Archive for the 'Sci-Fi' Category

Sep

posted by Doktor | September 1, 2016 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, Action, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn

Metalstorm Main Image

In 1979 George Miller changed the dystopian future. Before Mad Max, dystopian movies were overly cerebral sci fi with nihilistic endings—stories that made you want to shoot yourself. Suicide was not to avoid a dismal fate, but to avoid suffering another God awful movie. Now almost all dystopia are set in a desert that’s inhabited by filthy, blood-thirsty circus freaks driving metal monstrosities.

One of the many Mad Maxploitation films is Charles Band’s Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. I happened upon it in a carwash dollar bin. Though it was priced twice what it’s worth, I needed something for this month’s walk thru. So, fasten your safety belts and keep a sharp lookout for roaming bands of ravagers, we’re going back to the dark times, 1983.

The movies opens with unnecessarily rousing and patriotic music over the opening credits.

Easy-Breezy LeatherCut to a desert wasteland. Civilization has devolved into a Mad Max dystopia. Our hero, Max Man, roams the dirt roads and rock quarries in his metal minivan, the Mad Max Mobile. Max Man is all over the road. He’s swerving worse than a Kennedy after cocktails. Thankfully the Mad Max Mobile is equipped with enough blifnar and random levers to stay on the road. Not being a spastic driver would work too, but bleeps and flashing lights add production value, and this movie needs all the help it can get.

Max Man makes a gratuitous stop. He removes his helmet and opens his door. Ostensibly he does so in order to receive a communication from Ranger Station, but really it’s so we can get a look at him—and what an eye full. Dirty blond hair from all road film. His skin is shiny from sweat and grease. All this wrapped tight in black leather, which was originally tan. A man’s man in this desolate world. A crack whore anywhere else.

Ranger Command warns Max Man he’s outside the safe zone. Also communications are spotty because of interference from the crystal fields. But most importantly, Max Man’s girlfriend feels they should start seeing other people.

Distracted by the news of his darling’s lost love, Max Man completely misses the Scary Krishna peering from a nearby cliff. (Scary Krishnas are half Tusken Raider, half Hare Krishna, with half their face scabbed over making them half cyclops.) When he drives on, the Scary Krishna pursues Max Man on his hover bike. There’s a moderately expensive looking chase scene, with laser burlets, which is abruptly cut short when a cliff wall sneaks up on the Scary Krishna. Hover bikes don’t respond well to sudden, violent stops. In this case the hover bike blowed up.

Max Man goes through the wreckage and finds a mysterious red crystal.

Meanwhile, in a crystal mine, Blondie and Greystache the Father are hard at work mining for crystals. Crystals are… they do… something, which makes them valuable. Thus far (in life) Greystache has been useless in unearthing any. That’s about to change though. Today he just knows there’s going to be some in this abandoned mine.

Blondie and Greystache use advanced Ghostbusters-styled blinky technology. And, surprise! Blondie uncovers a giant clear crystal. Greystache is so excited that he almost drops the florescent light he was using to bore solid rock. They’re rich. Life is good again. They won’t have to put the cat down because the can’t afford to feed him. Instead, they can euthanize the little bastard because they don’t like him. Hell, there will be enough money to get that personality transplant for Greystache’s frigid wife. Joy and exultation!

Naturally the Scary Krishnas show up and wreck things.

Here comes the AirplaneLeading them is Erik Destro, the bastard offspring of the Phantom of the Opera and Laird James McCullen Destro XXIV. He squirts hallucijuice from his metal arm on Greystache. The hallucijuice burns through Greystache’s coveralls, seeps into his skin, and sends him on a freaky vision trip to Jared-Syn. (Jared-Syn is the local villain. He’s got a British accent so he is also a magician or Jeti or something.) Jared-Syn harshes Greystache’s mellow by touching a red crystal to his neck. The crystal must have been really cold because Greystache tenses up then falls over dead.

Jump cut: Max Man drives up just in time to miss the Scary Krishnas completely. (Well played, sir.) Blondie, watching from her hiding spot just inside the mine, sees Max Man walk up to investigate Greystache’s dead body. Despite everything she’s witnessed, i.e. everything that’s happened, she’s furious and ambushes Max Man at gunpoint. She actually asks what he has done to Greystache.

Now that Greystache is dead, and the expensive crystal they found destroyed, Blondie has nothing left. She exercises her prerogative as the damsel in distress to hitch up with Max Man. (Ooooo! Sorry, dude. Should have kept driving.) Completely emasculated, Max Man capitulates quietly.

After an info-dump bit of exposition and planning, their first stop is to see Merchant Man, the crystal specialist. He can tell them more about the mysterious red crystal. Max Man ponders the possibility that Merchant Man might be a spot to dump Blondie, and the Del Taco had for lunch.

Vamanos!

Over at Camp Scary Krishna, Jared-Syn feels a new disturbance in the Farze: Max Man and Blondie. Together they are strong, or something. This is bad. Probably. To ease his foul mood he uses a red crystal on some poor shmuck. Jared-Syn brags he is doing this for the Brotherhood of Scary Krishnas. Really it is just an opportunity to monologue about the red crystals for the audience. To wit, they’re Ruby Crystals of Death that collect the Life Farze of the people they touch, which… does something.

Anyhoo, Jared-Syn hands out Ruby Crystals of Death to some of the brothers to collect more Life Farze. (For the weekend’s big Jamboree, maybe?)

Over in Merchant Cave, Merchant Man (a Rent-A-Center Boss Hog) inspects Max Man’s red crystal. After shooting it with a couple different L.I.B.s (laser inquisitation burlets), he discovers the red crystal is a Ruby Crystal of Death. Ruby Crystals of Death collect the Life Farze of the people they touch. Neat. Deja Vu. We already knew this from the Camp Scary Krishna scene just a minute ago, so thanks for nothing.

Now Max Man knows Jared-Syn’s secret plan: collect Life Farze and… something. (Profit?) Max Man absolutely has to find Jared-Syn, but where could he be? Whoa! Guess what? Merchant Man knows a guy at Camp Gypsy who was a Ranger like Max Man back in the old days. Surely He’ll know Camp Scary Krishna’s location. Probably.

Vamanos!

Liver & Onion KissBefore heading out, Max Man tries to abandon Blondie but she’s having none of it. She’s a strong 80s womern. Plus she slept with the producer so… suck it up, Max Man, you’re stuck with her.

Quick aside: someone in the production crew had an uncle who owned a junk yard. Because of this there were plenty of junker vehicles to make up the fleet of scrap metal Scary Krishna Kludge Mobiles (SKKM). What would a Mad Maxploitation film be without all the metal monstrosities, right? So it was only a matter of time before Max Man and Blondie were going to be ambushed by a pack of roving Scary Krishnas lead by Erik Destro.

Time for a crash up derby.

Expendable Scary Krishnas are driven off of cliffs, and explode, or run into dirt walls, and explode, or just explode.

Unbelievably, two SKKMs manage to not explode. They cut off the Mad Max Mobile at the pass. How they managed do so doesn’t matter. What does matter is, rather than just drive around (there is plenty of room), Max Man stops and jumps out. Blondie, too.

Under the cover of nothing, Max Man and Blondie manage to avoid getting hit in the shoot out. On the other side, several Scary Krishnas, safely protected behind and/or inside their vehicles, are picked off like rabbits staked to the ground. Before the Scary Krishnas rout, Erik Destro squirts hallucijuice on Max Man.

Cut to later that night. Blondie is cuddling Max Man. Her lap has Mystical Rejuvenation Powers +2. This buff has thus far kept Max Man from totally tripping balls. Unfortunately he was hit with concentrated hallucijuice. This formula is so strong it not only pulls Max Man into the freaky vision trip to Jared-Syn, but Blondie too.

