actually … ZYZZYX …

Zyzzyz Road has a rather curious place in cinema history

Zee-ZIZ-Iks! Right there we go.

it’s only claim to fame being that it is, as far as we know, the lowest-grossing movie in Box Office history. Having managed to make less money than a basic white girl’s Starbucks order. Seriously, the only entries on its IMDB trivia page are just two variations of that fact. There is of course a caveat here. Anyone can make a movie, release it and receive Tiny Tim’s allowance in return. Hell, just look at most of the stuff that’s uploaded to . So here we’re talking about movies that actually got a release in cinemas, and were thus “official”, so to speak.

It’s also not to be confused with the similarily-titled Zzyzx. Another low-budget thriller from 2006 that was *also* set in the Mojave Desert and made almost no money! That’s like a solar-eclipse level of coincidence. Now before we talk about the movie itself, let’s address that all-importantquestion that’s probably the reasonyou’re watching this article in the first place: HOW?! Well, *The Answer might surprise you!*. Heh, sorry…. Really though, it might not be the answer you were expecting. Basically, they didn’t even try. You see, actor Leo Grillo was passionate about animals and wanted to make movies about animals that weren’t boring family stuff like Lassie. So he teamed up with director John Penney.

And they said ‘Yeah, let’s make our own movie, with blackjack, and hookers!’ ‘And we’ll set in the literal arse-end of nowhere, that won’t be arduous to film in, at all!’ ‘And we’ll name it after a real place in the arse-end of nowhere, but we’ll spell it wrong for some reason!’. Seriously I don’t know why they did that… ‘And we’ll focus on the foreign money for now, and give it a proper re-release in the US when our stars’ careers take off! *Laugh* 'Eventually…’ ‘And then we’ll have proven our movie-making chops and be able to make Rambo but with a dog’! *laugh*. You know what, they should have just made that instead, that would have been amazing…. In fairness, there was actually some method to this madness. It’s just that, life tends to prefer madness. Penney even thought that most cursed of thoughts: “Okay, what’s the worst thing that could happen? The movie doesn’t turn out good, no one sees it.”. Dude, you jinxed it man! Ya jinxed it! Grillo and Penney - which sounds like a pair ofmagicians - didn’t really care about making money in the US. But under an agreement they had with the Screen Actors Guild which allowed their cast members to be in low-budget movies for less than the usual rates, ZIVIVIZIZ Road had to have a theatrical release in the States.

So they thought: “Okay, how do we get out of thiswhile expending the minimumamount of money and effort?”. The answer was to rent a single theatre in Dallas, Texas for $1000, show the movie once a day at noon for six days, and give it *no* publicity. Legally, it meant their asses were completely covered, and they saved a lot of money in actors fees. It also meant that in that time, only six people went to see the movie. Which amusingly enough, is far less people than actually worked on it. For grand total Box Office gross of…. $30. In fact, the film’s makeup artist took her friend to see it, and Grillo insisted on refunding them their money.

So when all was said and done, after costs of around $1.2million, Zyzzyx Road had actually taken in… just $20. I could remake this movie shot-for-shot with Warhammer minis, put it on ,and make more money than that. This Adeptus Custodes Telemon Heavy Dreadnought’s….

*arm* cost more than that.

Yeah, I have a plastic crack problem… I am getting help. Things weren’t all bad though, because the foreign markets they were targeting brought in almost $370,000 in DVD sales by the end of the year. But of course, it was the results of their odd business strategy that got everyone’s attention. And Penney was apparently “mortified” to discover that his creation was only being talked about in the context of its singularly low box office takings.

An unintentional badge of dishonour without which. Zyzzyz Road would have been completely lost to history. And having actually watched it, I think maybe it should have been. Because it’s not very good. But first…. NATURE! *Squeak*. In this next episode of nature’s greatest marvels, we explore the common house-Raycon. “GOOD… VISUAL… EFFECTS!”.

This variety of premium wireless airbud can be found in every kind of dwelling, except in those whose owners are just not poggers. While young, they tend to be wary of other creatures, hiding in hard-to-reach places, such as room corners and drug cabinets. Much like their outdoor counterparts, they have much variation in their colours, allowing them to blend in with their environment and avoid detection. They can also nest inside a protective shell, that allows them to recharge, to reach up to 8 hours of battery life, or up to 32 hours if kept within their case. In addition, they can use their added bass to ward off predators, such as the common housecat or the boozy suburban housewife. *INCEPTION HORN*. Once they have reached maturity, they will also use bluetooth to bond with a suitable device, before luring an unsuspecting host with their sleek appearance and the prospect of soothing sounds. Once attached, their comfortable, form-fitting design ensures that they remain in their new nest, despite the rigours of a couch-potato lifestyle.

They come with a selection of gel tips to maximise the host’s comfort, and unlike some other similar creatures, they won’t stick out of the ears, thus not hindering the host’s attractiveness to potential mates. And their remarkable levels of noise isolation will mean that no-one else will hear the screams. *Screams*. Eventually, their tendrils will reach deep into the host’s brain, taking over its pleasure centre, and allowing it to forget about the pain of having to watch awful garbage for rent money. In addition to starting at half the price of other premium audio brands - while still sounding just as good, of course - they also come with a 45-day guarantee return policy. So to get 15% off your order of this remarkable creature *and* help support this channel, head over to buyraycon.com/cynicalreviews or click the link in the descriptionand pinned comment. And tune in next time as we take a look at the marvellous life of the mysterious flying raycons. *Laughs*.

