This is one that I actually hadn’t seen before, but proved to be amazingly bad. I have no idea how I had missed this one for so long.
Let’s start with the special effects. The aliens in the movie look completely ridiculous, to the point where rubber suits were genuinely a better option. At the time, the effects might have looked truly grand. But, as we all know, effects from this era have not aged gracefully at all. Come to think of it, the aliens look nearly identical to the animated chess pieces from Star Wars, which is appropriately one of the worst effects in Star Wars. All of the laser effects are pretty laughable as well, though I will give them credit for the many objects they decided to set on fire throughout making this movie. That was pretty awesome in a lowly, Michael Bay sort of way.
However, that is all kind of overshadowed by the really bad makeup and props in the movie. For example, everything about the lead character’s design was horribly botched (we’ll get to that in a minute). The “laserblast” gun looks preposterous, and is clearly a hodgepodge of whatever was laying around in someone’s garage. Given it is the basis of the movie’s title, I think some effort should have been put into it. There is also an infamous sequence where the lead blows up a Star Wars sign on the side of the road. It isn’t a billboard or anything, just a blank sign that said “Star Wars”. Apparently this was added in after the movie was complete, because of someone’s overconfidence I would assume.
The makeup when the lead character goes into…uh…hyper mode(?) is some of the laziest work I have ever seen in a movie. Someone had the bright idea to just paint the guy’s face green, and then leave it at that. How did they think that would be acceptable? His “mutation” while wearing the laser gun specifically turns his face green, with no other physical effects. Brilliant.
Speaking of the “mutation” the lead character goes through, there really is quite a presentation of bad acting here. When he is in this altered state, the lead actor spends most of his time madly flailing his arms. He occasionally fires the gun when he can keep his arms still long enough, but he goes right back to the flapping afterwords. The rest of the acting in the movie is unremarkable, save for the two stoned cops thrown in for comic relief. Speaking of which, does the guy on the right here look like Sean Penn to anyone else (http://tinyurl.com/lhpltbo)? Anyway, they ham it up a little bit, but the rest of the cast is pretty flat.
The writing isn’t spectacular, but the story idea has some promise I suppose: A kid with a chip on his shoulder finds a superweapon that subsequently corrupts him and leads him to seek vengeance for perceived offenses. I think the ending could have been much more interesting and less anticlimactic, but this was clearly a movie that no one bothered to put a whole lot of effort into. Why would I be surprised?
It should be no shock that there are a number of other goofs and errors throughout the movie, but I’m not going to put the effort into enumerating them. This movie is bad, but it is definitely the good kind of bad. This is the sort of film that you can watch and laugh at, which is always what you are hoping to find when sifting through bad movies. Again, the MST3K riff is brilliant on this movie, and adds a lot to the entertainment value. I can certainly recommend it if you are looking for an awesomely bad watch.