Tag Archives: Science Fiction

APOCRYPHA CANDIDATE: PLAYDURIZM (2020)

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DIRECTED BY: Gem Deger

FEATURING: Austin Chunn, Gem Deger, Issy Stewart

PLOT: Demir lusts after handsome auctioneer Andrew, Andrew lusts after blonde druggie Drew, and Drew has an intermittent death wish for Demir.

WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE APOCRYPHA LIST: Taking his visual cues from Liquid Sky and his narrative cues from Videodrome, first-time filmmaker Gem Deger presents a hazy narrative teeming with homoeroticism, designer drugs, unnerving violence, tragic escapism, and the reliably cutesy presence of a house pig.

COMMENTS: With well over a century of cinema having come and gone, it becomes increasingly difficult to dismiss a film for being “derivative.” Variations on themes is the only way to tell a story these days, and it is with that in mind that I judge Playdurizm, the directorial, screenwriting, and acting debut of Gem Deger. Deger puts forward his manifesto in the opening sequence, narrating that “[Francis] Bacon said there’s nothing apart from the moment… I believe in nothing,” over a pink-lit sex scene. Whatever pretentiousness may come across in his art-housey introduction is, against the odds, grounded by the surreal tragedy that ensues.

Demir (Gem Deger) wakes up to the sounds of a pig rooting around what may be his bedroom. It is unclear, as it is quickly established that Demir has lost his memory—suffered a “complete reboot”, according to his house mate, Andrew (Austin Chunn)—and sees little option but to follow the pet pig as it scampers across the purple- balloon-covered floor. Demir is awkward, soft-spoken, and ostensibly allergic to peanut butter, making Drew’s suggestion he try some on his breakfast bagel a bit too cutesy-sinister. But the “Drew problem” Demir faces (he lusts fiercely after Andrew) is solved quickly enough with a drug overdose. However, an improbable man with a genuine Malevich soon appears, and his ambitions aren’t entirely to do with selling a “Black Square” painting to Andrew.

Ambition and amateurism collide throughout, making for a twitchy viewing experience. Austin Chunn looks the role—presuming, of course, one is envisioning an impressively sexy auctioneer—but at times seems more like he’s playing the part instead of inhabiting it. On the other hand, Chunn’s dialogue delivery when suturing a nasty wound is spot-on; contemplating his sewing hook and floss, I believed it when he advised, “this is going to… be a little minty.” Gem Deger’s performance simultaneously benefits and suffers from his awkward, heavily accented delivery. Ultimately, though, the chemistry between Deger and Chunn is undeniable.

The sound design, set design, and prop choices (Goebbels’ belt-buckle gun, anyone?) carry much of the weight, weird-wise. If someone told me that Deger had never seen Liquid Sky, I’d say they were lying. Any excuse for neon tones and lighting is good enough; the Day-Glo vomit, wondrous in its luminescence, is an obvious nod to Margaret’s makeup. Beyond the direct Videodrome name-drop (Demir and Andrew get high watching it together while Drew is lying dead in a cupboard space beneath the sofa), there is a slow tilt toward body horror and twin-dom that is what the cumbersome term “ian” was devised for.

Those fine lines between amateurism and ambition, pretentious and tragic, and derivative and original all weave together by the finale, as the story’s actual events come to light.  Deger admits his plagiarism in the title. This cinematic exploration of the adversities that so often befall the queer community is melodramatic, vibrant, frightened, and determined—not unlike that wondrous community itself.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“…any film festival looking for a film that shirks conventional story telling with surrealism and puts danger and violence into romance and sex should consider it…”–Andre Mack, Screen Anarchy (festival screening)

CHANNEL 366: “UNDONE, SEASON 2” (2022)

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DIRECTED BY:

FEATURING: , , , , Carlos Santos, Holley Fain

PLOT: Picking up where Season 1 left off, Alma continues to investigate the past, uncovering more family secrets as she travels through time.

Still from UNDONE, Season 2

COMMENTS: When we last saw Alma, she was sitting in front of an Aztec ruin in Mexico, waiting to see if her dead father was going to walk out of a cave. If he doesn’t emerge at dawn, it likely means she’s schizophrenic.