Good thing. Remember, together they are strong. When Jared-Syn grabs Max Man, Blondie’s lap’s kung fu grip holds him in place. Granted, Jared-Syn could have used the Ruby Crystal of Death on them both, but that would have ended the movie right there. There’s still another 50 minutes of runtime to go, so don’t think about that.

Think about this insead: Max Man starts coming down, bringing both himself and Blondie back to reality, but Jared-Syn refuses to be beaten. He uses his teleportation power to steal Blondie. Yoink!

Wait. What?!?

Jared-Syn has the power to teleport people? I could forgive not using the Ruby Crystal of Death, but all this time Jared-Syn could have teleported one, or both, right into Camp Scary Krishna?

Shenanigans! Charles Band is just screwing with us.

But the Grade-A bull plops don’t stop there. Without the protection of Blondie’s Mystical Rejuvenation Powers +2, Max Man will be easy prey for Jared-Syn’s Blue Crystal Creature.

Crystal PokemonWhat’s a Blue Crystal Creature (BCC)? A BCC is the rarest of Pokémon. It is immune to laser burlets AND medium to large sized rocks—thrown, hurled, or tossed. They are easily teleported directly where needed, not just deployed within one’s throwing distance. This is a huge plus for Jared-Syn as he throws like a right-handed sissy using his left hand. Best of all, they have a groovy, blue electrical discharge that’s just swell.

Unfortunately the top speed of the BCC is comparable to a Romero zombie (circa Night of the Living Dead) or a Bela Lugosi vampire. This gives Max Man plenty to time to work out what to do. Just as the BCC is upon him, he shoots the ground opening up one of the many fresh spring veins. Desert fresh spring veins are quite numerous, contrary to popular belief, and are the one weakness of the BCC. When the BCC steps in the crisp and refreshing puddle it dies. Because…

Just because! Don’t pester Metalstorm with your damnable logic.

Back at Camp Scary Krishna, Jared-Syn has completely forgotten about the BCC. He has more pressing matters, namely villain monologuing at Blondie about his big crystal. He stores all the Life Farze in his big crystal. He even lets her touch it. (I get the distinct feeling there’s something more to this dialogue.) After all that Jared-Syn is tired and lights a cigarette, satisfied he’s still the shiz. Between drags on his Kool he realizes his BCC hasn’t returned. No matter. He sends Erik Destro to kill Max Man, because it worked out so well the first time.

Elsewhere, Max Man finds Camp Gypsy. Before heading in he stops the Mad Max Mobile, exits, and takes a celebratory drink of water. Because… Who knows? At this point anything goes so long as it runs down the clock. In my headcanon he does this because it is always best to get out and drink your water in the hot desert sun, particularly before entering a strange Gypsy town. You never know what kind of street urchins will attach themselves to you as the “outsider.” As stupid as that sounds, the instant Max Man sets foot in the camp he is beset by the children. They’ve never seen a real life Ranger. Well, except for Hans Olo, the “guy” Max Man is there to find, but…

SHUT UP!

Max Man finds Hans Olo in the Rent-A-Center Mos Eisley bar. Here the Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy is the name of the Kenny Chesney tribute band, not a description of the denizens. Actually, they are a nice lot, even if they are in need of serious orthodontics.

Time for some machismo blustering.

Max Man and Hans Olo size up one another’s bonafides. Hans Olo is an old school Ranger: Drunk Class—grumpy and not in it for your revolution, sister. Max Man is a new school Ranger: Metal Shinguards Class—tight leather and all man.

Okay… That killed a few minutes.

Though they’re sort of in the middle of a conversation, Max Man leaves to investigate a noise outside. The townies captured a Scary Krishna and have roughed him up. Max Man saunters over to get a better look at the Scary Krishna. He reminds Max Man of a guy he went to high school with. Turns out he’s not, but the townies aren’t happy all the same. They don’t cotton to no fancy Ranger and his big city educated friends.

Time for a Mexican standoff.

What the townies don’t know is Max Man is also a Ranger: Quick Draw McGraw Class. Max Man manages to shoot one townie. The other townie blasts Max Man’s gun from his hand. As he draws down on Max Man, Hans Olo, in a not-at-all surprising turn of heart, shoots the townie in the chest.

With a twirling flourish Hans Olo holsters his gun and grumbles, “You’re gonna be trouble.”

Aw! Now Max Man and Hans Olo are best friends. Time to head to Camp Scary Krishna.

Vamanos!

Cut to the Mad Max Mobile driving up on a small pond. It’s easy to drive around. Hell, it’s shallow enough to drive through. Yet because it’s in front of them, Max Man and Hans Olo get out and walk. They find a stone marker with a tree carved in it, which probably means something, but whatever. They keep on walking.

The fog is thick in this part of the desert, even in the hottest part of the day. This natural camouflage has helped the indigenous burrowing sand snakes infest the area. Sensing easy and mostly digestible prey, the sand snakes follow Max Man and Hans Olo a la Bugs Bunny burrowing his way to Albuquerque. The sand snakes close in while Max Man defiles a sacred Scary Krishna shrine. Inside he discovers the Crystal Face Shield. While distracted by it’s awesome stupidity the sand snakes strike.

To Max Man and Hans Olo’s benefit, the sand snakes’ gums are baby bottom soft. Max Man and Hans Olo are bitten repeatedly resulting in them both feeling relaxed. Mellowed, they almost give into the sand snakes’ Somnambulant Massage Attack. Remembering he is a man, and men don’t get massages from snakes (unless they’re homos), Max Man shoots one in the mouth. Showed them sneaky slack-jawed snakes who’s boss!

Bull the Scary Krishna WarlordBull Shannon, the Scary Krishna warlord, ambushes Max Man and Hans Olo as they flee the parlor of the sand snakes. Bull is impressed that they sullied the sacred Scary Krishna monument and retrieved the Crystal Face Shield. Yet they shot Fluffy, his beloved sand snake (right in the mouth, too!). This is too much of an outrage to ignore so he calls for koon-ut-kal-if-fee.

The fight proves to be less than impressive. After a few thrusts and parries, Max Man defeats Bull. He doesn’t kill Bull, despite viciously slashing at him with his ceremonial sai. (Scary Krishna keep the round barrel of their ceremonial sai razor smooth.)

Bull, being a mighty Scary Krishna warlord, craps his diaper and cries like a little baby. He’s happy Max Man spared his life. The tears are an ancient Scary Krishna tradition to save face. Thus he lets Max Man and Hans Olo leave in peace.

That is the way of a fearsome Scary Krishna warlord.

For some reason driving past the pond is now possible, so Max Man and Hans Olo continue on their journey. What they don’t realize is Erik Destro’s gang has bivouacked in the middle of the road a half mile from the pond. After crashing the party, literally, there’s lots of driving in circles through the camp, random camp debris crushed, Scary Krishnas running and shrieking, SKKMs rolling over and exploding. In other words, a typical Kappa Kappa Bro fraternity party at Stanford.

Having fulfilled the Three Stooges comedy bit of the film, there’s a proper car chase. Remember, the Scary Krishnas have a fleet of SKKMs to get through. So more wrecks, explosions, driving off of cliffs, explosions, and explosions. One of the Scary Krishnas is so excited he runs a fellow Krishna off a cliff. Yet another explosion. Yay!

The Scary Krishnas pull another blocking maneuver, because it worked out so well the first time. Max Man switches things up by jumping the cars, which is amazing considering there was no ramp nor KITT style turbo boost button in the Mad Max Mobile. Suddenly, because the scene called for it, the Mad Max Mobile has jump power. Yet more unfathomable is Erik Destro’s decision to unceremoniously drop the chase.

WHAT?!?

Hans Olo exclaims, “I’m getting to old for this stuff.” Indeed. Ten year old boys are too old for this stuff.

It’s right about now that Hans Olo notices that “not so fresh” feeling. Self conscious and cranky, he whinges on endlessly about not being able to find Camp Scary Krishna. Max Man stops at Blue Crystal Water Hole. Blue crystal water is great for flushing sand out of lady parts.

