The Hunt For The Worst Movie Of All Time: Boondock Saints
The Boondock Saints is unique to the Hunt. So far we have definitely had a couple of nominees that are renowned for being terrible (Battlefield Earth, I Know Who Killed Me, Hudson Hawk), but this is the first film to enter the competition that was so disastrous in its production and so notoriously panned by critics that there’s actually a documentary about the movie, Overnight, that is arguably as successful as the movie itself. Two friends told me this weekend that they hadn’t seen Boondock Saints, but they had seen the documentary about Boondock Saints. So that basically proves that it’s more successful. I should probably become a Professor of Logic. IN ANY CASE, what do you say about a movie that has been the subject of ridicule since it was made in 1999? What do you say about a movie that is widely recognized as a ridiculous parody of itself? I will tell you. You say let’s keep ridiculing this movie that is a ridiculous parody of itself, you guys, because oh man, this is a hilariously horrible movie!
Basically, the “Boondock Saints” refers to two Irish brothers (although I think sometimes in the movie they’re referred to as cousins?) in Boston who get in a bar fight with a Russian mob guy and then the Russian mob guy comes to kill them but instead they end up killing him, and from that moment on they realize that they are going to be professional vigilante justice killers who exclusively kill bad guys and make the world a better place. Meanwhile, Willem Dafoe is a gay FBI agent who is chasing them, but then eventually he gets drunk and decides that he likes what they are doing. At the end of the movie, an Italian mob boss hires a senior citizen to kill the Boondock Saints, but he hears them praying in a basement and decides instead that he wants to join the Boondock Saints in their quest for vigilante justice, so now there are three Boondock Saints, and then Willem Dafoe lets them into a coutroom with all of their guns and they execute a man in front of everyone to let the world know that they are the Boondock Saints and they are here to kill. Normally my write ups of the Worst Movie plots are kind of silly but this one is actually pretty straight forward. The movie made about as much sense as this paragraph.
There are a lot of things that make this movie terrible, but first and foremost we have to focus on Willem Dafoe. If the terribleness of this movie is a ship, Willem Dafoe is the drunk captain. If the terribleness of this movie is a song, Willem Dafoe is the off-key chorus. If the terribleness of this movie is an OK, you get the point. You guys, look at this:
Cramazing. I’m pretty sure Nicolas Cage watched this every morning before hitting the Wicker Man set and was like “walking in the shadows of giants, Nic, walking in the shadows of giants.” The Netflix sleeve for this movie describes Willem Dafoe’s character as “openly gay,” but that’s not quite accurate. I think “a ridiculous gay stereotype that isn’t even a stereotype but is just weird and not how anyone acts ever anywhere” would be a more appropriate description. Or also “openly huh?”
The writer and director of The Boondock Saints, Troy Duffy, claims that the movie is based on his own experiences in Los Angeles. OK! If I had to guess based on the movie he’d made, I’d think he had a bunch of experiences involving Russian and Italian caricatures with horrible fake accents who couldn’t act their way out of a Xenophobic stereotype.
But apparently what happened is he saw some EMT guys wheeling a dead body out of drug dealer’s apartment, or something, and was like “WE NEED A TERRIBLE MOVIE THAT HAS NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH MY NEIGHBOR’S APARTMENT.” He was like “I HATE EVERYONE’S EYES.”
To be fair, some of the movie’s flaws were simply the magical combination that occurs when you mix high ambitions with low budgets. Things can quickly get out of hand. Suddenly your movie set is all like this. But that still doesn’t explain the general lack of any kind of thoughtful decision making. For example, my favorite part of the whole movie (minus everything about Willem Dafoe) is the part where they scope out a strip club/peep show IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY.
Is that a seedy hub for Boston’s criminal underworld, or an Olive Garden? How embarrassing. I just LOLed in my pants.
According to the internet, a sequel, Boondock Saints: All Saint’s Day, may or may not have gone into production this past August. Supposedly it will have twice the budget, and none of the Willem Dafoe. Poor Troy Duffy. He’s like a pre-internet YouTube star who doesn’t realize that people laughing at you is not the same as people laughing with you, especially when people aren’t exactly laughing. It’s more like pointing. And shaking their heads. And saying “no.”