So, this week is dedicated to Alien Based Horror movies. I expect a few possible turkeys, but I believe it’s going to be fun anyway. I am a fan of Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) and horror, and the two mix reasonable well at the hands of competent film makers… and some horribly awesome films when created by bad film makers. I hope we get to see both sides of the coin this week.
We haven’t filled the roster of films yet, so if you have a suggestion or two, feel free to send them on over by using this link:
Battle of the Damned (2013)–Dolph Lundgren Kickin’ Zombie (like) Butt With Some Cool Robot Sidekicks
Well, this was surprisingly fun. 2013’s Battle of the Damned stars Dolph Lundgren as Major Max Gatling, who with his small group of mercenaries are hired to extract a rich company boss’ daughter from within’ a zone of a city overrun with zombie like (fast zombie like) disease victims.
This movie was another that I just didn’t expect much at all from, but was actually surprised by how entertaining it actually was. The story: A guy is hired, along with his mercenary buddies to save the industrialist daughter, endangered by zombies (sort of) from withn’ a city full of those beasts. She’s found refuge with a group of survivors, lorded over by a well meaning but jerkish leader by the name of “Duke.” Duke is convinced no one can make it out alive, and tries to make sure that Gatling doesn’t risk any of his group, going so far as to leave him handcuffed to a post, exposed for the zombies to get… But of course Gatling is too bad ass to die that way. Escaping (with help), they of course run into some robots who are very happy to take orders from Gatling. Next up: Robot versus Zombie action.
Okay, silly? Maybe but awesome? Definitely. If you like a good action movie, Zombies and Robots, well this movie has it all. Does it deserve any awards? Oh hell no – but is is fun and I heartily recommend it! Check out the trailer below:
Westworld (1973)–When Will Mankind Learn That Robots Always Go Rogue and Destroy Their Human Keepers?
Imagine a time when you you can vacation as a gunslinger in the Wild-West, or as a Roman citizen. Imagine being able to indulge in all the vices that a certain age was known for. Want to shoot a man for cheating at cards? Go ahead. Want to take part in a huge Roman orgy in the Emperor’s palace? No problem. Well, the movie 1973 classic Science- Fiction movie, Westworld, takes us to a future where all this and more is possible through the use of complex, very human like robots (well, Androids to be more accurate).
Starring James Brolin and Richard Benjamin as two friends, John Blane and Peter Martin, who have decided to vacation at the Delos Amusement park. For $1000 a day each, they will live as if they are in the Wildwest in Delos’ Westworld, the wild west recreation. John, having been here before, is showing Peter the ropes as he is not convinced of the authenticity or value of the Delos park. Soon Peter is engaging in a shootout in a western bar with an intimidating Gunslinger, dressed all in black and played by the naturally menacing Yul Brenner. Quickly dispatching the gunslinging android, Peter starts getting an feel for the place, though it does take some convincing to make sure he knows he didn’t actually kill a human. An amorous encounter with a female ‘droid later further cements Peter’s buy in to Westworld. Occasionally we see the people overseeing the operations of the park. We hear of little malfunctions here and there, minor at first, but increasing in severity. One of the main operators argues for shutting down the park until the issues are corrected, but is voted down. Eventually the issues become so severe that the safety of the park’s guest is in danger – and eventually people start being killed. Sh… Stuff has hit the fan.
This is a great example of Science Fiction that is smartly written – in fact it’s written and directed by the great Michael Crichton. The movie isn’t perfect, but it is good. One warning: there are quite a few “Porn-stache” moustaches in this movie! lol.
Check out the trailer below, and then head out to your local seller of DVDs/Blu-Rays and get yourself a copy of this Sci-Fi masterpiece.
I don’t knowhow many times I’ve seen the movie, Logan’s Run, but I know it’s more than 10 times. Why do I keep coming back? Must be the charm, because while it’s not a cinematic masterpieces, I find it compelling, and it’s concept interesting.
The story takes place in 2274, and the remains of humanity have been living in a domed, utopian like society, where all parts of living are taken care for you by a computer. Mankind lives for pleasure and there is no more struggle. There is just one trade off, though: You only get to live to the age of 30, and then you must enter “Carrousel” where you have the chance at renewal…though most likely you’ll just end up vaporized. To ensure no one exceeds their allotted 30 years, all humans are implanted with a life clock in their palm – a disk that changes colour as you age, and eventually flashes red when you’ve reached your time to enter carrousel. The majority enters carrousel with no issue, but some choose to run when their time approaches. When that happens, the computer sends a Sandman for you. A Sandman is basically a policeman who is entrusted to capture these Runners.