As Hans Olo freshens up, Max Man puts on the Crystal Face Shield ‘cos why not? This causes a vision trip. He’s naked in a cave. There’s a burning tree. He’s carrying an axe. Hey! Axes are used to chop trees. So he gives it a hard whack. The tree starts to bleed. Somewhere a Native American starts crying. If only Max Man had one of Hans Olo’s sanitary napkins.

As Max Man tries to understand his vision quest, Erik Destro walks up. Hans Olo takes a Scary Krishna star to the head, going down faster than Richard Simmons on a musical submarine. This is the last straw. Max Man can take no more. He has lost the girl (he didn’t want around anyway) and the guy (he just met). Having returned the same nothing he had at the beginning of the movie, Max Man finds a power he didn’t know he had. Max Man is the hero this dystopian world needs!

Max Man shoots up the Scary Krishnas, carefully saving his strength for Erik Destro. With a primal scream he rips off Erik Destro’s metal, hallucijuice-squirting arm. And scene.

While Max Man congratulates himself with an extra slice of cake from craft services, Erik Destro escapes. He’s too hurt to notice he is leaking hallucijuice. The trail is bright green and so obvious even Ray Charles could follow it, and he’s dead—and blind.

Cut to: night at Camp Scary Krishna. Erik Destro is worried that they’ve underestimated Max Man. Jared-Syn’s not troubled. They have the Red Crystals of Death. They have the giant crystal of Life Farze. They have the Scary Krishnas. And most of all, they have Blondie. She is the linchpin. She is the bait to lure Max Man into Jared-Syn’s trap of crystals and Life Farze and Scary Krishnas. Mwa ha ha ha ha ha!

Max Man struts into camp like it ain’t no thing, which I suppose it isn’t as he is met with no resistance. Not even a, “Hey!” Thusly embiggened, Max Man starts a battle of wits to win the hearts of the Scary Krishnas.

Max Man calls Jared-Syn a liar.

“Nuh-uh!” retorts Jared-Syn.

Stalemate.

So it comes down to an exchange of laser burlets. Max Man uses the Crystal Face Shield to deflect Jared-Syn’s palm lasers. Max Man only deflects a couple before Erik Destro knocks the Crystal Face Shield from his hands, shattering it in the soft sand of the desert floor. This awakens the bloodlust in the Scary Krishna. Well, in one Scary Krishna, Bull. He stabs Erik Destro in the duodenum, his Achilles heel, killing him instantly.

Jared-Syn disappears (yet another power just when he needs it) while all look around stupidly. Max Man snatches a hover bike. Where is he going? Who knows. Maybe he is making a run for it. He couldn’t be chasing Jared-Syn because he just vanished without a trace. So, whatever.

I'm Not Touching YouBecause Max Man is safety conscious, he straps on a Scary Krishna helmet before taking off. The helmet covers one of his eyes. (Head protection outweighs depth perception when you’re flying.) Only able to use one eye might totally jack with Max Man’s depth perception, but it allows him to see Jared-Syn. Or, that’s what I made up because the movie failed to explain what was happening. So…

Vamanos!

Now it’s day. There’s a lukewarm flying chase scene. Animating a good chase was more than the budget allowed. Besides they only needed a couple minutes to pad out the runtime.

Jared-Syn opens the Dark Portal of Set and escapes.

Thwarted, Max Man returns to Camp Scary Krishna. There he tells Bull about Jared-Syn’s escape. Max Man vows that he will follow wherever Jared-Syn goes. To affirm his resolve, he destroys the big crystal (which was the only way to open the Dark Portal of Set, but whatever).

Max Man and Blondie start walking home. Hans Olo drives up and gives them a ride into town. The end.

Hmm. Wait a minute. Isn’t this Metalstorm: the DESTRUCTION of Jared-Syn? Oh well. Nevermind.

The End.

roadside attractions

  • SEE! things come at the screen! Ooooo! 3D!
  • MARVEL! at the majestic papier-mâché shrines of the Scary Krishna!
  • HEAR! the anguished cries of souls lost in the Ruby Crystal of Death as Merchant Man tortures them further by shooting the crystal with lasers!
  • QUESTION! what the hell is going on because the movie doesn’t bother to explain what’s happening!
  • BE AMAZED! that a movie can have so much metal but rock less than Blue’s Clues!
totals

5 blood  

BLOOD

There’s a little in the koon-ut-kal-if-fe scene. There’s more hallucijuice, and that’s something, right?

0 blood  

BREASTS

None. Blondie’s high falutin’.

 

10 beast  

BEASTS

Scary Krishnas and burrowing sand snakes.

 

OVERALL 5
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Watch the trailer for “Metalstorm The Destruction of Jared-Syn”

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Apr

posted by Doktor | April 15, 2016 | 70's b-movies, foreign, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Cosmos: War of the Planets

Canoodling

Have you ever been hit in the face with a brick? Cosmos: War of the Planets is exactly like that, but different.

How are they the same? First, it’s spaghetti sci fi, heavy on the cheese. That would be the brick. It was written and directed by Alfonso Brescia (Al Bradley). Brescia went on to make such classics as Battle of the Stars (1978), War of the Robots (1978), Star Odyssey (1979), and Beast in Space (1980), among others. Many of the aforementioned films reused footage, costumes, actors, and props from Cosmos: War of the Planets. Honestly, I would not be surprised to learn all five movies are the same film just recut and re-titled. Brescia would be the getting hit in the face.

Etor looking scaredThe difference? Getting hit in the face with a brick will eventually heal. Cosmos: War of the Planets will haunt you the rest of your days.

The movie opens in space, a vast blanket of darkness spotted with twinkling lights. It reminds us of how small we are, the sublimity… is interrupted by an annoying video game blip sound as one star blinks brighter and brighter.

Ho-kay.

Cut to a different shot of space. A spaceship, the MK31, floats by. Again the huge expanse dwarfs the insignificant craft. In such spanning possibilities how could these intrepid explorers make any difference? Who are these brave… Devo rejects? Inside the ship, the Devo Crewmen say vaguely science sounding words in some kind of futuristic space spell in order to pilot the ship. Or something.

Uhg.

Just as sleep was about to take me there’s a “stellar explosion.” Well, that’s what one of the Devo Crewmen calls it. What actually happens is a flash of light followed by a meteor hurtling towards them. Devo Crew jump into their seats and strap on their seat belts. They ask the computer for new coordinates in order to escape the “rays” of the explosion (i.e. the meteor). Funny thing, the computer does not register the explosion.

Wait, what?

Now Devo Crew is worried. There are lots of anxious looks. Each of the fifteen crew members gets their turn to look distressed. That is, all except for Rent-a-Center Tommy Chong, Marseille, who is more concerned with biting his nails. At this point I too was more concerned with his hangnail than the plot. Sadly, though, we never find out if he got it.

Marseille chewing his fingernailWhy stress? Just steer away, right?

Problem is the MK31 does not have a steering wheel. There are plenty of random buttons and blinky lights, but no controls. The MK31 is piloted by the computer, with no way to manually take control. (This is why you don’t let the Italians design your spacecraft.) So, with nothing else to do, there are more shots of Devo Crewmen looking on helplessly. The meteor is upon them and…

Never mind, it was nothing.

Seriously. In a move that makes M. Night Shymalan wet, the whole thing is unceremoniously dropped.

“That was a refraction of a cosmic explosion occurring 10 million years ago,” says the computer. Wait a minute. A second ago there was nothing there. Now the computer not only registers the event, but registers an event that happened 10 million years ago?

Whap! Brick right to the kisser!

Amazingly it is only three minutes into the film but it feels like several hours. There is still an hour and twenty-something minutes to go. (This is why you don’t let the Italians make your sci fi movie.) I felt like Ash in the laughing room scene of Evil Dead 2.

