Archive for the 'Sci-Fi' Category

Nov

posted by Doktor | November 23, 2013 | 90's movies, Action, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

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Tagline: In deep space, the deadliest animal is still woman.

Year: 1990 Runtime: 93 min

Director: Fred Olen Ray

Writer: Paul Garson

Starring: Jan-Michael Vincent, John Phillip Law, Ross Hagen

With an opening title of “Amazing Movies Presents” Alienator flaunts it’s quality like sharting your pantaloons while spreading Grey Poupon with pinkies out. And before I go any farther into the movie I need to dissect the tagline, “In deep space, the deadliest animal is still woman.” First, 90% of the movie takes place on Earth. Second, Alienator is a cyborg who only vaguely resembles a woman. In fact, all the ‘roids have made its jaw so hard and square I’m still not sure if it’s a female. Third, and most importantly, since when have women been considered the most deadly animal? Even if I was willing to give the movie some wiggle room here, assuming the maxim “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” that might mean women are the deadliest of the sexes. The deadliest animal? In all the worlds of deep space? I think somebody was having problems with his wife, girlfriend, lover (or all three) and didn’t have a dog to kick to blow off steam.

Enough with the Persnickety Priss, on to Alienator proper.

Alienator is a story about a bunch of detestable people who all deserve to die. The inhabitants of this “far-off corner of the galaxy” are unsympathetic arses. The ruler, Baal, is a tyrant. The leader of the rebels, Kol, is a sociopath who kills thousands of innocent people. And then there’s Jan-Michael “Airwolf” Vincent, i.e. Commander of Space Prison. I think Commander—that’s his name, or at least the only thing he’s called—is supposed to be a tough cookie who’s just doing his job, but Vincent plays him like a drunk foster parent with a house full of gingers.

Now I might be confused, and this movie sure doesn’t help clear things up, but aren’t we as viewers supposed to care for someone?

When the universe is full of worthless cretins guess what that means for the efficacy of the corrections system? It’s explosive intestinal rot on a 12+ hour flight nightmare. To put it another way, for a maximum security prison PLANET, this facility sure is easy to escape.

The blame lies squarely on the guards’ shoulders. Why? Because all the prison guards stand on the outside of the guard rails during a prison break/shoot out. The guard rails are there because this is a multi-level structure. I’m not sure how being in the danger zone is advantageous, but I have a theory. It makes for a dramatic death when they fall off. One would assume that not falling to their deaths be preferable, but what do I know.

At least the characters in Alienator are consistent with Sci Fi conventions. Namely, no one can shoot straight, much less hit their target. These idiots couldn’t even shoot themselves. Even the Alienator, a hunter with specialized robotic enhancements, can’t hit a target tied down and at point blank range.

So Kol, the rebel leader, escapes from Space Prison and ends up crashing on Earth. When he sees the Earth on his view screen he recognizes it, though how is never explained. Which is a good thing, because when the movie tries to explain itself things go horribly wrong (see first roadside attraction).

For most of the movie Kol is acting like he can’t breathe. He grabs at a collar on his neck, which suggests it has something to do with his distress. Yet, when he puts his fingers in between the collar and his neck there’s plenty of room. Was it randomly squeezing? Was it injecting him with something? Shocking him? Was it really hurting him? I just dunno. I don’t think the filmmakers did either.

Oh, another neat feature of the collar is that it’s a tracking device. Naturally this is a boon for the Alienator. Unfortunately, it’s a two-way device. For some reason it alerts the wearer that the hunter is close by. Is this a psychological feature meant to scare the bejesus out of the person? Why not make the collar do something cool like, uhm, I don’t know, stun the prisoner? Or, better still, have it blow off their head. Problem solved.

Wait… right. Sorry. It wasn’t in the script. Nevermind.

Kol wanders out of his ship and gets hit by the requisite group of college kids on vacation in their RV. Rick is the overbearing, self-serving jerk. Bennie is the smart one with glasses. Caroline is the blonde bimbo. And rounding out the group is Tara, the brunette. They scoop up Kol and take him to the ranger station.

At the ranger station, Ward Armstrong, the ranger, gets the story. Of course the kids don’t know much, only that they want to get out before they’re caught up in legal hassles. Kol violently comes to. He tells them he’s from another planet and on the run for his life. Both Ranger Ward and the Scooby-Doo crew believe it. Why not? Nothing strange about a space foreigner on the run from the space law. When Rick doubts the validity of the story he’s the “crazy” one.

