BY: MR. MOVIE’S FILM BLOG
Because everyone needs a friend
With this being my first entry into Shitfest, I thought it would be an appropriate time to look at the 2009 family gem, Gooby — how the Academy missed this gold nugget, I wonder? I discovered this turd several years back in one of those shitty DVD bargain bins and was slightly disturbed/intrigued by the terrifying six-foot bear on the cover, who also happens to be the dismally named Gooby, the quintessential nightmare inducing character.
The plot sounds harmless enough as it centres on eleven-year-old Willy (Matthew Knight), who is terrified about moving into a new house with his family — he’s convinced that his new home is filled with evil creatures. Anyway, Willy makes a wish asking for someone to protect him from the frightening foes inhabiting his new quarters and just like that, his favorite teddy bear springs to life and out pops Gooby, a pathetic, life-size teddy bear with the facial mobility of a stroke victim and the mannerisms of a clumsy, drunk — who is rightfully scarier than any wicked boogieman Willy was initially afraid of.
Just one look at Gooby would send most kids — or adults for that matter — running for the hills, as this creepy teddy provides us with a vague idea of what a bear might look like if designed by someone who had never seen a bear in their entire life and was given shoddy illegible instructions to follow. Voiced by Robbie Coltrane, Brave (2012), this bear-suit is so fear inducing; I doubt any normal child would step near it. While our kids cower under their chairs at the mere sight of Gooby, we’re painfully subjected to watching the fat boozer fart, sing and do bad slapstick.
Then we have the great Eugene Levy — aka Jim’s dad — sporting a Wolverine hair cut while taking a break from all the boobs on display in those American Pie (1999) flicks hoping to expand his flourishing career by starring in this Canadian horror film … I mean family film, as the ridiculously named Mr. Nerdlinger. A failed writer — now school teacher — Nerdlinger gets a glimpse of Gooby and figures that he can shoot to stardom by simply snapping a quick photo of the bear and handing it over to the media, hence much of Levy’s scenes involve him fumbling around like an idiotic fourth-grader who appears to have no idea how to use a simple camera. Let’s not forget about poor David James Elliott, JAG (1995), as Willy’s dad — I know David James Elliott gotta eat, but I’m sure after glimpsing the unpleasant titular character, Elliott would have preferred to go hungry for a few weeks. The picture’s only slight saving grace is Ingrid Kavelaars, Dreamcatcher (2003), as Elize, Willy’s mother, as she’s actually kinda hot for an older chick!
Things get worse, written and directed by Wilson Coneybeare — yes, I kid you not, his name is ‘Coneybeare’ — this stinker teaches kids to ditch their ‘nerdy’ friends while selling-out in order to become popular and tells parents that the only way to connect with their children is to quit their jobs and bum around at home. Hell, Coneybeare’s messy script has Gooby wandering around town, apparently not afraid of being spotted by public onlookers, adding to the picture’s improbability. Let’s not forget a stupid sequence where the dead-eyed teddy ends up hanging from a construction crane.
Complete with a terrifying scraggly Scottish orange bear, poor humor and absurd product placement from Quaker Oats, Gooby is the perfect film for no one. A strange flick — although it might serve some purpose if one intends to torture young children or plans on giving others nightmares — Gooby is perhaps the unofficial sequel to Where the Wild Things Are (2009); either way, you’ve been warned.
Reviewed by Mr. Movie