I wrote a DVD review earlier this weekend, and commented that no matter what two movies I watch, there is almost always a connecting link between the two. I searched for what it might be in these two disparate selections, and only found this: the blurbs and descriptions on the DVD boxes are woefully fiction-based. Let's start with Baghead:
|Images from Wikipedia|
Wildly funny? No, not one laugh to be had. Parody of low-budget? How about just low-budget. Horror cinema? Was this supposed to be scary?
"The funniest spoof of horror film of the year!"
I don't know what "horror film of the year" was in 2006, but if this is a spoof of it, they failed miserably.
"Beware of Baghead"
Yes, by all means, beware!
"A really, really good film."--Don R. Lewis, FILM THREAT
In what world? Baghead is a meandering, almost plotless film, ostensibly about a group of friends (two sort-of couples) who go to a cabin in the woods to write a feature film that they're all going to star in, and become famous. The two men, chunky Steve Zissis and hunky Ross Partridge, are good enough actors but hardly A-list material. The two women, Greta Gerwig and Elise Muller, are just terrible. While at the cabin, one of the girls has a dream of a stalker in a bag mask, and they decide to turn that into their movie idea. So apparently, a Friday the 13th ripoff is their ticket to fame! But maybe it wasn't a dream? It really doesn't matter, because finding out is a tedious, mind-numbing (and thanks to the camera work, dizzying) affair. Baghead is credited as "A Duplass Brothers Movie," which leads me to wonder, is that bragging, or is it a warning?
"Very possibly William Friedkin's best movie. A stunning performance by Ashley Judd!"--Richard Schickel, TIME.com
No, The Exorcist is very possibly Friedkin's best. This one is not. And while Ashley Judd did give this performance her all, "stunning" wouldn't be my adjective. "Insane" or "screaming" would be good.
"One of the most disturbing horror movies imaginable"--Stephen Schaefer, BOSTON HERALD
Disturbing? No, confusing. Horror movie? It wasn't scary, not one bit.
"Searingly intense"--Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
I respect Ebert's opinion, and can only assume this one is taken out of context. It is intense in parts, but that tension comes at the expense of a very, very odd plot.
Bug is a much more mainstream film, at least from its actors (including Harry Connick, Jr.), its director, and such. The talent behind and in front of the camera is not the problem in this one. If the film were billed as a psychological drama, I may have gone in with a different mindset. It was billed as a horror film by the director of The Exorcist, and blurbed as better than that! No way, no how. To review it much beyond what I've said would be to "spoil" it, were such a thing possible. Let's just say it doesn't go where you expect, there isn't much about it that is pleasant (beyond the nudity of the lead actors, though this sadly doesn't include Connick), and it will leave you rather unsatisfied at the end.
Another unifying theme between Baghead and Bug: during both films, there was a point where I contemplated just ejecting the DVD part-way in. I should have. Verdict: Avoid both.