Creating Rem Lezar
I live for stuff like this. Let me be clear about that: I seek out strange and obscure movies (preferably from the 80’s) as if they were some kind of sacred goal, a forbidden pleasure. More so, it’s even better if they’re in flaky tapes. There’s something about all those artifacts that make them even more tempting. Somehow, they would lose most of their appeal on Blu-Rays.
Anyway, you must understand why I’m attracted to movies like Creating Rem Lezar, which sports such a curious name to boot. Imagine my surprise when it came to my attention: allegedly one of the worst musicals ever with only a limited released on VHS during the late eighties. Say no more! I can’t tell for sure what I was expecting but I was definitely flabbergasted by this movie. It’s bad, corny, tacky, senseless, and just really, really BAD with capital letters. This is not one of those movies where at least you can cut the filmmakers some slack for trying; you have no choice but to condemn them and hope, for the love all things pure and holy, that they never, ever do another movie. Not the case here unfortunately since the “director” (Scott Zakarin) went to produce quality features such as The Adventures Of Cinderella’s Daughter and Jekyll. Mercifully, it seems, none of them as bad as Creating Rem Lezar.
Let me put you up to speed: the plot basically revolves around a couple of kids, a boy called Zack and girl called Ashley, who are punished for daydreaming, both by their parents and the principal in their school, and as a result they create this imaginary friend called — wait for it — “REM LEZAR” who comforts and sings for them. Of course, the kids realize that if they’re both imagining the same guy, then he must be real. Right? RIGHT? Definitely, the most reasonable conclusion. What they do next is get a mannequin (stolen, I guess) dress it like Rem Lezar and sleep by his side. And lo and behold, it does come to life! However, the semi-Rem-Lezar tells them that he only has one single day of life unless they can all find the “Quixotic Medallion” (sic) that goes on his chest. Therefore, the kids decide to… ah, who cares, it’s a frigging movie about an imaginary superhero called Rem Lezar and the search for his Quiwhatever Medallion. Stuff happens; Rem sings; the kids giggle; we all cringe.
I probably sound bitter. So what are my problems with Rem Lezar? First of all, he looks like a dork. He reminded me of a dumb football player who falls into disgrace and has no option but to resort to a career as a singer — with an annoying baritone voice, no less. Even so, that would be more or less acceptable if it wasn’t that Rem has decidedly a penchant for kinkiness. In fact, he has been dubbed in certain circles as the “pedophile superhero”. Now, I can’t make any accusations here since it’s all rather fuzzy but there are admittedly some very awkward moments in the movie. One of the earliest songs for instance that became a minor “hit” on YouTube features the following lyrics: “Part of the joy that I get from this boy is his innocent laugh and style”. Umm… what’s the other part of the joy, Rem? Accidental or not, that’s seriously disturbing!
Another example of these strange moments is a particular scene in which Rem accompanies the kids to their beds and, after one terribly annoying song, he says: “When the lights are off, isn’t it just like closing your eyes?” Yeah, aside from the amazingly inspired line, it didn’t help that he speaks those words in a very soft voice reminiscent of Michael Jackson. That’s a big FAIL. To make matters worse, we are often exposed to very uncomfortable shots zooming on Rem’s crotch. I do believe these were completely involuntary mishaps, but I can’t understand how no one during production said: “stop all that, it sounds SO wrong!”. Or maybe they did but they didn’t care…
The movie does have its merits though. There are few and quite valid philosophical discussions between Rem and Zack. At one point in the movie, while looking for that blasted medallion, the kids follows different paths in a forest and become lost. Since it’s an imaginary dude, Rem “splits” himself and goes with each kid. It is during this walk that, after some small talk, Zack excuses himself for asking too many questions, to which Rem replies that humans would still be in caves if they didn’t ask the right questions. Deep stuff. Rem then explains to Zack that their parents really love him, even though they are worried about his daydreaming, and this is a surprisingly good and heartfelt conversation. However, immediately after these interesting exchanges comes hands down one of the corniest scenes I’ve ever seen in which, to reunite again since they’re still in different parts of the forest, the kids hug their respective Rem and, with the almighty power of love, the Rems become one and transport the kids, after which they all three hug each other. It’s a vomit inducing scene and completely kills the merit of the aforementioned marginally better moments of the movie.
I couldn’t finish this writeup (warning?) about Creating Rem Lezar if I didn’t mention Vorock, the flying head. Because, you see, every superhero has a nemesis, and Rem’s nemesis is Vorock… really, a flying head. Impersonated by the director of this travesty no less, who gives a smashing performance (smashing because it can break your TV screen with its awfulness, tee-he!). By means of cutting-edge special effects, the pixelated head of Vorock stretches and distorts while floating all-around-the-damn-place. It is he in fact, an entity who hates everybody and himself, who hides the Quix-you-know-dallion.
Let me spoil the grand finale for you: to defeat him, the kids tell Vorock that they love him and they want to be friends. Vorock then understands that love is much better than hate and turns into a good being. He returns the medallion and flies away. The kids celebrate, Rem sings, and they all live happily ever after. See? That’s the trick! Those villains are just poor misunderstood people filled with hatred. Imagine Superman asking Lex Luthor to become friends, or Batman buying presents for The Joker. Love is ALWAYS the solution. Thank you, Rem Lezar. You’re my true hero.