Someone, somewhere recently reminded me that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. It’s an old saw, the oldest saw. We all know what it means. In a world in which not all consequences are foreseeable and too much is beyond our control, good intentions fail. We lie to ourselves about what we want or believe all the time, and we talk ourselves into the worst deeds for the “best” reasons.
I could go on and on about the moral weight (or lack thereof) of intent, throw in some broad attacks on consequentialism, etc. I’m not going to, though.
What really came to mind for me when I heard that golden oldie of a truism was this:
Oh, yeah. This film is no ordinary horror, comedy, or adventure movie. Not ordinary at all.
It is *bleep*ing awful.
It is not in any way a high point on Patrick Bergin’s filmography. Chad Lowe did not make bank on this one, and I rather suspect he only admits to being in it when he’s just shy of being lethally intoxicated. I’m pretty sure Brian Helgeland does not mention his screenplay for this thing in any of the same sentences he uses to discuss his far better work on L.A. Confidential. I am always surprised and dismayed to see that it wasn’t directed by Alan Smithee –what could possibly have possessed Ate De Jong (whose career has mostly been in series television) to take credit for this thing?
It is also, however, so deliciously terrible, so splendidly horrid, so perfectly insipid, as to be absolutely memorable. I will admit to sleeping through some of it (mostly as a form of self-defense). One scene, however, has always stuck with me.
As Our Hero and his dog drive down the damned road, they come across a large number of people lined up before an ongoing road maintenance project, a project that uses a large, strange machine. The people are being fed into the machine, usually while repeating a rather pathetic justification for their errant choices and behaviors. The truism is thereby rendered literal.
As Our Hero cruises past, a woman’s leg (detached from her body), equipped with a very nice high-heeled shoe, soars down from above to bounce on the fresh pavement behind the car.
This is what comes to my mind when someone mentions the pavement in Hades. EVERY time.
Well played, bad movie. Well played.