What Lisa Watched Last Night #109: Sugar Daddies (dir by Doug Campbell)

On Saturday night, I watched the latest Lifetime film, Sugar Daddies!

Sugar Daddies

Why Was I Watching It?

Because it was on Lifetime and it didn’t have a thing to do with football.

What Was It About?

College is expensive and law school even more so.  Can you blame Kara (Taylor Gildersleeve) for agreeing to become the mistress of the wealthy and considerably older Grant (Peter Strauss)?  Grant pays Kara $5,000 dollars a month, gives her a new car, and flies her around in a private jet.  All Kara has to do is be available whenever he demands her presence.

Except, of course, this is a Lifetime movie and nothing is ever that simple…

What Worked?

To be honest, Sugar Daddies is just a fun film.  Yes, it is dealing with a serious subject and, ultimately, it does come down on the side of being poor but honest.  But, before that, you get to look at all the nice clothes and all the well-decorated mansions and you get to enjoy all of the decadence that comes from being a rich man’s mistress.  Sugar Daddies may be a cautionary tale but it definitely knows how to enjoy itself.

This movie was directed by Doug Campbell, who has previously directed such Lifetime classics as Death Clique, The Cheating Pact, and Betrayed at 17.  As a director, Doug Campbell obviously knows how to make the perfect Lifetime film and how to strike just the right balance of melodrama and social commentary.  He knows exactly how far he can push things without going over-the-top and that skill is on full display in Sugar Daddies.

Plus, the film is really well cast.  Taylor Gildersleeve is a sympathetic and relatable as Kara.  Peter Strauss seems to be having a lot of fun playing his sleazy role.  Timothy Brennan is perfectly intimidating in the role of Peter, Grant’s bodyguard who is willing to do anything to protect his boss.  Ashley McCarthy and Samantha Robinson are also well-cast as Kara’s friends.

What Did Not Work?

Are you kidding?  This was Lifetime at its finest!  It all worked.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I know this where you’re probably expecting me to talk about how I used to have an old, rich boyfriend who helped to pay my way through college but instead, I’d rather point out that Kara and I both own the exact same white dress with black trim!  I was beyond excited when I saw that and plus, it really made me root for Kara because she was someone who I could go shopping with.

Lessons Learned

Private jets are the bomb and we could all use an extra $5,000 dollars a month but sometimes, it’s better to just stick with that demeaning waitressing job.

And, if you do get an old, rich boyfriend, don’t let him talk you into playing the choking game.

Because that never ends well!

What Lisa Watched Last Night #59: Dead Season (dir by Adam Deyoe)

Okay, I know what you’re going to say.  “Hey, Bowman, Dead Season was just on the SyFy network a few hours ago.  What’s up with this last night crap?”  Well, it’s true that I did watch Dead Season from 8 to 10 on Saturday night.  It’s also true that,  as I sit here starting this review, it is a few minutes passed midnight.  In other words, it is now Sunday and therefore, I can truthfully say that I watched Dead Season last night.

Seriously, people, work with me here.

Why Was I Watching It?

Tonight, as far as watching a movie on television was concerned, I had two options.  I could have either watched Elf on ABC or I could have watched Dead Season on SyFy.  I ended up going with Dead Season because I’ve already seen Elf a few thousand times and I know that I’ll probably end up watching it again on Christmas Eve with my sisters.  Plus, watching a bad movie on SyFy (and writing about it on twitter while doing so) has become something of a Saturday night tradition for me.

What Was It About?

(Minor Spoilers Below)

Your guess is as good as mine.

Seriously, Dead Season generated a near record number of tweets last night and the majority of those tweets were some variation of “WTF!?”  I somehow managed to pay attention to the entire film and I’m still not 100% sure what I saw.  However, here’s my interpretation of the film’s plot:

The zombie apocalypse has hit.  All across the world, the dead are wandering around and eating people.  The few remaining living humans spend their time listening to vinyl records and talking to each other via short wave radio.  If I sound a little bit confused, that’s because the first few minutes of the film is narrated by a guy who is using one of those radios and appears to be exclusively broadcasting on the static channel.

Elvis (Scott Peat) is a doctor who meets a woman named Tweeter (Marissa Merrill).  Tweeter has a kid with her who might be her son but then again, he might not be.  Actually, it’s probably best just to pretend like the kid isn’t in the film.  That’s what we did on twitter.

Eventually, Elvis and Tweeter set sail on a boat and they end up on some jungle island off of South America.  The jungle is full of zombies but luckily, they come across a compound that’s run by Kurt Conrad (James C. Burns).  Kurt has a collection of soldiers, a small harem of concubines, and a daughter (Corsica Williams) who hasn’t left her room in 10 months.

Kurt welcomes Elvis and Tweeter into the compound.  Tweeter starts to bond with Kurt’s daughter while Elvis discovers that his new job is to be both the camp’s doctor and the camp’s cook.  Apparently, Kurt’s a cannibal and eats other survivors.  Elvis is reluctant to take part but Kurt tells him, “I’ve seen you walk in the darkness.”

Meanwhile, Tweeter comes across a bunch of home movies, which she watches while Elvis and Kurt debate the morality of the zombie apocalypse.

And then some other stuff happens.

Again, your opinion of what happened in the film might differ.

What Worked?

While we were talking about the movie on twitter, my friends and I agreed that absolutely nothing worked.  Seriously.  At one point, #deadseason actually became a trending topic and I felt the need to issue an apology to anyone who might end up watching the film as a result.

That said, with the hindsight the comes from three hours of contemplation, I can now say that — despite the fact that their characters were kinda annoying — both Scott Peat and Marissa Merril did about as well as they could with the material that they were given to work with.

What Did Not Work?

Good Lord, where to begin?

Storywise, the film felt like a total rip-off of The Walking Dead.  However, after doing a little research on the imdb, it appears that this film was actually in production before The Walking Dead even premiered.  That said, it was still impossible to watch the film and not unfavorably compare it to The Walking Dead.  The zombies are even called “walkers” at several points.

Technically, the film is a mess.  This is one of those films where various members of the camera crew make cameo appearances.  Most noticeably, the film has one of the most out-of-control, garbled sound tracks that I’ve ever heard.  One conversation between Kurt and Elvis was literally unintelligible because of the overpowering sound of chirping crickets.

Finally, this is one of those zombie films where people are constantly getting blood splashed all over their clothes but yet they never seem to consider changing outfits.  Seriously, I would hate it if I got blood all over the only shirt I had bothered to bring to the zombie apocalypse.  Tweeter spends the first third of the film in a blood drenched shirt and, despite the fact that she’s on a boat and surrounded by water, it never seems to occur to her to try to wash the blood off.  Honestly, after spending a week in a blood-covered shirt, I’m just going to take it off.  I don’t care who sees my boobs.

Admittedly, I am a bit of a clean freak but surely, I’m not alone in this.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

If there’s one rule that I learned from zombie films and that I live by, it’s that you should always be sure to pack an extra lacy black bra in case of a zombie apocalypse.  Tweeter, as is revealed several times during the film, agrees with me.

Lessons Learned:

I didn’t learn a damn thing.  So there.