The credits roll as space granola floats around in the background, a kind of high colonic cleansing party for our mental palate.

Next we see Captain Devo, Hamilton—Captain Ham from here on—walking into command center Orion. He strolls up and punches some guy named Miller. Having completed his mission, Captain Ham leaves.

Captain Ham is supposed to be a no-nonsense, bucks authority kinda guy that movies like this call for. He’s more of a douche but, eh, close enough. Commander Bossman gives Captain Ham a talking to as punishment, then gives him command of a ship leaving for the Vega System. Or was it Space Vegas? Whatever. Commander Bossman is harsh, but fair.

Next we get some random scenes showcasing life aboard the MK31. In other words, a bunch of idiots barely able to handle mundane tasks without killing themselves. There’s a space walk to fix a space circuit. For some reason mishandled space circuits spit acid and, conveniently, this space circuit is mishandled. Captain Ham has to go out and rescue the Devo Crewman, thus showing how awesome Captain Ham is. Then we watch a couple of the female crew talk about how dreamy Captain Ham is. There’s some space hootchie-cootchie-lick-‘em-yum-yums in the Cosmic Love room. (Cosmic Love is two single beds with a model Death Star between them. Flip a few switches, watch the groovy light show, and you are getting your freak on.)

WIZJust as I was reaching for the remote to turn off Cosmos: War of the Planets a transmission comes in. By transmission I mean the grinding sound of an old Studebaker with a bad starter filtered through a Pac Man effects pedal. The message is never translated, but I’m pretty sure it went something like, “Get on with it already!”

Somehow the signal is interfering with Earth’s radio transmissions which has put Commander Boss Man’s butt is in the fire. WIZ, Earth’s most smartest super computer ever, recognizes that the signal is being broadcast by an intelligence that “knows all.” Being way smart and stuff, WIZ advises Commander Boss Man to seek  out the intelligence and destroy it. What a great idea. Launch an attack on some being that knows all. (This is why you don’t let the Italians design your super computers.)

As an unnecessary counter point, Captain Ham gives his theory about the mysterious signal, “radioactivity meeting a cosmic belt.” Take that you stupid blipping robot box. Who’s the damned fool now? Alien intelligence? Feh. In fact, Captain Ham goes so far as to say that the computer “must be drunk.”

Regardless, Earth is going to send a ship and the closest is…

The MK31!

Though Captain Ham is a terrible person, his deficiencies make him the perfect person to lead this mission. That is, if he fails no one is going to miss him or Devo Crew. Finally! The movie does something believable.

Being a jerk that bucks authority, Captain Ham refuses the mission. He’s already on his way home and he’s got a haircut appointment he just cannot miss. He’s rescheduled it twice now and if he backs out again he will loose his deposit. Because the script says otherwise, some random spaceships materialize and attack the MK31, crippling it and the oh-so-capable Captain Ham.

Somehow, despite being on their way home, this attack causes them to spin out of control and into orbit around the planet broadcasting the mysterious signals. A planet that is galaxies away. Though seemingly untenable, I have a theory. The MK31 is powered by Expositive Plot Drive. That is, in order for the MK31 to escape from the spin, Captain Ham tells the closest Devo Crewman to press the “auxiliary ignition button pump”, which makes no sense. This red herring, being another brick to the face, disorients the viewer. Some slow motion acting is mixed in to further befuddle the audience and viola, anything goes. Unicorn sphincters spitting skittles would have made as much sense as them abruptly being at the renegade planet.

The spinning gives way to another scene of no-stakes drama. The MK31 is going to crash, or blow up, or run out of Snickers bars in the cafeteria vending machine. There are looks of concern. And more looks of concern. And nothing happens. Brescia just needed stuff to happen in order to fill runtime. Captain Ham orders the separation of the command module from the body of the MK31. After which they land on the planet.

Cut to a rock quarry. You know, the planet surface. The Space Science Team (that’s actually what the call themselves) generally mill about, investigating the hell out of the first ten square feet of ground outside the ship’s door. That is, all but ONE guy.

Space StonehengeJack, the inquisitive one on Space Science Team, wanders off and discovers Space Stonehenge. It’s totally sweet because it is a teleporter to a random cavern. Well, not completely random. This particular cavern is home of Cavern Robot. Cavern Robot wobbles slowly towards anyone in its area. Jack calls for help on his wrist calcom (calculator/communicator of the HP35 variety). No one on Space Science Team pays it any mind. Yet, when he cries out, as Cavern Robot treads on his space bunion, Space Science Team hears his cry. From deep within the cavern at some remote location somewhere far away.

Pow! Another brick right in the mush!

Always on the ball, one of Space Science Team remarks, “I think I saw him go towards those rocks.” In a rock quarry. Sigh. Good job narrowing that down, Lt. Dipstick. Captain Ham must be so very proud of Space Science Team. As hard as it is to believe, they actually follow Jack’s voice, and Lt. Dipstick’s vague directions, straight to Space Stonehenge.

Once inside the cavern, instead of setting off Cavern Robot’s proximity detector, Space Science Team are jumped by a clan of Troglovulcans, bald guys in linen diapers, painted blue-black with pointy ears. Old Man Troglovucan tells the story of how his people used to be a great race. Unfortunately they used their great advances in science to make robots so they could laze about. The machines revolted, as oppressed automata are wont to do. Why the “advanced” Troglovulcans did not remove the emotion chip that allowed the robots to feel oppressed is a question the film leaves unanswered. My guess is they were jerks. Whatever the case, there was an atomic war and the Troglovulcans devolved.

There is some exposition by Etor, the only named Trogulvucan (hmm, wonder if there is any significance to that?), which boils down to the enemy of my enemy is my friend resulting in an alliance between the Troglovulcans and humans. The Space Science Team is allowed to return to MK31, but they have to leave Mila behind. The Troglovulcans may be cave-dwelling morons, but they are not chumps. Captain Ham agrees to Mila being used as collateral. Keep in mind Mila is Captain Ham’s girlfriend. Also keep in mind that Space Science Team are armed with disintegrator rays and the Troglovulcans are armed with snug fitted adult diapers. I might be reading too much into it, but I think this is Captain Ham’s ham-fisted way of saying things “just aren’t working out.”

Back on MK31 there is another scene of Cosmic Love. Normally in a 70s Italian film these scenes would have incorporated nudity. In a ballsy artistic move, Brescia makes Cosmic Love more akin to a visit to one’s therapist, except less erotic. Meanwhile, Captain Ham consults MK31’s computer—yes, Captain Ham, the one who hates computers—and it reports the enemy is a computer. To destroy it they will need to press a button. A red button. A big red button. (The computer has to break it down for them in simple terms that even a village idiot could understand, because, that’s what the Devo Crew are.) Captain Ham gets worked up into a tissy because the report is only 70% possible. What? He hates computers, even when they are 100% accurate. Why does he constantly consult them?

Ugh. Why am I even asking these questions?

While Captain Ham cleans the sand out of his crevices, outside MK31 Random Devo Crewman #89 is singing while he patrols the parameter. There are some thumps which Random Devo Crewman #89 completely ignores. Jump cut inside to more Cosmic Love. Cut back to thumping outside. At this point Random Devo Crewman #89 has noticed and is worried. There are long shots of him looking anxious. Cut back to Cosmic Love, which is interrupted by some unconvincing roaring. Back outside, Random Devo Crewman #89 is attacked by Cavern Robot, i.e. Cavern Robot wobbles at him. When the backup Devo Crewmen come out to investigate, Cavern Robot uses its Super Breath Attack to blow dust at them. Mildly irritated, the Devo Crewmen retreat to get their protective space suits.

And…

BLFNAR The Evil RobotJump to Space Science Team back in the cavern. Okay. I guess that was enough of that last scene.

There is much rejoicing to be back with Mila. Yippee. Hurray. Random Devo Crewman #193’s wristmotron goes off, reminding them that the plot needs to keep moving forward. Captain Ham and Holden head off. Somehow they know to walk over to a particular corner which houses another transporter. This one teleports them before Master Brain Machine.

Master Brain Machine delivers his villain’a monologue, the tale of  how Troglovulcans are bad and by extension so is all organic life in the universe. (Kill all humans!) Also, how he is all powerful. (Kill all humans!) And finally he commands Captain Ham and Holden to switch out a few circuits so he can initiate his final solution. (Kill all humans!)

One circuit fixes Master Brain Machine, which came as a relief, i.e. no extended looks or exposition for filler. With all his power restored, Master Brain Machine is strangely impotent when it comes to killing Captain Ham and Holden who are standing right in front of him. (This is why you don’t let the Italians design your evil Master Brain Machines.) Captain Ham MacGyver’s a sling shot out of his belt, which he uses to destroy Master Brain Machine David and Goliath style. Master Brain Machine’s roots are so intricately intertwined with the planet that as it explodes the planet starts to erupt.

Back at MK31, Marseille and Random Devo Crewman #43 are guarding the ship. Everything is quiet and chill. Suddenly Max’s body is there. So is Gretta’s. Who are Max and Gretta? Who cares? We will just call them victims of Cavern Robot. Whatever. Marseille and Random Devo Crewman #43 bring the bodies into the ship and deposit them in the infirmary. It turns out Gretta isn’t dead. As Marseille and Random Devo Crewman #43 leave, she opens her eyes. Then a couple Random Devo Crewmen are found dead.

Yeah, it would have been cool to see how they died, but at this point the movie is ready to be done. All continuity is thrown out the window in favor of ending this farce as quickly as possible. So again, whatever.

The planet remembers it was blowing up in a previous scene. There are stock footage shots of lava and volcanic eruptions. Captain Ham and Space Science Team make it back to the ship just in time. There’s some shaky camera shots of Devo Crewmen battening down the hatches, more volcano burbling, and intense talking about full power and the generators not having power and blah, blah, blah.

Big surprise, they make it out okay.

Only one Troglovulcan is saved, Etor. Heh, who would have guessed? No mention of the others left behind. No sadness. Just jokes about Etor being an instant officer because of the uniform he borrowed. (Thankfully once they got him on board they had him put on something more than the nappy.)

The End.

Wait. It isn’t?

Alka-Seltzer foaming at the mouth.The Master Brain Machine somehow possessed Random Devo Crewman #381, and in doing so made him impervious to disintegrator rays. While that is cool, it also made Random Devo Crewman #381 foam at the mouth and break out in a nasty rosacea. As Devo Crew looks around stupidly, Etor steps up like a champ to fight Master Brain Machine Guy #381. On the other hand, Captain Ham shows his true colors by grabbing his crew mate, leaving Etor to get beat down. Once safely in another room, Captain Ham ejects both Master Brain Machine Guy #381 and Etor into space.

All of everything is promptly forgotten when a happy message comes in from Earth. It’s a FaceTime call from Peter’s wife. His baby was just born. Ah! Who is Peter? Whatever. Shut up! It is almost over.

The end.

Nope. Brescia, channelling his inner J.R.R. Tolkien and the never ending ending, has another twist of supreme stupidity. The Master Brain Machine possessed the ship’s computer before Master Brain Machine Guy #381’s body was ejected into space. We discover the switcheroo when the computer’s voice changes to that of Master Brain Machine’s. Then there are some flashback scenes of the Cavern Robot and the stock volcanic eruptions (they paid for it and they are going to use, it by God) juxtaposed with the happy crew FaceTiming with Peter’s wife and baby.

Captain Ham looks around confused.

Indeed.

Now, FINALLY, the end.


Cosmos: War of the Planets

Tagline: Robot Terror from Space!

Year: 1977          Runtime: 89 min

DirectorAlfonso Brescia

Writer: Alfonso Brescia & Aldo Crudo

StarringJohn Richardson, Yanti Somer, West Buchanan


roadside attractions

  • WATCH! people look at the camera for long periods of time with vague emotions!
  • HEAR! special sound effects sampled from a Casio wrist watch!
  • WITNESS!  first contact with an alien race and then its utter  decimation, all without the slightest bit of concern!
  • FEEL! Cosmic Love, or what counts as intercourse in the space future!
  • BE AMAZED! by logic defying space science!
totals

4 blood  

BLOOD

No blood, but did have some nasty rosacea and mouth foam.

0 blood  

BREASTS

This is a classy Italian sci fi. None of that cheap stuff here.

 

10 beast  

BEASTS

Cave Robots. Super Master Robot, & Troglovulcans.

 

OVERALL 4.666
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Watch the entire film “Cosmos: War of the Planets”

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Jan

posted by Doktor | January 25, 2016 | 90's movies, B-movie Reviews, Horror movies, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Project: Metalbeast

Project Metalbeast Main

Tagline: DNA Overload

Year: 1995                 Runtime: 93 min

Director: Alessandro De Gaetano

Writer: Alessandro De Gaetano, Timothy E. Sabo

Starring: Kim Delaney, Barry Bostwick, Kane Hodder

Is This Normal 01Kane Hodder. Metal Werewolf. Barry “Commander Ace Hunter” Bostwick. Yes, please!

Ah, but like so many b-movies in the 90s, the cover promised more than the movie delivered. Don’t get me wrong, Project: Metalbeast has its moments, when the credit roll ends. Problem is, it doesn’t thrill so much as it talks at you.

Take the opening scene. Stormy sky. Night. Teletype titles:

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) 1974

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) U.S. Military Intelligence

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) Operation Lycanthropus

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) Carpathian Mountains, Hungary

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) Objective: Sample werewolf blood.

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) Purpose: To make an awesome 90s horror flick create a superior combat agent.

Zzzzzzzz

Master Sergeant “Way Too Serious” Butler and his idiot sidekick Private “Lackey Bait” Greg break into a random castle. As all Hungarian castles are infested with werewolves, any old castle will do. Butler’s armed to the teeth, i.e. a single 45. No wonder he’s so somber. Lackey is secured with a bulging pack of gear, a bulky metal case, and a camera. Whomever packed his gear completely misunderstood what he was going to be shooting.

Still, Lackey performs his role perfectly, blindly blundering around, always out front, until attacked and killed. Butler, the consummate commander, watches idly as Lackey’s throat is ripped out. He’s more concerned with the dirt under his fingernails. It’s ruined his manicure. Lacky’s camera, not wanting to miss it’s big shot in the “movies,” decides to take a burst of pictures. What’s surprising is, despite being pointed at the ceiling, it manages to capture several in focus and nicely composed pictures of Lackey’s death. Each shot is from a slightly different perspective to boot.

Can your fancy DSLR do that? Don’t think so.

Though still deeply pained by his dirty nails, Butler pulls himself together enough to shot the hulking werewolf a couple times. “Hmm, what do you know, it works,” his look says. I admit I was surprised. I had no idea that a 45 has werewolf stopping power. He extracts some of the werewolf blood with an unnecessary suction device in one of Lackey’s cases. I’m sure a syringe would have worked just fine, but this is 1974. All secret government agents had excessively high tech gear. It’s a thing. Look it up.

With the blood collected, Butler grabs the camera and does Lackey a favor and shoots him in the face. Good job, boy. You’ll go far in this world.

Cut to: U.S. Secret Operations Center.

It looks like a mid-sized high school building, and from what we’ve seen so far this is where the writer spends his weekdays. Nah, I’m just kiddin’. Really the location is all about being broke. They spent all $13.68 of budget on the special effects makeup.

Butler, man of action, is getting antsy. The science tests on the blood are taking too long. Time to introduce some class, some level headed leadership. Enter Miller, Barry “Cool as a Cucumber” Bostwick, to put Butler in his place. Miller’s got this under control and Butler is not going to screw this one up. Sit, Butler, sit! Good dog.