We can’t tell you if Jacob walks out of that cave, but we can say that in Season 2 Alma will go on more adventures through time, exploring other family secrets, and that this season forefronts a couple of characters—sister Becca and mother Camila—who played supporting roles in the previous series. We’ll also meet other members of the extended clan, both ancestors and newcomers, as Alma and Becca travel back further into the family’s past to uncover generational scandals and traumas.

Season 1 relied, to a large extent, on the ambiguity of whether Alma was going insane, hallucinating from a coma, or whether her dead father really was teaching her to harness the mystical powers hiding in her ancient Aztec blood in order to travel through time and create a new timeline where he survived his car crash. With that arc completed and that ambiguity no longer sustainable, it’s inevitable that some tension drains out of the series. Furthermore, Alma shares the spotlight this go-around, and the confused bursts of anger and sarcasm that made her character so endearing are greatly missed. (Here, she is too often relegated to playing the role of motivational speaker, trying to convince others to go along with her bold schemes.) Season 2 largely replaces that reality-or-insanity dynamic with a traditional mystery structure—with the twist that the investigation requires slippery, loosely defined time travel powers and confrontations with metaphors (an “unopenable” door is a key symbol). The demands of the narrative make a refocus necessary, but although Season 2 is less mysterious than the original, returning writers/creators Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg keep us invested as the saga takes a slight shift into melodrama and ancestral mystery. Returning animator/director Hisko Hulsing assures that the visuals keep up the high and distinctive standard set by Season 1, with the rotoscoped actors remaining oh-so-slightly uncanny even when washing dishes or plinking out a tune on the piano. And he conjures up more than a few trippy landscapes, with lots of fog-shrouded temporal voids and one impressive M.C. Escher inspired psychescape.

“Undone, Season 2” successfully solves its central problem of revisiting a scenario that, frankly, seemed perfectly whole in its original eight episode run. This story could easily have been refashioned into an independent project, but it is richer for continuing with the characters we’ve grown attached to (even if the most popular ones sometimes get shuffled to the background here). It’s not the revelation Season 1 was, but it does have more than enough magic, old and new, to make it worth a visit. It helps that the efficient eight episodes, barely exceeding 20 minutes each, make for a highly bingeable package. And fans need not fear: the second season’s ending leaves no doubt as to the creators’ intent to continue the story. The final episode is one long setup for a new plotline, one that has the bonus of returning star Rosa Salazar front and center.

“Undone,” Seasons 1 and 2, screen exclusively on Amazon Prime (Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial).

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“With some new help, this time around, the show’s metaphysical trips examine the festering wounds in Alma’s family tree as well as within Alma herself, doubling down on its surreal premise on a new non-linear journey that creates puzzle pieces of their personal histories.”–Kambole Campbell, IGN (contemporaneous)

 

APOCRYPHA CANDIDATE: EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE (2022)

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DIRECTED BY ( and )

FEATURING: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, James Hong

PLOT: Evelyn Wang is barely keeping it together, running a business and raising a family while the threat of an IRS audit hangs over her head; as if that wasn’t enough stress, just before a last-chance appointment with her stern auditor, a visitor from a parallel universe tells her the fate of the multiverse lies in her hands.

Still from Everything Everywhere all at Once (2022)

WHY IT MIGHT JOIN THE APOCRYPHA: Based on the trailer, I had originally assumed this was going to be Daniels’ mainstream popcorn movie: a sci-fi/action/comedy not likely to be significantly weirder than The Matrix or the latest Marvel Phase 4 offering. And while there were plenty of wisecracks, kung fu free -for-alls, sentimentality, and CGI frippery, the makers of Swiss Army Man  snuck enough genuine weirdness and unpredictability into the formula that, as the credits rolled, a young theater patron was moved to loudly announce “bizarre is the only word that describes that.”

COMMENTS: Evelyn is a hot mess: a hot mess in a quiet, middle-aged matron kind of way, but a hot mess nevertheless. Harried and constantly distracted, she vainly tries to balance running her laundry business with an overextended social life. She also has to deal with the family members constantly vying for her attention: neglected husband Waymond, lesbian daughter Joy and her new girlfriend, and disapproving, ailing father Gong Gong. It’s no wonder that Evelyn’s 1040 was selected for audit, and that she’s having enough trouble filling out the forms correctly and collecting the proper receipts and documentation that the business is in danger. And so it’s also little surprise that, when told by an interdimensional emissary that the fate of the entire multiverse depends on her, her response is an exasperated “Very busy today, no time to help you.”

