Curiosity is one of the most exciting things a human can experience. They can guide a person to so many types of experiences, joys, and discoveries. It can be used as a tool of knowledge to further enrich their intellect and improve them not only mentally, but also emotionally. It can improve one’s critical thinking and can be the catalyst for social and cultural growth, even enriching the world with new discoveries and improving those within it.
Or it can cause a man in his 20s to watch nearly 80 minutes of a bunch of guys in rubber suits acting out their Steven King fan fiction in the middle of a desert.
Gargoyles is a…”thing” that originally aired in 1972 as a TV movie. It was directed by Bill Norton and was apparently, according to IMDB, shot over the course of 18 days which in all honesty is rather impressive …but it definitely shows because not only is it a tad cheap, it’s also just What The Fuck. It is also one of the most boring yet strangely engaging movies, tv or otherwise, that I have seen in a long time. It is filled to the brim with nonsensical plot points, unbearably slow pacing, cheesy dialogue, and baffling acting and yet..there’s something oddly charming about it.
Gargoyles is only 1hr and 17 minutes and you feel every second of it. I swear to god I felt like I was there for 2 fucking days. The film takes its sweet time getting to the plot and repeatedly pads the run time with long, drawn-out scenes of quite literally nothing happening. I was watching this in the same room as my brother with headphones on and he told me I was muttering things like “What are you doing” and “What” and I was doing it because I was just BAFFLED the entire time. The characters in this movie don’t talk like real people all they do is just spout exposition about gargoyles, be confused about gargoyles, or be gargoyles themselves and talk about being gargoyles and it’s so….SO BORING. It would help if the characters were fun or memorable but not once did I feel a single emotion for any of them because they aren’t real characters. They’re just actors reading lines of bad dialogue. That’s not to say that the actors aren’t trying or anything like that because many of them do give good performances….except for this guy.
This guy sucked.
If you’re wondering why I’m not going too far into detail about the plot of Gargoyles, it’s because there really isn’t anything to say. A guy and his daughter meets a weird redneck desert man with a gargoyle skeleton and then the gargoyles burn down the shack to get the skeleton because…..they disturbed their burial ground? Then the gargoyles kidnap the current co-executive producer of American Horror Story (yes I’m serious) and the Big Dad On Campus, two police officers, and a guy that can ride a motorcycle fight them to save her. The dumbest part about this is at the end the dad just spares the gargoyles and lets them escape for….dude I don’t know pity? He felt sorry for them? Even though he torched all of their fucking eggs I don’t know I DON’T FUCKING KNOW, MAN.
Now, I’ve done a lot of complaining here. but if you recall, I said that Gargoyles was engaging. That’s because, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, for all the slow parts and nonsensical story elements this movie is an absolute riot. Everything about this movie is so funny. The camera work is shaky, everything is poorly lit, the way characters talk is so unnatural and ill-fitting, the sound mixing sucks, the costumes. Oh God. The Costumes.
I. Love. This.
Like no joke outside of the goofy wings I really enjoyed how the gargoyle costumes looked. For 1972 these look fairly competent and well put together, ESPECIALLY for a movie made for tv. Yeah, they’re a little bulky and you can tell that the actors had a bit of a hard time moving in them but again they look really impressive. They’re so good in fact that according to IMDB and a home video release the film actually received an Emmy for special effects which is both great AND extremely funny. Oh man speaking of funny and the monsters there’s a scene with them that had me in stitches. About 3/4 through they tip over the main characters car so they could steal a gargoyle corpse and almost the entire time the movie kept slowing down the footage for no discernible reason. I guess they were trying to make them appear threatening? It doesn’t work in the slightest and it ends up looking ridiculous and it’s just so, so wonderful.
Overall? This sucks. It’s not a good horror movie. It’s boring, drawn-out, devoid of style, badly written, and above all else, it’s just fucking dumb. Everyone in this movie is an idiot and you never feel for anyone on either side. And yet? I can’t recommend it enough. It’s an absolute ride to see just how stupid and unpolished this thing can get and like I said those creature effects are still pretty alright. The movie is boring but in an intriguing way. You’ll be on the edge of your seat trying to see just how unpolished the movie can get. When the movie gets dumb, it gets really fucking dumb. Yeah, the movie sucks, but it’s a special kind of suck. The kind of suck that’s almost endearing.