User Reviews (8)

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Oh God! Where to start?

    Africa a couple of thousand years ago: Natives dance and beat drums. Aliens arrive in a huge disco-light and are greeted by the chief. The aliens present their half of a weird key and obtain something from a mysterious underground chamber. As they take off the ship is struck by lightning and crashes. Kaboom!

    Africa the present day: A husband wife archaeological team are digging the remains of an ancient hill top site. The husband is convinced aliens visited the place many years ago. The wife is sceptical. The husband goes to visit their photogenically dying son in hospital. The wife finds half of the the mysterious maguffin alien key. She faxes a scan of it to her evil boss (we know he's evil because he's got a beard) before driving to meet her husband. Deep underground in the remains of the space ship, one of the alien droids wakes up and sets off in pursuit - stopping only to learn English by reading the label on the bottom of a fax machine and donning a nifty flowing coat that just happens to be his size.

    Lady archaeologist is attacked by droid. Lady Archeolgist escapes. Lady archaeologist tries to deliver maguffin to Evil boss's henchman but sees droid and runs away. From here to end of movie car chases, guns, and explosions in random order until everyone ends up in another mysterious underground chamber just like the first one (they built a spare?) where the maguffin key thing turns sunlight and cave water into THE ELIXIR! More shooting. All the bad guys die. Alien droid finds his home planet is no more and gives THE ELIXIR to the archaeologists to cure their photogenically dying child. Roll Credits. Take DVD out of player. Throw DVD in dustbin. The End.

    Dumb dumb movie. Which is a pity. The camera work and locations were great, some of the acting was adequate. Someone spent some money on this. But the script? Oh so bad bad bad bad bad it was beyond a joke. No one could deliver that stuff.!

    Stupid unanswered questions include (amongst many many others):

    How did the lady archaeologist send the email? Every time she tried to call anyone local over the windup telephone we had an 'amusing' interlude with the ineffectual local operator, and her rustic plug and wire switchboard, yet emails zip across the world to evil masterminds in seconds, complete with colour graphics and computery pinging noises.

    How can hired killer goons miss EVERYTHING they shoot at even armed with automatic weapons? (Mild mannered archaeologists, on the other hand, can knock people dead from vast distances with one shot from vintage service revolvers they've just picked up.)

    How did an Alien race capable of interstellar travel manage to get anywhere with shuttle ships that fall out of the sky when struck by lightning? Normal commercial civil jets are usually struck about once a year, which amounts to about once every 3,000 flying hours, and will frequently trigger lightning by flying through clouds. Pretty dumb bunch of aliens. Very dumb movie. It lowered my IQ by several points.
  • Okay. It was Saturday afternoon. I was on the computer. I rented a string of sci-fi films and when this one came on, I actually got involved in it. I cared about Todd and jennifer, the main actors. They had good chemistry. I realize the plot was not rocket science but I didn't miss it. We had your archeology-type couple embroiled in something they unwittingly stumbled upon. Your bad guy, your alien, your neck breaking pace - hey it was fun...................
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Having seen all 4 films in the series, I can say this one is the worst of them. There is so much wrong with it, I don't even know where to start. Let me point out at least some of the flaws.

    The first thing to make me suspicious were the many titles of this film. My copy was called "Shadowchaser: The Gates of Time", even though no time travel and no gates were involved. Probably the best one would have been "Orion's Key".

    The plot is a convoluted mess. There are two archaeologists (a married couple) looking for something in Africa. Just when they are about to give up, they find the Key and despite having any clue as to what is really is, they immediately know it's important and they must not give it to anybody. They have a son, who's in hospital, because his mother was a reckless driver (I will get to her later). So they contact some university professor, who hires mercenaries (because all professors have those on their speed dials) and orders them to retrieve the Key at any cost (because all professors do that, right?). The artifact also awakens an alien android (or what exactly he is supposed to be) and hijinks ensue (wild car chases, gunfights, explosions, you name it).

    I understand that script re-writes can make more damage than good, but that does not excuse the sloppy writing and horrible lines in this film. Words fail me how terrible the lines are. It feels as if the script was written by a ten-year-old who had just seen Alien and Terminator and liked Zagarino's hairstyle.

    The acting is beyond redeemable. Especially the female lead Jennifer MacDonald. I don't know whether it was an intention to make her character so annoying and unlikeable, but they sure succeeded. There were moments when her delivery and her acting were so bad I wanted to punch my TV. She's the perfect definition of a self-centred arrogant bitch. She would rather have her husband killed by Zagarino than give up the Key (which she has no way of knowing what it is for).

    But the worst for me was the whole concept of Shadowchaser. The producers had a great character on their hands, but didn't know what to do with it. In the first and second instalments he was a renegade android created by the government. OK, no problem there, sounds like fun. In the third film he was a .... well, I think a Russian android that went banana because of some virus or something. It's not clearly explained in the film. And now in the final film he is an alien cyborg warrior, a protector of his species whose sole job is to prepare some elixir. It's sad, real sad, that this was the final film and his character didn't get a proper closure.

    So, do I recommend it? Only if you are a die hard Zagarino fan or a completist like me. Otherwise don't bother with it, there's really nothing to see here.
  • Bezenby25 September 2012
    Er, where's the demand for the Project Shadowchaser films? I suppose there might be some sort of cult following somewhere, folks that just love to see Frank Zagarino stagger through another film, pretending to be a cyborg or alien or whatever he's meant to be in these films. Believe it or not, but this is the fourth film in the series, and guess what? It's crap. But therein lies the fun part.

    The first time I attempted to watch this film I was sent off to sleepy-land on a bed of endless chase sequences and tame, tame action. However, I tried again and found a really bad chase film full of mistakes, chronic acting, a terrible script, and loads of laugh out loud pieces.

    In Africa, 2963 years ago to be precise, a tribe of folks are giving it some moves around a campfire when a spaceship lands and what looks like bunch of Billy Idol clones jump out, watched by some grey aliens. The lead Idol clone (Zagarino) gives half a key to the tribe's chief, who joins it up with another key. Zagarino then takes the key into some underground complex and activates a machine. Job done, they all jump in the spaceship, which stupidly gets struck by lightening and explodes.

    Jump forwards to the future, where a couple of archaeologists are digging the area (it's pretty groovy). The husband is adamant that they will find some great secret about an ancient tribe, but his missus is giving him grief because they've got no cash and there's the middling matter of their son being catatonic in a hospital following a car crash and they can't pay the locals. Give the guy a break, missus!

    Of course, they find half a key, so Zagarino wakes up (somehow caused by an email getting sent!) and burst out of his cave to go get the key. The couple's boss, Morton, also wants the key and sends his henchman, Silver to get it. Silver is mental though, and just tries to kill the couple even though the wife was willing to give the key to the guy in order to get cash to get her son out of the hospital into somewhere better. Also, Zagarino just runs around the place smashing things to bits rather than explain why he wants the key. Got all that?

    So, the couple are on the run from Silver, the kid's kidnapped by Morton, Zagarino's charging through the scenery like Arnie's PCP addicted brother, and they all end up at the underground lair, where things get a bit Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    This film is superficially a bit tame and boring (it's by Nu-Image after all), but there's so much wrong with the film that I couldn't help but like it. It's full of mistakes and gaffs (look for the extra at the beginning who burns himself on a torch!), lameness (Silver especially can't act) and quirkiness (why did we have to see the lead actress stop for a pee break?) that I couldn't help but enjoy it. Zagarino is so bland he's like the Pot Noodle of action stars, but this film should give bad movie fans a good laugh. Loved the trick ending too.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A space ship lands in Africa and humanoids from it do something. 2963 years later (really) a pair of archaeologists discover an artifact that is a part of Orion's Key that somehow turns water (or something) into the elixir of life. An evil professor is after the elixir, a humanoid from the past seeks to defend it. Throw in an unwell boy and quirky local characters and you have mixed bag of a film that doesn't deliver in any way at all. The story is ungainly and confusing and what the last shot of the film is about, who knows?

    Jennifer MacDonald and Todd Jensen are the married archaeologists and they are quite annoying, behaving as no one in real life would ever do. It does have Frank Zagarino though, walking around looking menacing which Frank always does well but that is what he is mainly given to do. To the film's credit I did rather like the music score, thanks to Robert O. Ragland and it does have real explosions rather than false CGI ones we got in later years.

    Number four in the Shadowchaser series, it undoubtedly is the worst.
  • misterlei7 March 2008
    Dumb as hell. Stupid. A plot that's the same as a million other badly-made movies you wish you'd never watched. Someone nice finds something. Some one nasty wants it back. Someone else nasty also wants it to make themselves powerful. What makes this movie slightly different i suppose is that two nasty people each want what the nice person has found instead of one nasty person. I wasted an hour of my life watching this nonsense before i gave up. And it's racist: African people are either savages smeared in dust, lazy, or dependent upon westerners for their livelihoods. Don't bother watching this. It's rubbish.
  • I got this on a double-sided DVD with "Alien blood", despite this movie obviously having 100 times the budget of Alien blood, this is obviously the inferior film. There are some entirely idiotic moments here, the whole scene in the Market had me wanting to hammer the screen in, HOW can people just fail to communicate (the woman just runs away without saying anything to her husband!). And the guy they where going to give the 'artifact' to, honestly, what would you do if two people came to give you something then ran into a market. Would you assume they had just gone to buy some bottled water for the trip? or would you hunt them down and shoot them?. Then there is the dodgy 'Alien' robot who is just like the Terminator. And there was something about a life-preserving "Elixir" in there somewhere, but my mind had turned to mush by that point. Oh and the utterly stupid 'twist' ending that had me howling with laughter...