But of course, help she reluctantly does. After the setup, the movie reveals its relatively complicated mechanics about infinite universes that branch off at individual’s decision points (i.e., marry Waymond or don’t marry Waymond creates a new universe, as does eating eggs for breakfast instead of noodles), all leading to a network of bubble universes that are visualized as nodes on a smartphone app. A helpful avatar of her husband from the “Alpha” universe explains the evil force threatening all existence (which involves a “bagel of everything”) and how Evelyn can access the skills and knowledge of versions of herself from parallel universes to counter it. So she does, with both badass successes and wacky failures along the way.

With its focus on branching realities, the Canonically Weird movie Everything Everywhere all at Once most resembles is Mr. Nobody (2009) rather than Swiss Army Man. In fact, it’s Nobody to the nth degree: where ‘s cult classic confined itself to three main alternate histories (with notable detours like the argyle universe), Everything attempts to live up to its title with dozens upon dozens of alternate realities, from simple ones where Evelyn is a martial arts expert or a movie star to bizarre worlds where she’s a piñata, a sentient rock, or (the audience’s favorite) a lesbian in a universe where everyone has hot dog fingers. Adding to the eccentricity, the Daniels posit that it’s necessary to seed a jump to a new universe by performing an unpredictable action like eating an entire tube of ChapStick or—in another audience favorite scene—finding an unconventional use for a suggestively shaped IRS auditor’s award.

The script requires almost every actor to play multiple roles, and the ensemble acting is about as good as it gets. Everyone shines, although naturally it’s Yeoh who holds it all together with a performance that recalls (and references) her Hong Kong roots in wuxia films, as well as her recent turn to comedy with Crazy Rich Asians. And a special kudos have to be given to 93-year-old James Hong, for whom this would be an excellent cherry on the top of an incredible 450-role career (except that he still has more films coming out, and may be trying to hit 500 credits before he passes the century mark).

Ultimately, all the apocalyptic furor relates to events in Evelyn’s real universe—uh, the universe we started in, that is. My only slight reservation is with the ending, which gets a bit sappy in delivering its honorably intended “love yourself, faults and all” message. On the other hand, not everyone is a black-hearted cynic like me, and most audience members seemed as moved by the film’s pathos as they were invigorated by its action and amused by its comedy. In the end, this impressive feature comes pretty close to delivering Everything, with bizarre and imaginative conceits delivered at a hyper pace that does make it sometimes seem like they’re happening All at Once. Everything Everywhere all at Once is recommended for everyone everywhere as soon as you can.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“…an explosion of creative weirdness that is equal parts exhilarating and overwhelming…  It’s ground-breaking because it allows a new perspective, but it’s also just blatantly weird. It’s not glossy or careful; the film is an onslaught of visual and thematic ideas… In an era of sequels and remakes, something this outside the box is a welcome alternate reality.”–Emily Zemler, Observer (contemporaneous)

 

CAPSULE: DELTA SPACE MISSION (1984)

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DIRECTED BY: , Mircea Toia, Victor Antonescu

FEATURING: Voices of Mirela Gorea, Marcel Iures

PLOT: A super-powerful A.I. computer falls in love with a beautiful alien journalist and chases her across the universe.

Still from Delta Space Mission (1984)
COMMENTS: Though made in Romania in the dying days of the Cold War, Delta Space Mission proves that some concepts have universal appeal: Mankind’s drive to explore the fascinating universe in which it finds itself. Faith that our essential goodness will one day abolish prejudices, so that people of different genders, races and species can work together for the common good and against common enemies. The stalkerish love of an Epcot Center-shaped supercomputer for a shapely green alien.

If Delta Space Mission‘s plot seems episodic—and a bit choppy—when you watch it, that’s because it was originally twelve short films made together as proofs of concept, then assembled into a feature film. Had the pilot film been a big success, Delta Space Mission would have become a franchise—possibly even an international export. In the opening, Starfleet Federation-type characters are introduced, but hardly fleshed out; presumably, had the series continued, they would have become more meaningful players. But this arc belongs to lime-skinned journalist Alma (who’s also a pretty good shot with a raygun) and her metal-eating alien space dog, Tin.

