Caamora: She

Director: No One Wanted Blame/Credit

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Caamora: SheThe two-word review would be: "Laughably bad." The long version runs thus:

Caamora: She (2008) is a "prog rock opera" (in this case p'rog is short for putrifying frog) featuring the group Caamora. There's no real libretto but there's a pretense of a libretto based on a Victorian adventure novel by H. Rider Haggard. It has more the look & feel of video taped amateur songwriting contest at the Hobbit costume ball at Tolkien Con.

I was reminded of a local event I attended, a fantasy-art exhibition, with a local band doing original songs about elves & dragons. The first two songs were cute. The second pair of songs were redundant & a little less cute. By the time they got to their Conan the Barbarian song, they were just miserably bad. But they were better than Caamora, who aren't even cute.

The costumes are a combination of birdwatching outfits for the guys & the Anachronist Society's Regency Ball gowns for the leading lady, but the gowns were made in home-economics classes by young girls who really didn't want to learn sewing. The costuming would certainly have been better if it had been part of a Tolkien convention's dress-up contest.

The songs all sound like the same song & that song is absolutely awful. The singers (mainly Agnieszka Swita & a dimestore knock-off of Meatloaf, Clive Nolan) have mediocre voices at best. And the cast's all-round ugliness is acceptible only because, after all, they're hobbits and orcs.

No money was wasted on such niceties as theater/opera sets, just a few picnic chairs for the musicians. They clearly knew this was a big cheat because they packaged this appalling excuse for a music film not with images of the visually banal concert, but in a lovely box with painting of a thrillingly evocative set, which turned out to be massively false advertising.

There's nothing of Haggard's powerful story acted out, just some of it monotonously narrated in the dreary songs, lyrics which come off as junior high school book reports/synopses. These are sung while standing perfectly still yet trying to be dramatic by stairing buggy-eyed, or maybe that's just the bad make-up. Swita moves her hands a little to indicate she's not dead, & her hands are bigger than her head -- creepy. No actually theatrical content or staging is provided for the so-called opera.

And good lord, it's interminably long. Even something well done would be hard to sustain at two & a half hours, but these folks clearly thought they were so great they should just stretch it out forever & ever, until you just wish someone would leap out & machine gun everyone.

I'm a fanatical Haggard fan & have made the effort to see anything & everything inspired by his novels. This is hands-down the worst adaptation ever botched.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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