Case Number 22626: Small Claims Court


Lionsgate // 2010 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // October 28th, 2011

The Charge

The hunter knows his prey.

The Case

An open letter to actress Jewel Staite from the producers of the Syfy Channel horror film Mothman:

Dear Kaylee from Firefly,

How are things? We hope you're doing well. Bet you really wish Firefly hadn't been cancelled, huh? Or at least that Stargate Atlantis was still on the air. Anyway, we figure things aren't going so well for you these days. We saw your booth at Comic-Con. Sure, a few people were there, but it was pretty sad in comparison to the line for that guy who played Bill Adama on Battlestar Galactica. Anyway, your seeming availability combined with the fact that nerds know who you are brought you to our attention. Several people told us that you were a genuinely talented actress, but that didn't stop us from wanting you for the lead role in our forthcoming film, Mothman.

Look, we're going to shoot straight with you: Mothman is going to be a piece of crap. We're only in the earliest stages of pre-production, but nobody's fooling themselves. This movie is going to be garbage. Normally we'd send a script along, but the janitor in our building is doing a few re-writes at the moment. Still, I'll give you a general overview of what you're in for.

In the opening scene of the film, you're going to be playing a teenager. Which is pretty cool, am I right? I mean, you're approaching thirty, but we're going to pretend you're a teenager. That's got to look good on a resume. Anyway, you and all your teenage friends are out having a swim, and the youngest kid in the group accidentally drowns. All the teenagers are really nervous about what the police are going to say, so they decide that it'll look like a more convincing accident if everyone takes a rock and hits the dead kid over the head with it. Your character is really skeptical about this idea, because you have some ethics or whatever, but you go along with it. I know this doesn't make any sense, but hey, this is what you get when you give a janitor five bucks and give him ten minutes to come up with a horror film prologue involving death and swimming teenagers.

Anyway, we fast-forward ten years. At this point, you're a writer for a successful newspaper, and you've been given an assignment to return to your hometown and cover the local Mothman festival, which celebrates this evil spirit of sorts named Mothman. You're really skeptical about Mothman and you're not crazy about the idea of going back to your hometown, but it's your job. As you start working on the story, you discover this crazy local blind guy (pretty sure we're going to get Jerry Leggio from Sounder) who believes Mothman is real. And slowly but surely, you discover that Mothman is real and he's murdering all of your friends. This is because Mothman believes in justice, and he's getting vengeance on your group for making that kid's accidental death look like a different kind of accidental death. Don't think about it too much.

Look, there are going to be some significant problems with this movie. For some stupid reason, the screenplay has set up this rule where the Mothman can't leave his hometown under any circumstances, but none of the characters is smart enough to simply leave town. All the characters just keep sticking around and getting killed. Late in the movie, your character will have a big showdown with the Mothman that won't make any sense whatsoever. Most of the dialogue is terrible, the direction is going to be pretty bad and the special effects...well, let's just say that the title character is going to look like a CGI turd with glowing taillights for eyes. Also, we're expecting your performance to be the only tolerable bit of acting in this thing, because everyone else is pretty awful. The DVD release is going to be terrible, featuring a really crummy transfer (murky nighttime scenes, poor shadow delineation, lots of softness, an overabundance of noise), a weak audio track and no special features. Oh, and the pay kind of sucks, too: basically, you get minimum wage, some TGI Friday's gift cards and a free massage from the janitor.

Despite all of this, we hope you're interested in doing the movie. Even though it's rubbish, you get to play the leading role. Who's that actress getting top billing in that brand-new movie? Reese Witherspoon? Julia Roberts? Nope, it's Kaylee from Firefly (btw, hope this letter gets to you -- we couldn't remember your real name). So you can go on Twitter and tell everybody to tune into this new movie you're starring in, and later you can tell everybody to go buy this new DVD you're starring in. You don't have to do any nudity, and your character will be bland enough that most people won't remember you were actually in the movie. So what do you say? Do we have a deal?

The producers of Mothman

P.S. As a token of our appreciation for the fact that you've taken the time to read this letter and consider our offer, we've enclosed a coupon for 50% off your next purchase from Bed, Bath and Beyond and a copy of Mothman director Sheldon Wilson's previous film Carny (starring Lou Diamond Phillips).

P.S.S. Do you know Christina Hendricks? If so, could you send us her phone number? Thanks.

P.S.S.S. If you take the part, please be aware that you will be responsible for your own hair, wardrobe and makeup.

The Verdict


Review content copyright © 2011 Clark Douglas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 40

Perp Profile
Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

* English
* Spanish

Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

* IMDb