert tray.  It’s otakuriffic!

C. Archer
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