Sci-fi at its worst
mrliteral | 06/27/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I often say that I am a fan of science fiction, but not a fan of science fiction fans. It has little to do with the cliché of the nerdy boy at the convention in his Star Trek costume. Instead, it has to do with how often many of the fans (particularly of TV and movies, less so with books) are not very discriminating with what they like. If it has lasers, aliens or robots, that is enough; writing and acting are purely secondary.
Which explains the Sci-Fi Collector's Set, a quartet of movies that has as its sole virtue a relatively low price. These are four films made by people who didn't even try to make a good movie: instead, they merely threw in the standard sci-fi fixtures and knew that there would be a built-in audience.
I at least had the fortune to watch these movies in the right order, with the absolute worst first. That would be The Code Conspiracy. You know you have a problem right off the bat when the poster states "The Dead Sea Scrolls still hold a deadly secret" and they aren't even mentioned in the movie. Instead, it deals with the long-since-debunked idea of the Bible Code, which supposedly a professor has discovered and the government wants to suppress. I won't get too much into the story (it's not really worth mentioning), but suffice it to say that the acting is awful (David Warner, the best in the bunch, has the wisdom to exit early), the directing is awful and the writing is really awful. And though no particular religion is explicitly promoted, this is obviously tied to that televangelical sort of Christianity that makes Christianity seem mockable. (This, by the way, seems to explain the inexplicably high IMDB score for this movie; it must have been artificially inflated by TBN and 700 Club fans.)
After this horrendousness, things can only improve. Storm Trooper is an improvement, but just barely. Of course, any movie that stars Carol Alt may have problems. The plot deals with a rogue robot soldier who takes refuge at Alt's house, right after she killed her abusive husband. Mercenaries are called in to clean up the situation, leading to lots of gunplay and an ending that is laughable. For some reason, Corey Feldman is also in this movie, but if this was supposed to be a casting coup, it doesn't pay off; Feldman's character hardly does anything.
The Sender is also pretty bad, although the name value of the actors has gotten a little better. Michael Madsen plays a soldier whose daughter is a Sender, able to teleport herself and other things. Aliens are trying to assist her in developing her power; the government, of course, wants her for their own ends. Robert Vaughn and Dyan Cannon are also in this movie, along with Full Metal Jacket's R. Lee Ermey, who shows how limited his acting range is. If you like lots of car chases - or ridiculous shootouts where two people can take out whole platoons with just pistols - this might be your sort of show.
Finally, there is The Invader, a blatant rip-off of Terminator, with Sean Young as the woman who will give birth to a savior, Ben Cross as the alien who will both fertilize and protect her, and Nick Mancuso as the unstoppable villain out to kill her. Throw in one of the lesser Baldwin brothers, and you have the best in the bunch...but still merely a two star movie.
I like watching a good "bad" movie, but these aren't even so-bad-they're-good. They're just plain terrible. You can probably get this set at a cheap price, but even for free, this set is too expensive."