Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Parts The Clonus Horror|
Actors: Frank Ashmore, Frank Birney, Paulette Breen, Amanda Davies, Timothy Donnelly
Director: Robert S. Fiveson
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Peter Graves (Mission Impossible) and Hollywood legend Keenan Wynn (Dr Strangelove) star in this dazzling political thriller, that works equally well as a pulse pounding horror film, packed with moments of jaw dropping ... more »
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Damian M. (ratchet)
Reviewed on 3/11/2009...
A movie about clones. Great idea, terribly done. I guess The Island is supposed to have ripped off this movie to the nth degree (though I haven't seen it). A presidential candidate is deep in with the clone company and, yeah, poop.
"What must be must be..."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 04/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While thinking about how to write this review without giving away any crucial information, I saw in the product description on Amazon they did just that, give away a whole gob of important plot points...oh well...I guess that lets me off the hook...but in all fairness, the titles pretty much gives it away, so for all you kids out their in film school, be sure to attend Proper Titling 101, as it's just as important as the rest. Clonus (1979) aka Parts: The Clonus Horror has been vilified over the years, even given the MST3k treatment but, in its defense, as a sci-fi thriller, I didn't think it was all that bad. If you strip it down to its core, I think the concept was ahead of its time, and still relevant, topical, and interesting. Directed by Robert S. Fiveson, the film stars Tim Donnelly (The Toolbox Murders), whose last known appearance was as `Shooter at warehouse' in an episode of the A-Team, sometime in early 1984. Also appearing in the film is Paulette Breen ("All My Children"), Frank Ashmore (Airplane!), Dick Sargent (The Beast with a Million Eyes, Operation Petticoat), Keenan Wynn (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb), David Hooks (V), and Peter Graves (Stalag 17, It Conquered the World).
The film opens with Peter Graves at a podium, giving a typical politician speech, full of rhetorical hibbity jibbity. We then cut to various groups of youths exercising within a compound, smartly dressed in their Addidas track wear, reminding me much of that old TV show Battle of the Network Stars, except there are no stars here unless you count Dick Sargent, aka Darrin Stephens No. 2 (the unfunny one), from the show `Bewitched' (and I don't, by the way). The young adults, who all have ear tags and appear to be in a state of mental arrested development, seem to always be training, constantly being monitored by Dr. Jameson (Sargent) and his group of scientists, technicians, and guides (guards). We soon focus on one young man named George (Ashmore) and learn of his impending departure for America (the ultimate reward, or so they're led to believe...snicker...). He has a going away party with his friends, and then is taken to a large, unassuming building within the complex to be `prepared', which essentially means getting drugged, bagged, tagged, and eventually sealed (for freshness?) in a giant Ziploc baggie. Not much later after that one of George's friends Richard (Donnelly) starts asking questions of the metaphysical kind (well, metaphysical for a five year old), and this causes concern with those in charge of the complex, as most of the youths seem content to be led around like cattle. Richard's curious nature finally reaches the point where he sneaks into an area he's not meant to be, learns things he wasn't meant to know, takes some evidence in the form of papers and a video tape, and eventually escapes through a Byzantine series of tunnels to the `outside' world (can't keep `em down on the farm forever), which looks strangely like San Bernardino or some such place (figures this story takes place in California), where he eventually finds his way, battered and wounded, into the back yard of a man named Jake (Wynn) who just happens to be a retired reporter. What startling truth did Richard come across during his snooping? You may think you know the answer, but then again...