The first and most obvious sign that this movie is cursed is the choice of leads. At that time, Katherine Heigl was known for being in Grey’s Anatomy. And Grillo and Penney’s gamble that her career would take off wasn’t entirely a stupid one. Since she became pretty big in the late-2000s. Not sure why it was necessary to get her tits out on the poster though.

Anything to sell the movie, right?! But

Then she committed the biggest oopsie you can in hollywood: talked sh*t about the people she worked with, and tanked her career.

It’s funny how they cared more about

That than about widely-known sexual abuse, but okay hollywood, do give us another lecture on girl power.

Thora Birch - who you may remember from my articles on the terrible Dungeons & Dragons Movie and The Pregnancy Pact - was offered the role before Heigl.

I would say she dodged a bullet, but her career was *also* circling the drain by that point as well! And now she’s condemned to the role of a recurring character in these reviews. And then there’s Tom Sizemore. After starring in blockbuster epics like Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down, he’d developed a reputation for fighting the law, and the law winning. And has since become almost as untouchable as Steven Seagal. No joke, he was actually arrested before he could show up tofilm for violating the terms of his parole for a drug-related offence! And given his performance, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was off his face the entire time. Not that I’d really blame him for that. And finally in the main role there’s Grillo himself, who I’d never heard of before, and was only in one movie afterwards. Which is a good thing, because his acting is utterly terrible.

It approaches Neil Breen levels of bad. “Brenda? No. No, no Brenda please. I’m sorry.” BRENDA: “I’ll take Natalie you know?! I’ll takeNatalie with me when I go!You’ll never get her back!” “I can’t believe you committed suicide! I cannot believe you committed suicide! BRENDA: “I can’t believe you’re going tothrow it all away, and for what?! That girl!” “No-no. No! No!” “How could you have done this? How could you have committed suicide?”. BRENDA: “That thing? Whatever hellyou’ve made for yourself. You’dbetter hope you can-” “No. No.

No. No! No.". He’s also rocking some chest hair that would make Derek Savage proud. But he founded an animal rescue centre and still runs it to this day. So you know what? All is forgiven, you absolute king. Zyzzyx Road is the story of Grillo’s character Grant, who’s having an affair with Heigl’s horny bimbo Marissa. Sizemore plays her abusive ex-boyfriend Joey, who shows up to ruin the party. Grant kills him in self-defence, so they take his body deep into the Mojave Desert to bury it.

But because they’re the most incompetent murderers you’ll ever see on screen, Joey’s not actually dead, easily escapes, and the movie turns into a really shitty cat-and-mouse game. Think of it like Jaws, but Tom Sizemore is the shark, and it’s not scary. Sizemore does his best “Hey kids, got any crack?!” impression. And most of his entrances are just bad jump scares. “Ow, cinnamon burns! Ow, stop! Cinnamon’s burning! OWW! Oww…” “JESUS CHRIST!” “What the fu-”. He’s also having *way* too much fun playing with that plastic knife. If Marissa was meant to be dumb and annoying, Heigl did a fair job conveying it. “OH, I DID IT!”.

And that sucking noise she keeps making will drive you up the f*cking wall.

Both of them are at least passable,

But grillo shows barely any emotion considering all the f*cked up things that are happening around his character.

“You’re gonna kill her?” “It’s not a her! It’s an *it*!” “You’re outta your f*cking mind! JOEY: “Am I?” “Yeah, you’re talking about killing an innocent person!”. They’re the only people in this movie, except this poor guy who gets hit in face to a sound effect you’ve heard in like 50 different article games. *CLANG* *OOF!*. Oh and this guy, but we’ll get to him in a second! None of the characters are at all sympathetic or likeable, and there’s no reason to give a sh*t about them. The rattlesnake is the best character, purely because it causes Marissa pain. Partway through the movie there’s a big twist, and the film pretends like this is some big revelation.

Except the preceeding dialogue and visuals make it so obvious that it’s not at all surprising. The movie kills its own mysteries. It’s a good example of the difference between foreshadowing and telegraphing. It’s also the conclusion your brain will most likely reach in order to explain all of the stupid and nonsensical things that happen. It tries to emulate Twilight Zone and David Lynch in few ways, but just comes across like a sh*tty episode of American Horror Story. Or more like a student production actually, those were more the vibes I got. The dialogue is really bad, and relies too much on exposition. Multiple plot points don’t make any sense, even given the weird directions the story takes.

The lighting is not only awful, but incredibly inconsistent. There’s so many jump scares that they actually start to become funny. The blood effects look really shody, and change even between one shot and the next. And I swear they just used jam at one point. And the movie is just pretty boring, for the most part. So the story isn’t worth talking about in more detail. But it does have its moments of unintentional hilarity. Like when Grillo struggles to get Sizemore’s body through a door frame.

When he struggles to get up a shallow incline. And when this happens… “NO!” “Oh god… I didn’t even see him! He came out of nowhere! What the hell was he doing?!”. I didn’t even see him! He came out of nowhere! This is something you put in a parody movie, not what you do as the actual final dramatic moment of your thriller! For f*ck’s sake! Also on the plus side, there’s…. uh…. uh… hold on, lemme think, umm…. Oh, there’s a dog! He’s a sh*tty guard dog, but he’s a good boy so it’s okay. And so that is Zyzzyx Road, the lowest grossing movie of all time. Sometimes funny, mostly bad, and overall pretty unremarkable.

There’s really not much else to say about it. To their credit though, Grillo and Penney seemto have handled the unexpectednegative attention fairly well. After all, unless your movie is Cuties, there really is no such thing as no bad publicity. And only a dozen people would know about this film had it not been for that weird quirk of history.