Mysteries of Europe #42: Why oh why?

Anita enjoys visiting Holland, in part because many television programs are subtitled in Dutch but keep their original English audio tracks. Tonight, RTL 7‘s prime-time movie is Monster Ark, written and directed by Declan O’Brien. Here is an excerpt from a review by Gorepress that both of us enthusiastically endorse:

Monster Ark is ridiculous, but not in a good way. It is shoddily made, terribly scripted, blindly dumb and tragically dull. Even for a straight-to-TV movie it lacks depth, intelligence and charm. … It basically becomes a vomiting cliché-ticking mixture of Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones, which it shamelessly and liberally plagiarizes from. The film manages to insult anyone religious, the entire U.S. Army, all archaeologists, every pioneer of CGI and its audience’s intelligence.

(By the way, the review is worth reading on its own. Take a look when you have a moment and keep it mind that it does not exaggerate, in any way, the awfulness of this program.)

As children of the USA, both of us understand how such a movie could be made and distributed on the Scyfy channel. The mystery is how it winds up in Europe. Who paid money for this? Mind you, they are showing it after they had an opportunity to see it.

Okay, maybe it’s a freebie that was thrown in with the syndication of Firefly or the very popular Battlestar Galactica. But then why run it as a feature movie on one of the few nights this month without World Cup matches?

What makes this a Mystery of Life in Europe is that the high-profile broadcast of Monster Ark is the rule rather than the exception. Stuff like this is easy to miss in the American entertainment landscape, but here it is as unavoidable as summertime roadwork. Furthermore, many other broadcasters go through the trouble and expense of overdubbing the dialogue, which was tedious and stupid to begin with. Why oh why?

By the way, watch for Sharktopus, also directed by Declan O’Brien, in production now. I’m not kidding. Who is this guy?

Sharktopus. It will undoubtedly be a feature presentation across Western Europe by 2011.

2 Comments to “Mysteries of Europe #42: Why oh why?”

  1. Dave said...
    30 June 2010

    You have to remember that Europeans love David Hasselhoff… Ah, forget it, that’s probably an American stereotype that has no basis in fact.

  2. The Expatresse said...
    1 July 2010

    And they love Jerry Lewis.

    Well, the French do.

    Once, many years ago, I was in a restaurant on the Costa del Sol. We went to this beach every year for ages and ate every meal in Casa Paco, so they were like family to us.

    “Do you like TV,?” asks Tio Paco.

    Well, duh. Of course.

    But not the A Team. Which is what THEY were watching at the moment.


    It puzzles me because we produce such GOOD TV, too. Why not export more Seinfeld for Pete’s sake?