Wednesday, August 7, 2013

3D-storm: the year was 1983.




I love coming across obscure science fiction on backwater channels.

Last week I stumbled onto Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone.  It's a science fiction film from 1983 with an all-star cast, including Peter Strauss, Ernie Hudson, Michael Ironsides, and an as yet unknown Molly Ringwald.  The plot is fairly straightforward.  Three hot women crash land in an escape pod on a remote planet.  The planet is home to a colony that has fallen into civil war and rampant disease. 

A space scavenger named Wolff (Strauss) hears that 3,000 "mega-credits" (it's in the future so of course they use "credits") have been offered to whoever can bring the hot chicks back.  He heads to the planet hoping to eventually collect the reward.  On the world, he meets Niki (Ringwald), a young girl who is the last survivor of a group of medical missionaries.  Niki decides to help Wolff as he could be her ticket off the planet.  Little does she know the problems they will face.

The women are in the hands of a cyborg named Overdog (Ironsides).  Yeah I know, great name.  He's sort of like a combination of wasteland warlord and drug pusher.  Then there are the blob creatures and the mermaids.

This movie was part of a long line of 3D flicks from the early 1980s, all with terrible plots, bad acting, and even worse science fiction.  Therefore, I began to think of other movies of the same ilk from that time and started looking them up.

Remember Yor: Hunter from the Future?  Huh, no idea why not.  I do.  What I can't remember is whether or not it was in 3D.  Regardless, Yor was named one of the worst movies of 1983 and with good reason.  It "starred" Reb Brown, the original Captain America from TV as a prehistoric warrior who one day questions who he is and why he came into existence.  He wears a medallion around his neck that he is uncertain as to how he came to acquire or what it means.  This sets him on a quest for his own identity, placing him in the path of dinosaurs, ape men, and a futuristic city.  I actually the existential angle of this film.  Everything else, however, is shite.

Remember Treasure of the Four Crowns?  Geez, why am I the only one who remembers this trash?  I'm getting concerned.  Anyway, this one was definitely in 3D and was likewise from 1983.  It was sort of a cross between Raiders of the Lost Ark and a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with a team of adventurers seeking to reclaim magic gems from a cult.  That's about all I remember other than they used every excuse they could find for 3D gimmicks.

Now you must...you simply must...remember Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn.  I actually think it's a cool title in a pulpy sort of way.  Too bad the story isn't on the same level of quality.

This one had Kelly Preston, Richard Moll (Bull, the bald guy from 1980s sitcom, Night Court), and the studly Tim Thomerson from Full Moon Pictures.  Speaking of that production company, the movie was produced and directed by Charles Band.

This has a plot worthy of a Greek epic.  A man named Dogen rescues a woman named Dhyana whose father was killed by the evil Jared-Syn.  In the name of honor, Dogen takes her on a quest to find Jared-Syn in the "Lost City" so that he can kill the bad guy.  Along the way there is a hunter named Baal, a crazy, elderly seer, and a cyclops or two.  What did I tell you?  Greek like Homer, baby. 

There's also a ton of Road Warrior type vehicles and costumes for characters as that post-apocalyptic style was all the rage at that time.  One of the more nifty vehicles introduced here is the "skybike."  Sort of like a speeder bike but with a bit more oomph to it.  Additionally, I thought the character design of Jared-Syn himself (pictured above) was pretty cool.

Again, I need to emphasize that none of these are good films and they certainly aren't good science fiction.  They are however, diverting, entertaining, and a great deal of fun to poke fun at.  Maybe next time I'll cover Hell Comes to Frogtown.

I'm still rather concerned that I have all of these titles floating readily in my head.



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1 comment:

  1. On Facebook, MelissaPOE said: "Lol, yeah me too."

    What, you're concerned? lol :)

    ReplyDelete