Alien: Still Terrifying after 40 years – HBO Max Review (Day 8)

I take a look at a film that, surprisingly, passes the Bechdel Test.

SUMMARY

There’s an alien. Or maybe the humans are the aliens, since they’re on another planet. But there’s more than one human, so the alien is probably the alien.

ACTUAL SUMMARY

In the future, the spaceship Nostromo is on a return trip to Earth when the ship’s AI, Mother (Helen Horton), detects a distress signal on the moon LV-426. The computer awakens the seven crew members: Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Executive Officer Kane (John Hurt), Warrant Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Science Officer Ash (Ian Holm), Navigator Lambert (Veronica Cartwright), and Engineers Parker and Brett (Yaphet Kotto and Harry Dean Stanton). Weyland-Yutani (here Weylan-Yutani), the company that owns the Nostromo, has a policy to investigate any distress signal. They land on the moon and discover that the signal comes from a broken-down alien ship. Dallas, Kane, and Lambert head to investigate. Ripley deciphers the message enough to determine it’s a warning, but can’t tell any of the three due to interference. 

You can tell they’re astronauts because they have space-undies.

Kane discovers a chamber filled with hundreds of eggs and is attacked by a creature which hugs his face. They probably call it a visage-grabber. Dallas and Lambert take Kane back to the Nostromo, but Ripley refuses to let them back inside. Ash overrides her and tries to remove the creature from Kane’s face, discovering its blood is a powerful acid. The creature later detaches from Kane on its own and dies, leaving Kane seemingly unharmed… until a separate monster bursts out of his chest. The small monster escapes into the ship. The crew try to find it but fail, until the now human-sized creature attacks Brett and kills him. They realize that the creature must be living in the air ducts. Dallas goes in to try and drive the alien to the airlock, but is ambushed by the monster. Lambert wants to abandon ship but Ripley says that the escape shuttle can’t support all of the remaining crew members. She takes charge and sets about trying to flush the alien out of the ship.

Kane is not feeling great at this point.

While dealing with Mother, Ripley finds out that there’s a secret order for Ash to bring the alien back alive and that the crew is now expendable. Ash attempts to kill her and is revealed to be an android when Parker attacks him. Ash’s head is reactivated and he acknowledges that he had been assigned to protect the creature. Now that there are only three people, the remaining crew can survive on the shuttle, so they decide to self-destruct the Nostromo. As Parker and Lambert try to gather supplies, they’re both killed by the alien. Ripley tries to get to the shuttle with her cat Jones, but the alien blocks her path. She tries to abort the self-destruct, but fails, and she barely makes it onto the shuttle. As Ripley tries to go into stasis, she sees the alien is on the shuttle. She puts on a space suit and manipulates it with gas sprays until she blows it out of an airlock. The alien holds onto the engine and Ripley activates the burners to destroy it. She and Jones go into stasis while she enters her final log. 

END SUMMARY

The prompt for this was suggested as “A movie that passes the Bechdel Test.” For those who haven’t heard of that before, the test was created by Alison Bechdel in her comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For.” It was a rule proposed by a woman in the strip that the only movies that she sees must satisfy three requirements: 

  1. The film must have two women in it.
  2. The women must talk to each other.
  3. They have to talk about something that isn’t a man.

Despite how low this bar is, studies show that fewer than one in three Hollywood films can meet it. I decided to pick a movie that people probably wouldn’t think of as passing the Bechdel Test… only for me to realize when writing this that Alien was, in fact, the example Alison Bechdel used in the comic strip. Oh, well, any excuse to rewatch this movie is a good one.

Lambert and Ridley talk about more than that.

While I don’t usually do content warnings, because if you saw the movie you clearly know what kind of stuff will be discussed, I should warn you that a bit of this review will address sexual assault. You’ve been warned.

Part of what makes this film great is how it subverts the sci-fi and horror tropes of the 1960s and ‘70s. A big one is that none of the women in the movie are made into sex objects. Instead, the closest thing we have is Kane being attacked by the facehugger. Ridley Scott and writer Dan O’Bannon have never been particularly shy about saying that the film heavily tries to attack men with sexuality. Kane has a phallic rod shoved down his throat, is impregnated, and gives birth all non-consensually. In short, this is a film in which a man has to deal with the kind of sexual victimization that women usually had to deal with. Additionally, the alien was famously designed by H.R. Giger, an artist who specializes in terrifying sexual images. Its head is phallic and its tongue shoots out to attack its prey with another mouth. Freud would have a field day with this film. The “Director’s Cut” goes even further, showing that the alien, rather than killing Brett and Dallas, has instead abducted them and is turning them into eggs, apparently continuing the life cycle by more forced birth. This movie has a lot of rape undertones aimed at men, is what I’m saying. However, they’re not the sole victims, as Lambert’s death, while offscreen, is preceded by an image of the alien’s bladed tail rising between her legs, but maybe I’m reading too much into that one.