Another reason why some people deserve to die. And right on cue here comes Alienator.

She indiscriminately kills people and destroys things, even when they are NOT interfering with her objective. The poor doctor who was summoned to help Kol is toasted for his troubles. Cars are vaporized. Ranger Ward’s cabin is shot up, and the sad part is, no one was in the cabin. She was just shooting the place up. She even kills the comic relief hillbillies. Though, in her defense, they were shooting at her.

Luckily for our heroes(?) when a ‘Roid Ragin’ Space Terminator™ comes to camp there’s a gun-crazy Colonel, with all kinds of illegal weapons, living within walking distance. While he doesn’t put much stock in the spaceman story, he is ready for a fight. Especially when it means he can use his anti-personnel mine.

While they are fortifying the Colonel’s hut, Alienator has a touching moment with a doe. Aw.

Then the final boss battle. Guns, crossbow bolts, and the anti-personnel mine don’t even scratch her tin can brassiere. What does bring her down is a net made of chicken wire. It short circuits her circuits which drains her power. How? See the first roadside attraction for the movie’s explanation.

At this point the movie knows it’s got nothing to loose, ‘cos it had nothing to begin with, so it pulls a M. Night Salamidingdong twist. Kol’s never made himself worthy of all of the trouble Ranger Ward and the Scooby-Doo crew are going through for him. Now that the Alienator’s dead, he uses is heretofore secret psi powers. He heals Rick who was almost choked to death. He then Force chokes Rick into submission. He Jedi Mind Tricks Rick into following him into the woods where finally he takes over Rick’s form.

HUH?

You mean all this time Kol had these powers and only now he’s using them. AFTER he’s been saved. And this is the “good guy” who’s leading the rebellion against the Great Tyrant Baal? But like all those purple nurples  you received by bullies in high school gym, the twisting isn’t over.

Alienator isn’t dead, but you knew that was coming. Rick (i.e. Kol) starts acting like a bigger jerk than usual, almost raping Tara in front of everyone. Another fight ensues, but it’s nerd boy Bennie who steps up. Ranger Ward initially stopped the assault but got shot for his trouble. While everyone, Colonel included, looks on at the one-sided fight between Rick (i.e. Kol) and Bennie, Alienator comes in from behind and cuts off Rick (i.e. Kol’s) head. The head turns back into Kol’s and he promptly vomits out Space Milk Blood™.

Alienator checks to make sure he was her target, the ONLY time she checks, and when satisfied calls in that the job’s done. Then, after almost being killed by these people, she tosses Ranger Ward a bag of loose gems (which she was hiding where exactly?) and bugs off like nothing happened. Oh, and she left her gun, too. Was that ‘Roid Ragin’ Space Terminator™ gratitude, or was her encounter with Bambi, while digging a punji stick out of her foot, the tender moment which warmed her icy, mechanical heart?

Does it matter?

No, it doesn’t matter because the movie still isn’t over. Back on Space Prison Planet there’s a final twist. It turns out that the Delegate General, who was at Space Prison Planet only as an observer to the execution, wasn’t who he said he was. He was, in fact—Kol’s father.

OH LORDY!

A light sword through the gut care of Commander Airwolf and all is wrapped up in a tangled mess.

roadside attractions

  • Be Amazed by gibberish explanations like, “The net’s created a perpendicular magnetic pole. It’s syphoning off her electrons in alignment with the Earth’s axis.”
  • Hear Alienator’s gun make light saber sounds & the light saber make laser blast noises.
  • Wonder how the light saber and sound effects got past Lucas.
  • Marvel at how 17 minutes into the movie they ran out of money for space special effects, causing the remainder of the film to be shot in some state camp ground.
  • Read all the credits for all the three named actors who took up the extra letters which left Teagan Clive to be billed only as Teagan.
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

There’s not a lot of blood, but there is yellow goo and Space Milk™.

0

blood

BREASTS

It tries to give us a little something, something in the Commander’s assistant’s top, but a cut out showing her bra is weak. Fail.

10

beast

BEASTS

I’m not quite sure who the bad guy was in the movie, so I’m giving the movie a ten because it had so MANY possibilities.

