Main Cast: Nick Stahl, Jonathan Jackson

Director: James M. Hausler

You can define a calamity in many ways.  A grievous misfortune, disaster or adversity.  Or you could just see the movie Kalamity and watch a cinematic definition unspool before your very eyes.  Despite the moronic, meaningless and stupid use of a “K” instead of a “C” this movie is indeed nothing short of calamitous.  For the viewer.

Kalamity tells the story of Billy, played by a weirdly simian looking Nick Stahl, who has come home from somewhere (College? This actor is 32 years old for crying out loud) after breaking up with his girlfriend of five years.  We see him trying to talk to her, make things right again.  He’s an idiot who can’t form a coherent sentence, forget express any sort of emotion.  She isn’t impressed.  Neither are we.

But Kalamity isn’t really the story of Billy the Moron, it’s the story of Stanley the Psychopath.  Stanley (Jonathan Jackson) is Billy’s best high school buddy, someone to lean on while he tries to wrap his single brain cell around being dumped by his girl.  But there’s something wrong with Stanley, he’s acting weird.  Maybe because he’s a psychopath!  We know this from the very first scene, but it takes Billy No Brain well over an hour to catch up.  The movie plays out as Witless William tries to puzzle out what in the world could have happened to Stanley’s missing ex-girlfriend.  As a special treat we get to see him “talk” to his girlfriend, mostly in grunts and simple, single syllable words that don’t mean anything, as she appears to him as an apparition.  Seriously.  I’m not kidding.

Good Lord, where to begin with this mess.  I suppose the greatest bearer of fault for this disaster is the script.  It’s imbecilic.  There’s not a single doubt about where the story is going from the first moment onward.  There’s not one surprise, one interesting character, one ounce of even marginally acceptable dialogue.  There is zero character depth and even as shallow hulls every person involved – especially our leads – is actively stupid or stupidly evil.  There’s no room for the non-stupid here – none at all.

Nick Stahl stumbles through the movie looking like he’d rather be enduring slow torture (which instead is what we endure).  He talks slowly, he moves slowly, he thinks and responds slowly.  His character is beyond idiotic, bordering on catatonic.  We’re supposed to believe this genius made it to college when he clearly lacks the mental capacity to dial 911?

Maybe we’re supposed to believe that Billy’s bond with Psycho Stanley is SO STRONG that he can’t see any instability there.  Maybe writer/director James M. Hausler believes that we are as stupid as his characters.  Maybe he doesn’t realize that Jonathan Jackson chewed, spit out and re-chewed every piece of scenery until it resembled nothing of this world.  Stanley isn’t a character; he’s a caricature, and a pathetic caricature at that.  Also, a poorly and overly acted caricature.  Jonathan Jackson needs to go back to General Hospital, where they write better scripts and people expect the implausible.  Like Jonathan Jackson as an unstable whack job.

The combination of an atrociously written script filled with plot holes, crappy dialogue and ridiculous, idiotic characters completely sinks this film.  Not one character makes a rational choice in the entire film.  Yes, it really is that bad.  Add in a zombie performance from Nick Stahl and an over the top, genuinely embarrassing performance from Jonathan Jackson and you get a calamity indeed.  A kapital “K” Kalamity.  One star out of five.  Avoid it.

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