I’ve had at least one woman describe giving birth with this scene.

The alien is one of the most instantly iconic horror movie monsters. While fans have adopted the name “Xenomorph,” a term used in the sequel to denote any alien organism, the creature is not named in this movie. It’s best described as distinctly humanoid but never approaching human. Unlike most movie monsters at that point which usually resembled a combination of animal traits, it was intended to have a biomechanical appearance that blends into the spaceship. It is capable of being almost unnaturally still, something which allows it to be in the background of shots for long periods of time without being noticed by either the characters or the audience. It’s probably most memorable for its face. It doesn’t have any eyes, but has a large mouth which contains a second smaller mouth attached to the tip of its tongue. It tends to attack by penetrating its victims with the tongue, often through the head, similar to how cattle are killed by a captive bolt gun (featured in No Country for Old Men). Also, it bleeds acid, so attempting to hurt it, particularly on a spaceship where it can bleed through the hull, will almost certainly guarantee your death. Everything about it is designed to be deadly and unnerving. Here’s the first time it’s on screen:

Anyone who has read this blog has probably heard me defend Ellen Ripley as not only the greatest female action hero, but the best action hero period. I listed her as the most bad-ass mother in film (tied with Sarah Connor from the Terminator franchise), but a lot of her more notably action-oriented accomplishments are from the second Alien film. However, in both movies, Ripley’s greatest strength is that she’s almost always right. Her greatest weakness is that, as a woman, most of the men in the films tend to ignore what she says. In this movie, she suggests that they decipher the signal before checking it out, but Dallas overrules her. When Kane is attacked, they try to bring him back on board and Ripley refuses, citing quarantine protocol. She’s permitted to override Dallas in this situation, but Ash violates it anyway. When confronted by the alien on the shuttle, she methodically figures out how to get rid of it despite the fact that it is almost unstoppable. In the sequel, when asked for advice about what to do with the colony located on LV-426, she advises they destroy it from orbit. Ripley’s cool head stands in stark contrast to the typically panicky final girl in horror films. 

Even when dealing with a monster and the vacuum of space, she survives.

Overall, this movie holds up just so well. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it now. If you’ve got a friend who hasn’t seen it, let them know they’re in for a treat.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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Futurama Fridays – S4E3 “Love and Rocket”

Bender decides to start dating the Planet Express ship, only to suffer when he treats her like crap.

SUMMARY

Planet Express is entering into a contract with Romanticorp right before Valentine’s Day. The crew tours the factory of the company, finding out secrets like “lovey bears are actually corpses” or “candy hearts have earwig honey,” but they still end up taking the job. Based on the new influx of money, the Professor (Billy West) finally upgrades the Planet Express ship, including giving it a new AI which has a female personality voiced by Sigourney Weaver (APPLAUSE). Bender (John DiMaggio) quickly falls in love with the new ship’s computer while Fry (West) attempts to find the perfect pickup line to use on Leela (Katey Segal) from the trillions of candy hearts that Romanticorp makes. 

File:Lovey Bears.jpg
These bears are all culled for profit. Monstrous.

After a few dates that somehow still take place before Valentine’s Day, Bender gets sick of the ship and starts cheating on her with a number of cheap floozies. She sees him at Elzar’s restaurant with two of them and becomes suspicious, but Bender manages to talk his way out of trouble. The ship continues to grow more paranoid (justifiably), until Leela tries to talk her into dumping Bender, leading the ship to lash out. While the ship’s sanity starts to slip due to Bender gaslighting her, the crew delivers 20 Billion candy hearts to Omicron Persei 8’s rulers Lrrr and Nd-Nd (Maurice LaMarche and Tress MacNeille). Unfortunately, one of the hearts uses the term “wuv,” which confuses and infuriates the Omicronian Monarchs. While the crew flees, Bender dumps the Planet Express Ship. Somehow, they still make it out alive. 

