Even though I had only seen one good Michael Raven movie in the past (The Visitors), when I saw that Watchers had won 2001 AVN Awards for Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Supporting Actor (Randy Spears), I guessed that this must be one hell of a movie. Well guess again, Bucko!
Watchers turned out to be a grainy film with Randy Spears in one his worst acting jobs ever. Randy was over dramatic in delivering his lines from the badly written script. As far as the editing award, I can only guess it was awarded for the quick in and out cuts of little bits of the storyline into some of the sex scenes.
The movie begins with Mike Horner, not the greatest actor in porn but usually not too bad, managing to achieve a career high in bad acting. After the titles, Watchers moves fairly quickly to the first sex scene. After this first sex scene, we get maybe two lines of dialogue before the next sex scene. I was starting to think that there wasn't going to be much of a plot; however, Watchers actually got plot heavier for the rest of the movie. I'm assuming Michael Raven wanted to get the viewer hooked in with the sex scenes, before trying to get them hooked into the story. This almost worked backwards on me, since I was about to give up, thinking there wasn't any plot at all.
The plot of Watchers is about the forces of good and evil battling over one woman's soul and once the plot finally kicked in, Watchers gave me lots of laughs. The unfortunate part is that Watchers is a drama! My first big laugh came when Syndee Steele goes to the police because she thinks the bad dreams she has been having are connected to some cult killings that are happening. When she's in the police station, Randy Spears (who no one is suppose to be able to see) is crouching (yes crouching) on a file cabinet in the background. That was my first laugh out loud moment, with many more to follow. Now that I think about it, Randy crouches several more times in the movie, heck maybe it was in the direction he was given. There's also a lot of slow walking and creeping about in Watchers, so I can see where crouching could also be a directorial decision.
Next up, Syndee is in the tub and considering suicide and we see Randy (sort of crouching on the couch) in the background. Randy talks Syndee out of killing herself. Amazingly, Syndee shows little concern that someone is inside her locked apartment, although she does ask him about it later.
The next scene we find Mike Horner walking back and forth in front of a prostitute, who turns out to be a demon. Why was Mike just walking back and forth in front of this one hooker... oh, I'd call that bad direction. Anyway the demon tries to attract him sexually but Mike resists and the demon responds in "demon talk" and we get subtitles for a translation (yes, subtitles, why not throw in another bad element).
A couple of cops have been put on the cult case killings, Julie Meadows and Dillon Day, although they don't get a lot to do. Julie is the best actor in Watchers and she also has the only really good line in the movie: "I can't believe they shot a girl". They do participate in a big shootout with Julie and Dillon and Mike against the demons. You did read that correctly, for some reason the demons or maybe they're just minions all have weapons and can be killed with bullets.
Mr Marcus is the head demon and he escapes with Syndee, but Randy shows up to fight Mr. Marcus for her. Oh yeah, Randy is wearing a "puffy shirt" (yes, a puffy shirt) when he arrives. After he sends Mr Marcus back to hell, Syndee asks him to explain things but he tells her it is better left a mystery (I translated this to "we wrote it and we don't have a good explanation").
I cannot believe how over the top bad this movie was and the fact that it won so many awards in 2001. I can't count the times that I laughed out loud at some of the self-important overwrought dialogue in the movie. I know Ed Wood is often held up as one of the worst directors of all times (a fact I disagree with), but believe me Ed Wood doesn't have anything over Michael Raven's Watchers. Either porn movies have gotten better in the last 10 years or someone got paid off for those awards. Watchers deserves a D but since it did provide me with a lot of unintentional laughs and a lot of fun yelling WTF at the TV, I'm going kick it up to a D+
Watchers starring: Sydnee Steele, Katja Kean, Randy Spears, Mr. Marcus, Chennin Blanc, Julie Meadows, Shay Sweet, George Kaplan, Tavalia Griffin, Tracks Am7, Danny Wallace, Greg Wayne, Evan Stone, Mike Horner, Chris Cannon, Eric Masterson, Pat Myne, Dillion Day, Jim Enright and directed by Michael Raven