WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
If I’m being totally honest, after AE: Apocalypse Earth, I was feeling a little fragile. My inner sci-fi geek can take a lot, but that movie gave me a fair beating. Nevertheless, I’m not one to turn down an epic mockbuster, and Atlantic Rim was just too great an opportunity to pass up. So, with Tropical Mary, Stygian Mole, The Occult Specialist, and our new friend Ms Misery in attendance, we sat down to watch this movie. My my my my my. I don’t know anything about Pacific Rim, so this movie had to sell me with only what it had to offer. What might that be, you ask? Well, it has the usual terrible CGI, atrocious acting and cheap sets that one would expect from an Asylum production, but it also has some of the most ADD-ridden editing I’ve ever seen in a film. I know it’s sci-fi, but good God not everything can teleport that quickly! Needless to say, though, this movie is a ton of fun, although I would recommend watching it on the tail-end of a movie night so you have the benefit of mild delirium to cover up some of its not-so-great moments.
Deep at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean lurks one of mankind’s greatest threats: giant amphibious dinosaurs with backwards knees! No seriously, how these things can walk is a marvel in itself. No one knows where they’ve come from or how they’ve managed to survive down there for so long without any of us noticing, but they’re about to start wreaking all kinds of havoc. The first sign of their existence that we experience is when one of them, with no provocation and unknown intent, leaps up from the sea floor to destroy an oil rig. Apart from a quick and somewhat greasy lunch we don’t know why they are suddenly deciding to attack now, and no one back on land knows what happened to the oil rig / ate its crew, so it’s up to the military to fall back on some half-baked, untested battle plan to solve this maritime mystery.
The plan? Send 3 gigantic robots worth $500 billion down to the ocean floor to see where the hell the oil rig went and what the hell may have dragged it down there. These robots will be piloted by the best pilots the program’s remaining $15 worth of budget could find. Decked out in what appear to be wetsuits held together by pieces of coloured duct tape, White Douche, Token Black Guy (aka TYREESE!) and Generic Blonde descend to the bottom of the Atlantic to check things out. The mission is plagued with problems – the control room in the bots becomes sweltering after descending more than 3 feet into the ocean, they’re controlled using what appears to be joysticks from old arcade machines, and they tend to shut down at random (this, for some reason, also sucks all of the available oxygen out of the robot’s interior), so it’s all rather slow going. Oh yeah, and there’s that giant monster floating in the background trying to eat them.
The violence quickly escalates from this point – the monster appears on land, we’re treated to half-a-dozen shots of the monster looped and mirrored maybe 20 times, and suddenly there are dead people everywhere. Why? We’re not really sure. Now, it becomes obvious that the American Government can’t just allow these beasts to run around Manhattan, but the team’s divided. Admiral Hadley, the head of some-or-other division, throws his full support behind the robots. The opposing faction, headed up by a man with an eye-patch whose speech patterns clearly indicate that he has recently recovered from a stroke, proposes nuking the monsters (although the word, when he says it, ranges anywhere from ‘puke the monsters’ to ‘fluke the monsters’). With these two factions at war, Generic Blonde and TYREESE! being innately useless, White Douche being super douchey, and the robots themselves leaving a bit to be desired, does mankind really stand a chance against these backward-kneed behemoths? Watch and be completely whelmed by the whole experience!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It is possible for oil rigs to become dislodged from their bases, float around in the ocean, and crash into Iraq.
- You should always wear self-tan to a review board meeting.
- The best mankind-protecting-robot is one that’s commanded by someone with a lot of experience in Tae Bo.
- Every secret military base should be equipped with at least 100 horns.
- The more squint the monster, the greater the threat it poses to us all.
- No matter what the emergency, a woman’s eye-shadow should always be unfaltering.
- Nothing says ‘time for a drink’ more than blowing up $500 billion worth of military equipment.
ATLANTIC RIM TRAILER
Year of Release: 2007
Genre: Action / Horror / Sci-Fi
IMDB Rating: 1.8 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Critiquing a rip-off movie made by The Asylum is a little bit like picking on the village idiot but I would like to start off by saying that there was some method to my madness. Not being a fan of either the Alien or Predator franchises I never took the time to watch either of the Alien VS Predator movies, so my logic behind watching Alien VS Hunter was that I could go into it with a clear mind and not be constantly comparing it to movies that had access to a budget and real actors. Sadly this decision was misguided as I sat, constantly confused, for 85 minutes desperately trying to figure out what was going on.
We start off on a very yellow morning (everything in this movie is tinted yellow for reasons unknown) with Lee Custler, a journalist, out jogging in the middle of a deserted highway. Lee is so engrossed with his jogging that he doesn’t notice a comet burning through the atmosphere and crashing into a nearby hill. Sheriff Joel Armstrong, however, has seen the comet and picks up Lee by bribing him with doughnuts so that the two of them can go and investigate the crash. After driving in the complete opposite direction to the crash site but somehow landing up at it anyway they realise that the meteor isn’t a meteor at all but rather the remains of an alien spaceship. Said alien quickly emerges from the spacecraft and ‘eats’ the sheriff (i.e. wiggles its head over his chest while fake blood oozes from his pocket). Sometime when all of this is happening a girl named Tammy, whose mother is missing, finds Lee and the two run off to go look for help.
Help, sadly, is hard to find in a town with a population of 11 people. At a little café / police station we are introduced to Hilary, Javier, Figgus and Marcy who, unsurprisingly, do not believe that giant spider-aliens are running around in the woods. Being from a small town and not having much else to do they decide to go off with Lee and Tammy anyway to look for the survivors of a car crash that Lee and Tammy saw when the alien attacked. The group finds a man named Garrison who survived the crash but Marcy lands up being killed because the alien can climb trees and what follows is a ridiculously long run through the woods as the survivors attempt to find anyone else who might be able to help them.
Now somewhere along the line, and he really just appears out of nowhere, we are introduced to the second main character in our movie’s title: the Hunter. To anyone who’s played Mortal Kombat the hunter really just looks like a rejected form of Raiden with a red jar on his face and a big gun. For unknown reasons once again the hunter and the alien are out to get one another while our little gang, now joined by a normal hunter named Valentine and his daughter Freckles, constantly manage to get in their way. To be fair they can’t really run away all that well because the sets are too small to allow for it and all that really happens is they run in circles while the cameraman tries to get different angle shots to create the illusion of a bigger set.
The rest of the movie is mainly made up of the survivors either running (slowly, EVER SO SLOWLY) through the woods, the sewers, the water pipes, the hunter’s spaceship, the alien’s spaceship (it may be one ship, I’m not sure), several failed attempts at sub-plots that have nothing to do with the movie and dialogue that is in no way cohesive. The effects are terrible, the actors can’t act, an escaped chimp from a USA government lab could have written a better script and the attempt at a twist in the ending will make you want to throw yourself and your TV out the window. For all these reasons I have decided to place Alien VS Hunter in the ‘Requires Post-Film Lobotomy’ level of awful. In fact, having seen this mind-numbing piece of cheese, I’m not sure if Arachnia or even Terror Toons deserve such a rating.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- An iPod’s volume can be turned up high enough to block out the sound of a comet crashing into the Earth.
- Contrary to accepted scientific theory comets do not send up dust or shock waves when they hit the Earth.
- Aliens can change their size at will. Common sizes range from human-size to tree-size.
- Aliens have honeycomb vision.
- Extraterrestrial laser guns make ‘pew pew’ noises when shooting.
- The actual shots and the sounds from the shots on extraterrestrial laser guns are not in sync with one another.
- Alien claws can slice through human flesh but can’t cut through rope nets.
- Small-town hunters have an animal-like fear of military personnel that are properly equipped to handle an alien invasion.
- Black women become fearful of a journalist’s writing abilities during an alien invasion.
AVH: Alien VS Hunter Trailer