This time round I dredged up an old, but favourite, film topic..Dystopian futures!.
Saturn 3 (1980)
Eeh by gum!, this films as old as I am!.
So, plot wise this film is a sci-fi thriller, set in some unspecified future time when Earth has become ridiculously over populated and its inhabitants somewhat sociopathic, almost the entire film, save for the open sequence and a teeny bit at the end, takes place on an isolated botanical research station located on Saturns 3rd moon (which by astronomical standards would be Tethys, although which one it actually is is never stated, but this would make sense being as about 90% of Tethys' surface consists of ice, you know which is good for turning into water to grow plants with an shit, yo..anyway..).The moon is inhabited by Adam and Alex, a couple who are both there to research more efficient ways of growing plants to assist with Earths chronic food shortages. Adam and Alex (Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett respectively) live a very comfortable life free form interference by the domineering Earth authorities, however one day their bliss is rudely interrupted by the arrival of Captain Benson (Harvey Keitel, although his voice was over dubbed by Roy Dotrice) , who brings with him a robot (arguably a cyborg) called "Hector".
Problem is, Benson wasn't supposed to be the one to deliver, and more importantly, train, via the use of direct mind impulse transference, the robot being as his mind was too disordered and prone to outbursts of extreme emotion and violence.
In the end, these violent, jealous and lustful thoughts (once he has got an eyefull of Farrah that is) end up being transferred to the robot, who, without any kind of moral guidelines, goes on a murderous rampage etc etc etc.
The film itself isn't a bad one, its not a good one either. For a start, Kirk Douglas was 64 at the time of filming, and even though he was in fairly good physical shape, theres something decidedly creepy about seeing a man who could be your grandfather engaging in simulated sex, nude scenes and sexual dialogue with a woman who was 32 years his junior.
The story is a tad predictable from the word go, and the special effects look extremely bargain basement, because the filming was fraught with problems, mainly stemming from the fact that ITC films had pissed a shit load of money up the wall on the film "Raise the Titanic!" which ended up being a massive box office flop, therefore the budget for this film ended up being stripped to the bare minimum required in order to get it finished.
The screen play was written by the semi famous writer Martin Amis, who later went on to write a thinly disguised book about the production, chronicling his own observations. He makes mention of an aging film star who is obsessed with his sexual virility (*coughkirkdouglascough*) as well as the numerous cost cutting measures and script changes required on short notice in order to accommodate them.
Entertaining?, not really, more, interesting than anything else.
Overall - 4/10
Omega Doom (1996)
Director Albert Pyun carved himself a nice little niche in the mid ninties through to the mid noughties, a niche which earned him the moniker "the Ed Wood of modern films" for a while.
Omega Doom is similar to Pyuns 1989 film "Cyborg", insofar as it concerns robots/cyborgs getting up to shennanigans in a dystiopian and post apocalyptic future.
Omega Doom (Rutger Hauer) is an android soldier who fought in world war 3, however on the last day of the war, a gun shot wound to the head erased his programming, making him forget his primary directive to KILL ALL HUMANS!!1!11!11one!1!.
Some time later, OD wanders into an abandoned French town (the original script called for the film to be set entirely within the boundaries of a post apocalyptic EuroDisney) to find that two factions are battling for control over the ruined buildings. One one side are the "Droids", a motley group of old robots, some of them ex-military, some of them servitor robots, and on the other side are the "ROMs", a trio of identical female robots who are much more advanced than the others, but are too few in number to take over completely.
The two factions share an uneasy peace, however secretly both sides are eager to find a rumoured cache of firearms that they believe to be hidden somewhere in the area.
This film is unashamedly a pastiche of "Wandering Samurai" type films mixed in with "Mysterious stranger western" type films, hell, theres even a "saloon" in the town where a timid governess robot serves water to both sides to use as fuel.
OD appoints himself to be the local "lawman" and put an end to the feud, mainly via killing the leaders of the opposing factions who are constantly stirring up trouble and picking on the drifters that occasionally ride through the town.
The action scenes are silly in the extreme, with "gunfights" being replaced by quickdraw type duels in which both participants are armed with some sort of laser edged throwing knives.
Even though the film is very slowly paced, and the story isn't terribly demanding, "Omega Doom" still makes for a good viewing.
Overall - 7/10
(This film was also released under the title "Warlords of the 21st Century")
Mad Max and its sequel, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, set a standard in the film industry and created a new type of post apocalypse film which featured people using vehicles and scrapping it out over fuel reserves after some off screen war had pretty much fucked the world up.
"Battle Truck" came out 1 year after Mad Max 2, and features, you guessed it, a Truck that is used for battle, manly battle involving a gang of ruffians picking on people in order to steal their supplies of fuel, food and pretty much anything else that takes their fancy, and thus far they have done quite well out of this wrongdoing being as no one can stand up to their massive armoured behemoth.
A small village called Clearwater becomes the next target for these ne'er do wells, who are pretty easy pickings being as they generally live a peaceful existence similar to the Quaker lifestyle, however this time round the bad guys get some trouble in the form of a mysterious motorcyclist named "Hunter" (Michael Beck - in one of his many B movie roles since his A list career ended when he decided to sign on to star in the awful "Xanadu" ).
As it turns out, a young woman who Hunter brought to live in Clearwater after he rescued her from being attacked by the baddies is the reason they have come, because she is the Big boss baddies daughter!.
Yeeaaaahhhhhhhh....This is a shite film, even the titular "Battle Truck" looks rubbish, and Michael Becks acting in the role of Hunter is really poor, you can tell hes only doing it for the pay day and not out of any particular interest in starring in this piece of dodgy sci-fi shit.
Overall - 3/10