When Alma is so enchanted by the jewel-like beauty of the giant spherical  supercomputer that she imagines herself dancing with it in a cosmic ballet, watching it grow multicolored rings along which she gracefully sails before the whole scene dissolves into a a splatter of colors, you’ll see the potential appeal of the series to the psychedelic crowd. Other episodes range from the computer animating giant stone robots, ocean waves, and a radio tower in a vain attempt to capture Alma, to the pivotal confrontation on a swamp planet full of strange aliens that wouldn’t look too out of place on Fantastic Planet (including some friendly green blobs with Kermit the Frog heads who treat Tin as their personal beach ball). The pastiche of classic sci-fi influences and references are entertaining to pick out: the space station looks like the Death Star, a spaceship chase though some rock formations that recalls The Empire Strikes Back‘s asteroid field escape, and so on.

The similarity to American Saturday morning cartoons of the period, or to the animated segments of 1970s-era “Sesame Street,” comes from the budgetary constraints. The movie has a lot of action—in fact, it’s near constant shootouts and chases—but it’s animated at a low frame rate, and not particularly fluid. There are lots of static scenes, and the designs for characters and other moving elements are simple, with detail reserved for the bright, dramatic backgrounds. The action is accompanied by an abstract, vintage space-synth soundtrack that sounds like a cross between Tangerine Dream and a malfunctioning Atari 2600. But Delta Space Mission works within its limitations, never letting them confine an imagination that soars towards the cosmic. If the idea of a kitschy Saturday morning sci-fi adventure with an offbeat, mildly psychedelic Eastern European spin to it sounds appealing to you, you won’t be disappointed with Delta Space Mission.

Delta Space Mission is released by Dead Crocodile on Blu-ray or VOD.

You can also watch our interview with director Calin Cazan, where he provides some more background information on the project.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“…yes, “Delta Space Mission” is supremely weird… a head-trip viewing experience that does well with colors and sound, connecting to younger viewers and those in an altered state of mind. “Delta Space Mission” doesn’t offer cohesive storytelling (a few characters introduced early in the picture have nothing to do with the plot), but it’s an engrossing sit, with strong artistic achievements and a few weirdo touches to keep it all wonderfully amusing.”–Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com (Blu-ray)

(This movie was nominated for review by Will, who called it “such an amazing animated feature and would work perfect among some of the other movies already featured on this site.” Suggest a weird movie of your own here.)

CAPSULE: SLIPSTREAM (1989)

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DIRECTED BY: Steven M. Lisberger

FEATURING: , Bob Peck, , Kitty Aldridge, Eleanor David

PLOT: In a future devastated by a geophysical catastrophe, a two-bit hood steals a bounty hunter’s prey in hopes of a big score.

Still from Slipstream (1989)

COMMENTS: There is an alternate universe wherein three of the biggest names in the cult of science fiction—Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz, TRON writer-director Steve Lisberger, and the legendary Mark Hamill himself—all found a renewed life in the cinema thanks to an out-of-nowhere box office smash about a future world where a steady round-the-world wind has upended human existence.

Yeah. Back in our universe, that movie was a flop that barely saw the light of day. Kurtz was bankrupted, Lisberger would never direct another feature, and Hamill would retreat into the world of voice work, rebuilding his reputation over the next three decades. The film itself (reportedly) slipped into the public domain, which does at least make it easier for us all to summon up a screening and see if we can figure out where all this potential went so wrong.

The story seems like a good place to start. The post-apocalypse summoned up by Tony Kayden’s screenplay doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Whatever disaster the shifting winds wreaked upon the planet left some people huddled in dusty hovels, to be sure. But why would planes thrive while cars (and even carts) have vanished? How are there diners? Compact discs? Keypad locks? Why is Bob Peck on the run in a suit that makes him look like a London stockbroker? Is it really a career option in the detritus of a wind-related apocalypse to dream of hanging up a shingle for your own hot air balloon agency? And that’s long before our heroes take an odd turn into a bunker/library/country club that just… is.

