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scientist engineers a group of genetically engineered cyborgs for use as "supersoldiers" to fight U.S. wars in the Middle East. However, things get ugly when the cyborgs malfunction and turn on their creators, escaping from the abandoned lab and stalking the halls of the Cyberdyne (Wasn't that stolen from "The Terminator"?) building, eating people and reproducing every 24 hours A-sexually. The main Syngenor, the Lizard-like monster spends most of the time slobbering and slowly stalking his prey, while the other types of Syngenor walk around roaring like Elephants and killing the Company's army (The "Soldiers" were the goofiest-looking clothes you'll ever see) spend most of their time running threw hallsways, while the company's insane CEO, David Gale, kills his co-workers. "Syngenor" is a low-budget monster movie that, without the presence of David Gale or the nifty-looking monsters, would have failed misserably. The monsters look cool and original for their budget, and David Gale's performance is hysterical--in fact, I'd go as far as saying that this is his best roll EVER, even beating "Re-animator". Over-all, a fair attempt at horror film-making, see it if only for gale. My rating for "Syngenor"- 6/10.
This was one of my favortie movies as a kid. It used to scare the crap outta me when I was young, and even though its not that scary now I still love it. There is a somewhat good amount of gore and violence, and the creatures look great for a low-budget flick, even though they do sound a little bit like elephants when they scream. I heard that this is actually a sequel to amovie called "Scared to death", which I haven't seen... yet. Anyway, Syngenor is out of print, but if you find it, pick it up. You won't regret it.
At one point, they shoot one of the monsters in this so many times that he
looks like he's dancing, waving his arms up and down. It almost looked like
he was doing the "Robot". To add insult to injury, you could clearly see a
thick root of cables coming from one of his feet that was obviously used to
set off the bullet squibs. My God!
This is one of those movies that is so funny, you may not be able to watch it from lack of oxygen and blurred vision caused by tears. It is such a ripoff of Aliens that it's pretty awe inspiring. They stick a big cannon in this one poor monster's mouth and pull the trigger repeatedly, similar to when Hicks blasted an Alien to smithereens after jamming a shotgun in between it's drooling jaws and yelling, "Eat this!" There's even a scene set in airducts with the monsters chasing them. What I remember most about this was that the creatures posed almost no kind of threat. They walked around REALLY slowly and were really just there to get shot to pieces by the obligatory military hit squad. This is one bad movie that for some reason, gives me warm and fuzzy feelings. My interest was piqued by an ad I saw in Fangoria years ago for these really detailed rubber masks that they were selling. One of them was called "Syngenor" and looked really nice but it was a bit out of my price range. Then I found out that the mask was based on a character design from a movie and I decided that I had to see it! And then I did! And you know what? It was terrible! But funny also!
I sort of remember that water played a big part in this somewhere. And that in the movie, some researchers were designing these creatures to be the perfect soldiers or some other hoo-hah. It's bad alright but it's not that bad that it's unwatchable. I'm gonna go ahead and give this one big fat star and a half. Only out of sympathy and the fact that this movie has made me laugh to the point of getting internal damage do I spare it from a zero, which realistically, this chuck deserves.
RATING: * and a 1/2 out of *****
I love cheap creature feature or monster movies. I really do, no matter
how cheap they are as long as they are entertaining.
"Syngenor" wasn't. It started out OK but as the movie went on I find myself paying less and less attention to the screen. Creature design is interesting and cool looking, but that's probably the most interesting about the movie.
I wouldn't complain too much about acting, because I didn't really expect some excellent performances in these kind of movie, but David Gale really went over-the-top even more then his usual self.
What I find really funny is monster concept itself. It's suppose to be indestructible bio-engineered super-soldier that's half machine, half organic, that can reproduce itself every 24h that would replace American soldiers on the battlefield. Yet, creature seems to easily goes down by shotgun-to-the-face and water!? I find that incredibly funny, because for a super-soldier it has two major weaknesses: firearms and water.
A semi-sequel to cult movie "Scared to Death" from early '80s, but you can watch it as stand alone movie.
"Synapse" released this on DVD (along with it's mother movie), which has some bonus features. So if it's your coup of tea, go for it, but I think "Syngenor" makes a better trailer then a movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In this fun sequel, to the okay, but somewhat disappointing, SCARED TO
DEATH (1981) a corporation responsible for the first monster rampage,
has managed to keep the incident under wraps & has now developed even
more of the creatures for possible future use for the military should
another war erupt, the problem? they don't follow orders & soon escape
the basement from which they are kept & begin tearing apart anyone they
come across. With the daughter of the murdered scientist, who created
them by his side, a reporter attempts to expose the corporations past
murders, that they have hidden, by the evil owner (is there any other
kind in this kind of movie?) played by David Gale & prove to the
outside world the creatures exist & put an end to them, unless of
course, the creatures get them first. SYNGENOR is a fast paced, above
average & cheesy B grade monster movie that thankfully never intends to
be anything but. The creature designs are really awesome, with the
monsters making for much scary creatures, than your average B grade
monsters. The special effects are well done. The acting & directing
were surprisingly good, considering the low budget & best of all, the
film adds more suspense, gore & tension than the first film did. Highly
recommended to all monster buffs! don't miss this!