File:Omicronian castle 3.png
They can’t understand WUV, but they understand Sweeps-Week.

Leela tries to console the ship with girl-talk, but accidentally inspires the ship to fly into a Quasar in an attempt to force them to be together forever as a quantum singularity. Fry and Leela try to stop her, but she cuts life support and gravity. Bender tries to merge his consciousness with hers to distract the ship while Leela shuts down the computer’s brain. Fry keeps looking for the perfect heart message but notices that Leela is running out of oxygen. He tries to warn her, but she ignores him, so he hooks his oxygen tank up to her mask without her noticing. Meanwhile, in cyberspace, Bender is running from the incarnation of the ship as she slowly loses her intelligence. Leela finishes shutting off the ship’s computer, restoring life support. She finds that Fry is unconscious and revives him, finding the perfect heart: U leave me breathless. Bender is brought back out, and it seems he’s inherited some of the ship’s personality. The crew dumps the billions of candy hearts in the quasar, causing mystical love radiation to go across the universe, killing several planets, but making Earth feel the true Valentine’s spirit. 

File:U Leave Me Breathless candy heart.png
They wrote the whole story for this joke. You know it. I know it.

END SUMMARY

First of all, can we all agree that Sigourney Weaver is just amazing? I mean, she played the single most badass woman in film, possibly the most badass character ever, but here she plays the consciousness of a ship who gets gaslit into despair and she’s nailing it. I love the idea that she’s voicing the computer here, since several of her roles involve her fighting with an artificial intelligence. It also is worth noting that here she ends up being a parody of the HAL 9000 from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the movie WALL-E, Sigourney Weaver voices a ship’s computer and the counterpart of a HAL 9000-esque autopilot program, and I have to think that this role at least was part of the reason she was cast. 

File:Bender and the Planet Express ship 4ACV03.png
She makes “Me Want Engulf Bender” sound believable.

Second, my god, Bender is a giant a**hole in this. He is a total scumbag and honestly, even for a character who is supposed to be despicable, his conduct here stands out. It’s not because the conduct is worse than, say, that time he sacrificed his first born son to the robot devil, but because it’s so much more normal. Guys really do cheat on their girlfriends and then lie about it, just as brazenly as Bender does here. Moreover, some people really do feel no guilt for leading a partner on in a relationship, only to dump them and feel nothing. The episode tries to justify Bender somewhat by having the ship go crazy at the end, but I submit that she’s only in that irrational state because Bender has been gaslighting her and then treating her with complete disdain after he decided to move past her. It’s a complete d*ck move, and I don’t mean the quacking kind.

Still, this episode is pretty amusing, and I do love the sweet Fry and Leela subplot, so I still enjoy this. 

FAVORITE JOKE

I will always laugh at the Romanticorp tour, but particularly the Romance Acceleration lab. It features two wire-mesh dummies who deliver pick-up lines. The first one delivers the horrible “Is heaven missing an angel? ‘Cause you’ve got nice cans!” That line is so perfectly bad that it gets a chuckle. The second dummy delivers the sincere line “My two favourite things are commitment and changing myself,” something that even gets the tester to make out with him. Leela even asks if he has a brother. Is this a little bit of a stereotype and an old trope? Yes, but it’s still funny as hell. 

Because I really want to talk about it, I’ll say that the second best joke in this episode is the title. It’s a reference to the comic Love and Rockets and potentially to the band who took their name from the comic. Love and Rockets was a comic created by three brothers and primarily written by two of them, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez. What’s notable about the series is that the brother did not really coordinate their stories in any way, with Gilbert’s taking place in Central America and featuring a magical realism storyline and Jaime’s taking place in Los Angeles and being more grounded. I think that the juxtaposition of fantastic and grounded, human stories has influenced many subsequent series, and I would have to believe that Futurama is one of them. If you haven’t ever read it, give it a try. 

Well, that’s it for this week.

See you next week, meatbags.

PREVIOUS – Episode 56: Leela’s Homeworld

NEXT – Episode 58: Less Than Hero

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.

Reader Request – Shocking Dark (1989)

So, I have a particular affinity for this particular kind of exploitation film, which used Italy’s less-than-rigid laws concerning copyright and trademark to create unofficial “sequels” to films. Basically, you couldn’t make an actual sequel, but you could market a movie as part of a series even if it wasn’t. Fun fact: There are FIVE unofficial Italian sequels to Evil Dead, all of which have been released in English, the worst of which shares a writer with this film, Claudio Fragasso. Oh, and this is also the guy who wrote Troll 2, a movie so bad its documentary is called Best Worst Movie. For the record, this is something that this director, Bruno Mattei, and writer have done multiple times. Another of their previous collaborations was an unofficial sequel to Night of the Living Dead that is, like the Jem film, truly, truly bad.