The casting doesn’t help, either. Mark Hamill—God love him—just isn’t made to play grizzled and hard-bitten, and his tough-guy dialogue sits uncomfortably in his mouth. Bill Paxton, sporting a Robert Plant hairdo, tries to portray a desperate mercenary while still exuding his signature goofy affability. (In fact, a whole lot of people in this movie are trying to do their best Han Solo impersonations and coming up short.) And then there are the cameos. Slipstream manages to land two of the decade’s Best Actor Academy Award winners—Ben Kingsley and F. Murray Abraham—and then fails to do anything with them in their allotted 3 minutes of screen time.

What’s most frustrating about Slipstream is that there is so much talent in service of a story that literally goes nowhere. (Lisberger is quoted as saying the film is essentially a road movie with planes, but the only destination is indeterminate and quickly jettisoned, so we’re just really wandering from cave to cave.) The film’s English and Turkish locations are suitably alien and intriguing, and they are captured with some lovely aerial cinematography. There’s Hamill’s genuinely cool-looking plane. And every now and then, the story stumbles across an idea—some people now worship the wind as a deity—or an image—a man strapped into a kite buffeted by terrifying gusts—that hints at something grander. But it never gets there. Instead, the few stakes there are feel listless and empty. And you can tell the filmmakers know it, because they’ve made the great Elmer Bernstein work overtime to provide some juice in the score that can’t be found on the screen. (When not trying to generate suspense, it pieces together elements borrowed from other Bernstein scores, from The Magnificent Seven to Heavy Metal to Ghostbusters.)

Time and again, we get a tantalizing glimpse of the inventive movie they thought they had. It’s like being invited on a treasure hunt, and your host shows you the cool map he found and the shiny doubloon that proves the treasure is real, and so you search and search, only to come up empty. That’s Slipstream. No treasure. Only hot air.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“It never quite gels into a complete whole, but also never lacks for ambition…  There’s a lot of weird aerial imagery that’s much appreciated if too oft repeated… There’s a cheesy core to this film that shoots for awe and wonder more than action and doom.”–Ed Travis, Cinapse (DVD)

*21. APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD (2015)

Avril et le monde truqué

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Recommended

DIRECTED BY: Christian Desmares,

FEATURING THE VOICES OF: Marion Cotillard,  Philippe Katerine, Marc-André Grondin, Jean Rochefort, Bouli Lanners (French); Angela Galuppo, Tony Hale, Tod Fennell, Tony Robinow, Paul Giamatti (English dub)

PLOT: In 1941, during the reign of French emperor Napoleon V, the world’s scientists have vanished, technology has not progressed for the past six decades, and the environment has been devastated by war, coal consumption, and rampant deforestation. The French Empire hunts the remaining scientists, hoping to enlist them to work on the government’s behalf. After April’s parents are kidnapped by a mysterious electric cloud, the precocious girl teams up with her grandfather, a petty thief with divided loyalties, and her talking cat Darwin to track them down, and possibly find a solution to all that ails the planet.

Still from April and the Extraordinary World (2015)

BACKGROUND:

  • Nominated for the César for Best Animated Feature; it lost to The Little Prince.
  • The most literal translation of “truqué” in the film’s French title is “rigged” or “fake.” The film’s English subtitles translate the title as April and the Twisted World.
  • An alternate history, the film’s point of divergence is the death of Napoleon III, who in our timeline lived to instigate the disastrous Franco-Prussian War. His prosecution of the war was such a failure that he was captured by the enemy, and his subsequent  rule inspired fierce opposition, ending his hopes of founding a dynasty.
  • Among the scientists whose disappearance has arrested the technological progress of this alternate world are Édouard Branly, Albert Einstein, Heinrich Hertz, Guglielmo Marconi, Alfred Nobel, Louis Pasteur, Enrico Fermi, and Sergei Korolev. Also, that may be penicillin discoverer Alexander Fleming giving a large sentient Komodo dragon a massage.
  • The film’s drawing style is modeled after cartoonist Jacques Tardi, who is credited as the creator of the “graphic universe” and gets a shout-out in the credits under an image of a pterodactyl.

INDELIBLE IMAGE: Nothing can quite compare with the first sight of a pair of Eiffel Towers looming over the Paris skyline, eventually revealing themselves as the central station for a fire-powered continental tramway that looms over the coal-stained cityscape. The image is so iconic that it figures prominently in the story, captured in April’s beloved snowglobe and playing a role in the film’s climax.

TWO WEIRD THINGS: Ambulatory meta-mansion, spore rocket

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: The film’s individual elements—setting, story, design—are each slightly off-kilter on their own. But combined, they add up to a unified vision of strangeness. With each plot development, the film manages to elevate the already bizarre circumstances to even greater heights.

English-language trailer for April and the Extraordinary World

COMMENTS: Say the word “steampunk” and your first thoughts Continue reading *21. APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD (2015)

CAPSULE: FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACE MONSTER (1965)

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AKA Mars Invades Puerto Rico, Duel of the Space MonstersFrankenstein Meets the Space Men, Operation San Juan

DIRECTED BY: Robert Gaffney

FEATURING: Marilyn Hanold, James Karen, Lou Cutell, Nancy Marshall, Robert Reilly

PLOT: An invading alien force plans to kidnap Earth’s women to repopulate their species; to preserve the secrecy of their plan, they shoot down a series of American rockets, but the last is crewed by a cyborg who turns into a brainless killing machine upon crash landing in Puerto Rico.

Still from Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965)

COMMENTS: Sometimes a movie is just silly. There’s no other level, no hidden agenda, no subversive reading that allows you to view the movie from a completely different perspective. No, sometimes the movie is just goofy as hell, and everyone knows it, and no one tries to be ironic or campy; they just keep doing what they’re doing, and you get a movie that’s silly.

If the highly misleading title didn’t tip you off, we get a proper taste of the kind of movie Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster is going to be early on. Opening with a car taking a group of military bigwigs to the Kennedy Space Center, the movie launches into an extended montage of the vehicle slowly motoring past every conceivable landmark on the Space Coast to the accompaniment of a hyperactive percussionist. After the car stops and one of the generals asks how far away lies their destination. “Another five minutes, sir,” he is told, and both car and drummer ramp it right back up for another driving sequence. It couldn’t be more obvious if the word “padding” was superimposed on the screen. It’s played as straight as an arrow, it’s undeniably hilarious, and with this moment in the books, the Good Ship Silliness has set sail.

It’s startling how much competence FMTSM has going for it. Director Gaffney was an acclaimed documentarian and friend of . Perennial That-Guy James Karen gets a rare leading role. Lou Cutell will later earn notoriety for playing an appropriately named proctologist on Seinfeld. That’s Bond villain (and Crispin’s dad) Bruce Glover as an uncredited alien lackey. Martian princess Marilyn Hanold brings her experience as a Playboy Playmate to the role of the second-most-clothed woman in the film. And maybe they play those two pop songs produced by Hall of Fame music mastermind Bob Crewe way too many times, but darn it if they’re not catchy tunes.

On the other hand, the most skilled filmmaker would have struggled to assemble something logical our of the pieces here. Aliens with bald caps and hazmat suits. An android whose encounter with an extraterrestrial death ray turns him into killing machine whose face is half-lasagna. A plot to shanghai every bikini-clad (and white) young woman in Puerto Rico into a Martian repopulation program by placing them on a conveyor belt. It seems impossible to think that anybody thought the movie would be anything other than ridiculous, but there they are, sometimes hammy but always committed.

You have to admire the film’s scatterbrained approach to its own ridiculous plot. When our heroes, Adam and Karen, have to pursue the homicidal robot that was once their creation, they spring into action… by hopping on a Vespa and taking a leisurely drive through the streets of San Juan, as if they had just jumped into a Puerto Rican Roman Holiday. You may ask whether the movie is a schlocky exploitation film or a disguised travelogue; why not both?

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster doesn’t have the advantages of sustained oddness that usually catapult the worst movies ever made into the weird pantheon. It lacks the earnestness of a Plan 9 From Outer Space, the flat-out jaw-dropping surprise of a Godmonster of Indian Flats, the sheer ineptitude of Manos: The Hands of Fate. This movie has to vie for the title purely on its own merits. Ultimately, it’s not the most entertaining bad movie out there, but it sure does make a solid go of it.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“…the movie does have a weird and kitschy charm to it. Any film with a pool party scene that is interrupted by an alien attack is not without its unintentional humor.” – Alec Pridgen, Mondo Bizarro

(This movie was nominated for review by Bob Gorelick. Suggest a weird movie of your own here.)