|Copyright 1994 Full Moon Entertainment
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 16 May 2003
- Zack Stone - Son of the planet's only marshal. As an empath, he experiences what others nearby are feeling. This means that he is a pacifist, because punching or shooting someone is not pleasant. Heck, I think that I would spend all day at the whorehouse. Find a good spot in the hallway and take a seat. On the other hand, public restrooms would be avoided.
- Buteo - The "native" mystic. The movie is set on another planet; how he earned such a distinction is a mystery.
- Miss Kitty - Julie Newmar! Madam of the local house of sin and apparently Zack's mother (he does not know this tidbit).
- Gaunt - Nobody likes to see the town's undertaker, because his presence is a portent of someone's imminent demise.
- Doc Valentine - George Takei! A little bitter about Shatner and the whole "Star Trek" thing.
- Stell & Mattie - The prior is the female cyborg deputy, while the latter woman owns the general store.
- Redeye - Reptilian outlaw that wears an eye patch. He can regenerate body parts, but that proves to be a mixed blessing. Slowly eaten by "scorps" (extraterrestrial scorpions).
- Lash - Violent female who is Redeye's consort. As might be expected, she wears tight black outfits and carries a whip.
- Bork - Bad guy. A little slow, a little stupid, but totally indestructible.
- Wormhole & Spanner - Members of Redeye's gang. One has a Zorro fetish and is shot, while a mutant bullfrog chews through the other.
|Oblivion is a town right out of the American West of the mid-1800's; except that the movie is set in the distant future. Along with the saloon, cheap whiskey, dust, and six-shooters, expect to find spacecraft, nifty gadgets, and aliens. Funny thing, all of this works pretty well. The science fiction western should be explored as a genre (except by the Italians, but we know they will do it anyway). There are a couple of good ideas in this movie, like Gaunt's knack for arriving just before a death and the mixture of high and low technology. If anything, the worst problem is how hokey the script gets at times. Some of the jokes are absolutely groan inducing.
The opening scenes lay on a thick coating of atmosphere, with the gallivanting inside the saloon contrasting against Redeye stalking down the empty streets. The bipedal iguana taunts Marshal Stone, challenging him to a shootout in the street. Now, the marshal is not much concerned, being as he has a forcefield built into his badge (courtesy of Doc Valentine). Unfortunately, the villain buried a blue crystal in the dirt and the strange mineral shorts out electronics. Stone is gunned down and Stell, rushing to avenge the marshal's death, finds herself helpless as the crystal's interference shorts out her cyborg parts. None of the other townsfolk feel up to the task of challenging Redeye. The sinister gang quickly becomes the new force majeure and uses their power to do as they like.
Elsewhere on the planet, Stone's son is prospecting for the rare blue mineral (identified as "dacconium" or something like that). He hears Buteo, who has been tied down and is helpless, scream as a small scorp draws near. Saving the Native American earns Zack a stalwart companion, albeit one who likes to spout philosophy often. At times the lectures are moderately interesting. However, some of Buteo's verbal wanderings made me want to see him drink a nice, warm cup of hemlock tea.
Back in town, Doc blames himself for the marshal's death (he created the forcefield badge system) and starts drinking heavily. He also bitterly makes wisecracks that any "Star Trek" novice can understand. This is Takei's shtick for the movie.
Gaunt finds Zack and tells him that his father (Zack's, not Gaunt's) is dead. With Buteo still in tow, the prodigal son visits Isaac Hayes' trading post. The visit is ill timed, because Wormhole is there. The outlaw is recruiting desperadoes for Redeye's gang. Looks like there will be plenty of fodder for the big showdown later on. This scene is only here to establish Zack as a pacifist, since he does everything he can to avoid a fight. The attempt is for naught; a fight breaks out and the bad guys lose.
The plot machinations bring Zack into town just in time to attend his father's funeral. Redeye intrudes and almost begs for a reckoning, but Zack will have none of it. Afterwards, Mattie and the coward of the county argue and she smacks him. Guess what girl Zack is getting when this is all said and done? Buteo is also hooked up with a woman: Stell wants to show him a couple of empty sockets. Must be time to order bearing grease and WD-40.
You may have guessed that Buteo did not stake himself out in the desert to die. His entire family was killed and their heirloom stash of dacconium stolen. He was left to be eaten. Guess who did it? You are one smart son-of-a-gun. You know that? Buteo recognizes Spanner and challenges the evil cowboy to an arm wrestling match. I know what you are thinking: "AN ARM WRESTLING MATCH?" You probably also remember how serious they tried to make such contests in "Over the Top" (Ken Begg, master of Jabootu.com, can preach on this subject). I can happily say that this lives up to the hype. With vengeance in mind, Buteo brings a little pet to the saloon. The monster looks like a vicious bullfrog and it attacks anyone who shows fear. After a few minutes of grunting and arms straining, Spanner gets a load of hopping death right in the face.
Redeye cannot ignore the demise of his companion and has Buteo "arrested." He is tried, convicted, placed in stocks in the town square, and Lash starts whipping the living heck out of him. Around this time it is finally revealed why Zack hates violence so much, plus why he is a loner (the whole "empath" thing).
Zack refuses to stand idly by as an innocent man is whipped to pieces, even if it means experiencing death secondhand a few times. He takes up his father's badge and confronts the bad guys. Lots of extras are served to the fodder god. Redeye and Lash are run out of town, but they take Mattie with them. The matter will finally be settled in a desolate canyon, in the dead of night, with huge nocturnal scorps prowling around.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Tumbleweeds and Joshua Trees are sure to develop on any arid planet.
- Prospecting picks are used when digging through loose soil.
- Sonic pest repellers are effective against insects, arachnids, and chitinous alien horrors the size of water buffaloes.
- If a crystal ball is not handy, then a cup of black coffee can be used to see into the future.
- There is a time for bingo and there is a time for funerals. Try to keep them separate.
- In the future, tombstones will have bar codes.
- Ceiling fans were very popular in the old west.
- 2 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST... ...what exactly was that?
- 15 mins - Special effects by Dave Allen.
- 29 mins - Buster's place is bigger inside than it looks.
- 36 mins - Ouch. That joke is going to leave a mark.
- 39 mins - Bad time to have a hangover...
- 54 mins - Is anyone else waiting for Miss Kitty to tell Zack to put his hand in the box?
- 67 mins - Stell's kidneys should have been replaced with a high efficiency ROWPU system.
- 71 mins - I see a bunch of overacting extras.
- Buteo: "Who are you?"
Zack: "Zack, Zack Stone."
Buteo: "Zack, Zack Stone, either untie me or kill me, just stop talking."
- Redeye: "I've always been very fond of you. You know that. Would you like to know why?"
Mattie: "Because I'm female and have a pulse."
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Marshal: "Have you ever considered the possibility, Mr. Gaunt, that people don't welcome you 'cause you scare the sh*t out of them? I mean, when you show up, people die."
||Redeye: "I have hemorrhoids smarter than you!"
||Redeye: "You stand accused of murder. How do you plead?" |
Buteo: "This is no court of law."
Redeye: "It's as close as you're going to get."
||Valentine: "There's no access through that arm, honey." |
Stell: "You promised me weeks ago you'd put in an access panel."
Valentine: "Damn it, Stell, I'm a doctor, not a magician!"
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Zack faces off against Redeye and his gang. The bad guys have Buteo (who just finished engineering Spanner's chomping) and they are going to bring him to "justice." When Bork mentions shooting Stell, George Takei has yet another chance to parody "Star Trek."
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