5 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for “Alienator”

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Nov

posted by Doktor | November 3, 2013 | 80's b-movies, B-movies, Horror movies, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Alien 2: On Earth

Tagline: …ora può colpire anche te (Now It Can Also Affect You)

Year: 1980 Runtime: 92 min

Director: Ciro Ippolito & Biagio Proietti

Writer: Ciro Ippolito

Starring: Belinda Mayne, Mark Bodin, Roberto Barrese

As the name would suggest, Alien 2 is a mockbuster hoping to cash in on the fortunes of Ridley Scott’s Alien. This is a Rent-a-Center version as only an Italian could do. What that means is two-fold. First, Ciro Ippolito saw Alien and thought, “That’s awesome. I can do that.” This, of course is a terrible lie, but he thought it nonetheless. Second, the movie has lots of walking, driving, standing around, and long (several minutes) panning shots. I believe Ippolito was trying to build suspense and tension, but what he ended up with was filler. If this movie were food it would be a MSG laden order of #13 Kung Pao Meow Mix.

Alien 2 shares two things with Alien. First, the title. For those not paying attention it would appear to be the next film following Scott’s Alien. Second, there’s an alien which first incubates and then bursts from a person’s body. Chest bursting is pretty hard-core, but Ippolito wanted to go full METAL \m/, so his alien is a face burster. This might have been pretty sweet if he had money to light the shots with the alien. It’s so dark you can’t make out much. The few times an alien is in the light it’s jumping from person to person with screen time somewhere in the fraction of a second duration.

There’s not really a story, so much as there is an idea for a story. Some aliens get into a returning space capsule. How? Dunno. Before the capsule is opened they get out and spread all over the world. How? Dunno. The aliens are blue rocks, perhaps eggs, I dunno for sure, that’s just what we get.

There’s a group of speleologists who find one of the rock eggs and take it with them on their trip into a local cavern. In the cave the rock egg hatches and starts killing the members of the group one by one. When they discover what’s going on the group makes a frantic run for it, resulting in them getting hopelessly lost.

When everyone else in the group dies the Final Couple, Roy and Thelma, instantly find their way out. The technical term for this is Convenience ex Machina. While that was contrived, at least the Final Couple didn’t try to pass off the pretense of not leaving and/or saving their friends before they left. They were like, “See ya!”

Making it out of the cavern wasn’t all it was cracked up to be though. Back in the real world everyone is gone. EVEN at the local bowling alley, which is crazy because that place always has tens of people in it. Roy goes to investigate and…

Then there was one.

Oh! The horror of the abandoned automated bowling alley! Well, not quite abandoned. There’s still Thelma and the Aliens. Thelma escapes to find that the world is now cast in a shade of red. She’s all alone. Her cries for help echo in the empty streets.

Cut to black title card: “…You May Be Next!”

While overall the movie was lacking in substance, I did learn a few interesting things.

First, cave rats are sensitive to sonar equipment. This is important to know because if you should find yourself lost in a cave/cavern and you use your portable sonar device to find your way out, you might get attacked by a cave rat. Well, not you personally, but the sonar equipment. They go straight for the antennae, which not only renders the device inert, but voices your warranty.

Non-functioning sonar equipment can be used as a walkie-talkie. Not in real life, but in cheap movies where you need filler and don’t have the props.

B-Movie Survival Tip: if you’re walkie-talkie doesn’t instantly work, don’t immediately toss it away like grandma when she becomes a burden to the family. It might still be functioning. Take out the batteries and blow on them. It works 99.9% of the time.

You can watch the full movie here.

roadside attractions

  • Listen to the confused early industrial synth/spaghetti western sound track!
  • Marvel at the shameless use of NASA stock footage for the “space” scenes! And the movie even admits it!
  • Ponder Thelma’s mysterious powers of telepathy, or insanity—whatever, same difference!
  • Watch the most eager-to-separate group in all of horror filmdom get exactly what’s coming to them!
  • Experience the terror of an abandoned automated bowling alley!
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

It’s an ITALIAN Rent-a-Center Alien. Half the budget was for blood.

2

blood

BREASTS

I’m going with the Rick James vote: “I wish I had more hands so I could give this film’s lack of gazongas four thumbs down!”

5

beast

BEASTS

Face bursting aliens sounds cool, but they didn’t execute the visuals very well. Mostly it’s just them as blue rocks. Mostly.

5.666 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for “Alien 2: On Earth”

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Oct

posted by Doktor | October 11, 2013 | 60's b-movies, 60's movies, B-movie Reviews, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Journey to the Seventh Planet

Tagline: You’re in Space beyond Space.

