Hidden deep in the south of France, practically untouched by the modern age, is a place known by many as 'the Zone'. In this space, the supernatural is an everyday reality of life. Magic is... See full summary »
2037. Rugged soldier Max and weary sculptress Nicky try to sustain a relationship in a bleak totalitarian future plagued by war, nuclear fall-out, and overpopulation. Flashbacks show Max ... See full summary »
In the future, a nuclear war has transformed the Earth into a radioactive wasteland where the sea has dried up leaving it as a post-apocalyptic desert. In the desert, A desert scavenger named Nomad discovers a robotic head, arriving in New York City, A space marine named Moses Baxter buys the robotic head from Nomad as a Christmas present for his girlfriend Jill Grakowski, who decides to use it for one of her sculptures. But all hell starts breaking loose, when the robotic head is activated and begins to rebuilt itself. When Alvy, a junkyard dealer discover the robotic head is a Mark 13, a military cyborg of a project that was abandoned. Moses learns Jill's life is in danger, as the Mark 13 cyborg goes on a violent rampage in Jill's apartment as Jill has become the the prime target for extermination.Written by
In the cinema version, when Mo (Dylan McDermott) is dying one of his final hallucinations/dreams is of himself reading from the bible to Jill, and in this scene he has both of his hands rather than the prosthesis that he normally has, then they disappear as a black veil is drawn over the bed. This scene is absent from the VHS video release. See more »
I read that many people around hate this (to me fantastic) movie: of course, I pass on those who say this sucks because of the gore and violence (it's rated R - and originally even X- : what you think you're going to see, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS?). I think this movie is a little masterpiece: Stanley later will reach the excellence with DUST DEVIL, but this low-budget sci-fi\horror flick can show his great skills too. Also, there are a lot of little good ideas (for example the tripping toxin or the peeping fat neighbour) that makes it original.
The story is very simple, as it should be for a movie of this kind: the first half of it is really focused in the description of a messed-up future and while it continues we're introduced to the main characters and how they relate with each other and the new environment.
Then comes the second part and the action begins: you know who is Jill, you were informed about the droid...what else do you want? This is a (great) B-Movie, not ANNA KARENINA. Of course, there are a lot of clichés (Stanley himself calls it a "design movie", written after he got a lot of projects rejected) taken from many other horror and sci-fi flicks - such as SUSPIRIA, THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, PSYCHO, PREDATOR, HALLOWEEN and so on -, but they're quiet smartly used: all the world loves Tarantino referential- movies (as I do), says that SCREAM was genius (as I don't) but at the end of the day they don't see the same in movies like this.
Another pointed- at flaw are the Special Effects: first, I'd like to say that I love the design of the droid, since it's quiet far from all those Terminator or Robocop-like cyborgs that were filling b-movies at that time. Of course, because it was basically a guy in a suit, it wasn't showed clearly (Stanley scores again: somebody else wouldn't care of the limits of it and show it with less touch - just think about WATCHERS 2!) - but you can't say it isn't menacing or scary. Also, it was shot between 1989 and 1990 (TERMINATOR 2 and it's CG were far away): the only other way to get the droid moving would had been the stop-motion animation (which is btw used a little bit in the rebuilding sequence). Yes, if you watch carefully in the letter boxed video edition, you would see the legs of the stunt guy coming out of the suit: pretty embarrassing, but isn't something you can blame Stanley for (the same happens, for example, in the video edition of PREDATOR - and disappears in the DVD widescreen version-: you can see Carl Weather's real arm behind his back when the creature is supposed to blow it off and the diving-board when the monster lifts him). I don't remember any movie from that period where a creature or similar is widely and clearly showed. Oh, yes: I'm not talking about STAR WARS or similar movies with colossal budgets.
The tight editing is another smart trick: it covers most of the flaws of the special effects and locations, but also it generates a very claustrophobic atmosphere that helps the suspense.
The cinematography is great - it can remember a video clip but I don't care: besides, nowadays many movies have a video clip or spot-oriented photography, with lower results (at least to me: I don't like, for example, the one in the remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD by Snyder).
As for the soundtrack, I love Lydon's THE ORDER OF DEATH and the score by Simon Boswell (who also worked on DUST DEVIL and many Italian horror movies) - also the idea of putting STABAT MATER during the deadly-trip scene is great!
Eventually, maybe this flick isn't a (total) masterpiece in the A- series films, but is a god among b-movies.
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