Directed by Bennett Davlin
Written by Anthony Badalucco and Bennett Davlin, based on the novel by Bennett Davlin
Billy Zane as Taylor Briggs
Ann-Margret as Carol Hargrave
Dennis Hopper as Max Lichtenstein
Deirdre Blades as Alisha Briggs
Tricia Helfer as Stephanie Jacobs
Terry Chen as Dr. Deepra Chang
98 Minutes(Rated R for language and frightening images.)
"Memory" is completely worth the "direct to video" bin at a Wal-Mart. I can't understand how this was even given a theatrical distribution, or why a theatre in Manhattan that I always found very prestigious and respectful would bother playing it. I can't understand what possessed me to even see it. I suppose it was the trailer, which made it look so awful that I would have to watch it. I remember watching the trailer, too, right before "The Host." The trailer described some ridiculous thriller plot right up until the announcer guy stating "Titanic Star Billy Zane!" I remember the entire theatre laughing, right up until the very end when the trailer tries to shock the viewer with a scary masked man before they blacked out. The audience for "The Host" was clapping, and they have the right too. Those who sit to watch "The Host" on opening night are probably some fun movie watchers, and when they see a trailer for a campy horror flick they know how to react. So when I bought my ticket for "Memory" I guess I was hoping for "fun bad" like the trailer promised. Only the movie isn't "fun bad." It takes itself seriously and actually thinks it could be a decent thriller. But it was wrong. . . very wrong. There is nothing to take seriously in "Memory" aside from a ridiculous plot, terrible acting even from the veteran actors that somehow signed up to be in this, and one of the dullest "mystery" portions of any film that I could think of. And sitting in a theatre with two other people in the whole place did not make a good audience, even if you wanted to laugh at it. When I walked inside the trailers were beginning and I was the only one there. Slowly two others came in. Oh, how I wish I could've warned them. . . and myself. . .
I should have known what I was in for when Billy Zane is the headliner, and I'll admit I found myself laughing very loud when his name popped up as first billing. I knew it was coming, but there is something about his name in respectful white lettering on a black background that is just silly to think about. Zane plays Taylor Briggs, a scientist working on Alzheimer's disease, a disease which he could fall victim to just like his mother. He goes around with his friend and co-worker Deepra Chang giving lectures on their findings. While visiting a town Briggs is asked to report to a hospital where two doctors want his opinion on a patient covered in a strange white powder. While there, his safety glove breaks open and some of the powder gets on his finger. Taylor doesn't worry about it until he gets a strange reaction. He begins to have strange dreams where it seems like he is simply remembering something. However the memories are from the early seventies, an entire year before he was born. When the memories get more and more murderous, Taylor tries to investigate, with the help of Deepra, and the lovely new artist girlfriend he acquires named Alisha. To add fun to the mix are the people that are like parents to Taylor, Carol and Max, who he would never suspect, until they begin to get somewhat suspicious.
Zane is pretty bad, as expected. I think his best performance might be in "Zoolander" where he played himself. I never really had the stomach to sit through all of "Titanic," but since the trailer used that movie to talk him up to potential viewers, I might just have to check it out. Tricia Helfer is pretty enough to watch for ninety minutes or so, especially during the strip poker scene. Terry Chen played Deepra, the "casual, professional, but constantly witty right hand man who is always telling the main character to get laid." I've seen that character, and I've seen it played well, and this is not evidence of the latter. But it's Ann-Margret and Dennis Hopper that I am still scratching my head about. Neither one of them even deliver a mediocre performance, and both of them seem to know what kind of script they were dealing with and just wanted a fast paycheck. Luckily for them nobody will end up seeing them here anyway. The script for "Memory' is horrible, thinking that it could be something original and groundbreaking by bringing real life science into the mix. And the directing doesn't improve matters. The editing job is horrible, and every shot looks as like an individual take instead of multiple cameras that the director connects. Whenever there is a new shot and the actor says his line its as if he is just getting into character, and the shot was juts organized. There was no flow, and it was very distracting. When you get to the ridiculous plot twist at the end of "Memory" where the true killer is revealed and all the secrets come out you'll want to erase your own memory of what you just witnessed. "Memory" doesn't belong on a big screen, and for something like this it is a privilege to even get a small screen.