WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I know I say this quite often when I start off my reviews, but I feel that this movie warrants me saying it again: running this blog has forced me to come into contact with some very strange films, but S.N.U.B! takes the really bizarre biscuit. And before you think I might be overreacting, I would like you to consider what I believe to be the train of thought that went into making it: take people who look like, act like, and have the social sophistication of the cast of The Only Way Is Essex, tell them to do their best impersonation of the cast from Downton Abbey, and then put them in a situation that is more than just a little reminiscent of the plot from James Herbert’s Domain (minus the giant mutated rats). This, essentially, is what you will be dedicating the next 85 minutes of your life to should you decide to watch this movie. Now, that isn’t to say that it isn’t worth watching just to see how it all pans out, but I do like people to be prepared before they go walking off blindly into something.
We begin our misdirected adventure by following a group of soldiers out on an anti-terrorism assignment who are being hotly pursued by an under-prepared orchestra. The government has received word that someone might have planted a 20-megaton nuclear bomb somewhere in down town London (because it’s dead easy to just carry one of those around on you), and these highly untrained men are going to do their best to save the population, should the threat prove to be real. It turns out the threat is real, and the soldiers discover the bomb hidden inside a tiny metal briefcase. They bring in their most panicky and shaky member of staff to try and diffuse the bomb, but he’s never come across something like this before (again, because people don’t usually just leave nuclear weapons lying around, I imagine training with them is a little bit tricky), so he cuts the wrong wire. KABOOM!!! There goes London, all in one giant mushroom cloud.
Thankfully, while the British government doesn’t appear to have trained soldiers, an emergency plan, or an evacuation plan, they do happen to have a terribly unprepared Secret Underground Nuclear Bunker. All of the equipment in there is still from the Cold War so, while it isn’t tremendously helpful in keeping people alive, I imagine it would appeal to all of the hipster survivors who managed to make it inside. Having managed to get all of 7 people inside when the bomb went off (one of which is a minor government functionary who immediately tries to take control of the situation), these survivors band together with the three soldiers, the one communications director, and the one maintenance man who were already inside and try to figure out how they are going to weather this particular hell storm.
Oh yeah – the other problem with the bunker? It didn’t really come with a maintenance plan, so the life support machinery is REALLY old and gets clogged at the first sign of a human corpse falling into it. So there’s the problem of not being able to breathe when the 11 survivors use up all the oxygen in the labyrinthine bunker in a matter of hours (how heavily are they breathing?). Then there’s the issue of hierarchy, which really teaches us that, in the event of nuclear war, paper pushers with God complexes should be the first to be thrown into the mushroom cloud. Yet another issue is the prison right near by which housed Britain’s most dangerous criminals. They’ve escaped the prison thanks to the blast and have suffered from some minor instantaneous mutations and are now trying to push their way into the bunker through its many, many unsealed openings. But not to worry, if all of this becomes too tense for you to watch, it’s intermittently broken by scenes of two of the survivors indulging in flirtation that’s as subtle as being slapped through the face with a wet trout.
If all of this doesn’t convince you to watch it, then I don’t know what will 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Americans do like their underground bunkers to be up to date with the latest trends in home décor.
- The British Ministry of Defence never thinks to take steps to out-manoeuvre people with laminated pieces of paper getting past security check points.
- Underground government facilities are no place for children or goldfish.
- The easiest way to control the rodent population in an underground bunker is with a military-issued machine gun.
- Bureaucracy dictates that if bunker survivor quotas are surpassed, excess survivors must be jettisoned into the radioactive wasteland.
- Despite spending so much time on their backs, sluts still need plenty of rest.
- During times of crisis it is incredibly important to revert to Victorian-style gender differences.
- If you pedal a bike fast enough you can easily out-ride radiation poisoning.
- There’s absolutely no security risk in letting the country’s most dangerous criminals help set up top-secret underground government facilities.
- Government focus groups indicate that children make excellent decoys when mutated prisoners are invading your underground bunker.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
So, it had been a while since I last watched a good, old-fashioned end of the world movie. Since I promised the people at Syfy that I’d watch one of their movies to thank them for the upcoming Aladdin and the Death Lamp and Pegasus VS Chimera (a Tweet to which I got no response 😦 ), I decided to take a shot on Collision Earth. The result? WOW! Just WOW! I love me some questionable science in a disaster movie, but this little baby took it to hitherto unknown levels. I will try my best to demonstrate the lunacy that was this movie throughout my review, but should you ever feel the need to watch the most horrifying attempts at astronomy in a movie at some point in the future, make sure you have a copy of this on stand by for when the moment takes you.
The year is 2011 and mankind is about to take its first steps on the planet Mercury. Why Mercury of all planets remained a mystery to me since it’s not really anything other than a hot Moon, but I decided to run with it and see where the movie wanted to take me. Onboard the spaceship are three people: Veronica, a jack-of-all-space-trades and master of the universe, and two people who don’t matter cause they die relatively early on. These three will never have the honour of being the first humans on Mercury because, just as they arrive at the planet, the Sun sends out a giant solar flare that blasts the ship and the smallest planet in the solar system. This blast leaves the Asian contingent of the space mission dead and the ship in a bit of a bruised state, but that’s gonna be the least of their worries in a minute.
You see, it wasn’t actually a solar flare. For a very brief second the Sun transformed from a normal star into a magnetar. The flare was actually a burst of magnetic radiation that not only knocked Mercury out of its orbit, but also magnetised the entire planet. Since Earth has a strong magnetic field, it begins to draw Mercury towards it, setting us up for a series of catastrophic and preposterous events. Now, to digress for a moment, I would like to address the moment when people realise that Mercury is on the move. Rogue astronomer James, upon noticing that Mercury isn’t where it was a few hours ago, shouts out “A planet doesn’t just move”.
Upon hearing this I actually paused the movie to fight with the TV. Why? Because planets do move, and they move in a number of different ways. They’re rotating on their own axes all the time. While they’re doing that they’re rotating around the sun. The gods were merciful by not placing us in a binary star system, because I don’t think I’d have the energy to school the movie on how that works as well. I never thought I’d live to see the day where I heard dialogue like that, but here we are. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, as you can well imagine, the government is in no way capable of protecting us from Mercury’s collision, and it will fall to James to find a way to save us all. He will be aided by two college students with a pirate radio capable of sending messages to Mercury, an agoraphobic and socially awkward scientist side-kick, his wife, who is busy flying around Mercury, and a weaponised asteroid built for just such an occassion. Interspersed amongst all of these characters will be even more scientific fallacies, some jaw-dropping CG and some recycled footage from Ice Twisters. Enjoy!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Judging from the controls, flying a spaceship isn’t overly different to playing an Xbox.
- Spaceships are so fast they can outrun solar flares.
- Despite it being a complete vacuum, fires regularly occur in space.
- Only YOU can help save the Earth from a meteor collision.
- The sun is fully capable of changing the kind of star it is and then switching right back again.
- A car can protect you from a high-speed, interstellar meteor shower.
- Astronomers are utterly astonished when planets move in space.
- Astronauts are trained to sling shot space ships around magnetised planets, just in case the situation ever calls for it.
- Power surges make the same sound as old dial-up modems.
- Our solar system is just crammed to capacity with weaponised asteroids.
- They don’t teach you how to tie people up in astronomy school.
- No security convoy can match the strength of an Asian woman with a tyre iron.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
OK horror fans, time to stand our ground and do the world a favour. If you own a DVD copy of Queen Cobra, burn it and cover the spot where it was burned with rock salt to prevent any of its evil spirits from re-entering our world. If you own a digital copy of the movie then delete it and do the same with your hard drive as I recommend people do with the DVD. We can’t be too careful. This particular little gem ranks right up there with the utter worst of the worst I have ever seen. Only the most seasoned of b-movie horror fans should attempt to watch this, and if possible I recommend doing it in a group setting. People don’t always come back from this sort of thing…
It’s just another day on a non-existent college campus with its own resident mad scientist. The mad scientist in question is Dr Hall who is being funded by the government to do research on how to genetically mutate king cobras. These snakes are named sweetly after Homer and Marge Simpson and their parts are played by 4 different individuals: 2 real snakes that are quite clearly stock footage and 2 other snakes that are quite obviously made of plastic. Helping Dr Hall with the experiments are Courtney and Jeff, two of his postgrad students who are hopelessly in love with one another and who, despite having been involved in every step of the process, are completely unaware of what these snakes are actually being bred for. So far the doctor has managed to mutate them so that they can shoot (copious amounts) of acid at anyone who comes near them that completely melts the skin in a matter of seconds. No mad doctor, however, is ever content with simply having snakes that shoot acid and staying within the confines of his government contract so you know havoc and terror are about to rain down on this little campus.
This is where Rita comes in. Bless her, Rita’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer and she’s not doing very well in Dr Hall’s class so she needs to find some way of passing that doesn’t involve the use of a brain. As any girl would do in this situation does she dons her tiniest skirt and most low-cut top, goes to see Dr Hall and explains that she is willing to do simply anything to get a passing grade. Sadly for Rita what Dr Hall has in mind is slightly different to what she was implying and she lands up being stabbed to death with a tiny, tiny little knife and having her blood drawn for a DNA sample. This DNA is then given to the irradiated Marge the snake as part of the experiment. When Homer is killed by Dr Hall after he escapes Marge becomes very angry and escapes as well and, with the help of Rita’s DNA, transforms into a snake-woman hybrid, ready to take her revenge on everyone for the loss of her one true love.
Now the research facility where all of this is taking place really isn’t all that big. In fact all the makers of this movie seemed to be able to do was get hold of one room and free rein on a corridor and they were hellbent on making the most of the situation. Since the facility is so small the sounds of Marge mutating and then killing one of the security guards makes its way to Courtney and Jeff who then become the newest targets for the Queen Cobra. Floating around in all of this we are also given insight into Dr Hall’s marriage to his (much younger) wife and her TV repair man lover. None of this is at all important and in no way move the story along but simply provide one way for this movie to pad out its time a little more when people and creatures aren’t running up and down the corridor. While the Queen Cobra continues her attacks on anyone she comes into contact with Courtney and Jeff need to try and outsmart both the creature and Dr Hall who isn’t prepared to go down without a fight and is intent on training the Queen Cobra to obey his commands.
Apart from the obvious overuse of the corridor and the fact that, at most points, the plotline is holding on by the skin of its teeth the most fun part of this movie is watching the Queen Cobra herself. Obviously the budget didn’t allow for many touch ups of the body makeup and, as the movie progresses, more and more of it begins to peel off. It’s a horrible movie, but I would recommend it if for no other reason than to say you watched it and survived the experience 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Any man who creates a snake woman suddenly thinks he’s God.
- Scientists are not at all perturbed by melting corpses lying around on the floor.
- Irrespective of whether or not actual experiments are taking place something in a lab is always making a bubbling sound.
- The use of grad students extends to making them help you with horrific DNA experiments.
- Some people are very concerned about the rights of king cobras.
- Secret agents should, at all times, walk around like a mentally challenged robot.
- Security guard stations often have only red lighting and porno music playing in the background.
- Snake women don’t hunt, they prance about.
- A snake woman’s skin has evolved a natural thong.
- Human heads being torn off a body sound a lot like fabric ripping.
- Snake women have natural lesbian instincts.
- 2 night guards constitutes an entire security force.
- Secret agents are always one scene behind the monster.
- It takes a person a few seconds before they realised they’ve been shot in the head and are now dead.
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