Year: 1962 Runtime: 77 min

Director: Sidney W. Pink

Writer: Sidney W. Pink (story), Ib Melchior (script)

Starring: John Agar, Greta Thyssen, Carl Ottosen

Journey to the Seventh Planet starts with a voiceover: “There are no limits to imagination.” That may be true, but there are limits on talent. Journey to the Seventh Planet is less a movie and more one giant plot hole.

Year is 2001. The U.N. is the sole government of the world. Humanity has advanced to a point where “man has learned to live with himself.” Unfortunately this means mingling with the Irish. Without war or famine or anyone of color (smooth move there, Adolf!), man’s only concern is space travel. Specifically making a trip to Uranus.

Note: Uranus is pronounced your-AHN-us. No poo-poo jokes here, kids. This is serious business.

Just as it is in the real world, scientists are the übermensch of this brave new world, none more than the astronaut, or Spacetronaut in the parlance of the kool kids. Five of the top Spacetronauts are sent on this mission: Commander Eric, Captain Don Graham, Karl, Svend and Barry O’Sullivan (ugh!). Science is especially strong in these men. Where a normal person would be nonplussed by the bizarre things they are exposed to, these guys are barely apathetic. That is, until it comes to women. Basically this is a bunch of drunk frat boys on Saturday night.

Of the five, Captain Don, or Happy Harry Hard-on, is the biggest pervert. Not five minutes into the trip he’s spouting, “Boy was she biological. I wish I could have taught her my kind of biology.”  In fact, when they finally make it to Uranus and they find women (FROM EARTH) who couldn’t possibly be there—Space Hallucinations™—, his first thought is to hit on them. In Happy Harry’s defense, when he meets a girl he’s being trying to date (ON EARTH) he asks if she’s real. I mean, Space Hallucinations™ wouldn’t lie about that kind of stuff, would they?

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself, much like the movie.

Here’s the thing, Uranus is inhabited by a Space & Time Brain Creature™. I understand what a Space Brain Creature is, but this one is also described as being from Time. That is… I have no explanation, nor does the movie. So, suffice it to say it’s a Space & Time Brain Creature™ and leave it at that.

A similarly inexplicable plot point is the weightlessness the Spacetronauts experience—ONLY—when they establish orbit around Uranus.  While weightless they are more susceptible to the Space & Time Brain Creature’s™ mental powers. Not that it matters, all it does is hypnotize the Spacetronauts for a couple minutes. During this timeout it admonishes them for their folly and lays out his evil plans to destroy them. Or not.

Thing is, the Space & Time Brain Creature™ can’t make up it’s mind about the humans. One minute it’s going to destroy them, the next minute it needs them. What could it possibly need the humans for? To escape Uranus. Why? It needs to take over one of their bodies. At which point it can escape in their ship.

Something else I failed to mention in my haste, it can create matter. Anything. Case in point, when the ship lands, the Spacetronauts see a lush, verdant forest outside their ship. When they investigate, they find that there is a breathable atmosphere. As Commander Eric reminisces about home, the village he grew up in magically appears in the distance. There they find the first of the Space Hallucinations™ that gets Capt. Happy Harry all tumescent.

Assuming you’re not a wet rutabaga, you’re probably asking yourself, “Uhm, why does the Space & Time Brain Creature™ need the humans again? Can’t he just make a spaceship? And a body to possess?” To which I would answer, I dunno.

Putting that aside, as the Spacetronauts are exploring they find the edge of the force-field bubble the Space and Time Brain Creature™ has made for them. Commander Eric knows that the answers lie on the other side, so high-ho it’s off they go. The Space & Time Brain Creature™ starts blubbering on about how it knows the humans are coming through to kill it. It loves it some exposition.

“But wait,” you might be thinking, “aren’t they just going through to get some answers? Isn’t it their mission to explore Uranus?” And you’d be right in wondering about that. I would even go further to remind that the Space & Time Brain Creature™ telepathy. Moreover, it’s been using it’s telepathy to search the Spacetronauts minds. That is how it’s been creating the forest, the village, and the people. Sufficiently confused?

I can only raise my shoulders, dumbfounded, and smile in answer.

Let’s move past that bit. Get to the good stuff. When the Spacetronauts finally see the Space & Time Brain Creature™, and it’s wavy-blue mental-radiation-hypnosis-thing, Commander Eric, the heretofore level-headed leader, decides they have to kill the Space & Time Brain Creature™. If they don’t they won’t be able take off.

