Stinks So Good! - 'Bad Ben'
I seem to spend a majority of my time watching schlock. While I love going to the theater, I think I have more of a blast watching some of the best and worst that video on demand has to offer. Take Bad Ben, for instance. It belongs in that $1 bin at Wal-Mart but it’s something that’s worth the ninety minutes that writer, director, and sole actor Nigel Bach pours his heart and soul into and would be a blast to watch with friends. Unfortunately, I do feel his box art spoils what you’re getting into.
House flipper Tom Riley thought he scored the perfect house from a sheriff’s auction but over the course of a week, it turns into a nightmare as something supernatural terrorizes him into leaving. Honestly, it couldn’t be more straightforward than that.
Bad Ben is basically the Paranormal Activity movies and especially apes the second film as this is shot primarily using surveillance cameras around the house while for more intimate moments, Tom switches to using his phone and selfie stick, making for great unintentional humor. The beginning even starts with the usual “On this date...blah blah blah….footage was never found until now,” but it’s so slow in typing out each sentence you feel like you’re watching Spaceball-1 slowly fly by.
Nigel Bach as Tom Riley is the sole actor/character in Bad Ben and boy, is he dedicated to his craft. Tom’s character is sweet in a way that your arrogant uncle might be but he’s got a short temper and an unintimidating presence which makes any angry action he takes fairly laughable, especially when he’s threatening a ghost that can physically harm him.
The best moments of Bad Ben are primarily within the last thirty minutes after Tom realizes that his house is possessed. He starts having full on conversations with the ghost and later threatens it, at which point I just couldn’t stop laughing. There’s a specific moment where he’s performing a ritual to force the ghost to leave and he’s doing so while holding his selfie stick in nightwear. Bach plays this scene so incredibly straight you can’t help but crack up.
If you’re like me and you want to waste some time scouring VOD for bad movies, I recommend Bad Ben. And guess what? There’s a prequel and a sequel so there's more to look forward to.