Michael York plays Logan 5, a Sandman who the computer decides to prematurely age (make his life clock blink, despite having several years left to him. This is done so he can run himself and find the legendary “Sanctuary” – a place spoken of by runners. Sanctuary is supposedly a safe place where you can live out your years past your allotted 30 years. Logan is forced to try to flee, as he is pursued by once fellow Sandmen. As he does he brings along a woman, Jessica (played by Jenny Agutter), who he believes my be sympathetic to runners and may have a clue as to where Sanctuary lies. After a few hairy situations, including a bad plastic surgeon with a young and sexy Farah Fawcett for a nurse and having to convince a group of dissidents that Logan is not a plant, and defeating a weird mirrored robot who’s job has been to process “nutrients from the Sea”, they eventually make it outside the dome, into the wild of the real world. After a few unusual experiences, and noticing that their Life Clocks are now clear, like a baby’s, they eventually find their way to the ruins of a city, Washington D.C. Once there they encounter an old man and his cats, played by the always great Peter Ustinov who tells of his life in the world, explaining how he lived with his birth parents (something quite alien to the dome dwellers). Convincing the old man to follow them, they eventually make their way back to the dome, leaving the old man waiting for them outside. Once in the dome, Logan is captured and interrogated by the central computer. When Logan’s answers cause a break down of the computer, the entire dome starts falling apart. Logan and Jessica lead the people outside where they encounter the old man… Queue credits.
Cheezy on many levels, Logan’s Run is still an important Science Fiction film (and book) that describes a world that some believed was not too far off. Aged, but entertaining, I heartily suggest this a s a watch.
Check out the trailer below:
Dylan McDermott stars as Moses Baxter, a Space Marine who’s returned from action and picks up some scrap electronics and metal for his artist girlfriend, Jill (played by Stacey Travis) to incorporate in her work. Little do either of them know that included in the pile of scrap is the functioning head of an experimental killer military robot hell bent on destroying everything around it.
Late at night, the head, starts reassembling itself into a killer robot, armed with tools from Jill’s studio. It’s final form is a crazy. deadly, concoction of wires, steel and saw… and violence. Ad to the mix a creepy neighbour that spies on Jill… and falls victim to the robot as well as some secondary characters played by some familiar faces – look for Iggy Pop and Lemmy Killminster, among others, make this film more interesting than one might expect. This is a simple, weird film that has a dated look to it, but carries a coolness. The music is a combination of late 80’s/early 90’s hardcore/metal and back in the day, I kinda’ though the movie was made in order to expose the music – I’m still not convinced this isn’t at least partially true.
It’s all a sort of world has gone to hell and the machines are rising up against us sort of movie and is very confusing, but I still found it interesting. I can easily say that I’ve never seen another movie like it. If you haven’t seen it, or like me haven’t seen it for a long time, then I suggest checking it out.
The 1980s had some weird movies. This is one.
In the near future, personal robots are everywhere. So much so that the police department has a group just to deal with Runaways – robots that malfunction and cannot be controlled. Tom Selleck’s character, Ramsay, is a member of that team. Gene Simmons is an evil genious that has some really bad microchips that he wants to sell to the highest bidder (terrorists). He uses robots and technology to get his way – Hell he has an army of cool, bug-like robots to do his bidding especially.
This is an adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name. I have to say that it is better than I expected, especially with the fact that the main bad guy is played by cheeze master Gene Simmons, Bass Player and co-leader of the rock group, KISS. The effects, for the time, are pretty cool, especially the bug robots, and the story is interesting.
I’m going to cheap out and past the Wikipedia info for the movie to give you a clearer idea of the plot of the movie – that of course will include a plot spoiler – sorry. Here’s the plot summary from the Wikipedia entry:
Typical for Crichton’s work, Runaway deals with the devastating and sinister consequences of allowing complextechnology to run our lives. The film is set in the near future, where robots are commonplace – as much a part of everyday life as any other electrical appliance. Like other electrical appliances, they are prone to malfunctions. However, when a robot malfunctions, it could pose some form of threat to people and/or property. Such robots are known as “runaways”. As runaways are somewhat more dangerous than the average damaged machine, they are not handled by the manufacturers’ support personnel but by local divisions of the police force trained in robotics. As the beginning of the film shows, the “runaway” squad, however, is treated as mostly an easy and unexciting assignment, often ridiculed.