Come to find out, while the tests are not complete, the doctor does know that if they were to use the blood on someone, said someone’s immune system would reject it. Their blood would turn into puss. Their body would swell. They’d suffer an intense fever. Eventually they’d die. Butler and Miller have one track minds, so they ask “That is all fine and good but is the blood diseased?”

Oh, it’s going to be so much fun watching the pair of them die.

Being the MENSA candidate he is, Butler isn’t going to wait for another week. He’s just going to take the blood. So, he sneaks into the lab after hours, because nothing is locked down in a Secret U.S. Operations Center, steals a half syringe, and sneaks off to the bathroom to shoot up.

Hmmm. Maybe this really is a high school after all.

Before he shoots up, Butler taste tests a couple drops. Not bad. A bit gamey. That’s all the science test needed so, yippee ki-yay. After a few moments of twitching like he shot molten iron, he goes all Emo. He returns to his office to reminisce by looking through the slides of Lackey’s final moments.

As he contemplates black, Butler’s sense of hearing starts improving. He hears some of the other doctors making fun of him and his werewolf blood. Why can’t the world just leave him alone!

With all the swirling passions and the icky hair sprouting in unusual places, this would be a terrible time for Miller to bust in and—

PewCue the exposition/Mexican stand off.

Butler, his sack having descended, sneers about smelling fear, living forever, and the $20 Miller still owes him from a couple weeks back. Not ready to become Butler’s victim just yet, Miller slips off to… uhm… turn off his stove. He forgot to turn it off when he left home that morning.

Fun Fact: when you shoot up werewolf infection, as opposed to getting it by being bitten, you can change by will, or as it’s known in show biz, through the “power of plot.”

In one of the labs, a lady doctor cuts her hand. Butler smells the blood. It brings out the beast in him. The Lurvwolf. He doesn’t always hump a lady’s leg on the first date, but when he does he returns to his office to lick his… pride. Or something.

One of the man doctors busts in, ready to save lady doctor’s virtue. Ooooo, bad timing there, chief. Butler has gone full werewolf. Mr. Doctor gets his throat ripped out. So much for chivalry. As WereBulter is chomping on his jugular, the slide projector decides to click through the slideshow of Lackey’s death.

I’d like an order of killing, with a side order of killing, and supersize that for me.

Miller, having thought of a snappy comeback finally, returns to find WereButler still chowing down on Mr. Doctor. That dog will not hunt, sir. Miller shoots WereButler and they put him, as well as the project, on ice. Literally.

Cut to: 1994. NEW U.S. Secret Operations Center.

Now the operations are housed in a mid-sized warehouse. How did this happen you ask? Well, they injected some Hungarian warehouse blood into the high school building and voila, new operations warehouse!

Inside we’re shown Dr. Anna de Carlo’s office. We see her Dermatology degree from the University of Michigan, her humanitarian of the year diploma (That’s right, diploma. It reads diploma in big bold letters at the bottom.), a cute Kangaroo doll on her desk, and her name plate which reads, “Synthetic Tissues Project.” Then a cross fade to her busy at work. Meanwhile all her co-workers are playing pool, poker, and drinking beers.

Cut to next day. Dr. Anna sleeping on her desk. Lt. “Don’t Touch the Hair, Man” Ferraro, one of her co-workers who took the evening off, comes in. He gives her the loving look which says, “Poor kid. Here all night. Again.” He wakes her gently.

This is a perfect time for exposition about what she does.

She’s growing new skin from a mixture of synthetic tissue and metal. Well, kinda. So far all she’s made is stuff that’s hardened to steel. But, poke gooey stuff with an electric prod enough and surely you’ll get synthetic skin that can be transplanted onto humans, right? So, night after night after night, she spends her time poking gooey stuff with an electric prod rather than have a life.

Having enough exposition to explain things for the moment, the movie returns to the plot. Ferraro tells Dr. Anna that some big-shot named Miller is coming on board. There’s a meeting to introduce him at eleventy-hundred hours. Oh, and there’s a little crust in the corner of her mouth.

At the meeting, Miller gives them the old “stink eye” and some “what for” to establish himself as the new head honcho. This doesn’t go over well, but what can they do? Quit and let someone else take all the glory. Well, yeah, but… Anyway, Miller tells the scientists they’ll be moving on to testing their synthetic skin on a cadaver he’ll deliver sometime next week.

Why he’s taking a week to deliver is a mystery? WereBulter is in the basement. Remember in the old U.S. Secret Operations Center and the New U.S. Secret Operations Center are one and the same.

Here we get a touching moment between Miller and WereButler. Miller’s bragging about giving him steel skin. He’ll be indestructible. No worries though, because this time everything is under control.

Behind MeHow? Because.

In spite of their moral reservations and the questionable legality, Dr. Anna and team start grafting synthetic skin onto WereButler. Part way through the operation the notice the three bullets in his chest. Dr. Anna removes them. When she does he comes back to life.

Second Fun Fact: silver bullets don’t kill injection infected werewolves, it just puts them in a coma.

At first WereButler has no brain activity. Granted, that’s because they forgot to plug in the EEG machine. I think his thrashing about, moaning and groaning in pain, and that his eyes were wide open should have indicated conscious, which in itself suggests LOTS of brain activity, but what do I know? I’m no dermatologist.

Dr. Anna confronts Miller, but he’s all, “Feh, it’s not a person anymore. Get back to work.” Who can argue with logic like that. So they return to work. They do call Miller Mr. Poo-Poo Head behind his back from there on out.

You might be wondering why no one, even the base commander, General Hammond, calls someone higher up about all this tom foolery?

Because.

All the while WereButler is in pain on the operating table. In her office, Dr. Anna is having a bout with her conscience. You know what that means. Perfect time for exposition about what kind of person Dr. Anna is.

Early in her career as a trauma dermatologist, there was this little girl who came into her ER. Ninety percent of her body was scorched away. Ninety percent of her body was gone and she was still alive? Amazining. Surprisingly, all Dr. Anna could do was watch her die. If there were only some synthetic skin with which to replace 90% of her body!

When the little girl died Dr. Anna believed there was something that left her body. Now though, after what she experienced with WereButler, she’s not sure. All she does know is that something momentous happened, but she’s not sure what.

Well, I’m no philosopher, but a person who was dead for 20 years came back to life. And he is writing in agony as you wallow in your exposition. There’s that.

Being all alone and in pain, Miller takes a moment to evil gloat over WereButler. Miller shows him pictures of Lackey’s death, blurts out that WereButler has been frozen for 20 years, and delights in the fact that he will NEVER pay the $20 he owes.

Tender moment over, Dr. Anna returns to work. Dr. Anna finally moves past her blasé attitude and gives WereButler a shot some Demerol. For some reason this causes him to have an accident. Exhausted by all the work, it’s time for a break, during which time Larry “the black guy” is sent to get surgical tubing to make a catheter.

Dr. Anna uses her break to get a code key from Hacker Chick, the operations center’s IT department, to Miller’s office. Miller uses his break to call his mommy. WereButler uses his to transform and kill Larry.

Looks like he wanted a catheter even less than Larry wanted to put it in.

Finally, time for some well deserved killing.

Is This Normal 02Sadly, now that he’s finally free, the first thing WereButler takes his rage out on is a dipping bird novelty toy. Really? He couldn’t punch a wall? Maybe kick through a door? I suppose not. Those things cost money and there just wasn’t enough in the budget. Thankfully a hapless guard wanders across his path, and feeling silly at wasting all his AWE-some, WereButler dispatches him, but good.

Unluckily for WereButler the other guards that show up are armed with fire extinguishers.

Third Fun Fact: fire extinguisher spray causes injection infected werewolves to partially transform back and go into nap mode.

