5 Across The Eyes: American Bleecchh

FIVE ACROSS THE EYES: The NEW Reason Why Everyone On Earth Hates America

A Review By Gregory Purvis


(Part 1: The Angry Diatribe)

Listen up, all you wanna-be democracies, ex-superpower commies and tri-lateralized, imperialized third-world stereotypes! We got some blockbuster-sized infotainment with your name all over it! Hasn’t anybody bothered to inform you guys that we won? Even the Russians succumbed to our Big Mac Attack! So shut up and get ready to buy, buy, buy some supersized American products! One size fits EVERYONE and the first one is free!   

Hey, hey we’re Americans! And we’ve got one thing you really, really want, World! And that’s our homogenized, plagiarized, monopolized, chock-full-o-lies [INSERT PRODUCT NAME HERE]!

We’ve sold our own souls off, piecemeal, and then filled the achey-breakey hurt-place with 10 pounds of shite thoughtfully stuffed in a 9 pound bag. Is it any wonder many of our neighborly neighbors aren’t overly thrilled with the news that we’re exporting (yet another) Starbucks/Burger King/Pizza Hut/Blockbuster franchise?

“Goodie Gumdrops!” I’m sure they’re saying, greeting the news that Wal-Mart will soon be marching affordable fashions into old-school cool Paris and Milan, London and Rome and Venice.

No doubt Istanbul, Cairo, Tokyo, Athens and (yes, even) Baghdad will praise the Almighty Dollar General two-fer-one special.

Have we sunk so low that all we have left to offer is a police state mentality, endlessly-recycled infotainment and the by-products of a vapid, vacant culture of More! And Bigger! and saccharine-sweeter?



While the Beautiful People flash their blinding Tom Cruise™ smiles from the beaches of Cannes and the Ugly People duke it out for dollars on the Jerry Springer stage, America still holds out hope that what passes for entertainment may yet have some walk-on part to play in this sad melodrama.


Then I came on myself and woke up.

Alas! ‘Twas nothing more than an ocean-sized wet dream, to think our Number One Cultural Export could reclaim a smidgen of art from the asinine ashes of pap…


(Part 2: Just The Anger)

Just take a walk through the aforementioned Blockbuster:

If one judges by the sheer number of new releases on the Wall of Shame, America is doing pretty dang well, thank you very kindly.

And what a superhero-sized selection! There are so many movies that the Blockbuster Intelligentsia has been working overtime to create new and exotic categories:

You’ll find Christian horror movies, and fundamentalist comedies. There are documentaries about every conceivable activity, hobby, perversion and political party from weirdoes to Whigs.

I’ve rented—and returned late—chickless chick-flicks, colorized B&W films, funny scary movies, scary funny movies, good movies, mediocre movies…and (of course) many (and more) bad movies.   


And I’ve been pleasantly surprised by quite a few films, despite the obvious low production values. After all, computer technology is becoming ever-more-affordable with the further downward spiral of falling 1’s and 0’s. Cheap-n-dirty digital video cameras, uber-powerful editing software and the DIY marketing dynamics of the Internet have made dreams a la American Movie a reality that is ready, willing and (now) do-able. The blue-collar van Sant, part-time Tarrantino and weekend Kubrick are busily writing scripts and blocking action.

Uhm. There’s just this one giant-sized skeleton in the closet nobody wants to drag kicking and screaming into the light…

A lot of this stuff just plain sucks.

Oh, yeah, I know. The nice thing to do is to talk up the positives and blather on about the hipness of raw, new talent. Find some art in the artist, even if you have to touch-up the canvas your own bad self.

Or maybe everybody wasn’t born with the same hoodoo as Kubrick..? [Gasp! Say it ain’t so! What about the American Dream? Answer: Your mommy said you could be president, right? So…are you?]

And some of this stuff just sucks.

For instance, Five Across The Eyes. Yeah, well, see, that just sucked.

I have no idea about any of the back-story of how this little turd came to be called a “film” but I already feel really guilty about trashing it. Why is that?

After all, in my admittedly harsh belief system, America has pretty much become a cultural Porti-San—after a week-long hippie music festival, where lots of roughage-rich vegan bran muffins have been consumed.

But, as an artist myself, I know how it feels to have someone trash your work.

And, as has been remarked many times by many folks, everyone seems to be a critic.

True enough, maybe, but (honestly) I take no pleasure from trashing this movie. I am sure someone (probably many someone’s) worked long and hard on this.

It is, to be fair, not the WORST movie I have ever seen. That honor belongs to Manos: Hands of Fate. But Five Across The Eyes is definitely number two—and I mean that both literally and as a secondary reference to excrement. To shit, actually. “Excrement” as a descriptive analogy doesn’t carry quite the verbal punch to convey how deeply and badly this movie sucks.

To make (yet another) “number two” reference—one used by filmmaker Kevin Smith, though he wasn’t referring to Five Across The Eyes when he said it—this movie really sucks ass.

And why, pray tell, does this gem [NOTE: a gem which, unlike the cartoon and comic book heroine called Jem, was NOT in any positive way “truly outrageous”] seem to deserve my ire?

It’s an hour of my life I could have spent giving myself an enema.


Some of the ribald suckery [NOTE: that may not make sense, but I really enjoy how it sounds.] is due to the dialog. As a writer, this sad truth is simply unforgivable. I’m not claiming to be the world’s most gifted writer…after all, I just described dialog as “ribald suckery”. But when you are already working with a very limited budget and—to be diplomatic—“inexperienced actors”, you should put all your effort into the story and the dialog.

But I digress.

In the first 15 minutes we enjoy a badly-filmed pseudo-chase scene [NOTE: “chase” is a strong word; “two vehicles following each other very slowly” better conveys the speed and effects-laden cinematography utilized.] [NOTE: the phrase “effects-laden” is simply a lie.]

What you have is a car full of teenaged girls. I am fairly certain these actors really are teens with no previous professional credits, so perhaps I’m being a bit unfair in describing their collective acting abilities as “slightly better than an aborted fetus.”

Feeling somewhat morally vacant after using this last crass description, I decided to watch the scene again. The girls are apparently trying to make it home by curfew, and have (for some vaguely explained reason) decided to drive across a rural Tennessee Demon Farm so Mom won’t take away any mall privileges and/or put anyone on restriction.

The girls stop for directions at the kind of small southern gas station that seems to attract banjo-pickin’ kids with Downs Syndrome and chainsaw-wielding inbred cannibals.

Apparently these whizz-kids haven’t seen [every movie ever made that was set anywhere in the south and features violence and teenagers].

After hitting another vehicle [NOTE: I believe they were parked at the time, but I might be mistaken here; I had by this point began to wonder if there was going to be any nudity in this movie and was admittedly not paying close attention (any attention) to the special effects.]  [NOTE: “special effects”= lie.], they argue for a few minutes before deciding to drive away and pretend the damage to the other vehicle was all just a Midol hallucination.

Then they are pulled over by the driver of the vehicle [NOTE: Duh].

Surprise! It’s a woman! Not a chainsaw-wielding redneck.

But, sadly, the dialog actually worsens, despite the chance to throw a seasoned method actor into the fray.

“I will blow the flesh off your fucking skull,” was the best line here.

Just typing it is actually causing me a fair amount of physical discomfort. I’m going to take a little “Percodan break” at this point.

[NOTE: Oddly, the Perc hasn’t made the movie in any way more interesting.]

I’m really sorry. I’m just going to turn this shit off.

If I bothered to rank movies by stars or thumbs (up or down) or penises (up or down) I guess I’d give this one a thumbs down (balanced on a scrotal-starred inverted penis).

It was great.


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