Lockjaw (2008)

Director: Amir Valinia

Starring: DMX, Wes Brown, Louis Herthum, Lauren Fain

“Don’t forget, at the end of the day it’s just a snake. A really messed up snake.” (Nick, Lockjaw)

I’ve seen some bad films in my time – as you’ll know if you’ve taken more than a brief glance at some of the other reviews on this site – but Lockjaw is by far one of the worst movies I’ve seen in the past couple of years. It’s not the CGI effects or the hopeless music, those I can deal with. It’s the plot, the script and the acting that make this one such a stinker.

The film starts with a flashback in which a young lad called Alan and his friend Becky break into a voodoo-loving man’s house and steal a dangerous voodoo pen from him before he and his son (more about him later) find out.

So how do you defeat a mystical snake summoned by voodoo? With a voodoo bazooka, of course. Seriously.

Alan, disturbed by his dad’s abusive behaviour towards his mother, decides for no apparent reason to draw a picture – using the voodoo pen – of a big monster eating his dad. Sure enough, after his drunken father leaves the house, he’s gobbled up by the beast and never seen again.

Fast forward to the present day and Alan and Becky are now married. While they do gardening at their home Becky digs up the pen, but before she gets to ask Alan about it she’s run over by a van containing a group of teens who happen to be the biggest bunch of absolute cocks you’ve ever seen in any film to date. Alan uses the pen to draw the monster again, this time attacking the van, and so one by one the teens start getting picked off by the beast. A guy summoning a monster to get revenge on people killing someone close to him? Ah, so it’s basically Pumpkinhead then.

In one of the more impressive effects scenes, the filmmakers make this moron look capable of feeding himself

It’s hard to properly describe just how painful Lockjaw is to watch. Almost every member of the main cast has at least one infuriating quality – there’s the quirky guy who talks really loudly because he’s desperate to steal every scene, then there’s the slutty one who was clearly hired for the inevitable nudity alone but then doesn’t even get naked (resulting in an awkward sex scene in which she groans away as if she’s getting some then quickly jumps out of bed when she hears a noise, revealing that she’s clothed). Even rap legend DMX, who only appears in a couple of scenes, puts in a half-hearted performance at best because it’s clear that deep down he knows this is no 8 Mile.

The plot’s got more holes than an orgy – how did young Alan know to draw a picture with the magic stick in the first place? How could Alan get a good look at everyone in the van as it sped past after hitting his wife, to the point that he could draw good renditions of all five of them? And who was the joker who told the people in this film “you know, I reckon acting’s the job for you”?

Here's Lockjaw - a snake with a crocodile head. Great idea wasted on a shite film

The only thing Lockjaw has going for it is that the stupid CGI monster thing looks slightly more convincing than the stupid CGI monster things in SyFy-funded films like Dinoshark and Mega Python Vs Gatoroid. That’s literally it though – everything else is just cringeworthy. Every single scene is an exercise in amazement as you realise the director actually must have said to his actors “that’s fine, let’s move on” time and time again instead of “can you do that again, only not shit this time”. Don’t be swayed by the potential comedy value of DMX being in it either – he barely features and he’s as wooden as a bookshelf when he does.

When a film is so half-arsed that it doesn’t even bother to provide enough music to cover the whole of the credits (the music simply stops halfway through leaving the rest of them scrolling upwards in silence) then it’s clear that there wasn’t a lot of effort put into this one. Stay well away.

You’re really a glutton for punishment, aren’t you? Lockjaw is available at the time of writing for £6.49 on DVD, but if you check Amazon’s New/Used you can find some people selling it for the princely sum of £0.01 plus shipping. If you reckon you can stretch to that then click here to go shit-shopping.

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