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TMT – “The Immortalizer”

13 Apr

The Immortalizer (1989)
review by SimplyKyle

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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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TMT – “Interzone”

11 May

Interzone (1987)
review by SimplyKyle

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Director: Deran Sarafian
Starring: Bruce Abbott,  Beatrice Ring, and Teagan Clive

Where to begin with this brilliant gem. The premise of the movie seemed pretty promising; being about Humans surviving in a post apocalyptic wasteland in search for a great secret treasure. Who doesn’t love post-apocalyptic movies? Granted I did not go into it expecting MadMax or anything like that, after all it is called Bad Movie Wednesdays for a reason.

So, the movie starts off with very stereotypical 80s music reminding me instantly of Police Academy. Showing mostly scenery, muddy ground water that appears to be boiling set the wasteland feel right off the bat. Eventually you get to see people and the first thing they show you (that I can recall at least) is a homoerotic dancing Patrick Swayze look-a-like in a bar, who has absolutely nothing to do with the movie after the first few scenes (but cot damn do they show him as much as they can in the first 15 minutes).

Some dialogue, with incredibly low audio, establishes who our main character is going to be and then for some reason he decides to join in on a Russian roulette style death game, where the participants pick from a tray full of drinks and hope they don’t get poison. Our main man, Swan (played by Bruce Abbott), is sat at a table with three other guys, one being a black guy (who in like most movies, dies first), we also have the romantic music that plays as we are shown who our female lead will be. (Tera, played by Beatrice Ring)

After a quick predictable round, everyone drinks poison except Swan, who doesn’t drink a damn thing making him winner by default. And what does he win, a toothbrush and some other junk I don’t remember (it’s not important because it is never seen again the whole film). Shortly after, as drunks in a bar do, there erupts a fight and everyone starts fighting (oh and there is a man repeatedly punching a woman in the stomach). With incredible and realistic sound effects and fight choreography that could have been put together by Tony Jaa himself (kidding obviously), our hero Swan easily makes his way out by giving the guy at the door the toothbrush (that is why it is the only thing I remember he got because he gives it away not 10 seconds later)

There’s also this scene about telepathic monks who all have names of popular electronics of the time such as General Electric and Panasonic. They come in to play later, helping and hindering our two heroes. We also get introduced to the main villain, Mantis (played by Teagan Clive), this man-woman is more ripped than…a really ripped dude?….let’s just say she’s intimidating and manly, but dressed like Vampirella. (picture Dolph Lundgren in that green Speedo from Borat). Anyway that show us how much of a bitch/badass she is when she confronts the psychic monks and one can only assume the trouble to come for our heroes.

One thing I noticed was how well maintained everybody’s hair was and how clean their clothes were, ya know for a post apocalyptic world.

Anyway, Swan  rescues Tera from slavery with the help of monk buddy Panasonic and they are chased around by a fat Arabic-looking guy with a sweet zebra print convertible. Eventually they wind up waltzing right into the hideout of the Mantis and her minions. Mantis takes Swan to have her way with him, this entails a disturbingly unsexy, naked, silhouette interpretive dance behind a curtain leading to Mantis force feeding Swan a raw egg, cherries, sardines, and a phallic banana. Then there is a completely random scene of two guards that ends ridiculously gay (in a very homosexual way).
Triumphantly violated, Swan emerges the next morning, presented like some trophy. Mantis then decides he needs to be thrown into their death hole after mating with him. (honestly I didn’t get the reference to a praying mantis until writing this) Conveniently after entering the cavern, Swan find a shot gun and then immediately encounters the beast within, a swamp thing like monster so terrifying it could of only been seen before on old Star Trek episodes. Seconds later, it has been shot and Swan exits the cave, accomplishing what apparently hundreds of other men thrown in there could not do in a matter of seconds.

Yadda Yadda Yadda, Swan ends up being tortured and Tera ends up getting electrocuted. Panasonic also gets tortured and tells Mantis and her people where the treasure is and the weak spot in the Interzone is, having forgotten what the point of everything was this reminds us that there is a plot (oh the Interzone btw is an area that has somehow gone untouched by radiation post-armageddon, considering its only mentioned once but is the whole basis of the movie it’s good to know).

Spoiler alert: Swan ends up dying from his injuries. But not really because since you can’t kill the hero, Panasonic comes along and magically changes places with Swan (a scene as emotional as Sam helping Frodo on Mount Doom). Seeing that Tera has been electrocuted and surely dead, he yells to the sky and does what else? But prepares to go Rambo on the bad guys. Five minute of 80s montage of gathering weapons he could never possibly carry all at once later and he is at the church from the beginning, the bad guys have overpowered the telepathic monks in an epic special effects heavy battle. And What does Swan do? One would think use his arsenal and blast the sh*t out of the bad guys, but sadly no he walks up with one gun and they all run away except Mantis who is lamely trying to open a steel door the monks are hiding behind.

There is a suspenseful fight between Mantis and Swan when Swan basically says “screw this” and shoots a rocket to blow up Mantis and blows a hole in the steel door. Clearly not giving a damn, Swan enters to find out what the secret treasure is and find it is a collection of humanities great works and historical items (I think Book of Eli stole this idea). Swan thinks it’s cool then runs off. We see him next in a field holding Tera’s body…but wait she’s still alive (of course because why the hell not?) They live happily ever after, as much as they can seeing the world is still a sh*thole. This leaves only one question in my mind; why the hell did Swan drag Tera’s “dead” body out to a field just to hold on to it and cry since he didn’t know she was still alive in the first place?

In closing, this movie started off kind of serious, granted I know it was a low-budget indie film but usually they try and make a great story and believe in themselves. This just got more and more ridiculous with every scene. A fun note however the Director, Deran, went on to direct a bunch of episodes of House and for every incarnation of CSI, as well as an episode of LOST and Fringe. Admittedly, this movie had it all; domestic abuse, sex slaves, telepathic monks, stabbing of pregnant women, a love scene where they actual run through a meadow in slow motion, and a motherflippin’ flamethrower! Academy Award winning acting,  Avatar-like special effects, and a plot rivaling Inception  make InterZone a great addition to Terrible Movie Tuesdays!