Sgt. Jack R. Ramsay (Selleck) is a veteran police officer who joined the runaway squad after discovering his previously unknown acrophobia, which resulted in the death of a family at the hands of a man he let escape. After years on the job, however, Jack has found himself one of the profession’s few real experts. His new partner, Karen Thompson (Rhodes), is bright and enthusiastic about the job, but he assures her there is little excitement involved. Mostly all it involves is flipping a switch. This changes when they find themselves handling an unforeseen problem – the first robot facilitated homicide. In the aftermath of dealing with a household robot murdering a family with a kitchen knife and somehow getting access to a handgun, Jack stumbles upon integrated circuits which not only override a robot’s safety features, but direct it to attack humans. These devices are discovered to be not hacked chips, but created from a series of mastertemplates, enabling them to be mass-produced.
Despite being unable to learn anything productive from uncooperative informants who end up dead, Ramsay refuses to be deterred, and soon discovers the perpetrator is megalomaniacal and sociopathic genius Dr. Charles Luther (Simmons). Luther, while working for a robotics defense contractor, developed a program that allows a robot to thermographically identify a human form amidst significant cover, and even differentiate between individual humans. Seeing the obvious profit potential in this program, he decided to kill his fellow researchers and sell the technology on the black market. After a botched attempt to arrest Luther, Thompson is left with an unexploded bullet in her arm which Ramsay successfully extracts. Fortunately the attempted arrest reveals information about one of Luther’s weapons, smart bullets – miniature heat seeking missiles that lock onto an individual human target’s unique heat signature, pursuing them wherever they run, even around corners.
While investigating one of Luther’s dead cohorts, Ramsay and Thompson come across Jackie Rogers (Alley), who is found to have once been Luther’s lover, and now partner in crime. However, she double-crossed him and stole the circuit templates, intending to sell them herself. But she is scared now because she believes Luther will stop at nothing to kill her, unless he gets the templates. When Ramsay and Thompson create a ruse to transfer Jackie to safety, Luther attacks the police convoy with freeway-running robotic smart bombs. They discover that the bombs are locked in on a bug in Jackie’s purse and manage to ditch it before the bombs exploded. Ramsay decides to make a public appearance with Jackie at a restaurant to draw Luther out, but Luther captures Thompson and wants Ramsay to exchange her for Jackie and the templates. Before making the exchange, Jackie tears some of the templates off and hands them to Ramsay, for insurance that Luther won’t kill her. But Luther kills her anyway, discovers the template aren’t all there, fires some of his smart bullets into the crowded restaurant and flees.
In an attempt to get the missing templates, Luther hatches a plan to attack Ramsay. He enters the police station and uses the computers to discover everything about Ramsay’s personal life, including his son. Once Ramsay discovers his personal information has been hacked, he and Thompson race to his home to find his personal robot damaged and his son, Bobby (Cramer), missing. A phone call from Luther confirms he kidnapped Bobby and wants to exchange him for the missing templates. Ramsay then makes a deal with Luther to meet at an unfinished skyscraper for the exchange. Luther gets the templates and sends Ramsay’s son down to street level in an elevator, awaited by a legion of assassin robots – spider-like robots no larger than loaves of bread which climb walls and ceilings to reach their targets, murder them by injecting acid into their veins, then explosively self-destruct, leaving no evidence. Thompson, despite agreeing not to interfere, arrives in time and slips past the spiders and helps Bobby stay above the reach of the robots. Luther turns on Ramsay with fury, firing smart bullets, but Ramsay turns on many of the automatic construction equipment, creating multiple heat sources which cause the bullets to miss the mark, and Ramsay uses this to get close to fight with Luther, hand-to-hand. After a pitched fight, Ramsay pushes Luther over the side, and the inventor lands on his back, in the midst of his robot spiders. Programmed to kill whoever came down from above, the robots rush Luther, injecting acid into his body in a dozen places.
Ramsay and Thompson help Bobby down from above, and Ramsay cautiously approaches the seemingly dead body of Luther. Luther reaches up to grab Ramsay and screams, but falls back, dying. Ramsay retreats as fire flares around Luther as the spiders self-destruct. Ramsay and Thompson have a laugh and embrace, kissing.
