TMT – “The Immortalizer”

13 Apr

The Immortalizer (1989)
review by SimplyKyle


Directed by: Joel Bender
Starring: Chris Crone (as Greg)
Ron Ray (as Dr. Divine)
Melody Patterson (as Nurse Blaine)
Rebekka Armstrong (as June)
Bo Byers (as Sherriff Gantry)

At first, I was almost shocked as the beginning credits and studio logos came up as the movie was put out by MGM. A small part of me was worried that such a reputable production company could never put out a film worthy of Bad Movie Wednesdays (under the B-Movie section no less). So I then reread the Netflix description:

“Demented physician Dr. Devine has a chilling business plan: He directs his minions to abduct attractive young men and women so that he can transplant the brains of his wealthy oldster patients into their nubile bodies. Once imprisoned in the doctor’s lab, the youthful victims need to figure out fast how to survive the intentions of Devine and his crazed partner, Nurse Blaine.”

Yep, there’s no way this could be that good. So I continued on.

The Immortalizer (a name worthy of a nefarious DC villain) starts out with Dr. Devine and his staff getting ready to inject an unconscious woman with what looks like liquid kryptonite, further leading me to believe this script was a failed DC comic storyline. Seemingly the woman goes crazy because the treatment didn’t work I guess.

We then jump to a group of twenty-something teenagers hanging out and like all hip young people decide it would be a good idea to go down a dark and dirty alley in the middle of a city as a ‘shortcut’. Almost as if it were intentional after the boys try and scare the girls, they get attacked by actual dangerous. Two mutated ex-wrestlers with state-of-the-art makeup attack them by growling like dogs and grabbing them. The mutated men throw them in the back of a van that is being driven by two dimwitted normal goons (who turn out to be the best actors in the whole movie). A cop sees what is happening and just when you think he’s gonna save the day they run over his head.

There is a scene when they introduce Dr. Timmons who is the new young doctor who’s done some unsavory things in his career and the only job he can get is working for Dr. Devine at his mysterious clinic.

We then get to find out what happened to the young people that were kidnapped. They’re all drugged up and in a room waiting for who knows what. Only one of them, Greg (played by Chris Crone who did nothing else after this movie), wakes up and searches around, he tries to wake the others but can’t. He hides when he hears someone coming and then manages to escape after the nurse yells and does nothing as Greg runs casually by her.

If it’s any consolation at this point, about 16 minutes in, you get to see boobs. Then there’s an odd scene when one of the dimwitted goons comes in and fondles the naked girl, June (who happens to be a playboy model btw), who isn’t really unconscious, because why not.

An old woman is brought in a wheelchair and asked to inspect the young bodies as we find that she will be taking their body to make herself younger. Proving what I have always thought; that people with tons of money don’t give a damn about anything.

Several minutes of bad acting later, Greg finds Sherriff Gantry played by Bo Byers who you might remember as Growski Detective #1 in the 1978 classic Alien Zone, no? Greg assumed the only way to get the cops to come was to break a window of some building (because who actually uses a phone) and from right around the corner comes the cop car as if it was waiting there and Greg had run right passed it but thought it would be more fun to break sh*t.

Of course the sheriff doesn’t believe Greg, who claims his friends were kidnapped and held hostage because that’s just ridiculous, in the 1980s no one ever committed crimes like that. Reluctantly the sheriff agrees to accompany Greg to the building and lo-and-behold Sheriff Gantry knows Dr. Devine. So Greg of course has to fight the sheriff and run away to get help from the nosy neighbor, Agnus, across the street who just so happens to have lost her young son when the clinic opened up. Real discreet Dr. Devine, kidnap the neighbor’s kid.

Dr. Devine is seen injecting Greg’s male friend who happens to be his brother of course. He rejects the serum and goes crazy and starts to mutate. Dr. Devine has him thrown in a pit with the other mutated people. Dr. Devine talks Dr. Timmons into injecting June but stops him and says they can do it later.

Then we get to see a surgery in progress, the older woman from earlier and the other young girl from the beginning, not June, are both on tables. They cut open their heads and then grab the old woman’s brain and slap it in the young girl’s head. Because that is how brain surgery is done, trust me I know.

While that was happening Greg and Agnus devise a plan for Agnus to pretend to be interested in having the procedure done so she can spy on what is going on and find Greg’s friends. One thing that bothered me about this was that they use walkie talkies and you can hear just fine what everyone is saying when it’s in Agnus’ purse but when she needs to talk to Greg she has to put her face right in the purse. That doesn’t seem very covert. Anyway, since Agnus is just an old lady and not a professional spy she gets caught and killed.

When Greg can’t reach Agnus he runs to save the day and search the clinic house. He walks around for a bit and just so happens to stop on the only trap door. He’s dropped into the pit where the mutants live and has to stay for a while.

While Greg is down there, we see another surgery that seems much more trying then the first where they throw the brain around. We get to see how they dispose of the bodies, here’s a hint; giant meat grinder that makes food for mutants. Dr. Timmons then finds out he was tricked and brought there to be Dr. Devine’s replacement.

Things start to get ridiculous at this point (as if everything prior was perfectly normal). While Dr. Devine is recovering from surgery we find out that his wife, Nurse Blaine (played by Melody Patterson from F-Troop) is having an affair with the other doctor who had been there the whole time. Greg managing to escape the pit with the help of his mutated brother who, even though is a killer monster, shows compassion towards his as if he remembers him. The mutants then all escape and just before Nurse Blaine and the other doctor are about to inject June they are distracted by the noises and go to investigate.

A few more minutes of bad acting and fighting and a mutant thrown in the grinder later and we find Greg has run back to Agnus’ house and grabbed a gun from her closet. When he returns he find Dr. Devine, who is now really Dr. Timmons, in an office who pleads for help. Greg has hell no and knocks him out.

The last ten minutes go like this; Greg walks around, encounters the other doctor, Greg’s mutated brother saves him, Greg save June, the coroner and Sheriff can’t believe what was going on. Dr. Devin, in Dr. Timmon’s body, and Nurse Blaine seen at another house later as a young attractive blonde nurse approaches ready to start her job (An ending reminiscent of The Skeleton Key) leaving room for a fantastic sequel.

There you have it, the time saving review of the blockbuster hit The Immortalizer. I think the thing that bothered me the most set aside, mediocre acting and cheesy special effects was how these rich people continued on as themselves after becoming a completely different person, I mean how did they have access to everything the old version of them had if they were someone completely different? I guess they could lie and say it was just plastic surgery, which in those days was clearly more advanced and successfully and quick than it is now or will be in the near future. The world may never know.

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