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Archangel Thunderbird (1998)

TV Movie
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 14 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

This live-action/stop motion and CGI animated rarity was influenced by equal parts British B-horror films, television action adventure and Japanese anime. Dr. Churchill, a respected but ... See full summary »



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Title: Archangel Thunderbird (TV Movie 1998)

Archangel Thunderbird (TV Movie 1998) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Credited cast:
Dr. Churchill
Adrian Bunting ...
Rob Cainer
Miki Manson
Jules Deering ...
Wild haired technician
Martin Fish ...
Heavy 1
Baal (voice)
M.M. McGhee ...
Heavy 2
Claire Sturgess ...
Dygon (voice)


This live-action/stop motion and CGI animated rarity was influenced by equal parts British B-horror films, television action adventure and Japanese anime. Dr. Churchill, a respected but reclusive scientist, uncovers evidence that the pre-Christian demons of ancient mythologies are real, and that they will return soon to reclaim the Earth as their own. He tries to warn the governments of the world, but is met with ridicule. His professional standing and credibility destroyed, he disappears. Later, his prediction comes true, as the gigantic extraterrestrials Baal and his consort Dygon descend on the world's capitols and begin the enslavement of humanity. Conventional militaries are unable to defend against the onslaught. All that stands between "The Anti-God" and the end of the world is Dr. Churchill and his covert resistance force of scientists and high-tech soldiers, DOOMSHIELD, aided by their secret weapon, an ancient magical semi-sentient mechanoid known as the Archangel Thunderbird... Written by balkaster

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A guilty pleasure?
5 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While the overall artistry of this project is impressive, the details are a bit embarrassing; it works as a whole, but you'll find yourself wondering why and how. Due to budget constraints, the special effects (upon which the production relies VERY heavily) were considerably less than state-of-the-art even in 1998. Nearly half of the run time is given to the battle between AT and Dygon, which is an exercise in amateurish stop-motion that produces a result on par with the original King Kong...yet somehow not as satisfying. The story is a bit flimsy and the acting is stiff and over-the-top.

Despite these sorts of kid-vid curses, the production is dark and adult-themed (there is an atheistic subtext that seems shoehorned in and a running gag about Miki's perverse sexual desire for Rob). Characterisation is nearly non-existent. Everything we know about Churchill is given to us in the arty title sequence; we never learn anything about Cainer (despite Churchill's statement that Cainer is very important, he seems to exist solely to play straight man to Miki), and Miki is summed up in a single speech by Churchill. There is an implied relationship between Churchill and Baal that is not explained. Of course, the whole thing is only twenty minutes long (which makes the glosses and omissions somewhat forgivable), and compared to TV anime of similar budget this really isn't bad at all and is more engrossing. Perhaps the fact that the actors are live action makes it seem worse than it is. I enjoyed it, but I think a continuation in the form of a series would have been a mistake.

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