I could sense a good concept buried in here somewhere, but it seemed to get fouled up in the execution (funky direction and goofy acting). The sequences leading up to a freeze dried George were pretty cool, but then the film dragged along for about a half hour as Richard begins questioning his purpose in the seemingly idealistic colony (check out the scene where he finds a Milwaukee's Best beer can in the river...I don't know what was funnier, him trying to figure out what it was, or his keepers rather lame explanation of what it was). After that it kicked up a little as Richard is now on the outside, and we see the involvement of various characters. I think the film would have gone a little better had they not spent so much time in the colony but more so on this latter aspect. I did think it was pretty cool the sometimes extreme methods the colony security staff used to keep things hushed up. There were a few flaws in the story like it seemed every inch of the colony was monitored, but they couldn't detect Richard as he was running around the facility, eventually escaping, until it was too late. And the security equipment...it seemed to failed at just the most inconvenient moments (for the staff)...and lastly, with regards to the video tape Richard swiped which contained information that could blow the lid off the whole shebang...you know what? Maybe it's not such a good idea to leave tapes lying around that could eventually come back and bite you in the bum...just ask Tommy and Pamela Lee...who was this tape made for, anyway? A highly, top-secret organization making promotional tapes? For what purpose? Anyway, the acting isn't very good, the direction so-so, and the characters...well, they're just pretty funny, when they're not being all homersexual-like...seriously, did anyone else think that old man and young dude by the pool were a couple? And how about George? You can't tell me he wasn't bent...there is some exploration of the moral and ethical issues, but it's kept pretty light. I did like the ending (along with the gory dream sequence) although some have categorized it as being of the typical late 70's, nihilistic, post-Watergate style, but it worked for me, giving the effect of the story coming full circle.
Released by Mondo Macabro, the anamorphic widescreen (1.66:1) picture, transferred from the original negative and enhanced for 16 X 9 TV's, looks very sharp and impressive. Special features include a 35 minute interview with director Fiverson along with a commentary track, theatrical trailer, still gallery, and a preview montage of other Mondo Macabro releases. If you enjoyed such 70's sci-fi fare as Soylent Green (1973), A Boy and His Dog (1975), or Logan's Run (1976), then I think you'll like this one.
Put aside your prejudices and watch the movie!
GialloFan | OH USA | 06/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First up - this is a great sci-fi conspiracy movie. Way ahead of its time in its critique of science gone mad, the class system and the american dream - proved undisputedly by the new hollywood blockbuster from Micheal "Armageddon" Bay, being a virtual remake! (Uncredited of course!)
Of course its a very low budget movie so there are inevitable shortcomings but clear out all the MST3K prejudices and you're left with an unsung entry in the genre - even the New York Times placed the movie in the same hallowed company as Dawn of the Dead" (1978), Larry Cohen's "It's Alive!" (1974) and Tobe Hooper's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974), among many others, all drawing on the trauma of Vietnam and the rising fear of consumerist conformism to spin their dark fables of American life.
Now I can't think of a better recommendation than that!"
"Cult" film worth looking into
Jason from California | 10/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As I watched Michael Bay's "The Island," a movie whose American reviews in the mainstream media were far too dour, a feeling came over me I had seen this movie before. Lo and behold "The Island" is indeed a remake of Clonus. I eagerly await the DVD release of Michael Bay's latest for I plan to have a winter rainy-day event at my home - back to back viewings of the movies to entertain friends. News reports say the makers of "The Island" failed to buy the rights to Clonus and this piece of Hollywood intrigue adds topical interest.
On its own the best part of Clonus is its great premise, clones raised for spare body parts for the rich and politicians. Made in 1979 the movie is prescient and intriguing. Having said that, it's not a great movie. It's cheesy. But overlong scenes such as the searching of the office are balanced with some of the scariest scenes I've seen in a long while. For example the scene where we first see doctors terminate a clone. The doctors act with such practice and ease you think the actors did this for their day jobs.
I give it four stars because of its great premise, appearances by familiar medium level television personages, social relevance and the fact that I have to give a break to a first time director working on a $250,000 budget. Fiveson, the director, gives an interesting interview on another track of the DVD, and I think people interested in film-making might be find the DVD package worthwhile even if not particularly interested in Sci-Fi. For those not interested in what I've stated, I give the movie a fun two stars, not something to put at the top of your list, but if you have some extra cash and want to buy something different for your library, especially if you are interested in 1970s low budget movies."