The Black Box Files: Science Crazed

Written by  //  December 20, 2012  //  Cinematical, The Theatre  //  1 Comment

Richard Karpala’s hilarious series returns with an awesomely bad entry from the 90′s

Science Crazed Bundle of Joy

In any major airline disaster a black box is recovered to determine how the crash occurred. Typically it is never found to be one cause, but rather a cascade of events. This is also how shitty movies are made. It is usually never one thing, but a series of events that culminate in an unwatchable cinematic disaster.

Science CrazedToday we’re recovering information from Science Crazed, a long-forgotten but recently surfaced cult film from Canada that was made in 1991 by Ron Switzer.

Most bad movies have a “terminal point”. That moment in which no hope can be further salvaged. Let’s examine the timeline for Science Crazed from its beginning to its terminal point.

00:38

Opening synth score cuts off before the writer/director credit. Was that because the writer/director took his name off the opening credits, and some evil person put it back in at the last minute to be a dick?

00:43 – 2:37

Dr. Frank from Science CrazedWe open on a doctor named Dr. Frank being interrogated by someone who looks like a school principal. Dr. Frank wears dark sunglasses and would look great as a lead singer of a new wave band. The principal-looking man has doubts about Dr. Frank’s experiments, and obviously, so should we.

The scene is peculiar for one main reason. Imagine a news reporter talking to an imbedded journalist in the field. You hear that 2 or 3 second satellite delay. Now imagine that delay between two people who are in the same room together. That’s how the conversation sounds like.

When you have to get a tooth pulled at the dentist, the first thing they do is numb your gums. Consider this opening scene a similar anesthetic, a way to numb your brain in preparation of more horrendous shit to come.

2:37 – 2:41

I believe this is some kind of establishing shot, but since it’s at night, and the crew didn’t have lights, this could very well be a space station on the dark side of the moon.

Science Crazed Opening Scene

Something tells me knowing where the scene will take place won’t have much impact on understanding it, anyway…

2:41 – 4:33

Dr. Frank tells a woman she will be pregnant in exactly 3 hours.  He injects her with a syringe (that has a baby in it maybe?), then tells her to sleep. Where this is injected we can only imagine. But I will venture a guess, and say it is her vagina.

4:34

The woman tied to the chair wakes up, and screams… and screams…and screams…

5:00

…and screams…

5:18

…and screams…

5:37

She’s done screaming.

5:49

It appears the woman’s given birth to a bundle of joy!

Science Crazed Bundle of JoySpecifically, an 8 pound, 9 ounce bloody mummy. Or a giant sack of gauze with some food coloring on it.

7:05 – 8:35

An outtake from a Madonna video, edited to the sounds of either a monster screaming, or the sounds of the basement boiler from Home Alone.

8:56

Our first glimpse of the monster. Since it’s low budget a man’s bare legs will have to suffice, as he shuffles along with a limp of some sort.

Science Crazed Monsters Legs

Limps can be scary, I guess. Frankenstein’s monster had a limp, didn’t he?

9:12

The monster is still shuffling down a hallway. He’s obviously in some kind of apartment building. One of those where the hallways have bare white walls, and they just go on forever to create a sensation of vertigo. Not only do I hate seeing those kinds of places in real life, I especially hate seeing them in fucking movies!

9:26

Dr. Frank begs his monster not to kill him; he created him! Do you think Dr. Frank is short for Dr. Frankenstein or was that just a coincidence? We don’t have time to dwell on the question–he begins to be choked.

9:50

Dr. Frank is still getting choked.

10:07

After an eternity of getting choked, it apperas Dr. Frank is finally dead.

10:12

I see a poster of Texas Chainsaw Massacre!

10:24

I’m seeing Creep Show 2, Evil Dead posters too! I hope they got the rights to use these posters!

11:02

There’s a book by Hegel sitting on the table. Obviously one of the filmmaker’s many college reading assignments, carefully placed as a prop to demonstrate his affinity for post modernism even though he’s just one semester into it.

13:07

There’s a video rental store, one of those mom and pop shops called “The Video Pit”.

Science Crazed The Video Pit

Clearly the man behind the counter must be the owner of the place, lending his acting talents to the production because a) he didn’t trust anybody else to do it, and b) because the filmmakers couldn’t shoot there after hours.

13:31

Detective McCoy, standing in the Adult section, is looking at the VHS cover of Rambo to figure out whether he should get it.

Science Crazed Det. McCoy

He seems really unsure, as if this one decision could end up haunting him when he puts it on later and realizes it’s not the gay softcore he was expecting. I want to scream at him to turn the box over and look at the back, which has the movie synopsis on it, and the running time, but what is the point.

13:56

Elizabeth Perkins is going to be PISSED when she realizes this movie got released on the internet.

Science Crazed Elizabeth Perkins?

14:14 – 15:16

Detective McCoy just received a call at the Video Pit. Terry Jones knew he was at the video store, but how?? Maybe the police department has its own onsite movie rental service.

Science Crazed - Det. McCoy

While McCoy gets on the phone to tell Terry Jones he’ll be right over, the scene is ruined by the video store owner standing a foot away making faces at him.

15:19 – 16:44

We now interrupt the film to bring you an aerobics video.

Science Crazed AerobicsI think I hear the director in the background, talking to the actors. I guess nobody told him he was making a talkie.

16:45

Science Crazed Monster PantsThe monster continues hobbling down a hallway, but this time he’s got shoes and pants. I am picking up subtle echoes of Terminator here.

Now back to the fitness video.

Now back to the monster in the hallway.

Now back to the fitness video.

Now back to the monster in the hallway.

Now back to the fitness video.

What’s being attempted is Eisensteinian Montage. But unfortunately cross cutting from a fitness video to a man’s legs lurching in a hallway does not build suspense.

20:17

Science Crazed Wise Camera ChoiceThe director of photography makes a wise, probably unrehearsed camera decision to zoom in ultra-close on the fitness instructor’s ass as she bends over. Suspense isn’t building but something else is!

20:52

The fitness video has moved from aerobics to weights while the monster tries to find them in the hallway.

I’m seeing the same weight lifting footage used over and over.The director must have gotten kicked out of his apartment’s weight room before he had a chance to finish filming! Too bad!

24:12

Ten minutes later, the exercise montage is finally done. If you followed along you would be exhausted by now. Also, if ten minutes feels like an excessively long time to watch aerobics in a movie, that’s because it is.

24:20

Our first image of the monster. It’s obviously Spock from Star Trek, having just left the hospital after a terrible car accident. I’ve seen Halloween costumes come together in 10 minutes that look scarier than this.

Science Crazed The Monster Revealed

This is what’s been roaming through the hallways for ten minutes? Somebody call the police!

That, my readers, is the terminal point.

For a first-time film this does enjoy the benefit of being a cult film. The pacing kind of gives it a strange, liquidy, late-night dream feel, which is of course aided heavily by the one-key lighting, the absolutely horrendous tape dubbing, and that soft focus VHS quality. Combine that with its 80′s production design, and the filmmaker’s love of horror, worn so passionately on his sleeve, that it’s not hard to understand why this grew into cult movie status. It also helps that the writer/director disappeared from the planet and never made a movie again.

See the full movie here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPa2GL3kiuY

About the Author

Hugo Dracula

Richard Karpala, aka Hugo Dracula, is a film maker and critic based in Denver. His first short film, "Deadbox" was an official 2012 selection at the 8th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival, the Gen Con Indy Film Festival and the International Film Fest of the Bizarre. In the hallowed halls of the Manse Richard is known as "Hugo Dracula," a former inmate and current best-selling author of "Life in 2D", a survivalist tale that recounts his harrowing prison sentence inside of the Phantom Zone. He is currently writing the follow-up, "Zoning Out: Life On the Streets." Follow Richard Karpala on Twitter

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One Comment on "The Black Box Files: Science Crazed"

  1. Cameron January 21, 2013 at 5:49 pm · Reply

    Oh God…. this horror (ie nightmare) just keeps coming back to haunt me decades later.

    Cameron (aka Cameron Klein)

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