Citing budget cutbacks, the sanitarium releases criminally insane impulse killer and noted fatwoman Ethel Janowski to a halfway house. People start getting her riled up and witholding candy bars again and uh, like watching people eat in real time?

hey cool
Cranial monkeyfuck
but YUCK
Not really what you'd call a "movie"

So the mean temp guy at the halfway house thinks it would be funny to make the crazies eat dog food. Normally this would be conveyed with something like a quick shot of a lump of dog food being plopped on a plate, 'cause extended scenes of dog food preparation aren't exactly movie magic.

Not one, not two, but three cans of beef flavoured dog food are taken from the shelf, three cans of dog food are opened with a manual tin opener, three cans of dog food are spooned out, and one two three four plates of dog food are prepared...OH MY GOD HE'S GONNA FEED 'EM DOG FOOD!

And after a scene of a guy getting lasooed and hanged with a curtain pull cord we really need to see Ethel take it back and carefully fix the curtains so we know they still work right.

I'm saying this is a "cut" free experience. The scenes go on, and on, until they just kind of can't anymore. But if Jim Jarmusch can do that and call it art then why not Nick Philips, which is not his real name. Neither is Allan Lindus nor Helmud Shuyler nor Alfredo Nicola, directors of seminal erotic titles such as Confessions of a Dirty Pair and Sex weirdo.

In addition to happening in real time, another sure sign of quality is the inclusion of flashback scenes from another movie, and Criminally Insane 2 definitely does not disappoint here as you get to see pretty much all of Criminally Insane 1 played in a loop. Usually filmmakers will put a little bit of new movie in between flashbacks, but we don't screw around with that crap here. The camera will zoom in on sleeping Ethel for a flashback, then zoom out a bit, then zoooom right back in for a another, sometimes three, four times in a row.

Ethel's back though, sort of. She's lost weight and has grey hair and just kind of looks like a regular lady this time. I believe she's the only thespian in the picture, as some of the other performers are so bad they can't even nod their heads like people. You know that thing that happens sometimes to non-actors when approached by a camera? How they're suddenly stricken with rigor mortis, assume the facial expression of one who has loudly farted in church, and start talking like Robbie The Robot? Saw that a lot in the old days when businessmen would do their own TV adverts on the local stations. Like some old guy with a bad toupe would come on looking like a deer caught in the headlights and try to sell you a burial plot or something. Tape's like that.

All this and worst picture quality ever. There's even a disclaimer at the start telling you your TV isn't fucked up. The video actually rolled at one point. Remember when your big 'ol fifty pound Magnavox had a vertical control you'd have to mess with all the time? This movie gave me a flashback of having to go outside and turn the aerial to stop the picture rolling during Magnum PI.

Tell you what though; watching, baffled, the effect of a 60s porno director instructing non-actors to portray severe mental illness is pretty much the sensation I'm looking for on another lonely Saturday night at 2 a.m. The viewer is always left to wonder whether this Bruno Geller or Nicholas Milor is artsy or simply clueless how to shoot film. Like kill scenes done without music normally have a chilling authenticity, but I'd tend more to use the word "clownish" to describe knife bonking and that business with the pull cord. So which is it?
Bad movie gold is what it is.

And while it's not at all unusual in films to see a character react with Spielbergian awe to offscreen phenomenon so we can anticipate the big dinosaur reveal, this is rarely done in action scenes. During action we normally see the thing being reacted to before we see the reaction; like if bigfoot charges a guy we'll see that before the cut to "oh no bigfoot". The reason is that if you do it the other way around your scene will have an oddly comedic aspect and look like this:

Now I'm not a movie director. I've never even read a book about movie directing and have no idea what "gaffers" and "key grips" and "actors" are. And yet sometimes even I a complete philistine can appreciate directorial awesomeness. Observe the above sequence of stills. If you shoot your scene precisely that and no other way, your performer has to duck out of the shot like an embarrassed lighting cable guy or his body will block the action taking place behind him. Yeah where's that in Citizen Kane?

Not to tout this as some sort of grindhouse cult classic or anything. That honour goes to the original, which has the same warped vibe and is something you can actually watch. This really is ridiculously poor, but it will make you feel weird.