If you have the time, I say go ahead and watch this film as it was a fun distraction – even with Gene Simmons. Oh, and keep an eye out for a then very hot Kirstie Alley as Simmon’s throw away girlfriend, Jackie Rogers.
Here’s the Trailer:
I saw Heartbeeps in the theatre when I was 12 with a buddy, and if I remember properly, I was disappointed – just as I was once again.
Starring the late comedic genius (and weirdo), Andy Kaufman as butler robot Val, and Bernadette Peters as a companion robot named Aqua. They are two robots amongst many that have been warehoused due to defects or obsolescence. It’s in this warehouse where they meet each other, and a one-liner comedian robot named Catskill go on an adventure together to study trees. Along the way Val and Aqua build a small, baby robot (whom they name Philco), fall in love and are pursued by a mal-functioning police robot.
Lame… Lame. Lame. Lame. This movie is not funny. Also, as stated earlier, it stars Bernadette Peters, who I have never liked. This movie sucks now like it sucked when it was first released.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the movie:
Val Com 17485 (Andy Kaufman), a robot designed to be a valetwith a specialty in lumber commodities, meets Aqua Com 89045 (Bernadette Peters), a hostess companion robot whose primary function is to assist at poolside parties. At a factory awaiting repairs, they fall in love and decide to escape, stealing a van from the company to do so. They embark on a quest to find a place to live, as well as satisfy their more immediate need for a fresh electrical supply. They assemble a small robot, Phil, built out of spare parts, whom they treat as their child, and are joined by Catskill, a mechanical standup comic (which is seen sitting the entire movie). A law-enforcement robot, the Crimebuster, comes after the fugitives, but with the help of humans who run a junkyard, and using Catskill’s battery pack, they are able to resolve their problems successfully.
Here’s the Trailer:
Ah, Italian Sci-Fi movies or Spaghetti Sci-Fi as I like to refer to them – a special kind of bad movies, and Starcrash is one of those. Released shortly after Star Wars took the world by storm and attempting to ride on it’s coat tails, Starcrash fails in almost every way as a movie. That was expected, though.
A couple of smugglers, the scantily clad Stella Star (played by Caroline Munroe) whos is apparently one of the best space pilots (and ass kickers) and Akton (played by Marjoe Gotner) are forced to search for the Galactic Emperor’s only son, Simon (Played surprisingly by David Hasselhoff – the Galactic Emperor is played by Christopher Plummer) who was lost when the ship he was on was hit by a beam that made the crew turn insane. They are tracking three escape pods to three different planets – of course each planet full of a different kind of danger. Throw in a faithful, powerful robot companion, Elle (played by Hamilton Camp), and you have the making of a cast and crew. There’s also a fair amount of bad stop motion animation with some of the evil robotic enemies – always enjoyable.
Stella’s companion Akton has several super powers (like seeing the future and restoring life) and the Emperor’s son Simon has a light sword that he uses to defeat some of those aforementioned bad robots.
There’s a big bad guy, Count Zarth (played by Joe Spinell) who is behind all the trouble.
The rest is cheeze – pure cheeze.
This one I have to say is a must watch – terrible but a must watch. It’s too dumb not to be – plus it is available for free on Youtube as an episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Caroline Munro looks hot (as usual – in her 1970’s way, that is), and this is just pure fun.
Check out a clip here:
Watch the whole movie here (with cheezy comentary via Mystery Science 3000):
A weird piece of Spaghetti Sci-Fi (low budget, mostly poorly acted and written Science Fiction movies made in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s), I found myself watching this evening on Youtube (the whole bad movie can be found there). The message is received on Earth that is interrupting all communications. A ship and it’s Brash Captain (and crew, of course) are sent to investigate. They discover a race of humanoids that have been kept captive by a super robot of their own design. The super robot has designs on Earth now and the Captain and his crew must destroy that robot… That’s about it. Weirdly stylish and in some ways visually reminiscent of the old 1970’s TV series, Space 1999, there’s not too much compelling about the story and I did not recognize not an single actor – still, I ended up watching the entire thing. Is it good? Definitely not. Is it watchable? Obviously so – as I watched it all. Recommended? I don’t know – It was a little interesting…
Watch the whole damned thing here: