Apocalypse Now is a masterful film made even more masterful when you learn about the hellish events that took place during its filming. The film is an enduring lesson in the values of never giving up and believing your vision will come through, enlightening for budding filmmakers. But of course, you should also know the importance of knowing when to give up, a lesson that the creators behind Foodfight clearly slept through.
Foodfight is the 2012 animated film that has gathered a small cult following because of how mind-bogglingly terrible it is. The film follows *sigh* Dex Dogtective (Charlie Sheen) in a supermarket that becomes a city once closed. His girlfriend *SIGH* Sunshine Goodness (Hilary Duff) disappears, and he must find her, meanwhile the evil organisation Brand X is threatening to take over the supermarket.
Note how this film came out in 2012? Well it’s original release date was supposed to be all the way back in 2003, but before its release, it was reported that the work-in-progress footage of the film was stolen. Instead of starting from scratch using the same computer-animated methods, the original footage was made in, director and creator of nightmares Lawrence Kasanoff decided instead to switch to motion capture animation, which is a bit like asking an expert sushi chef to make a Michelin Star pizza.
I have seen some really bad quality film in my time, but in terms of visual repulsiveness, Foodfight is the undisputed heavyweight champion of god-awfulness. The animation is the most nauseating I’ve seen in a kids film, the character and object models look like the pre-alpha stage of a Sega Saturn game. God forbid you ever watch this film with young children because these are the exact characters that will be in their nightmares for months. Every character looks so stiff and statue-like in their expressions and the filmmakers knew this, so they tried to compensate by giving them big, boisterous movements that at every moment it’s as if they suffer from ADHD and about to break into a song and dance number. Although I, with great malice, condone anyone even watching a trailer to this film, the animation really does have to be seen to believe.
Foodfight clearly wanted a slice of the “Toy Story success” pie as evident from the number of food icons that make their appearance much like gaming icons appeared in Wreck-it Ralph. This is where the film gets very personal for those involved, the companies that said yes to having their mascot in the film have their likeness done to the most polished of this film’s ability (which isn’t giving too much credit), it’s the companies that obviously said no is where things get interesting because the film replaces them with a knock off likeness that is less polished and nasty personalities. So I guess the filmmakers wanted to get back as the companies that said no by tarnishing their image, how petty and delusional these guys? They must be considering Lawrence Kasanoff once said Foodfight would be his studio’s Casablanca! (which is referenced many times)
I want to talk about the cast for a bit because I’m getting a similar vibe from every element of this film when you consider the move to switch to motion capture animation, the 2012 release, etc. Foodfight is a film that looked to move forward but ended up not being able to take that first step. Nowhere is this reflected more than their choice of voice actors. With the work-in-progress footage being stolen, it would have been the personal opportunity to reflect if the talent was going to still work long into the planned future. Unfortunately, nine years changed a lot for names like Charlie Sheen, Hilary Duff, Chris Kattan, and Eva Longoria. Sure, if this film was released on time, maybe the names could have sold it, but even then it still wouldn’t change the fact that these performances are just awful. In fairness, you’d give these roles no effort too if you had to keep coming back for 9 years.
Furthermore, the dialogue comes straight out of the book “Baby’s first screenplay” because it feels like every line Dex says is a classic line from other films with a word replaced with a food. Feast your ears on lines like “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a spam” or “Let’s strawberry jam out of here”, truly the spirit of Shakespeare and Whitman lives on in this screenplay. Also, you know how kids’ films sneak in innuendos so that the adults can have a cheap giggle to themselves? Foodfight takes subtlety and kicks it down the street. Every scene in which Lady X (Eva Longoria) is it, she is dressed in skimpy outfit after skimpy outfit that makes you question what kind of agenda the animators had.
Were the filmmakers delusional, fed up, or soulless, I can’t accurately pinpoint what was the fuel behind their willingness or lack of willingness to finish this film. Foodfight fails in every sense of the word, every element that creates the magical art of animation is at it is worst here, if the Animation Razzies existed it would win the lifetime achievement of awfulness award. In fact, I have a theory that an Animated Razzies was planned in 2012, but after seeing Foodfight, the organisers though “what’s the point” because there will never be another animated film in our existence that could top the awfulness that is Foodfight.
Wait for just a second though, because in this whole post I still haven’t mentioned the juiciest piece of information about Foodfight, and I’ll leave it for you to sort of percolate in your thoughts…
THIS FILM COST $65 MILLION.