Thursday, January 17, 2008

Robot Apocalypse!!!



With all this talk around the store about the coming Robot Apocalypse, we just so happened to get in a DVD with cover art emblazoned "Android Armageddon!". Whoa. A bit of research tells me that "Star Odyssey" is a forgotten bit of low budget late-70's Italian Sci-Fi. With the recent release of Starcrash on DVD, did I have an evenings worth of Italian space trash worthy of a theme party? It even gets a better overall rating on IMDB than Starcrash. Still well under a 5 out of 10, but Starcrash has David Hasselhoff battling space robots! Not to mention a dozen other worthwhile cinematic attributes, the two main ones being lead actress Caroline Munro. How can this be better than Starcrash? Well, I just got done watching Star Odyssey, and I think we're back to Starcrash as our sole theme party flick. How bad can Star Odyssey be? Let's start with the credits that begin "Starring In Alphabetical Order", and then proceeds to throw all knowledge of the alphabet out the window. Okay, let's cut it some slack, because it has been translated from Italian, and maybe before the names were randomly Americanized they HAD BEEN alphabetical. The next hurdle though sinks it for me. This thing has been edited OUT OF ORDER! Seriously, scenes begin in the middle, and the beginnings are placed elsewhere. It devolves into a series of random images with indecipherable dialog almost immediately. Some of those images are intriguing in a wholly unintentional way, and I guess I should point out some of my highlights. First off, whenever the R2D2-like robot serves drinks (which seems to be it's sole purpose) it's human arms have to close the compartments that held the drinks. This leads to some blind groping of it's "chest" which unmistakably looks like it's trying to make it's nipples hard. And it never actually succeeds in closing the compartments! Secondly, what were they thinking with the mustaches? Most of the guy's got 'em, and they are beyond hideous. No two are alike, and every one is groomed into submission. Speaking of submission, being someone with an appreciation for both cinematic dominatrixes AND female scientists, I think to have the scientist dress as a dominatrix is just wrong. I know they were trying to sexify the film a bit, but seriously, she's supposed to be a scientist. Ya' know. Mixing up vials of goo, and looking all sciency. It's just wrong, but what else can you expect from a movie that has the alien invaders pick only black Africans as slaves to bring back to it's home planet, or the WWII footage used to depict the alien's destruction of earths most populated cities? And where do I start with the "Android Armageddon"? There ain't one! The two main robots are IN LOVE! And it's a whiny, needy love that annoys even more 'cause for some reason the male robots voice (whiny as it is) is recorded so much better than any other voice in the film! Which leads us to the ending of the film. Because of the crummy sound and the disorienting nature of the film in general, I submit that there isn't really an ending to this thing. Maybe it came earlier in the film and I missed it, but I think not, and there's no way I'm going to go back and try to decipher it. Maybe you can. And for less than $10.00 you can have this experience as well as a second feature (Prisoners of the Lost Universe) which has to be a step up. From the seconds of it that I watched, it seems like a decent Sci-Fi Channel worthy film. Starring Battlestar Galactica's Richard Hatch, it has a decent amount of positive reviews on IMDB but for my next DVD viewing I have to take a bigger leap forward, and not just a step. Therefore, tonight I will tackle the new re-issue of Ray Harryhausen's classic Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers. It's a double disc with scads of bonus stuff, so it may take a while. All I know is that I'm sure it will help in my recovery from the blunt force trauma that was Star Odyssey.

2 comments:

Rob "Fence" Wilson said...

I would bet every dollar I ever made(well into 4 figures), that your review is much more entertaining than the best 10 minutes of both movies. I know in my heart of hearts I'm right about this. I just hope there's a copy when I drop buy the store.

John said...

After further review, and going back and watching the ending again, I can now say that it actually does HAVE one. And it makes sense. It just got by me the first time. Sure, I'm still a bit in the dark about a few things. The final dialog between two main characters goes something like this HE: Blurg SHE: Lig HE: Roob erg you SHE: Only aggburg END SCENE> If only this disc was closed captioned, but no luck there. I can say that the robots in love story gets wrapped up nicely, and that foxy scientist lady and her 'husband?', 'boyfriend?', 'stud puppet?' set us up for a sequel. I apologize for my mis-statements. So, after further review and a little arm-twisting, Star Odyssey is back into our theme party. Ya wanna invitation? It's going to be a Sunday in February, and if you ask nicely I'll invite you. Just ask. John@lauriesplanetofsound.com