This movie was marketed as being a sequel to The Terminator in 1989, a full two years before Terminator 2: Judgment Day came out. Its original title was even Terminator II. However, after it became obvious that the movie has very little to do with The Terminator, as you’ll see, they instead decided to market it as a sequel to Aliens. In Japan, they even split the difference and marketed it as Aliennators. For legal reasons, this movie was never released in the US until this year, when apparently Severin Films (distributor of Birdemic: Shock and Terror) decided to just assume no one cared anymore. I’d have agreed, except they put out the greatest promo trailer of all time, making fun of the Robert Patrick promo for the Terminator 2 VHS release, which should have made everyone want to see this film.


This ad is far better than the movie. I should have asked the Grouch to do this one. Okay, let’s do this.

SUMMARY

ShockingDarkVeniceIntro.png
Who doesn’t love stock footage?

The movie begins in the style of many low-budget rip-offs: With narration over stock footage. In this particular case, the stock footage is of Venice, Italy, apparently “before the year 2000.” Venice is apparently being threatened by the “High Tide” because the water around Venice is now toxic and eating away at the foundation of the city. A day later, a toxic cloud has now settled over the city, requiring it to be evacuated, explaining why there are no extras. It spends a solid 2 minutes showing the empty city with the guards blocking people from entering.

ShockingDark-1VeniceOffLimits.png
Note: The sign is not in Italian. Apparently, America owns Italy.

We then see a group of men in a command post. They receive an emergency broadcast from Venice and see three men (whose names I can never figure out so I can’t credit them) running through underground steam tunnels. The men approach the camera and start screaming “help” and “they’re coming,” in some absolutely spectacularly bad acting, before the feed cuts out. The command post now isn’t getting footage and, for some reason, can’t transmit. Inside the tunnels, the men are still trying to contact the base for help as they run from something at a pace best described as “light jog.” One of the three men goes in a different direction. The other two see by a monster with a hard exoskeleton and a slimy carapace. The third finds Drake (Clive Riche), another tunnel worker, who seems traumatized. Drake then strangles the guy to death while laughing like a madman.

ShockingDark-2aCommand.png
The middle guy seems to be confused as to whether they’re still rolling. 

Back in the command post, we see a broadcast from Professor Raphelson (Al McFarland) which explains that several of the people working in the tunnels have been going mad and dying, but also communicating with “strange creatures.” The broadcast then cuts out. Conveniently, all cameras throughout the tunnels and Venice are now offline. The people watching the broadcast, Colonel Pearson (Bruce “I clearly can’t remember all my lines” McFarland), Captain Dalton Bond (Mark Steinborn) and Definitely-Not-Ellen-Ripley Dr. Sara Drumbull (Haven Tyler) are joined by odd-accented Marine Samuel Fuller (Christopher Ahrens) from the “Tubular Corporation” who wants to recover the diary of Professor Raphelson so the company doesn’t lose his research into “purifying the waters of Venice.” Bond and Drumbull don’t want Fuller coming, but the Colonel overrules them. They set off on “Operation Delta Venice.”

ShockingDark-2TheTrio
Operation Gamma Venice produced the Italian Hulk, Hulkalino.

We’re then introduced to the Megaforce (yes, really), a group of definitely-not-space-marines consisting of generic tough-girl Koster (Geretta “I’m the best part of this film” Giancarlo), stereotypical hot-blooded Latino Franzini (Fausto “My name is so awesome” Lombardi), stereotypical SoCal idiot Caine (Cortland Reilly), generic smart-mouthed soldier Kowalski (and yes, Kowalski is already a generic soldier name) (Paul Norman Allen), and generic idiot Price (Richard Ross). They’re introduced swearing at each other, using a bunch of jokes about each other’s stereotypes, and threatening to kill each others just so we’re clear that they are all tough soldier guys. Oh, and their dialogue is so god-awful it’s hilarious, especially Koster’s opener “Alright ya bunch of pussies, I’m back and I’m kicking ass!”

ShockingDark-3Megaforce.png
The random nunchuckery goes on for 5 minutes, and yes, he’s always faced away.

