I have actually been sitting on Jesse Thomas Cook's Septic Man for a while now (pun only partially intended) because honestly, I couldn't form a focused opinion on it. It's now been well over a week since I watched Septic Man, and I have to say, my feelings are pretty much the same... meh.
The Plot: A sewage worker named Jack becomes trapped underground in a sewer pipe during a water contamination outbreak. As he begins to transform into a giant, gooey poo monster as a result of the contaminants, he must rely on the assistance of a Giant that randomly lives underground, while hiding from a psycho killer known as Lord Auch. Plus Stephen McHattie plays the Mayor.
A clip has been circulating online of the opening scene of Septic Man, which features an unnamed woman puking and crapping all over her bathroom. The scene is disgusting, and actually fairly nauseating. But, shockingly (or not depending on your view of bodily fluid-oriented films), this scene has jack-all to do with the rest of the movie. Yes, it establishes the effects of the water contamination, I guess (?), but it also is not the effect the contamination has on our supposed hero. So why bother showing it other than to set a bar for "disgusting" that the rest of the film doesn't even bother to match up to?
And this is the whole problem I had with Septic Man. It's never remotely as clever as it seems to think it is. I may not be a fan of the Toxic Avenger series, but those guys KNEW what kind of a film they were making. It was tongue in cheek and funny, but actually did have something political to say. Septic Man doesn't have a clue what it's trying to say. Scenes of McHattie popping in via television as the Mayor seem to try to tie the water contamination to Jack's infections via political motives, but none of it gels. Jack's interactions with the Giant are heart-less, in that I felt no emotional connection between them, given that the Giant is meant to be Jack's savior. And don't get me started on Lord Auch. Why, WHY, does there need to be a psycho killer living in the GD sewers to begin with?
And Jack... aka Septic Man. There is nothing appealing enough about this character to make him a hero, or amusing enough as an anti-hero to hinge a franchise on, as is clearly the filmmaker's intent. He's actually quite unlikeable, as is established during his relentlessly boring monologues. And while the makeup effects are intriguing, they're not enough to carry a movie like this that is so brutally gag-inducing.
My advice? Skip Septic Man and just watch one of the Toxic Avenger movies. You'll get almost the exact experience but you know... enjoy yourself.
Rating: 1 Crap-Covered Bathroom out of 5