HEXED - turkey - Arye Gross, Claudia Christian, Adrienne Shelly, Norman Fell; rated R (violence, sex, nudity, profanity, vulgarity); Carmike Cottonwood Mall Theaters, Century 9 Theaters, Cineplex Odeon Midvalley, South Towne Center and Trolley Square Cinemas.

ASPEN EXTREME - * 1/2 - Paul Gross, Peter Berg, Finola Hughes, Teri Polo; rated PG-13 (violence, nudity, profanity, drugs); Carmike Creekside Plaza, Flick (in Trolley Square) and Plaza 5400 Theaters, Century 9 Theaters, Cinemark Sandy 9 Theaters.

Here's a pair of films that didn't look like much from their theatrical previews . . . and proved to be much less. Though both are being sold as wacky comedies, neither has a very high laugh quotient. And the second film proves to be more of a melodrama than a farce!

- "HEXED" is an attempt to spoof, in off-the-wall "Naked Gun" fashion, such films as "Fatal Attraction" and "Basic Instinct," while silly sight gags and goofy anachronisms abound in the background.

Written and directed by Alan Spencer, who in better days gave us the cult television favorite "Sledge Hammer," "Hexed" is remarkably ham-fisted and amateurish for a major studio release. In fact, everything from the lighting, cinematography, editing - and, yes, the writing and directing - is so low-grade that one wonders why this didn't go straight to video.

The story has Arye Gross as a Walter Mitty-type desk clerk named Matthew, working in a medium-cost hotel. His boss (Ray Baker) hates him and the hotel owner (Norman Fell) merely puts up with him. And why not, since Matthew has a tendency to "borrow" the formal wear and sports cars of the guests, and often pretends to be a guest himself, hitting on women at parties held in the hotel.

One day, he meets his match, however, in the form of Hexina (Claudia Christian), a high-strung French fashion model with a dark past. Matthew has been telling everyone that he used to date her, so when she comes for a stay in the hotel, he finagles a meeting. He pretends to be the anonymous correspondent she is there to meet, unaware that he's impersonating a blackmailer and Hexina has less-than-pleasant plans for him.

Naturally, in true Hitchcock-wannabe fashion, Matthew is framed for murder and finds himself on the run, aided by his fellow clerk Gloria (Adrienne Shelly), who is secretly in love with him.

Though the players have performed very well elsewhere (Gross in "A Midnight Clear," Shelly in "The Unbelievable Truth"), everyone looks bad here.

There are a few funny gags but most of this movie is just vulgar, loud and stupid. And though it crosses the boundaries of taste fairly often, it's hard to think of a more offensive comic routine in any recent film than the parody here of the Rodney King beating.

After that, my tolerance for "Hexed" fell as low as it could go and never got back up.

"Hexed" is rated R for violence, sex, nudity, profanity and vulgarity.

- "ASPEN EXTREME" is also by a first-time writer-director with a TV background, "21 Jump Street's" Patrick Hasburgh.

The film starts off like a youth comedy on the slopes, with a pair of go-nowhere deadheads from Detroit, Mich., deciding to chuck their jobs to become ski instructors in Aspen, Colo.

This subject might seem like fertile ground for exploring a culture clash between the ritzy rich and more grounded blue-collar middle Americans. But noooo.

Instead, "Aspen Extreme" takes our heroes down the expected, movie-cliche path. Good-looking T.J. (Paul Gross), becomes a boy-toy for a rich snob (Finola Hughes), though we know he'll ultimately get together with the good-girl disc jockey in town (Teri Polo). And the more goofy of the two, Dexter (Peter Berg, another "A Midnight Clear" alumnus), falls into sloth and drug use following an unfortunate encounter with bad company.

The film also abandons the amiable comic tone of the first quarter and becomes a thuddingly tedious soap opera, a stark shift in tone from which it never recovers.

The players are all appealing and the film is bolstered by some eye-popping ski footage, including a stunningly photographed avalanche. But the story and characters are so dull, and the film is so long (a full and very tedious two hours), that the audience will likely be snoozing before it's over.

"Aspen Extreme" is rated PG-13, though there is considerable violence, nudity and profanity, as well as cocaine abuse.