The Megaforce, led by Dalton, go into the tunnels along with Drumbull and Fuller. Shortly into the tunnels they’re ambushed by enemy fire, revealed to be Drake. Two of the soldiers ambush him, with the line “Let’s get out the KY so we can shaft him real good,” which made me laugh for like 15 straight minutes, because damn, that’s awful. Reminder: Same writer as Troll 2. Drake fails to kill anyone, because instead of shooting, he delivers the epically bad line:

Now I can see you. Now I can kill you easy. I only have to take one step towards you.

After he’s captured, Drake (who is the second-best part of this film because this guy clearly believed he was a naturally gifted actor and was very wrong) tells them they’re going to die. Drake utters an inhuman scream that incapacitates all of the Megaforce and runs away, dragging Price. They track Price down by his radio tag but find a room of bodies cocooned against the walls, with strange spider-like things “hugging” their “faces.”  They find Price in one of the cocoons and he begs them to kill them, in what is a clear rip-off of the same scene in Aliens. A monster then “bursts” out of the “chest” of Price and yes, we’ve just started to hit blatant thievery. At least the monster is clearly a guy’s hand in a glove that chokes Koster, not an actual prop from Aliens.

ShockingDark-5Facehuggers.png

As Franzini and another one of the generics make their way through the tunnels, Franzini is grabbed by a monster and pulled away quickly. We then see the face of the you know f*ck it I can’t pretend this isn’t terrible and I have an hour left give me a second f*ckyouJesseH.

ShockingDark-7Whiskey.jpg
The water is my tears.

Okay, I’m back. Finally, we see the face of the full budget of an Italian B-Grade knockoff film and H.R. Giger’s corpse is vomiting just from me publishing this.

ShockingDark-6Monsters.png
That’s some good Papier-mâché. You can almost read the lawsuit from James Cameron.

Franzini breaks free as the other guy shoots the monster and they run. They come back with the group and detect movement. We then see POV shots of something running through the tunnels as Drumbull somehow sees things coming from her device beeping really fast. They report the findings to Command and are told to continue. They get inside the lab they were searching for and find a life reading. They follow it and uncover a small girl are you f*cking kidding me? Yes, they find definitely-not-Newt Samantha Raphelson (Dominica Coulson) who has been surviving in rags in a facility filled with monsters. And while Carrie Henn’s portrayal of Newt in Aliens is one of my favorite child performances, the young Ms. Coulson’s is decidedly not, occasionally switching accents for entire lines. Granted, she’s still better than many of the adults in this film.

ShockingDark-8Newt.png
Nothing about this seems familiar.

Inside the lab, they find evidence that the scientists were studying genetic mutation, not how to clean water. You’d think that someone would have noticed. Koster and Kowalski search the facility and Koster gets attacked by the monster’s prehensile mouth-tentacle, which is apparently long enough for it to move around and kill Kowalski before grabbing her from behind and cocooning her. Newt-mantha wakes up screaming, because that happened in Aliens. Meanwhile Fuller accesses the Tubular mainframe and delivers the single most dispassionate monologue of weird pseudoscience in history to explain that the scientists created an enzyme that through some applied phlebotinum can find any host and turn it into a monster. So, it’s not actually aliens and therefore not a rip-off.

ShockingDark-9KosterDies.png
They were better when they were in Call Girl of Cthulhu.

The monsters cut the lights, so the group makes their way out. We are then treated to a re-make of the scene in Aliens where they detect movement and life signs approaching but can’t see anything. Except in this, they don’t show the monsters going through the vents, so I guess they teleport or phase or plot hole. The monsters attack, killing Caine, using the same two sound effects every time, one for “I’m attacking,” and one for “I’m dying.” This scene goes on forever and it gets really repetitive. Fuller and Dalton are injured, with Fuller being revealed to be A ROBOT. What a twist for a movie called Terminator II.

ShockingDark-ATerminatorReveal.png

They reach a safe place and NewtMantha and Drumbull bond, including Drumbull saying “I cross my heart” in another blatant rip-off. The two later wake up and believe they’re in trouble as a monster is in the room. Sadly, they aren’t seen on the camera by anyone but Fuller, who pulls a Paul Reiser and turns them off. Yes, I know his character was named Burke, but I assume Paul Reiser sabotages rescue attempts regularly. Drumbull pulls the fire alarm, alerting the others, who save them. As they make their way through another level of the facility, they find the control center. It’s revealed that Tubular Corporation caused the original toxic infection in order to make money on real estate they acquired after the city was abandoned, after they clean the city and re-sell it. Due to the writer being the level of understanding it takes to write Troll 2, the reveal actually says that they’ll be re-selling the land for 70% of its purchased value… which would be LOSING money. It’s also revealed that this was over 10 years ago, so the plan clearly failed.

