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Michael Della Femina
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Neo, a drifter from the atomic-blasted wastelands, arrives with his klutzy robot sidekick at a factory where slaves labor to fuel the sinister Dark One's Power Station. There, he meets a comely woman who convinces him to help rescue her scientist father, who has invented a device that can break the Dark One's control over the slaves. Gathering a motley crew of allies on the way, Neo and pals travel to the Power Station, where they confront the Dark One's evil servants. Written by
Steven Otte <email@example.com>
The last city still stood. The remaining home of what was left of the civilization of New Terra. The society had been all but destroyed by the Robot Rebellion of '33. The robots had turned on their masters, by themselves. The ensuing chaos had led to a radiation spill far more deadly than any nuclear warfare. The world had been brought to its knees by the... robot holocaust.
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After all, MST3K's writers -- who week after week subjected themselves to the most putrid scrapings from the bottom of the cinematic barrel -- made a running joke out of this one. That's often how people deal with a particularly traumatic experience.
And this movie really delivered the hurt.
I wouldn't exactly call the general level of acting here "wooden" -- because it's positively petrified. Angelika Jager (Valeria) is a revelation: calling her style "robotic" would imply something far better than the actuality. It's not over-acting so much as anti-acting: Ms. Jager's got an undeniably beautiful instrument, no argument there at all, but it's as if she's trying to play it with her big toes. Whether it's dialog or body language, she literally never misses a chance to come across as stunningly awkward.
And it's not as though there was even one mildly competent actor in this mess, to throw her transcendent awfulness into stark relief; she manages that feat quite well on her own, thank you very much.
But I pile on.
There's no point in going into the details of the ridiculous story, inane narration and preposterous dialog, but rest assured, it's all here, along with "sewer worm" hand puppets who look like Ollie the Dragon with a terminal case of the mange, a giant spider (well, they could only afford one leg), robots, mutants, amazon warriors and badly choreographed fight scenes.
And of course his Moldy Avocado-ness, the Dark One (or "Dak Wan", in Valeria-speak).
Annoying rip-offs include a C3PO clone who fails miserably to provide any comic relief, as well as a score which lifts a theme from Bernard Herrman's music for "Mysterious Island" and then beats it to death.
By the way, one thing the other reviewers seem to have missed is that according to the opening narration this nonsense is supposedly taking place on a colony planet. (That's why the air's bad and they had to import a bunch of robots to do the work.) I guess the colonists were so homesick for the mother world they had to create a painstakingly accurate replica of early 1980s New York City to live in. Or maybe these futuristic Pilgrims were a splinter cult of Scientologists who regarded John Travolta's character in "Saturday Night Fever" as their prophet.
Whatever. If given the choice, I'd prefer to be repeatedly bludgeoned with the Manhattan Yellow Pages rather than endure another viewing of this movie, but aficionados of 80s' trash might get a laugh or three out of it. Just be forewarned that this isn't your average, everyday, grade-Z chunk of post-Apocalyptic cheese: it's a steaming, radioactive pile of cinematic Limburger.
Movies like this really will rot your brain.
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