|Dir:||Bruce D. Clark|
|Star:||Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Robert Englund, Taaffe O'Connell, Ray Walston|
|Cert / Year:||18 - R / 1981|
A spacecraft is marooned on the remote planet of Morganthus, which is well known as a graveyard for many stricken spacecraft. The Planet Master, a galactic ruler despatches a class 3 (never gets explained so don't worry about it) space ship to rescue the crew who are being terrorized by an evil force on the planet. As the rescue team land it becomes apparent that things are not what they seem and it very soon each member of the crew is drawn toward the huge pyramid nearby and one by one the crew begin to die of their worst fears......
This is a blatantly evident spin or shameless pillaging of Alien. There is a very Alien feel to the production including set design and some of the atmosphere as well as certain plot elements, which owes itself to the Ridley Scott classic. To be perfectly honest, if it wasn't for some superb photography directed by Jacques Haitkin and some reasonable Special effects (considering the year) this would be pretty much a complete loss. There are one or two reasonable performances, which is no mean feat when you see what they have to work with or the cast. The story is virtually non-existent and the plot is wafer thin, although the direction pretty much ignores it anyway and does its own dizzying and inexplicable thing. The direction itself is pretty bad and Clark is guilty of some whimsical direction, and catapults the viewer into a high speed launch scene which catches the crew off guard just as much as the viewer. There are numerous loose ends left dangling tantalizingly or maybe the 'plot' really is that full of holes they didn't know what to do so merely threw in any old idea that came to mind into the script (assuming there was one, because you really do wonder at times).
To say the cast are wooden would be an injustice to trees. The motley crew that is the cast includes Joannie Cunningham herself from Television's Happy Days, Erin Moran as a Psi-Sensitive and possibly a romantic interest but you don't really find out, but she does a cool bug eyed thing. The one and only Robert Englund does a turn as 'Ranger' in a pre Freddy Kreuger role, but nowadays it is difficult to see him as anything other than Freddy. Added to which is Sid Haig, probably best remembered as Drago from Jason of Star Command and a terrible performance by writer director Zalman King, power hungry commander Baelon (sounds like a washing detergent to me!) or that Ray Walston of My Favourite Martian fame, is reduced to playing a pseudo bad guy with a glowing face, although he may not have started out playing that character (yes the story is that patchy). Most memorable performance has to be Taaffe O'Connell for the films high point.... The giant maggot rape / death scene which is one of the very few redeeming moments in the film.
Some of the special effects are pretty good all things considered and it is surprising to see something of that calibre here, as the remaining material is dire despite a few gory moments. Alarmingly, the maggot rape scene is the major redeeming feature as it is so darned dark and funny to be scary you cannot do anything other than laugh at the indecent idiocy of it. This just adds to the generally low budget feel to the proceedings. Cliché ridden, cheesy and generally messy in terms of 'story', direction and editing this is never going to be considered a masterpiece but with the amusing rape / death scene and the fact that this is better than it deserves to be, means that for fans of the old B-movies, this will be one to watch. The less geeky viewers are unlikely to care that James Cameron (Terminator, The Abyss) was unit director or that Don Opper (Critters, Android) was a production designer, or that dead meat actor Bill Paxton worked on this film as a set dresser, or even that the writer / director of Wild Orchid is one of the acting 'talents'. So to be brutally honest, viewers with a life would be best just avoiding this film as it stinks. The dumb, unfulfilling and disappointing ending really doesn't make this easier to swallow.
Hell has just been relocated!
|4.3 Fullscreen||Not a great transfer, grainy but acceptable|
|Dolby Digital 2.0||Not very inspiring and the sound isn't up to much|
|They obviously couldn't be bothered with this disc as there is absolutley nothing on it except for the film. very poor presentation indeed.|