Sigh…

I know. I said move on to the good stuff and all I’ve done is present more greasy whale vomit. This time you’re asking yourself, what the hell does a wavy-blue mental-radiation-hypnosis-thing have to do with taking off? Also, is another of the Space & Time Brain Creature’s™ powers clairvoyancy?  I throw up my hands in frustration and answer, “Everything?” and “Yes?”

Like I wrote earlier, this isn’t a movie, it’s a plot hole.

Now that the Space & Time Brain Creature™  knows they Spacetronauts are out to kill it, it has to protect itself. Given all it’s powers why is it a problem to destroy the humans? It can make monsters, women, a town, forests, whatever. It doesn’t even have to do that. It could simply wait until the Spacetronauts are walking around in the forest or town, which they do without space suits, and make the atmosphere disappear. Problem solved. But it doesn’t. I can only assume the filmmakers were under the impression that by this point in the film you would either be knuckle deep into seventh base or passed out in a puddle of your own brain sauce. Either way you wouldn’t be paying attention to what’s going on.

I guess I’ll just power on blindly, too.

Laser burlets won’t kill the Space & Time Brain Creature™. I don’t know how they know this, they never really tried, but moving hastily along— The only way to destroy Space & Time Brain Creature™ is with a special acetylene torch gun. That they have to make. From scratch. Luckily there’s a blacksmith’s shop in town with all the necessary tools and materials. Zip, boom, bah, they build it. Tuckered from all the work, they decide to call it a night and leave the ONLY MEANS TO KILL the Space & Time Brain Creature™ in the blacksmith’s shop. Of course, the Space & Time Brain Creature™ uses the Space Hallucinations™ to sucker young Karl in order to steal the gun and replace it with a fake. This further begs logic in that, why does the Space & Time Brain Creature™ need to steal the gun? Because the fake won’t work? Because the Space & Time Brain Creature™ can make the gun disappear? Come on, Pink and Melchior. You’re killing me here. Did you sneeze out mouthfuls of Alpha-Bits on a page and call the mess a script?

Before I stroke out let me finish this. Despite stealing their special gun, the Spacetronauts manage to kill the Space & Time Brain Creature™. They freeze it with liquid oxygen. Frozen, their laser burlets work. Phew. Done. Thank Christ!

Or am I?

Sadly, I’m not. Nor were Pink and Melchior. Once the Spacetronauts finally kill the Space & Time Brain Creature™ the world around them starts falling apart, cracking and erupting like an uranusquake-volcano. At the ship they come across Gretta, Commander Eric’s girl—whom he’s been eschewing the whole film. Suddenly Commander Eric changes his mind, decides she’s real, and brings her with them. WHAT? Seriously? Before they break out of the atmosphere, she disappears.

I can’t take it anymore. I give up.

roadside attractions

  • Marvel at the life-like matte paintings and 1/10 scale rocket ship!
  • Feel the deep camaraderie bordering on bromance between the five courageous Spacetronauts!
  • Learn what it means to serve, to love, and what chronometer means through dialogue and context!
  • Fight to maintain your sanity while being hypnotized by the telepathic Space & Time Brain Creature™!
  • Listen as the Space & Time Brain Creature™ pontificates like a proper arse!
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

There’s not much, but when Giant Space Spider gets squished, it’s like the condiments at a NYC hotdog cart are all squeezed out simultaneously.

3

blood

BREASTS

There were some scantily clad Space Hallucinations, which is as close as you get in 1962.

9

beast

BEASTS

Cyclopean Rat Monster, Giant Space Spider, and Space & Time Brain Creature™.

5.666 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for “Journey to the Seventh Planet”

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Oct

posted by Doktor | October 3, 2013 | 70's b-movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Message From Space

Tagline: Where Fantasies are Real & Reality is Fantastic.

Year: 1978           Runtime: 105 min

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Writer: Kinji Fukasaku (story), Shôtarô Ishinomori (story), Masahiro Noda (story), Hirô Matsuda (writer)

Starring: Shin’ichi Chiba, Vic Morrow, Philip Casnoff

I swear I intended to steer clear of sci fi for a few reviews, but this is Japanese Star Warsploitation. I couldn’t help myself. The movie is 90% Rent-a-Center versions of Star Wars characters, vehicles and music, but that’s what makes it so ALMOST actionable on copyright infringement grounds. And totally AWE-some!

