Usually we can count on the Belcourt to screen some of the finest independent films being produced since the dawn of film up to today. We’ve seen movies like Seven Samurai, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Jerk, The Seventh Seal and The 400 Blows in the two theaters housed by the Belcourt. But, then again, we’ve also seen Troll 2 there. Kalamity (spelled with a K!) isn’t one of those classics. But it is this week’s free “rental screening.” The Belcourt has a less than promising plot synopsis:
Haunted by memories of his ex-girlfriend Alice (Beau Garrett), a heartbroken Billy (Nick Stahl) returns home to Northern Virginia seeking solace from old friends. But what he finds there is more disconcerting than comforting: his best friend Stanley (Jonathan Jackson) has become unstable, mysterious, and withdrawn from those around him. Billy teams up with another old friend, Stanley’s roommate Christian (Christopher M. Clark), to find out what’s going on, and as they probe Stanley’s recent activities, their friend’s behavior seems more and more bizarre and frightening. The discovery of blood-stained evidence among Stanley’s possessions pulls them deeper into their friend’s nightmare—and eventually leads to a violent confrontation that not everyone will survive.
Mystery! Intrigue! A generic serial killer plot! What could possibly go wrong? Apparently everything, if Rotten Tomatoes is to be believed. Kalamity is one of the few, the proud, the brave films to score a 0% on the Tomatometer. Sure, it’s only from 13 reviews, but that in itself should say something. What’s truly amazing about this movie is how it tries to spin middling or outright negative reviews into PR gold, deliberately taking reviews out of context to make it look like it isn’t the kind of movie that spells “calamity” with a “K.”
For instance, the poster pulls “belligerent” from a review by The A.V. Club: ”When they go out drinking, Stahl is shocked to hear the level of vitriol Jackson spews at women of any kind, and even a mention of Jackson’s ex-girlfriend sets him off on a belligerent rampage.”
Or, what about “menacing hostility” from Boxoffice Magazine?: “Jackson falls woefully short of being as menacing as Stahl was in Bully; his stabs at projecting menacing hostility and psychopathic volatility are more laughable than frightening.” Uh, whoops.
In any case, you can catch this assured hunk of crap (we’re sorry, “krap”) today at 7:00. It’s free to the public, which means you can get loaded at the bar before the show.