Back in the lab, Dr. Anna’s idiot assistant, Weenie Intern Guy, keeps trying to pierce WereButler’s steel skin with a syringe of sedative. There is plenty of his body that’s not covered, but why go there? That’d be too easy. Defeated, they give up. Instead, they hook him up to electrodes and fry him. Why?

Because. And science.

While he’s getting juiced, Dr. Anna has to go see how Larry died.

Seriously. I’m not making this up. She has to see how Larry died. The stupidity boggles the mind.

I normally don’t talk to my television, but it helped me fight back the urge to get violent, “WereButler, you know, the steel skinned werewolf you only moments ago hooked up to electrodes? Yeah, him. He attacked Larry. Hulking metal werewolf attacks ‘Kan be pretti nasti.’ In this case it killed him. Also, remember how everyone just finished telling you how he, WereButler, you know, the steel skinned werewolf, attacked Larry? Remember that? Well, that’s how he died.”

Just as I was about to pop a brain infarction the answer hit me. The reason she had to see what killed Larry was the filmmaker spent money on some special effects makeup. That’s why he didn’t have WereButler smashing up the place. Some nasti cuts and a severed arm have more production value than a smashed door.

My bad for ever doubting.

When she returns to the lab she unilaterally decides the best thing to do is put WereButler out of their misery. Finally. She would do the deed herself but first she, ehrm… has some stuff to do. Ferraro, too. In the meantime, they instruct Weenie Intern Guy to inject sedative in WereButler’s eye. Really. In his eye. First they fry him because they can’t sedate him. Now they’re going to inject him in his eye. Poor bastard.

Thing is, this whole time WereButler’s been awake, with enhanced werewolf hearing. He heard the whole conversation.

Goodbye, Weenie Intern Guy.

Dr. Anna goes to get the gun and silver bullets she saw in Miller’s desk drawer earlier. Too bad, Dr. Anna. Miller has already grabbed them. Miller is 99 things, but a sucker isn’t one of them.

Ferraro steals all of General Hammond’s silver coin collection, which oddly enough, he keeps lying out on his desk, only half in protective cases. Ferraro takes them to his lab to make some special silver bullets. Special silver bazooka bullets.

While they are running their errands, WereButler kills Weenie Intern Guy and sets out on the killing spree we’ve been waiting for.

Sort of.

For an emergency situation this base is incredibly laissez-faire. No alarm. No guards sweeping the parameter. Miller and General Hammond are casually walking through the building. That’s when they come upon the dead body, i.e. WereButler’s rampage. Miller is not impressed with the kill count so he shoots General Hammond’s knees to leave him as bait. No sooner does Miller leave the room than WereButler is creeping up on Hammond. WereButler picks Hammond up and…

We get to watch Hammond’s feet twitch as his neck snaps, or his head is crushed, or something happens up higher where we can’t see.

Miller happens into Ferraro, Dr. Anna, and Hacker Chick. Ferraro runs interference for the ladies so they can get away and takes a bullet for his trouble. Considering he only has 6 bullets, Miller is being incredibly generous shooting people.

Cute ShoesDr. Anna and Hacker Chick end up in the freezer room in the basement, i.e. the cryo-lab where Miller was storing WereButler all these years. Leaving the door wide open behind them, Miller easily deduces where to go.

Just when I thought the movie was out of exposition, there is some villain monologuing. Thankfully it is cut short by WereButler.

In the “fight” that ensues, WereButler stomps a mud hole in Miller. Yet Miller takes it with style. With each blow he gets up and puts things right—fixing his tie or straightening his hair. He couldn’t quite fix the disemboweling, because he was dead, but he did what he could. Now that’s class.

At last, final boss fight. Dr. Anna and Hacker Chick versus WereButler. Dr. Anna has the bazooka and a couple of Ferraro’s Special Silver Shells. With the first shot, Dr. Anna misses WereButler all together. The missile hits the wall behind him, sending debris down on all three. Hacker Chick is out. Dr. Anna gets rebar through the ankle. WereButler is, of course, just knocked out until Dr. Anna walks close enough to grab at her.

This cures her ankle and leads to some exciting basement hallway hobbling/chasing. There are lots of metal stairways, steaming pipes, locked fire doors, and concrete walls.  Just when Dr. Anna is cornered Hacker Chick is back. She hands Dr. Anna the last Special Silver Shell. This time the rocket hits, but only penetrates WereButler’s leg. No explosion.

Fail.

The ladies run but there’s nowhere to hide. They look around but there’s no where to escape. WereBulter slowly closes in for the kill. Dr. Anna goes for the bazooka but it’s empty. This is it.

But wait, it isn’t!

Ferraro isn’t dead, he’s just been waiting for the last possible moment. He’s got the last Special Silver Shell. For reals last. He hands it to Dr. Anna. She loads. She fires.

His everything a splode!

The End.

Or is it? There is a bit of burbling metal skin stuff.

No. It’s the end. That’s quite enough of that.

roadside attractions

  • Hear! the “pop” as WereButler pulls the silver bazooka burlet from his leg!
  • Witness! the majesty of The Bostwick fixing his hair before being run through!
  • Listen! in horror as Chef Ramon goes full Ricky Richardo as only a white boy can!
  • Be Amazed! by the laser-precision level to Butler’s flat top!
  • Observe! as Miller completely blows his chance at a punny one-liner as he monologues WereButler into cryogenic freeze!
totals

3 blood  

BLOOD

On par with what you get when you nick yourself shaving.

0 blood  

BREASTS

None. Dermatologists don’t show off skin!

 

10 beast  

BEASTS

Steel-skinned Werewolf!

 

OVERALL 4.3
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Watch the entire film “Project: Metalbeast”

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Jun

Comments Off on Extraterrestrial

Welcome back to another review, folks! Ever since a certain fire happened in a certain sky alien abduction movies were hotter than Agent Scully in the 90’s. Though the premise seems to have lost it’s foothold in the movies as of late, there are still some gems that can be found. For instance; our review today: Extraterrestrial.

While this is supposed to be an alien movie it does it’s best to be a sci-fi, suspense, horror, and even a touch political. These elements in a film usually don’t blend well, but, here, they do. We start with a horror beginning: 20-somethings all in a car to go to a cabin in the woods for a few nights of partying, sex, and debauchery. Mistake #1: They’re in a cabin in the woods! Don’t these folks read my reviews? Never go in the woods!

After a quick setup, and some exposition that isn’t really needed, we begin our weekend with our victims…ahem…characters. Almost immediately stuff starts going down. While one can argue you want to know about the character’s personalities, I, for one, don’t. Let’s commence the murdering! Lights flicker, strange noises! An alien starts to walk around the house and….gets shot by a girl with a shotgun. Well. I did say let’s get to the murdering.

After E.T. goes down, making the pool his final grave, stuff REALLY hits the fan. Appropriate reactions have already been done by this point in the movie, but there are a lot of cool things yet to see. They try to flee, but there’s a tree felled in their way. Suddenly the rain stops while they ponder what could have possibly cut that tree down. These guys would trip over the laces in their velcro strapped shoes. How did they get into college? Right. Michigan State strikes again.

After some of the worst pondering, and decision making I’ve seen this side of swimming with sharks while strapped with steaks and barbecue sauce, we lose our first female to the blue light of abduction. Or as I’ve come to call it: The Bye-bye Beam. Quick! Back in the car that wasn’t functioning just a few minutes ago! We go back to meet a character, that couldn’t be more cliché if it was Jesse Ventura in a tinfoil hat, to learn more about the alien menace. After a quick break from screaming and running we get right back to screaming and running.

Jesse Ventura takes on an alien and, surprisingly, it’s a pretty good scene, ending with what you should’ve seen coming a mile away. More running! More lights! And, just for good measure, they even managed to scrounge up that ‘BWAHHH’ sound from the remake of ‘War of the Worlds’, and every Hans Zimmer soundtrack since. But that’s a tale for another time. What’s that? A would-be protagonist? Go for it, Hoss!

