The Final Sacrifice is one of those perfect B-movies. This is the sort of thing that you hope to find when you take a gamble on an unheard-of DVD or VHS.
I’ve been taking my time writing this review because I really wanted to find an unriffed copy of this film. The MST3K crew clearly dug this movie up out of nothingness and made it into something absolutely iconic. This is probably the best riff of the Mike Nelson era, which is saying a lot. Unfortunately, the popularity of the riff means that it is very easy movie to track down, but not without the charming silhouettes of the snarky trio.
I’m still going to keep my eyes open for a unriffed copy, but I also want to keep moving forward with the list. So, The Final Sacrifice.
The acting is bad, but in a good way. The lead is very miscast for a hero character, but does what he can with it. The villain is outstandingly over the top, and has one of the most ridiculously evil voices you will hear. If anyone actually has a voice like that, there is simply nothing else they can do with their life apart from evil and treachery. Without the riffs, I would be willing to bet that the villain character would be the saving grace of the whole movie. According to the IMDb trivia, none of the actors got paid for this movie, so I have to applaud them for the effort they did put into this thing.
The writing is honestly just really silly. Whoever named the lead character “Zap Rowsdower” need to be given an official award, and subsequently never allowed to write anything ever again. The plot is indescribably baffling, but at the very least the title isn’t completely irrelevant to it. The mystery element of the story isn’t so bad as the movie gets started, but the payoff on it is equal parts predictable and shallow. I really don’t want to spoil the movie, because everyone should watch this thing, but I will say that it is a great, dumb B-movie ending.
Right now this is sitting at #66 in the IMDb Bottom 100. I don’t think this is going to fall out of the Bottom 100, but it has been falling a bit recently. Honestly, I think it deserves a spot on the list just because of the entertainment value of the riff. Without the riff, no one would even know about this movie. At the core, this was a student movie made for absolutely nothing, and probably would never have qualified for such a “prestigious” list without the MST3K attention it received. Once again, I think the position of this movie on the Bottom 100 is a nod the the influence of the MST3K team on the entire hobby of riffing on bad movies.
I can recommend this riff (at the very least) to anyone. I think this is a fantastic introduction to Mystery Science Theater 3000, and an absolutely hilarious job. I might not recommend the movie to Canadians, because the movie may hit a little to close to home. City-resurrecting cults are a very serious concern up there, or so I hear.