For those who enjoyed David Gale in RE-ANIMATOR (and who didn't??) it would seem that SYNGENOR (that is SYNthesized GENetic ORganism) is required viewing. Hell, Gale even injects himself (IN THE NECK!!) with what appears to be a substance VERY SIMILAR to re-agent! In this sequel (?) to SCARED TO DEATH we have a corporation by the name of Norton Cyberdyne (rubbish logo by the way) who have created a series of "creatures" to act as "supersoldiers" in any upcoming conflict in "rain-free" (there's the catch...) environments, namely: The Middle East. Things go wrong (of course) resulting in a handful of Syngenors breaking free from their Cyberdyne basement confines to wreak havoc in true cheap-horror fashion. The creatures themselves (though obviously inspired by a certain Giger design) are the strong-point - I'd even go so far as to say that they're THE BEST low-bud monsters since INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN, problem being there's too little running, blood & screaming to keep them occupied. When the "action" finally arrives we're treated - in one scene - to a selection of Cyberdyne guards - looking like they'd just fell out of an old (pre-flowerpot) DEVO promo - marching to the depths of the Cyberdyne 'scraper with such little conviction you'd swear the comedic angle was intentional. Perhaps this IS supposed to be funny: the "learned" screenwriters attempt to parody the perceived insanity of The Military Industrial Complex (TM) via both "Carter Brown" (Gale) & Cyberdyne's infommercial promo material. In the hands of an Italian director, SYNGENOR could have been a DEMONS style contender - as it stands, a reasonable stab at an SF/stalker/gore flick which attempts to recreate the intensity of a certain other film (yep, RE-ANIMATOR again) during in final minutes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The military technology company Norton Cyberdyne is in a crisis. The
board is inept, the CEO Carter Brown is rapidly going insane due to
repeated injections of a mystery drug into his neck by his own actions
& a group of executives & their call girl dates have just accidentally
released from its cryogenic chamber the Syngenor (acronym for
Synthesised Genetic Organism), a genetic cyborg designed to survive
bullets & desert conditions & who can self-replicate every few hours.
As the creatures quickly take over the building, Brown initiates a
security lockdown, trapping himself & a group of people inside the
building. One of the people is Susan Valentine, daughter of the late
Dr. Valentine who was killed by a rogue Syngenor, & her boyfriend Nick
Cary. Together they attempt to find a way out of the building but with
the corporate security team's attempts to fight the Syngenors proving
ineffective, they are thrust into a battle for their own survival.
SCARED TO DEATH was one of the very first ALIEN templaters, made at a time when Alien had huge success in the box office & inspired a whole heap of filmmakers to make their own homage to the film. Scared to Death was the debut of filmmaker William Malone, a former fan who turned to makeup effects & made the legendary mask for Michael Myers in the original HALLOWEEN before making Scared to Death & creating the minor cult figure of the Syngenor, a reptilian-based genetic cyborg (a being created from synthetic DNA) that fed on human spinal fluid & that could self-replicate within a certain amount of time. The film was not quite the success of Alien but slowly developed a cult following (I saw it on YouTube).
Despite the majority of people who call it a sequel, I believe that Syngenor is actually a remake of the original film. Some of the details about the mythology of the monster are changed (mainly the company that made the creature) & there is no mention of the events of the first film, which makes it a remake. I'm basing that on the technical side of things.
Anyway, Syngenor is a superior film to Scared to Death in some respects mainly by turning the focus of the film from cheap horror to dark comedy. In that respect, it manages to entertain considerably, although it is never more than a passable sci-fi horror flick in itself. David Gale, the actor who played the infamous headless zombie Dr. Hill in the RE-ANIMATOR films, clearly has a blast as the insane CEO of the company & effortlessly steals the show. He improvised most of his performance in the film & even made the suggestion that the mysterious glowing green drug he kept injecting into his neck should be kept a mystery (I personally thought that the opposite should be made since it would clear up a few things but I'm willing to go with Gale's idea since it also makes the film share some similarities to Re-Animator & even seems like a nod to that film). This was Gale's last performance, the actor dying shortly after the film came out.
