If you read my post on “Plan 9 From Outer Space” I said that this movie (the Imaginarium) and “Plan 9” were a push for worst film, because I never finished the Imaginarium, and I still haven’t, but after doing some more thinking about it, I’m now, fairly confident that the Imaginarium is worse, and thus the worst film of all time. Let’s take a look.
The Imaginarium is one of only two movies that I have, in recent times anyways, not watched all the way through. The other movie was a Russian film called “Day Watch.” It was about vampires, at least to a degree, and if I knew that I wouldn’t have started watching it in the first place. It’s the sequel to another film, which is a bit of a problem starting a series not from the beginning. It was a 2 hour movie, and at that point in my life I didn’t really have the time to dedicate to it. But the biggest reason I turned it off, was the language, they would literally say a syllable and there would be a paragraph of text to read in subtitles, I simply couldn’t keep up. So there are at least four reasons why I stopped watching “Day Watch,” how many reasons do you think there were to stop watching the Imaginarium? Guess. Just one. It was horrendous.
The main character, Dr. Parnassus, having been thwarted by the devil any number of times previous, decides to make yet another bet with him, but there are no stakes involved, and the Devil adds the time limit after the bet has been made. This is a stupid mistake even for a novice to make, but Dr. Parnassus is hundreds of years old, and has already made this same mistake before.
What’s the bet? The devil and Parnassus are in a race to collect five souls. The Devil has his own methods of course, and Parnassus does it by sending people through his Imaginarium. The first would be soul doesn’t want to enter the Imaginarium by herself, but with her friend (maybe girlfriend) who she does everything with, however one of Parnassus’ helpers tries to force the girl into the Imaginarium by herself, and she freaks out, spooks the horses and sets the troupe back w/r/t the bet. Why didn’t they let them both through? Then you’d have two souls for the price of one, duh!
At some point they come across Heath Ledger, who is being hung (hanged?) below a bridge that Parnassus Et. Al. are on top of. It’s either suicide or homicide but we are not sure, and Ledger is no help because he has… wait for it… amnesia. Wow, that’s never been used in a film before. The hanging didn’t even work because at the time he was being hung he was also choking on a flute that prevented his esophagus from closing because of the rope. Okay that’s new, but probably not medically accurate. Later on another member of the troupe starts playing the flute, and Ledger sees it and remembers that it’s his and wants it back, but the trouper doesn’t give it to him, instead does a bunch of sophomoric bullying tricks, like pretending to throw it away and stuff. This segment goes on for at least four hours, until I finally just turned the movie off.
If you didn’t follow any of that when watching the movie, its okay, apparently no one is supposed to follow the movie. Why else would every word in it be mumbled?
Gillium, had the budget and the technology to make a beautiful surrealist fantasy movie, something like the fantasy equivalent of “2001.” He had a vehicle to show us the unlimited imagination of his own dream world. He had all this, but he chose to focus his story on a poor struggling theater troupe in modern times. Okay maybe the movie does get to everything it could be and should be eventually, but why waste 45 minutes to an hour of my time showing me the shit I did not come here to watch? When it comes to “Plan 9 From Outer Space” you have an expectation that it is not going to be good, and it delivers as promised, with the Imaginarium, you have a different kind of expectation, and it fails in every regard.
This is the worst movie I’ve ever seen. I’m not even going to ask you, hypothetical reader, to watch it and let me know what you think. I’d be interested if you do of course. But please, heed my warning and stay far far away from this movie.