The movie opens on Jillucia (pronounced Jill-OO-see-ah), a once beautiful and verdant planet. It’s peaceful inhabitants, the Jillucians (pronounced Jill-OO-see-ahns) were slaughtered by the evil Gavanas. The battle is described by a narrator, “The Jillucians were no match for the steel-skinned Gavanas.” Which is mostly misleading. Actually, the Jillucians were no match for the Gavanas’s laser burlets. Jillucians are pretty much the Tiananmen Square tank guys of space. Except the Jillucians are Tree Huggin’ Space Hippies™. And the tanks stopped for the Unknown Protester. And we still remember and care about the Unknown Protester.

With the Jillucians almost extinct, Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green lets loose eight Magic Space Walnuts™. They have a special tracking power which homes in on the Eight Heroes who will save Jillucia from the evil Gavanas. Once loosed, he realizes that it would behoove them to have someone go along to explain what in the hell the Magic Space Walnuts™ mean. Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green chooses his granddaughter for the job. She and one brave volunteer jump in the Space Schooner and leisurely float off whichever way. They’re nowhere near fast enough to follow the Magic Space Walnuts™, so why strain, right?

Then there are some lovely scenes of the Gavanas, a race of war hungry Rent-a-Center Power Ranger Villains, being menacing. Glower. Ominous. Black. Oooooo. They’re angry because of their Emperor, Rockseia XLL (pronounced Rock-SAY-ah-X-L-L). Rockseia XLL is angry because of his confusing biology—his mom is a dude. Kind of like Eric Cartmen. Except Emperor Rockseia’s mom is a Native American Power Ranger Villain. And Liane Cartman is a crack whore. And, most importantly, we still watch and like Eric Cartmen.

Then some smashing scenes establishing the characters of the Eight Heroes. Rent-a-Center Princess Leia tapping on the window of her space ship to get the attention of passing Space Hot Shots. Space Hot Shots buzzing through an asteroid field running from the Space Police. A Space Vegas Show. Space General Garuda’s touching funeral for his personal robot, i.e. sending a junked robot into space in a Vikingesque funeral aboard an expensive rocket. Swimming through asteroid fields to catch Space Fire Flies. Et cetera.

Then there’s a bunch of moaning and groaning. The Eight Heroes don’t want to be the chosen ones. They throw/give away their Magic Space Walnuts™. Boo-hoo. Then they do want to be the chosen ones. Then some get their Magic Space Walnuts™ back. The one who doesn’t throws the Emo Pity Party™.  Then a couple of them get kidnapped. It’s a hot mess. Et cetera.

Eventually Emperor Rockseia XLL decides to go on a Space Road Trip™. They fire up the engines on Jillucia and head to Earth. At this point Jillucia becomes a Rent-a-Center Death Star.

At Earth Rockseia XLL destroys the moon as a warning to humanity that he means business. Wilzyx and millions of frolicking Orcas suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Powerful. Heart breaking. An inspiring scene to end all inspiring scenes.

If there’s a Rent-a-Center Death Star there has to be a Rent-a-Center trench run. Kinji Fukasaku ups the ante. Message From Space has two trench runs! The first comes when the Space Hot Shots go to Jillucia to team up with the Jillucians. The Space Hot Shots rig their ships to join, ala the God Pheonix of Battle of the Planets/G Force/Gatchaman, but much less cool. The main ship in this junkyard Voltron is a Rent-a-Center Ebon Hawk from KOTOR. When they approach Jillucia they split up, fly through a bit of the trench, then join back together before landing. What does this accomplish? Nothing. It’s not even particularly cool. So, yeah, why not?

The second Rent-a-Center trench run is the Final Boss Battle. It’s a mix of the rebel attack on the Death Star and Tron vs MCP. The Space Hot Shots fly through the exhaust port tunnel thing down to the reactor. There, they shoot the spinning thingie, stopping it, which uncovers the opening they have to target. Pew… Pew… Pew… Boom… Exploision.

Meanwhile, as the space battle is raging (i.e. before the pew… pew… pew…  boom… explosion), there’s the Rent-a-Center Vader vs Obi Wan fight. But this time Vader gets a mud hole stomped in him. It’s because Vader is played by a milksop and Obi Wan is played by Sonny Chiba. The problem is, because Chiba wrecks shop, there’s no touching moment where the old guy sacrifices his life empowering the next generation to seek their glory.

Oh, wait. There is that moment. Wise Grandmaster Grandfather the Green deliberately misses the Space Schooner to Valinor. The Jillucians have one more Space Schooner in dry dock collecting Space Spider Webs. It’s so old that they have to literally crank start the reactors. While the suspense completely ruined my pedicure (I chew my nails when I’m nervous, a’ight), I’ll let you in on a little secret… They make it. Yay! You’re mani/pedi can thank me later.

Message From Space ends with is shot of the Jillucian Space Schooner flying past Earth propelled courageously by cheesy Spaghetti Western music. Toei Company, LTD really knows how to go out with a bang.

You can watch Message From Space in it’s entirety for free, here.

roadside attractions

  • Delight in the continual consumption of Space Tomatoes™!
  • Hearken to the music which sounds suspiciously similar to Leia’s Theme!
  • Marvel at the final 50 Jillucians! (Kinda shallow for a gene pool, innit?)
  • Witness Aaron the Space Hot Shot’s contribution to Haute Couture: Rainbow Suspenders!
  • Revel in the courageously “out” robosexual couple General Garuda and Beba Two (pronounced babe-AH 2)!
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

There’s a couple fist fights and a couple busted lips. Most of the killing is by laser burlets, but the effects are futurific.

0

blood

BREASTS

I don’t know if I should penalize the movie for this though. The movie came out in 1978, and breasts wouldn’t have been invented in Japan for another couple decades.

10

beast

BEASTS

Lots of groovy Power Ranger style villains.

6 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for “Message From Space”

trailers

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Oct

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In post-apocalyyptic America international border disputes aren’t settled with trade embargoes, they’re solved with giant robots and laser beams while guitars blasts “They’re coming to America” over the loud speakers. Yes, It’s Robot Jox the biggest game of rock em’ sock em’ robots ever made. This time it’s the Russians turn as the evil super power trying to steal our land and likely pipe vodka through Alaska, but not if team USA can stop em first. Gary Graham stars as Achilles, the cocky and illiterate champion robot jox who leads a team of trainee that like to yell out “Crash and Burn” whenever someone needs a high five. His killbot career is going well until a match against a Russian named “alexander” makes it the biggest U.S. Russian brawl since Rocky 4. Unfortunately there’s no training montage and Achilles accidentally crushes a crowd of fans while diving in front of a wayward missile.  Have we learned nothing from Nascaar accidents? Achilles retires in shame taking on a full time bar stool warming job at the local cantina drinking away his shame. Meanwhile a genetically engineered and uncomfortably manly looking pilot trainee named Athena is climbing jungle gyms while her classmates fall to their death . She and Achilles have some awkward romantic moments in the hallway so when he learns that Athena was selected to battle Alexander, he decides to come out of retirement to protect her.

RobotJoxAthena  is furious with Achilles for taking her spot so she kick punches his face and drugs him at his apartment and disguises herself in his space suit instead. He awakens later not very upset since that’s usually how his first dates go anyways. Meanwhile, his managing cowboy “Tex Conway”  is discovered by their team engineer rigging the fights for the U.S. to lose. Tex shoots him in the head but forgets he was being recorded so tosses himself off a balcony to his death, cowboy hat and all. Back in the battle arena, Athena is getting pummeled by the Russian robot and Achilles has to jump in and try to save her. After battling the chainsaw crotched mech, Achilles crashes to the ground and the two pilots have battle man to man in a Star Trek staff fight with some robot shrapnel. Achilles gives a speech about world peace and good sportsmanship which leads to an awkward fist pump as the two become best buds, I kid you not.

Obviously not a lot of plot to get in the way of the action. Basically it’s just 2 robots tossing rockets and lasers at each other while at some  point one of them gets dry humped with a crotch chainsaw. Definitely check this one out, I give it 4 out of 5 Pacific Rims.

roadside attractions

  • Referee smashing
  • Crotch chainsaw
  • Crowd smashing
  • Jungle gym of death
  • Flying fist of robot fury
  • Gratuitous use of the term “Crash and Burn”
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

Not much gore in this one but plenty of heavy metal damage.

5

blood

BREASTS

No breasts shots, but we get some hinder shots in this one.

9

beast

BEASTS

Giant robots and a burly russian.

8.5 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for “Robot Jox”

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Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>