Apart from David Gale, the rest of the cast are mediocre. The lead characters are bland & reminded me of the heroines of the old 1930s mystery thrillers who make dumb moves & talk too much. The scheming executives are just a bunch of idiots who get killed in various novel ways (one executive finds himself the target of Gale's latest toy the Death Rattle (an energy weapon that can liquefy its targets in seconds) & gets blown to bits within moments) & the security guards have the problem of wearing some ridiculous uniforms that look like a child designed them. The Syngenors look frightening but move so slowly that a snail could outrun them.
The film does make a better impression than Scared to Death ever did & whilst still a passable monster feature, it gives the Syngenor a better chance to become a cult favourite.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Syngenor was first introduced in 'Scared to Death' and The H.R.
Giger inspired creature feeding on spinal fluids, was the only thing
worthwhile in that crap. This "sequel" has no real relation but the
creature. It is a dirt cheap movie which you can tell by the soap-opera
stock music and by counting how many actresses they could pay to flash
their boobs. One!
The Syngenor is being developed as artificial super soldiers supposed to go for Iraq. There is cheesy promotional videos and other humorous details that indicates they were aiming for satire similar to 'Robocop'. Though they were too inept to get it right. It also has cheap gore and a creature shootout that isn't nearly as crappy as 'Shocking Dark'. And it has David Gale who is a scream when he shoots up alien slime, and gets increasingly coo coo. He is almost as good as when his severed head gave head to Barbara Crampton. William Shatner's daughter is in it too if anyone cares.
Not completely a direct sequel to William Malone's 1981 "Scared to
Death", but "Syngenor" sees the return of Malone's alien creation (this
time there's even more and a new creation to boot as well). As a
low-budget, late-night b-grade offering, "Syngenor" is actually very
well pulled off. I was expecting it to look much cheaper. It remains
trashy fun throughout, namely due to the spontaneously intense and
ham-fisted performance of David Gale. You could never tire watching
this guy perform! It might be his show, but the rest the performances
do shape up rather nicely. A delightful Starr Andreeff and snappy
Mitchell Laurance agreeably work off each other. Riva Spier is
enticingly manipulative. Also showing up is Melanie Shatner (William's
Daughter) and character actor Lewis Arquette.
Carter Brown is the CEO of Norton Cyberdyne, a corporation that deals with military defence technology. His latest creation under the project name "Dark Skies" is that of some genetically made super-soldiers known as Syngenor --- Synthesized Genetic Organism. However problems start occurring when one of them is released from its basement enclosure to leave a bloody aftermath, which involves the death of their original creator Dr. Valentine. Growing increasingly paranoid that somebody (within) is trying to knock him from his perch; Brown's sanity soon begins to spin out of control. Also he has to deal with a pesky news reporter and Valentine's daughter.
Pulpy hokum, which has many dumb and unintentionally humorous qualities but in the end that's what makes it. Really it could have been more enjoyable than it was. The plot is nothing new (by starting off rather mild-mannered and then transcending into demented craziness) and the script is sub-standard, but bestowed a conceptual base of satirical barbs and tongue-in-cheek sparks. The tightly knitted execution at times was a bit shoddy (with some cheaply staged action --- like the onslaught in the basement involving an oddly dressed security squad), but the pacing keeps on the move and the optical / special effects (done by Robert and Dennis Skotak) and make-up stand up better than you would think. The Syngenor designs (a man in a suit with an amatronic head) look quite decent, as they're crafted with specific details. Although when they go after their prey, it can be rather laughable with their slow movements as they dawdle around waving their arms. Super-soldiers? Locked away in the basement? The feature was mainly filmed in the Ambassador Hotel, in Los Angeles which has an infamous history. Some moments have an atmospheric edge, while other sequences are truly devoid of it. Composers Steve Rucker and Thomas Chase provide a typically unhinged music score.
Slightly enjoyably low-end creature-feature oddity that's brought to life thanks to David Gale.
As a horror/sci-fi, this film is a peerless failure. It's yet another "Alien" rip-off created in the early 1990s when rubber monster suits became more affordable. The acting, direction, and screenplay are all awful - to say nothing of the aforementioned bargain basement creature effect. "Syngenor" does, however, deserve an 8/10 for pure entertainment value. Rarely have I laughed so hard at a film. If you want to watch a real movie, avoid "Syngenor" at all costs. If, on the other hand, you want an evening of hilarity, gather up some friends, buy the spirits of your choice, and enjoy "Syngenor" in all its absurd glory. Goofy dialogue, ridiculous plot devices, monsters who jig wildly when being shot... "Syngenor" truly is a giant among B-grade sci-fi schlock.
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