ShockingDark-BControlRoom.png
I’m pretty sure they broke in to film here.

NewtMantha reveals that Fuller is a robot, resulting in the remaining Megaforce trying to kill him and failing, seemingly dying in the process. However, he does bleed liquid metal, despite this being BEFORE Terminator 2. Hey, maybe James Cameron figured ripping off a movie ripping him off was fair. So, the movie, which has been ripping off Aliens now decides to rip-off The Terminator as promised from the original title. Fuller, for no reason, gives them a head-start and starts to menacingly walk slowly after them in the facility as they have to make it to the exit within 30 minutes or the facility blows up. Fuller somehow gets ahead of them and, in a delivery clearly ripping off Ripley’s catchphrase, Drumbull shouts “You bastard!” before shooting a series of high-capacity wires above him, electrocuting the robot.

ShockingDark-CElectroNator.png
No, electricity, my only minor inconvenience!

NewtMantha is then dragged away by the monsters, because we needed to rip-off Aliens some more, and Drumbull has to find her. Meanwhile, Command is trying to rescue them by sending another party. Dalton is revealed to be alive and tells them that the place is going to blow. They end up being useless as the monsters easily kill them. As the monsters attack NewtMantha, FullerNator attacks Drumbull and she throws him off of the third story. Drumbull finds NewtMantha and rescues her from a cocoon. Dalton rescues them from monsters and is killed. The timer hits 0, but… nothing f*cking happens. The facility starts to slowly overload, I guess, cuz some red lighting hits and there’s electricity effects. They then say there’s 1 minute to leave the building, so I guess the countdown was just the last time they could stop the explosion. NewtMantha and Drumbull wait to die, but they stumble into, I SWEAR TO GOD I’M NOT F*CKING KIDDING, a time machine.

ShockingDark-DWTF.png
Even they seem to be thinking “what the f*ck?”

The pair go back in time while we see stock footage of a thriving Venice. So, they are apparently far enough back to be before the toxic poisoning. However, somehow, FullerNator is there too, having taken the other time pod. Drumbull rips part of his face, revealing a robot eye because of f*cking course. He continues to follow them as they run through Venice. She then throws the time-machine controls at him, which I guess sends him somewhere through time even though they’re not in the pod? Whatever, almost over. They look out over the water and say they’ve got a lot of work to do.

ShockingDark-EFaceOff.png
Not on the same side as the poster. 

END SUMMARY

What. The. Hell. Did I just watch?

Okay, cards on the table, I’ve seen other stuff these guys have done, and it’s usually been really bad exploitation, but it was at least exploitation where we’re rewarded with over-the-top gore or nudity or something super cheesy that’s hilariously bad. This was still exploitation, but it’s exploitation of BETTER MOVIES. And that’s actually what kills the film.

As I say many times, a “So bad it’s good” movie requires that people don’t know that they’re making a terrible film. It requires basically everything to go wrong, like with Troll 2 or The Room. But this movie ripped off two actual GOOD movies, sometimes stealing entire scenes and lines of dialogue, and that keeps it from being really bad enough to be hilarious. Other elements are also too good to be a truly enjoyable trash film. The costumes aren’t good, but they aren’t completely incompetently made. The lighting and sound are mostly good, if cheap.

ShockingDark-4aMegaTunnels.png
See? Mostly in focus.

Now, if everything in the movie was the kind of dialogue that we get from Drake and the Megaforce (cool band name), we’d be set, because my God is it bad. Then we get to Fuller’s dialogue. See, everyone in this movie is terrible, but at least with Fuller, since he’s a Terminator rip-off, delivering lines in a monotone with a weird accent should be how the character works. The problem is that most of his dialogue is filled with extremely expressive language, which seems… ultra-dumb.

The ending is insane, but kind of funny. Random time machine? Why not?

Ultimately, I’m just not a fan of this movie. If you’re a fan of terrible films, I’d skip it and watch other, better, terrible Italian rip-offs, like Zombi 3, the crew’s unofficial Night of the Living Dead sequel.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.