Monday, July 13, 2009

Apocalypse Later, Week Two: Warrior of the Lost World

Every once in a while I encounter what I like to call a "Seinfeld Movie", which is to say a movie that is about absolutely nothing. Warrior of the Lost World is such a movie, a mishmash of cars and motorcycles blowin' up real good with no plot to explain or justify them doing so. I know that normally I would break this down for you, scene by scene and prattle on about how stupid it all is, but this time I just can't. If I did it once, I'd have the whole movie in a nutshell:

Guy rides around on motorcycle. Guy runs into baddies. Guy fights baddies and gets hurt. Guy gets away in the end.

There's nothing else to it. There is absolutely nothing else to it. There's no rhyme or reason, there's no attempt at plot or acting, there's no point to it. Warrior of the Lost World is the personification of sound and fury signifying nothing. I haven't seen anything this mindnumbingly tedious since I foolishly subjected myself to last year's Direct-to-DVD Cloverfield knockoff Monster, a film which contained literally no action at all and instead consisted solely of two American women wandering around Tokyo running and screaming hysterically while three tentacles waved around in the distance like wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men and Japanese locals went about their daily lives like nothing was happening. That was the longest 73 minutes of my life, but Warrior of the Lost World comes damn close to beating it.

Production values are non-existent. Locations include a two-lane road in the desert and an abandoned factory, neither of which is all that convincingly futuristic. Special effects, such as they are, consist of the typical gratuitous explosions and nothing else (they couldn't even be bothered to add in the lazers coming out of the lazer weapons!) and they really aren't all that special. How many fucking times can you watching things blow up just because they ran off the side of the road? I'm sick of it!

And then the acting. First of all, the casting perplexes me. I have no idea why they bothered getting Donald Pleasance to play the bad guy. Why go to the trouble of hiring the man who played an iconic character like Halloween's Dr. Loomis only to waste him in what amounts to a glorified cameo as a lame, vaguely homosexual Dr. Evil clone? Anybody could have played that and done about as much with it as Pleasance does, which is to say nothing. And then there's Persis Khambatta as whatsherface, the damsel in distress. Most people remember Khambatta for her bald-headed appearance as an alien in Star Trek: the Motion Picture, but I remember her best as Princess Zara in Hal Needham's hilariously bad MEGAFORCE, one of the first movies I ever reviewed here. I can't honestly say that Warrior of the Lost World is beneath Ms. Khambatta, because it's not. Aside from Star Trek, her career in film was nothing but one stinker after another, not the least among them a cameo in the mercifully failed Casablanca TV series. I kinda like Persis Khambatta despite her propensity for picking the absolute worst roles, because she did at least try and she clearly wanted to do her best. She tries in Warrior too, but her role is so severely underwritten that it's all for naught. All she gets to do is stand around and look pretty, walk around and look pretty, and lie around and look pretty. She's good at that much, at least. Robert Ginty is simply a non-entity as the hero known only as The Rider. He has no backstory and he does nothing, so there's nothing to say about the character, either.

So Warrior of the Lost World is a poorly made and boring film. But more than anything I found it annoying. Between the ham-fisted cuts, the grating sounds the weapons made and the nails-on-chalkboard voice of Rider's talking motorcycle, I couldn't fucking wait for this movie to end so it would stop bugging me. This movie has more beeps, boops, bings, zings, zaps, zonks, tweets, thwaps and toots than it knows what to do with and there's no musical score to drown any of it out. The only respite afforded to us is the constant dropping-out of the audio, as if the microphones were being turned on and off every minute or so. At least half of this movie is utterly inaudible. That may just be a defect in my copy, I don't know, but it only added to the cheapness and badness of the movie.

Ultimately, Warrior of the Lost World's worst offense is it's mere existence. That anyone would be stupid enough to make a movie solely off of a poster and then release said film in any fashion (I have no idea if this ever made it to theaters, but I'd be shocked) is just appalling. This is without question one of the laziest productions I have ever watched. There was zero effort involved on the part of the filmmakers and it shows badly through every single moment. This movie is just bad and there's nothing else I can say about it.

No comments: