Posted by James
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
First off I just want to put it out there that this movie is far more awesome if you watch it under its original title, Iron Invader. Metal Shifters might create the illusion that it’s a spin-off of something like Ice Road Truckers. Like the other Syfy movies I’ve watched lately (see here, here and here) this movie was quite fun, but you have to be in a specific mood to watch it. I’m not quite sure what it is but when a movie has a giant, lurking creature stalking a small town it somehow puts itself in a little niche that isn’t quite as accessible as aliens invading the planet through a tornado. Nevertheless, should you be in the mood to spend 80-odd minutes watching an averagely CGIed metal monster stalking a little town with a complimentary side of fateful lovers, then you could do far worse than this little gem.
Welcome to the town of Redeemer, a quaint little place where you can raise a family. Well, you can raise the family if you aren’t most of the townsfolk who’ve had their homes foreclosed and are now poverty-stricken and presumably living in a box under a highway bridge somewhere. Those that remain in the town are good, hard-working, salt of the earth kind of people. Brothers Jake and Ethan are carpenters of some sort and they work on restoring all of the town’s historic buildings to their former grandeur. Given that they’re flat broke how they do this is somewhat of a mystery, but who can really say how things in small towns work? Everything’s going swimmingly well for the two until Amanda, Jake’s high school sweet heart who he’s never gotten over, rolls back into town after a messy divorce. Oh yeah, and a Russian satellite falls out of the sky and crashes in a farmer’s field.
Never ones to miss an opportunity to make a quick buck Jake and Ethan take the satellite to the local junk yard to sell as scrap. Since it seems to be made out of mostly chicken wire and a few old colanders it’s perhaps not surprising that the thing fell out of orbit, but the guys manage to get $800 for it anyway. Earl, the owner of said junk yard and the only man dumb enough to buy a thing like that, is busy with a little project: since it’s the town’s centenary he’s decided to take some of the trash lying around and turn it into a giant golem statue. Whilst the sentiment is beautiful the statue itself is ugly as hell and, a while after he buys the satellite, it’s also crawling with an alien bacteria that feeds on metal and can propel its host. Guess where it decided to set up shop?
And the monster’s off and he’s running down the streets and he’s killing people all of the place but can he make it and kill everyone before they realise what’s going on? For such a large, clunky and noisy monster people are really slow to cotton on to what’s happening around them. This may, in part, be due to the fact that anyone the monster touches dies a quick and agonising death, but I still think that if it’s stomping around and bigger than your house you would probably notice it. As often happens in these situations the first people to spot the monster are the young folk, and no one’s really ready to believe them that Earl’s statue has come to life and is running around killing people. It’s up to Jake and biology teacher Amanda to figure out how this bacteria works, what it wants, if it can be negotiated with over a cup of tea and re-runs of Oprah or, if not, how they should best go about killing the damn thing.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- There’s always someone prepared to buy a broken Russian satellite.
- No town really needs a sheriff when you have a drunk old guy with a shotgun running around.
- The Russian alphabet can be classed as ‘strange and mysterious symbols’.
- Daughters make excellent alien bait.
- Old pick up trucks are an iron invader’s natural predator.
- It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an alien bacteria in possession of an iron golem body must be in want of a blood-rich host.
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