By Merle Bertrand | January 1, 2007

Look, you will not find a stauncher Freedom of Speech defender anywhere than yours truly, much to the occasional consternation of my more conservative friends and family. The very thought of censorship raises my hackles higher than a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. So when a “movie” comes along that makes even me think that maybe a little censorship might not be such a bad idea after all, you know that said movie has got to be a real pile of elephant excrement.

Enter “I Hate You,” which is only a movie because it runs some 75 excruciating minutes long, involves the most rudimentary of photographic and editing “skills,” and because, well, its director Nick Oddo has the audacity to pretend that it’s a real movie.

Norman (co-writer Marvin W. Schwartz) is a stand-up comedian whose act is as miserable as his depressing and empty life. Death is rarely funny, so when you realize that Norman’s “act” consists of glorifying serial killers, you can kinda understand why he bombs night after night. But comics often base their acts on what they know, so, true to the stereotype, Norman spends his off-stage hours randomly and violently killing complete strangers in a pathetic and ultimately vain attempt to garner some fame and recognition.

Handled correctly, this might have made for a cool episode of “Criminal Minds.” Instead, Oddo subjects us to crappy amateurish handheld black and white video, laughable “special” effects, monotonous ad-libbed dialogue that lasts freakin’ forever, and the most unsympathetic, non-charismatic lead character possibly ever captured on film or tape. (If you don’t think that’s important, how many times have you heard the “Criminal Minds” profilers talk about how charismatic serial killers often are? Not so in this case!)

Oh, and did I mention the repeated, utterly unrelated stand-up bits – we’re talkin’ single-camera, locked off from the waist-up with the “comic” standing in front of a blank brick wall for literally several minutes at a time here – interjected for no other possible reason than to A) pad Oddo‘s running time and/or B) help his wannabe stand-up friends get some “exposure.”

With ultra-violent and sadistic horror flicks all the rage these days, it would be oh-so-easy for an unscrupulous distributor to snatch this thing up, put it in a sexy DVD sleeve, and rip-off the prospective viewer, so I’ll say it here first: There is literally nothing about this movie that I can recommend, except to maybe throw away the disc and use the empty DVD case to protect something precious, like that Paris Hilton sex video you illegally downloaded.

Just to make sure now, in case it’s not obvious enough, I REALLY hated “I Hate You,” and you will too.

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