“The Bulk seems to be made for the sole purpose of mocking itself. And perhaps to make the auteurs over at The Asylum feel better about themselves.”

The inspiration for creating a film can come from the most unexpected places. Writers can be moved actual events (such as Ed Gein, the serial killer behind such famous flicks as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho), or older films from respected auteurs (Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress serving as George Lucas’s muse for Star Wars). But in just about every case, the film is made to appeal to some audience.

For the life of me, though, I cannot begin to think who that may be when viewing the bottom-feeding abomination known as The Amazing Bulk.

There is humor (and I use that term quite loosely) and violence within that is clearly aimed at adults, but the sets, acting, design, and CGI are clearly for adolescents (and I’m pretty sure done BY adolescents as well).

Director Lewis Schoenbrun is no stranger to the most micro of budgets (Aliens vs. Avatars, Queen Cobra). Here, he attempts to construct an entire virtual set, having the actors perform the entire time in front of a green screen (think of Sin City,… on second thought, think of Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace as directed by Tommy (The Room) Wiseau or James (Birdemic) Nguyen).

But, whether it was cost, talent, or simply not giving a rat’s ass, Schoenbrun animates a large portion using stock 3-D animation. This means we are treated to scenes that include — for no reason whatsoever — very cartoony leprechauns, Robin Hood-era archers, kangaroos, animals on swings, and geckos typing on computer in the middle of the desert. Money was also scrimped in the music department as well, as the soundtrack includes such of-the-moment, Top 40 faves as “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” “The 1812 Overture” and “The William Tell Overture.”

Holy hell, they couldn’t even afford a decent font, with the opening credits in Comic Sans! I’m pretty sure even old ladies doing church newsletter see that font and say, “Awww, Hell no!”

It stars Jordan Lawson as Hank Howard, a scientist with fabulous hair who looking to solve world hunger. When a lab experiment goes awry, he turns into a purple animated bald wrestler. He has a loving girlfriend (Shevaun Kastl) and a father-in-law who despises him but realizes his “affliction” can be harnessed for military purposes and stop the evil, bomb-happy Dr. Werner Von Kantlove (played by Randal Malone).

So, since the title of the film is The Amazing Bulk, let’s take a moment for the Bulk himself. Clearly there is no real “actual” size of this creation, for he sometimes appears to be a few feet taller than the cast members, and other times is large enough to squash the human characters under his toe (sometimes this occurs in the same freakin’ scene). But aside from looking like the love child of Ed Wood’s buddy Tor and Barney the Dinosaur, there’s little amazing about the Bulk. Considering he spends half the film running, you think they would give him a more threatening gait than have him flail wildly using the Steven Seagal sissy-hands sprint.

And speaking of sprinting, since the entire film was shot before green screen, and there are many scenes which involve the actors running, would it have killed the filmmakers to splurge for a treadmill to make it at least look like the actors are running? Nope.

Look. I know the creators of this cartoon catastrophe were going for. They want to make sure that you know they are in on the joke. But even from that perspective, there’s just a certain laziness to its laziness. It’s like they stumbled across a bunch of free clipart on the internet and decided to weave it together as a backdrop for the film. I half expected that Microsoft paperclip assistant that used to pop up when writing a paper to have a guest appearance at some point. As a 20 minute short, I get it. But on and on it goes, wearing out its welcome like a Jar Jar Binks/Scrappy Doo Holiday Special.

The Amazing Bulk is obviously bad. Paper cut on a canker sore bad. But in films such as The Room and Birdemic, there is an earnest intent behind it. There are aspirations. The Bulk seems to be made for the sole purpose of mocking itself. And perhaps to make the auteurs over at The Asylum feel better about themselves.

Article by Rob Rector, Film Critic