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Screaming Mad George,
Greg Joung Paik,
Chaank Armaments is experimenting with the ultimate fighting machine which is part human - part machine. So far, the Hardman project has been unreliable and has killed a number of innocent people. The genius behind this project is Jack who lives in a world of models, toys and magazines. When he is fired by Cale for killing a few corporate officers, he unleashes the ultimate killing machine called the 'Warbeast' against Cale and those who would help her. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Superb straight to video - capped by Dourif's excellent performance
When people ask "What are some good straight to video horrors?", Death Machine is usually top of my list. Its a great blend of sci-fi/horror that borrows heavily from others but still emerges as a cool flick nonetheless.
The simplified plot leaves some good guys (and gal) trying to stay alive in a sealed corporate skyscraper, while being hunted by a robot controlled by the fantastically OTT Brad Dourif. There are a few sub-plots to keep things interesting between the characters.
The heroine of the piece is the very cute Ely Pouget, who gives a terrific performance. She is joined by a couple of would-be terrorists
Martin McDougall and John Sharian (who some may recognize from his
role in The Machinist).
The plot is good, if a little far-fetched (hey I did say this was sci-fi/horror), and director Stephen Norrington skillfully constructs an effective sense of fear with tongue-in-cheek humor, which belies this being his first time at the helm (he would later go on to direct Blade and the less-than-stellar The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).
The effects are very good for what must have been a small budget, and the robot (which is reminiscent of a alien/terminator hybrid) is well designed.
There are "strong influences" from movies such as Universal Soldier, Alien and Hardware...and most of the death scenes are quite vicious, though its not really that gory. Also many of the characters are named after horror directors - John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, Scott Ridley etc - not so much as a wink to them but rather a 10 foot neon sign - but it kinda adds to the charm.
Final word goes out to Mr Dourif, who steals every scene he is in. He's funny, creepy, pathetic and totally manic. I have a feeling Norrington just let Dourif go wild in the role.
TTKK's Bottomline - If you like sci-fi/horror mixed with a bit of cheese and some laughs, you can't go wrong with Death Machine
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