Not Even Forklifts Can Make 'Project Dorothy' Rise Above Challenges
No budget, no help, nothing.
There’s a malfunction at the junction of Project Dorothy that no amount of heart can clear up. As an extremely low-budget independent sci-fi flick, certain expectations pop into place: single setting, few characters, poor effects. To overcome these limitations, a filmmaker has to accentuate their positives and hide their negatives. If Roger Corman could conceive, film, and complete pseudo-fantasy time travel pictures in a matter of days that are entertaining at the very least, then what’s stopping anyone else?
Project Dorothy is about two bumbling thieves who stumble upon an evil A.I. massacre in an abandoned factory that they desperately need to use as a hiding place. The older one, played with Lance Henriksen-lite vigor (Tim DeZarn) has a severe bullet wound in his leg, and the younger and non-witty/not-funny jokester (Adam Budron) walks around like an oaf. Nothing happens for thirty minutes/forever until a floating digital red face begins to taunt them into handing over a wi-fi dongle so that it can connect to the internet…and rule the world!
I interrupt this review for a quick call for support.
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This movie is not unlike watching paint dry with occasional drips that fall into one another. It’s boring and terribly made, to the point of being less than amateur and more grating than an overblown auteur. All three characters, including the all-knowing A.I., are dummies, unable to understand that wi-fi dongles won’t work without local wi-fi signals. The A.I. throws its voice everywhere and can learn quickly with its real and virtual camera technology, but its only “weapons” are two (or maybe three) forklifts and the ability to turn the lights on and off and laugh maniacally about that fact. This would be insanely hilarious if it weren’t treated so seriously, like a passion project.
I hate giving blisteringly bad reviews to small movies, but Project Dorothy’s only redeeming quality is that, in fleeting bursts, made me laugh a bit. Forklifts gone mad! Light bulbs! WI-FI DONGLES!!!! And then there’s the ending, which finds itself in a small patch (meant to be a field) of flowers. Remember that Cold War-era television commercial of the little girl moments before an atomic bomb blast? That, but backward, but sucks.
From movie cameras that shake by not being controlled properly to plot points about random necklaces, Project Dorothy should only be seen under the influence of uncontrollable bipolar laughter and maybe, just maybe, a few edibles - though be careful. Watch Roger Corman’s The Undead. That one knows where to draw the line and where to step beyond. 1/5