The Curator of Schlock #382 by Jeff Shuster

Dark Crimes

Jim Carrey tries the darkly dramatic. 

A punk with a mohawk sat perched upon the concrete head of Charles Bronson in the ransacked building that was once the Museum of Schlock. I gave him a hard stare, but he paid me no mind, sticking two fingers in his mouth and whistling. About a dozen hooligans came forth, pipes and baseball bats in their hands. Some of them were wearing the 70s sports jackets I had on display for the movie Nightmare City. I paid six figures for those props! — To be continued.

This week’s movie is 2018’s Dark Crimes from director Alexandros Avranas. It currently holds a critics score of zero percent, but what do critics know? I can make my own decisions about which movies I watch. Looks like the audience rating twenty-nine percent. What does the herd know? The Wikipedia plot synopsis consists of four sentences, making me think that no one out there cares enough to write a detailed synopsis of this movie. And I am, of course, a professional.

Dark Crimes has a running time of 92 minutes which is good. I remember reading Screenwriting: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field many years ago. In it, Syd Field commented on the difference between American movie length versus European movie length. American movies tended to run at about two hours back in the 1970s while the European movies of that era run an hour and a half. I’ve heard it said that the average attention span of a human being is an hour and a half, so perhaps the European filmmakers were right.

I also remember an Ebert & Roeper episode where Richard Roeper bemoaned the length of modern movies. Roger Ebert stated that no good movie is too long and no bad movie is too short. At the time I was on Roeper’s side because I hated how Hollywood kept pushing movies well past the two hour mark. I groan at the prospect of watching the latest Batman movie because it’s nearly three hours long. Whither, editing?

Still, Roger Ebert had a point. At 92 minutes, Dark Crimes is still one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen!

Jim Carrey plays a Polish police inspector named Tadek. We first see him brushing dead hairs out of his scruffy beard before joining his family for some breakfast. He has bacon and eggs as his wife and daughter stare at him dispassionately. We learn that Tadek was benched for a desk job after some disastrous case. Anyway, a friend in the department gives him a new case to work on, the strangulation of a businessman that was left unsolved.

His investigations lead him to suspect a writer named Kozlov (Marton Csokas), a pretentious creep that makes wild proclamations to an eager press about there being no such thing as truth. Kozlov likes to write about grotesque, underground S&M clubs where the patrons get to indulge their abusive side. Tadek gets drawn into this sick world and before the movie is over, he’ll have lost everything, agape in despair, just as Jim Carrey should be.

There’s even a scene where Tadek finds the corpse of his dead mother with a twisted expression on her face. She died alone in her apartment after Tadek promised her she wouldn’t die alone.

Good times!

Skip it! Skip it! Skip it!

Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, episode 477, episode 491, episode 492, episode 493, episode 495, and episode 496) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.