5 May 2007 | Squonkamatic
Spider Man Has Nothing On This Movie
Holymotherofgod. This movie is amazing, a true testimony to the creative spirit of the human animal. That it makes no sense, is somewhat ineptly staged, recklessly plotted and lacks any redeeming social qualities makes it even more enjoyable. I watch it with the same kind of amazement that a newborn child regards it's mother's voice. I simply cannot believe I am lucky enough to exist at a time when movies like this have been made and privileged to have seen it -- which according to some intel I gathered is a collection of scenes from an obscure TV series that was released in Germany only as a feature film in this form.
The other guy did a pretty good job in summing up the story, which concerns itself with gigantic robots trying to blow stuff up and other robots who fight them. There are jet fighter attacks, an undersea headquarters, mod day-glow production design, an evil overlord villain who's hair lights up like the Heatmizer's, evil enemy henchmen dressed as football players who kick exploding footballs, and a heroic team of robot pilots who all wear identical fluorescent lounge suits with some sort of military insignia on the lapel & have their own secret hand signals. In other words this is exactly the same movie I would have made when I was about eight years old, which ironically is when the film was released. Coincidence? Hardly.
The model effects work is cheezy and unconvincing, which heightens the surrealist nature of the film. It's sort of like a visual realization of an eight year old's fantasy as he plays with his robot toys and imagines them battling for world supremacy. The robots are alternately shown as either small models for close-up details or a stunt actor dressed in a costume approximating the designs for scenes like when the robots reach down to pick stuff up. One battle scene has them pasted to a revolving 33rpm turntable as their arms move up and down, a more convincing special effect than anything seen during the entire 140 minute runtime of ATTACK OF THE CLOWNS from Star Wars. The jump cutting is all fast paced and upbeat, with print damage to the home video version I saw inadvertently trimming vital expositional scenes that would otherwise have provided context for the action being shown. It is a vast improvement.
The home video version I found is also a marvel to behold, a (get this, if you can follow it) Greek made German language VHS of a movie made in Japan. If it's storage box had been made somewhere in South America it could represent some kind of U.N. committee studying global warming. I bought it on eBay in a public auction that anyone on the planet with an internet connection that isn't blocked by their totalitarian dictator government could have bid on. Nobody else did, so this video is proof that there are roughly three and a half billion people on this planet who don't have a clue. The VHS itself is worn, has a ratty fullframe transfer with dust scratches and missing frames and skallowag damage where small children were allowed to pull lengths of the video tape from the cassette and use it for craft projects. I wouldn't want to see it any other way, a proper DVD restoration would ruin this movie.
To sum up and provide a catch-phrase for some nerd hack writing for a dork print fanzine to steal from me without proper credit (an alarmingly frequent film review technique, I am afraid), "SPIDER MAN 3 has nothing on this little baby", and I genuinely mean that with all due contempt for present day action/adventure/sci-fi/cult movie making. I would love to send a copy of this video to Sam Raimi and Quentin Tarentino so both could hang their heads in shame after allowing their careers to become so uninteresting. They should both quit their day jobs as media demigods and go back to working menial employment for peanuts and perhaps figure out how to make a movie again, artists always work best when under adversity. Which is exactly why I insist on continually eking out a marginal living: I do not want to loose my creative edge, and the brilliant minds behind this film likewise shared my same insistence upon remaining a failure who made great art. Thank god they bothered.
8/10: Needed a mummy or perhaps some insert scenes with Jack Palance taken from another movie. Other than that it's perfect.