Sunday, September 16, 2012

The film that launched a thousand riots

The Innocence of Muslims (aka "Desert Warriors" and "The Innocence of Bin Laden") (2012)
Starring: A Bunch of Really Terrible Actors
Director: Alan Roberts
Rating: Zero of Ten Stars

After a Christian doctor's cilinic is looted by an angry Muslim mob in Egypt, he reflects on the life of the Muslim prophet Mohammad (or something like that).

Muslim movie critics don't stand for no shitty biographical movies about their beloved prophet, as demonstrated by the burning of American embassies and the brutal rape and murder of an American diplomat. Their rage is completely misdirected, but understandable... not so much because a religious figure is put in a bad light, but because this film is so awful that I feel awkward even referring to it as a film. I don't think I've seen so much incompetent directing, badly framed scenes, horrible green-screen use, bad sound mixing, awful dialogue, and craptacular acting crammed into 13 minutes ever before.

Seriously... this is a film that should be viewed by no one. To describe it as amateurish is an insult to amateurs. I've seen at least one person say "It's like Ed Wood decided he hated Muslims"... and I have to disagree. Even on his worst day, Ed Wood showed more skill as a writer and a filmmaker as anyone involved with "Innocence of Muslims".

In fairness, all I've seen is the 13-minute highlight reel/preview that was posted to YouTube... but if this is the best bits of the film, I think 13 minutes is all I'd be able to stand.

In the entire thing, there's only one scene that is remotely well done--the one where young Mohammad is being seduced (?) by some woman who may or may not be doing it to drive away demons. (And I think the only reason I find the scene appealing is because it's so strange.)

Even that 13-minute preview is inept, assuming it was put together in an effort to promote the film and not intended to just be a collection of disjointed nonsense.

Ultimately. though, the most noteworthy thing about this piece of garbage is that it features what is perhaps the smallest "mob" ever put into a movie.

I'm not even going to bother embedding the YouTube video in this post. If you want to see for yourself what has psychopaths in the Middle East and Asia all stirred up, you can go there and do a search for yourself. However, I think you should just take my word for it and spend those minutes taking a walk or petting your cat or cleaning your bathroom. Any one of those activities will be more worthwhile than watching highlights from "Innocence of Muslims".


  1. I agree that this is a video to die before you see. But I think people should watch it in order to understand what the fuss is about. What you didn't mention is that all of the references to islam are dubbed. None of the actors actually said "Islam" or "mohammed" -- it was all dubbed in later. Very deceptive and unfair to the actors, who thought they were just making a B desert warrior film. The film almost appears to be a semi-comedy, including the scene where the women chase him around the tent half naked. It's also been reported that several actors in the film have done porn, which makes all the claims that this is a "Christian" film all the more ridiculous.

  2. You are correct, Tom. I just focused on the film.

    Now, it's not unheard of that a film radically changes from what the actors were in to what ends up before the public--Steve Seagal's "Attack Force" [soon to be reviewed on this very blog] is a prime example of such a film. However, there is every indication that with "Innocence of Muslims" the director and producer were actively trying to hid the true nature of the film from the cast. Hell--the director might not even have known what he was really working on, depending on what ended up on the cutting room floor and was was dubbed in later.

    I do feel sympathy for the actors who were duped into appearing in this film, because I am certain that's what happened. For that reason, and as a follow-up to Tom's comment, here's one of the actors, via Neil Gaiman's blog, explaining her take on this debacle.
    Neil Gaiman's Journal: A Letter from a Scared Actress.

    BTW, I'd not heard any of the actors had done porn... but the director appears to have some soft-core porn flicks on his resume, either has director or producer.

  3. Another actress from the film has come forward to speak out against the film fraud (read here). Tim Dax - the tattooed thug in the tent - has not only been in porn, but GAY porn. Amina Noir, descrbed as a "fetish model", plays the doctor's wife in the beginning. By the way, another mystery of this film is why the doctor writes "Man + X = BT"...what does "BT" stand for? Clearly in the original script it was meant to be something other than "islamic terrorist". (The idiodic filmmakers didn't even have the technology to digitally replace "BT" with "IT"). Not to add any merit to this awful video, there is one other interesting camera shot - the one where we see the board's point-of-view of the doctor writing with the chalk.

    Two key players associated with this video should come out and speak up. One is the actor who played the lead, originally named "Master George" in the script. Was he in on the whole scheme? I wonder because some of the dubbed audio sounds like his voice from the rest of the video. Also, it's interesting that "Master George" has three syllables just like "Mohammed", which is a clue that overdubbing might have been planned to match the movements of the actor's lips.

    Another person I'd like to see come clean is the director. Why is he silent? Aren't directors supposed to monitor the editing of the film and watch the final piece? Did he give up creative control at some point? Was he paid to keep quiet? So many unanswered questions.