Escape from Tomorrow – 1 out of 5
Okay, so everyone knows this movie for one thing: It was filmed in Disney World and Disneyland WITHOUT the Big D’s permission. The writer/director, cast and crew would enter the park as tourists (possibly while wearing straw hats, bright colored shorts and flip-flops) and keep the scripts (if there actually were any but I’ll get to that later) on their iPhones and filmed the movie using cameras that your everyday park visitors would use…although, I’m shocked the director just didn’t decide to film using his smartphone’s camcorder; if he did, he at least would have had another excuse for the shitty quality of the film's appearance.
Jim (Roy Abramsohn) is on vacation with his wife Emily (Elena Schuber) and his kids at the Happiest Place on Earth. On the last day of the trip, Jim gets an early morning phone call and is informed he’s fired. Not wanting to upset his family’s vacation, Jim keeps this a secret and they all set out to enjoy some overpriced snacks and rides that will make them vomit the snacks back up to be collected later and re-used (just kidding, Disney doesn’t recycle vomit…or I don’t think they do). Along the way, Jim spots two underage French girls and starts to become enamored with them; going as far as following them around the park. Eventually, Jim’s psyche starts to wear thin and he starts to hallucinate and question his sanity as frightening experiences start to dance around him. He begins seeing evil faces on the peoples of the world in It’s a Small World (but that's normal), he feels antagonized by a fat dude with a bad accent that rides a Rascal scooter (also normal) and ends up meeting (and screwing) a woman who claims she was once a princess for the theme park (okay, these are just everyday occurrences at the park). Is all this a part of Jim’s suddenly failing grasp on reality or is there something sinister being orchestrated by The Mouse and the thawed head of Walt?
|"Honey, stop talking, I'm trying to remember how to walk like a human being."|
If, for some reason, you just skipped over my score, I didn’t care for this movie. While the story of how the film was made is interesting, the rest of the film is infinitely less so. However, it’s my belief that the film’s story, acting, plot and all the technical details like special effects and editing were objects that were considered secondary to the concept of filming without The Mouse’s knowledge for the sole purpose of creating buzz for the film festival circuit—and even though Disney has been mysteriously silent and acting very unlike their usual self and have NOT sued the shit out of writer/director Randy Moore, I think that Moore was secretly hoping they would because it would only add more buzz for a completely worthless and all around shitty horror/thriller/dark comedy.
|THRILL as you look at the back of a man's head on a ride.|
Escape from Tomorrow is a gimmick, not a movie. While Moore claims (according to Wikipedia anyway—Murika’s most trusted news source…other than the Facebook links your Conservative cousin likes to share) that the story was inspired by his past that involves the park and his daddy issues, I think the real deal is that he never even considered a story and was just looking for a project that would cause a lot of quick talk and publicity without the quality of the final product really having anything to do with it—besides, he can easily sidestep that by saying, “What do you expect? We filmed this without the park’s permission and did it guerrilla style!”
|"Eh, we'll just do this scene with a green screen...I'm not TRYING to make a good |
movie here, geez." - Something I assume the director said.
The story sucks in this movie. Right off the bat, it’s not interesting in the least—the incredibly shitty acting by Roy Abramsohn doesn’t help things as his performance was so ridiculously lacking any realism or any convincing moments and his performance only filled me with an overwhelming desire to not give a shit about his snapping sanity and just turn off the movie and do something more entertaining (and in the case of Escape from Tomorrow, that’s pretty much ANYTHING). Jim is unlikeable in every way and not even in a way that he’s captivating to watch like, say, Kenny Powers or some really great villain. Jim is a boorish, perverted and a borderline rapist-of-a-man that isn’t getting any favors from the very untalented Abramsohn fumbling around trying to bring life to the character. With a character who is already unbearable on paper and is being played poorly by a bad actor, it’s really, REALLY difficult to have any desire to involve yourself in the story.
|Pictured: A man I literally didn't give a single shit about. Not one.|
But the story isn’t good enough anyway to invest in.
I love weird movies (like anything made by the Japanese). Movies that make you say, “What in the living fuck am I watching?” for nearly the entire length before it finally all comes together in a somewhat sensible way (so...NOT like a Japanese movie). David Lynch always comes to mind as doing some great, really strange shit. However, he comes to mind because even though it looks like some of his movies will NEVER be understood by the masses, it at least looks like HE knows what he’s doing and knows what the hell is going on. Moore looked like he had no clue what he was doing with the film’s story and plot.
|What if Abramsohn was actually a spy sent by Disney to destroy the film with his bad acting?|
I don’t believe for one gawd-damn second that this movie actually had a script. The thing the actors were looking at on their phones was probably just mad ramblings of a man just looking for easy publicity because this movie makes no sense—and no, that doesn’t mean I “didn’t get it.” I understood the story but, the problem is, it’s sloppier than the coin booth on Triple Token Tuesdays at the budget smut shop. There is no coherence going on and, when you factor in the really, really amateurish editing, the film looks like the script came in at a very distant last thought. It was clear to me, after watching it, that Moore cared less about the actual film and was more concerned with figuring out how to create buzz, garner cheap publicity and getting folks talking thanks to a little controversy than actually make a somewhat watchable film. His use of piss poor green screen sequences only cements this belief in me because, fuck quality. You can always call it "art" when you have enough people talking...even though it's obvious you just took a shit on a camera.
|"Yay! We are totally in the park right now and not a part of a really cheap looking|
The only thing interesting about Escape from Tomorrow was the story of how the crew went about filming it, despite it being an obvious and shameful attempt at getting press. The end product was an incoherent, poorly acted and ugly dog turd of a film that can’t quite balance the strange, the comedy, the horror and the thriller aspects. However, the one thing that bothered me the most about this movie was the fact that Moore, in a slimy, penny-pinching villain way, was able to utilize hundreds of unaware extras for his film in the form of other park visitors. Everyone talks about Disney protecting their intellectual property through lawsuits but if anyone has a lawsuit that could result in bankrupting Moore it would be the people who were visiting the parks on the days he was filming.
|The black and white really shows that the character of Jim sweats pure bacon grease.|
These people were filmed without their consent and never signed a waver for their faces to be shown on screen…and yet, here’s Moore profiting off of people who were just looking to head to Disney to ride some rides and buy really expensive souvenirs. I would never openly advocate the illegal downloading of someone else’s artistic creation but since it is clear that Moore is getting famous by half-assing a movie, whole assing publicity for said half-assed movie and using people just out and about baking under the sun and having fun at the house that The Mouse built, then maybe hitting him in the wallet isn’t such a bad thing and one of the times where pirating is actually teaching a lesson. After all, he didn’t mind utilizing the FREE help of all the crowds in his movie…
|Randy Moore sure could pick his actors...just overflowing with charisma, charm|
and realistic acting talent. Just look at this guy. I absolutely believe that he is looking
But, of course, I’m kidding. Don’t illegally download Escape from Tomorrow…but, do yourself a favor; don’t spend money on it either. I can't, in good conscience, recommend watching this one because Moore wasn’t trying to make a movie, he was just trying to create a controversy.