Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Escape From Tomorrow

Randy Moore's shot-on-the-sly Disney World nightmare "Escape From Tomorrow" is the kind of movie a high school kid might rave about to her friends, but when she sees it again as an adult, she's likely to wonder what the hell she was thinking.

Roy Abramsohn stars as Jim, a married father vacationing at Epcot with wife Emily (Elena Schuber) and kids Sara and Elliot. As the movie opens, Jim gets a phone call informing him he's lost his job, but that doesn't stop him from following a pair of pubescent Parisian girls around the park while intermittently keeping an eye on whichever kid Em's not watching. These filles aren't exactly Lolitas; Moore shows close-ups of their braces and elastics. But they're the only source of joy in Jim's day from hell, which involves hallucinations of demon-eyed children, incessant nagging from the Mrs. (newcomer Schuber is effective; even a straight guy would commit seppuku at the thought of a lifetime with her), kids gone missing and abducted, witches disguised as princesses, coughed-up hairballs, a case of the runs from hell, getting kidnapped by a robot employed by the Siemens corporation (don't ask), and a bizarre man who uses his motorized wheelchair as a weapon. 

Abramsohn's performance very much suits the black-and-white B-movie ambience, with effects and production values below the level of much of YouTube. Disney's a target ripe for picking, but "Escape From Tomorrow" misses the mark, starting with its color scheme; a vomit-inducing oversaturation of color might have been more effective. My friend and I laughed occasionally, but never at the same stuff as the rest of the audience (we keyed on throwaway lines like "I can't feel my teeth"). Nothing in the movie is as witty as Disney's decision not to give it the free publicity of a lawsuit but to let it die quietly on the vine.

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