Enter one of the film’s side characters, who the whole movie could’ve been about, but wasn’t, Goodguy McCopDude. We established at the outset of the movie, through a very long scene that we really didn’t need, that he’s been investigating the disappearance of his daughter. How important is this plot point? Important enough to cut from the main characters and their impending deaths to go to a random RV site with a random character to get more exposition to tell us that aliens are the culprit. Which I wouldn’t mind so much if the title wasn’t EXTRATERRESTRIAL!

Goodguy McCopDude is hot on the trail of…no one. And, truth be told, I don’t even remember why he was summoned to the cabin in the woods to begin with. It goes by that quick, folks, don’t fault the viewer for losing a little interest when the action goes from high-octane to donut munching. Goodguy and his cop buddy show up at the Murder Cabin and begin to snoop around, learning the unhinged partiers are being terrorized by aliens. While the partner is skeptical, Goodguy goes full Mulder, and begins to look around.

After a brief, and somewhat fruitless, encounter in the barn Goodguy is convinced it’s those pesky grey skinned fellas causing all the commotion. After he tries to wrangle the panicked few he decides to follow suit and make equally bad decisions, taking his time to convince his partner while sitting in a lit up police car! Well, bad calls can only be called out, as the alien with a shotgun wound turns up and telekinetically forces the skeptic partner and Goodguy to do the unthinkable.

The Bye-bye Beam claims more victims! And soon even the last of the survivors is lost to that fateful blue light. Now. Here’s where the usual movie would call it quits, leaving the audience with the smoldering hole in the ground that was our female lead just a few minutes ago. But it doesn’t. It keeps going, making this movie even longer. Usually I’d say this is a detriment, but the final scenes of this movie kind of answer a few questions that we’ve had for a long time.

No spoilers here, folks! This is a good movie in the fact that it does, in most of it, fuse themes taken from so many genres. The actors do their parts, some sold it well, others not so much. The effects and some of the practical effects are worth praise. It has it’s flaws, like serious plot holes, and characters that make really bad decisions, but it’s worth the pay off. Check this one out, folks. As always, thanks for reading, and stay out of the woods.

roadside attractions

  • There’s no reason for that shot.
  • That wasn’t there before.
  • Boarding up the windows with Ikea.
  • Why did you get out of the car?
  • That was a cool rain effect.
  • Seriously. Why did you get out of the car?
  • 90’s cliche camerawork.
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Not much. Butt there is that one scene.

1

blood

BREASTS

I think I saw a nip slip. Maybe not.

6

beast

BEASTS

Old design, new things done.

7.5 OVERALL
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May

posted by sikkdays | May 4, 2015 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Bad movie, Review by Sikkdays, Sci-Fi

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Most cars destroy your wallet. This one puts you out of your misery and eats you. If you loved Christine you are going to somewhat enjoy Super Hybrid. That was my thinking as I went into it. Sure, this film is not going to compete with my memory of how much I enjoyed Christine. Yet, it featured some cool cars, had some ambitious special effects and modern pacing to entertain me. Also, shapeshifting cars that run on blood are better for the environment.

One night, stereotypical dudes are walking down the alley after a way cool night of Bud Lights at the sport’s bar where they watched sports because stereotype. They walk by a black Chevy Nova disinterested because bro-versation is needed to build this one-dimensional character stereotype, dude. One turns around and the car is replaced with a red Corvette, unlocked with the keys in it. Surely an insurance scam, “the owner wants us to take it.” They get in, the doors shut and the windows tint but not before we see a bloody hand and face.

Tentacle porn?Other dimensional, alien cars know enough to manipulate people to get inside, but can’t read traffic signs. Thus, it runs through an intersection and gets t-boned in a terrible accident. This sets us up for the rest of the film as the car is impounded in an inner city police garage where a bunch a bunch of people that don’t like each other work third shift. That’s right, third shift because scary things don’t happen when the sun is out.

Our unhappy cast consists of three grease monkeys, a college student, jerk boss, jersey girl, and Tilda the lead. Unfortunately, the writer seems influenced by the outcry that there are not enough strong, female characters. He made the mistake of many Hollywood productions by simply changing the gender of the lead. She is an action hero in the film. Male or female, the Tilda character is not a strong character beyond the will to survive a demon turtle squid from Neptune’s moon Thalassa. I’ll steer clear of getting lost in debate, but actresses and audiences alike want strong characters who are female, not Dr. Steel from R.O.T.O.R. No offense to buff ladies, I’m just saying the lead role in Air Bud is played by a dog, but it’s not a complex, multi-dimensionsional character with flaws. The ShamWow guy could easily play his Air-ness.

Squidmobile takes out one grease monkey who finds the door open and gets too close. I suppose I should mention that once victims are inside, before the windows tint to hide the gore we see some easily rendered tentacles attack folks. After the grease monkey goes missing the others find the car which is not where it is supposed to be. The hood won’t pop and they need to go get a rig to move it. Meanwhile as they look for the missing grease monkey, victim two stumbles onto an attractive car that simply opens its door. This time Tilda has witnessed the act and rolls across the top of the vehicle when it tries to mow her down.

People devouring monster car is a hard sell to her jerk boss and the others. The jerk boss, played by Oded Fehr was the worst. How hard is it to be a curmudgeon? His character is not a nice guy. Yet, he’s just not believable as a jerk boss. If he was trying to be the rough exterior with a soft interior, it didn’t work. Perhaps it was the script, but he took me out of the movie almost every time he spoke.

rules of the roadThe not-so jerk boss & the others go looking for the dead greasers or the supposed car of doom. Instead, they find a seventies wood panel station wagon. Tilda and her nephew college student say the car’s surface feels like the other one! Yet, the last grease monkey and the boss think their crazy. Let’s just pry the hood open with a crowbar and…those aren’t horses! Apparently on Neptune horsepower is measured in slimy tentacle maws. This grocery getter has 405 STM (Slimy tentacle maws) under its hood and it is angry. At this point, I was confused how the alien could perfectly imitate the exterior and interior of a car but not the engine compartment.

After running for their lives and hiding behind a few cars College, the Canadian version of Jeremy & Jason London, tells us that this angry bag of alien meat must be like a squid he read about in school. We learn that the made up latin named squid Parateuthis Inoculatus, can mimic other animals, plants and things to snare prey. Obviously this alien must do the same, but it imitates cars because America? I mean I like cars as much as the next guy but if you’re looking to start a body count maybe disguise yourself as a porn star. Species probably wouldn’t have spawned so many sequels if Natasha Henstridge’s part was played by a Mustang.

Nonetheless, the car continues to prey on them and jerk boss won’t let anyone out of the building because he wants to kill it for a big reward. I thought Space X was about getting a vehicle into outer space not finding one from outer space, but what do I know?

I won’t bore you with all the less than gory details. Car changes appearance, kills someone, they fight back and car changes appearance again. Squidmobile can transform into other cars but we don’t ever see it happen. Is it a Christine movie without the special effects because they can’t afford them? Well, it transforms into many cars which smash into other vehicles. So, they spent the budget on automobiles, I guess.

There’s plenty of killer car films out there and I would recommend you find them because even though it is a hybrid, this film didn’t go the distance. Try one of Barry Goodall’s suggestions like The Car or The Wraith. There’s not many killer car movies that have been remake. In fact the odds aren’t that good.

roadside attractions

  • murdered out Nova
  • sinister station wagon
  • purple people-eater pick up
  • zero car insurance commercials
  • heat vision minus jack
  • shape shifting
  • New Turtle Wax spokesalien
  • tentacle porn
  • Jersey girl
totals

1

blood

BLOOD

Lots of metallic, alien blue blood that every character can touch without consequence. Otherwise, we’re on empty.

2

blood

BREASTS

We are not over sexualizing the main character aside from a wet tank top because strong female character.

4

beast

BEASTS

Sound design and the cars bring our squidy turtle alive.

3 OVERALL
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