2103: The Deadly Wake (1997)
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However with features such as a supposedly super-lethal killer robot that prances about like one of the Solid Gold Dancers on an acid trip and a magical first mate that calls down lightning and transforms into the Good Witch of the East the fact that it takes itself seriously pushes it so far over the edge of bad that makes it full circle around back to entertaining.
Watcheable enough because of that.
I felt sorry for the actors, they gave it their best, but there is only so much you can do with a script this bad. Good acting alone won't pull it off.
I recommend this film as an example of what NOT to do when making a film. It looks like it was mostly well cast, but sadly lacking in everything else.
The makers of this film obviously had a low budget and should have examined other films and TV shows with similar budgets to see how best to use their resources. You can do a lot with a little. The TV show Doctor Who is an excellent example, it was always done on the cheap, but had strong scripts and acting. .
The direction is lackluster at best leaving Pare and McDowell to wander the cheap sets bellowing lines as though they were in a high school play. For two actors who have had stellar performances in such films as "Eddie and the Cruisers" or "A Clockwork Orange", one wonders how they could have fallen so far. Gwenyth Walsh (of Star Trek fame) makes an appearance here and is about the only high point in this overly long film. A brief flash of breast from Ms. Walsh seems to have only been tacked on for the sake of a sale on the foreign video market.
All in all, your video rental dollars would be better spent on one of these actors' films from their hey-day instead of this tired re-tread of a formula sci-fi action film.
Yeah some effects sucked, big deal, that's not what it's about I've seen plenty of big budget sci-fi that doesn't take us half the places this little one did.
This may not be for everyone because it makes you think freaky ideas. That's the best part about some lower budget films (which this probably is) the freedom to do something that is not the same as your typical shows. In sci-fi there are too many predictable films.
There's a deadly sexy female cyborg who you won't find on any Star Trek, and a relentless post apocalyptic feel I liked.
This good looking film isn't predictable. Thank goodness. I recommend it!
Let's see... what did the crew mess up in this flick? Worst music mix Worst editing Worst script WORST ALL-TIME DIRECTING Worst acting Worst choreography Worst cinematography Worst props Worst sets Worst lighting Etc. Let's face it, if this "film" had been in ultra-high contrast black-and-white, AND silent... it still would have been awful. All scenes are dark (lighting people call it "black"), often, the music score drowned out the meandering dialogs, which was OK because nobody ever spoke two whole sentences without long pauses for effect. The "evil" robot was hilarious... what was that? Jazz dancing? Oh... I guess it was supposed to be walking tactically or something. I'm sure it struck fear into the hearts... of the poor editors. And, how do you edit so much footage of garbage? Not possible. Garbage is garbage, no matter how you splice it. How did anyone ever get this thru the dailys???
Bottom line is- I couldn't stand to watch more than 15-minute segments, it was so bad... but I did see the whole thing (with lotsa breaks) just to see if it had ANY good parts in it at all. NOPE! NONE!
A perfect example of how not to make a flick... a must see for EVERY serious film student!!!
The only thing giving this movie a 1 instead of a 0 is that Malcolm McDowall's acting is excellent. However not even he can save this film from disaster. The director must have been really distracted when he worked on this one because it is just a conglomeration of scenes that were thrown together with very little continuity - reminiscent of bad '70's movies. Even worse, both the actors and director appeared to be making it up as they went along which probably showed how bad the original script was.
It's not even worth discussing the story line although it revolves around a futuristic corporation called the Proxate Corporation who put together a crew of dispensable people to carry a dangerous cargo on an old container/slave ship to Nigeria. This ship's computer is a baby kept in a glass jar and wired into one of the crew via USB 12 or something. The company should have been called the Prostate Corporation as the entertainment value of this movie is on a par with an examination of the same name.
I honestly can't find one scene that I could say was well made and made any real sense in the context of the movie. I only watched it to the end as I had a touch of the bird flu and this movie reminded me that there were people out there who were actually worse off than me - Malcolm McDowall in particular. I won't hold this against him as he's a great actor and every great actor is entitled to one bad movie in their career and this one is a doosie.
So, unless this is the only movie your shop hires out or you're male and you're doctor isn't doing prostate examinations this week and you somehow feel this is a bad thing then give this one a really wide berth unless of course if you're really community minded, buy a copy to support Malcolm and then use it as a drink coaster.
This film is badly written, badly edited, and badly directed. It is disjointed, incomprehensible and bizarre - but not in a good way. McDowell does a great job with what he is given, but is the only one in this film to do so - he really has a bad story and script to work with. It's not even camp enough to be funny.
I have yet to see Van Pelleske act in a credible manner, and even the sub-characters like Eisen (with his nasal, whiny voice) confirm that we are on a lot in Toronto rather than on a barge off Africa.
Didn't the director see that the 'creature' looks like a jazz dancer in an alien suit? The fight between the blue bolts of lightning and Pelleske's orange wisps of 'magic' (!?! for lack of a better word), is obviously the result of bad actors, with no choreographer, overlaid with completely derivative special effects. Was there even a director on set or in the editing room for this disaster film (not the good kind)?
Learn from the mistakes of others ... don't even waste your time with this one, you'll regret it like I did. I have nothing more to say about this waste of celluloid.
I'd recommend any film student should watch this flick (5 minutes at a time) so as to learn how NOT to produce a film. Or... was it the editors' fault?
It's really too bad, because the scenario was actually a good concept... just poorly executed all the way around. (Sorry Malcom. You should have sent a "stunt double". You're too good an actor for such a stink-bomb.)
The infant 'muppet' seems to have been stolen from the props cupboard of 'Total Recall'. There didn't seem to be a single, original idea in the whole movie.
I found this movie to be so bad that I laughed most of the way through.
Malcolm McDowell should hang his head in shame. He obviously needed the money!
The other reason is the cool idea and looking of the Cyborg, which is quite different to most other such roles I've seen so far.
Everything else in this movie is as bad as it can be. Boring scenes, useless and boring dialogs, bad script work. And it seemed as it was the first movie ever for many actors. It could have been an interesting story though, but they failed completely.