24 March 2004 | KC6JLO
The Landmaster was the Star in my book
OK, In some ways I can see why people hate this movie, especially if it is viewed nowadays since the new era of digital movie-making.
The acting was acceptable but could have been better.
The cinematography was ok and, yes the "special effects" were cheezy; let's be honest here; the scorpions were back projected, and the cockroaches were plastic props dragged on the ground by strings. How much more cheezy can you get?
Like the one commenter said: this movie is a great Saturday Afternoon Matinee. I agree. Get out the movie goodies and sit back and have some fun.
I don't watch this movie for being a 'B' classic, the acting, the cinematography, or even the storyline, not to mention the cheezy special effects; I watch it time and again because I love to see the Landmaster in action. The Landmaster is the Star of the movie in my book.
The movie shows it having a shower and bunks and other amenities including space enough to carry the dirt bike easily. I can tell you now that those parts of the movie are just Hollywood Hype because the Landmaster's engine compartment takes up most of the foreward section and the rear section could not possibly "house" the rest of what seemed to be in it. But, the real joy is in its mechanics and the fact that it 'was' amphibious. When the rubber center section was in place it did float and it did use the tri-wheels like a paddle-wheel boat on the Mississippi River.
The real joy in this movie, for me, IS the Landmaster.
It would be great to have the movie come out in DVD for better quality viewing. Having the soundtrack would be a great plus as well. But, like Galaxy Quest, the thing I would enjoy the most is to be able to 'buy' and enjoy building a scale model of the Landmaster (and the Galaxy Quest ship). These two wonderful vehicles would be a joy to build and have in my model cabinet. Too bad no one has seen fit to put these on the market.
To conclude, this was a fair movie and quite realistic in it's time. The cockroaches devouring Paul Winfield was quite gross then, but is nothing compared to today's movies. Take Starship Troopers for instance; Cheezy storyline, highly "in-your-face" gore, and not too different in believability but, a great Saturday Afternoon Matinee.
As a matter of note, the Landmaster was built in 1973 for a price of $300,000.00 and starred in Damnation Alley in 1974. The Landmaster has been in several commercials and was also seen in at least 2 other movies, of which I have seen bits and pieces of but don't know the names. Dean Jefferies told me of the dates and cost and also of the other engagements it was involved in. Also, in 1999 it was all rusty and in poor shape. It was undergoing refurbishment at the time and some slight modifications and dressing up. Dean Jefferies told me, then, that it was going to be used in a promotional, but I didn't get to find out what it was. I've seen and photographed it recently and it is dressed with missile pods and other stuff from it's fame in Damnation Alley. The only thing not installed is the rubber flex mid-section, and, of course, all the Hollywood extras that seemed to be installed for the movie.