THAT SUCK TOO MUCH TO REVIEW ALONE
DARK UNIVERSE - HYBRID
Some movies are so bad they don't deserve their own page. We've given a few of them their own page here anyway. Retromedia has more than its share of crappy movies. Even taking into account other intentionally low budget crap fests from the likes of Troma (THE TOXIC AVENGER), Full Moon (PARASITE), and Four Square (ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES), Retromedia reaches even lower. Yet they too have their cadre of stars. Unlike Full Moon, Troma, and Four Square, no one from Retromedia has ever gone on to better things.
|DARK UNIVERSE - 1993
Rated: USA: R
A casually dressed astronaut is returning from some space mission. As it turns out, he's the first civilian astronaut. He starts a petty piss match with his boss on the ground. There is ship trouble and said astronut cuts off comm to go see what it is.
A few early digital morph effects and one transformed astronaut later, the spacecraft is lost. Meanwhile we cut to a swamp. A guy and a girl watch the ship crash to earth and explode, which makes them want to screw.
Nice tits. Do we have to go back to the monster movie? Fred insists. Oh well.
Rod Kendrick (Actor Joe Estevez - brother of Martin Sheen), bumbles through the movie, making a speech and sometimes, being in two places at once as he is both in the swamp and back before the cameras making a speech. One good thing about Joe is that he sounds EXACTLY like Martin. It's unintentional humor at its best.
A shadow on the crashed spaceship. It looks like THE alien because, yep, this is another ALIEN rip-off movie: Only in the category of WORST ALIEN rip-off movies.
Despite the monster, the nudity, and explosions, DARK UNIVERSE is a craptacular yawnfest, care of director Steve Latshaw (also produced by) who went on to grow and direct movies like, BIOHAZARD: THE ALIEN FORCE and JACK-O.
Upon seeing the movie, you won't believe that it was actually written, since it looks like so much cinematic goulash. But it was and Patrick Moran (also produced by) gets the credit. You may know Patrick from movies like BIOHAZARD: THE ALIEN FORCE and JACK-O.
For some inexplicable reason, the movie keeps cutting back, for all of its 90 minutes, to Rod Kendrick making that vainglorious speech about the crash and how we, as a people, will endure.
Yeah, well no shit hayseed. You crashing your Monster Truck Spaceship won't bring the world to its knees, buck-a-roo.
Fred Olen Ray gets executive producer credit, which means he probably ponied up the money, which means he likely gets at least 50% of the profit, whatever that is. So Steve and Patrick may have made squat on this film, but at least they got a nifty demo reel out of it to show off their talent, right?
HYBRID - 1997
Rated: USA: R
The outer limits of Horror is a pretty dull place. You have what is actually Horror, and then you have everything outside of it - like Pauley Shore movies.
Did you read my brief review of DARK UNIVERSE above? Well HYBRID is even worse if you can believe it. In fact, I'm guessing that this was the worst movie of 1997. And I don't say that like some tweeny little message board brat.
Observe that HYBRID starts with a bunch of stock footage. A spaceship is flying through space. Then it is flying toward earth. It attacks helpless junked cars for no reason.
Soon other spaceships join in the fun - attacking junked cars: they flip, they x-pload, they boin'. They blow'd up good! They blow'd up REAL good! And all of this culminates in some military stock footage of an A-Bomb test. Ah well, funs over, time to get back to work.
Cut to two people who can't act. They are afraid of something and say something to the effect of (I didn't memorize this and please don't ask me to watch it again); "You go that way and I'll go this way!"
Always a bad idea to divide your forces. Either way they get killed. We are less than ten minutes into the movie and two wildly disparate things have happened - not even the most tenuous of threads to connect them.
We cut to a group of people rumbling through the desert in a DAMNATION ALLEY vehicle (or ARK II if you are a late seventies Saturday morning TeeVee weenie). They have to get to shelter before the "Ion storm" hits (whatever the hell that is). They make their way through the desert, bitching and sniping at each other all the way to pass for character development (this goes on for an unreasonably long time, without let up, throughout the entire movie). They pick up a hitchhiker; make it to a science lab; then find out that something big and deadly is roaming the halls of said lab and killed the previous occupants off.
We're trapped between a monster and an ion storm! What To Do?
They all split up to explore the science station, bitching and sniping at each other all the way to pass for character development.
Now for the standard Fred Olen Ray lesbian shower scene. Yes, I know: these people are fully aware that they are in the very heart of death, dead bodies everywhere, but they are still going to shower and have softcore lesbianism. This is handled late night Cinemax style by the nicely streamlined body of Brinke Stevens (43 at the time and still looking good!) and the buxom body of J.J. North.
One of their number gets killed off by said monster!
Now it's time for a VHS tape left behind by the dead scientists which will explain what the monster is.
It's a freakin' monster! It doesn't need to be explained! But, we're gonna do it anyway.
Time's a wastin' as the professor of computer science tries to figure out how to use a VCR.
Then they all split up to explore the science station - again - bitching and sniping at each other - again - all the way to pass for character development.
Now for the standard Fred Olen Ray straight sex scene. Yes, I know: these people are fully aware that they are in the very heart of death, the crew of the station was slaughtered and one of their own was gruesomely killed off, and they know what the monster is, but they are still going to have soft-core straight sex, CINEMAX STYLE! This is handled by the buxom body of J.J. North and some guy.
Another of their number gets killed off by said monster. Now it's time for the clear goo scenes to let us know that, not only is it a monster, it is an "icky" monster!
Then they all split up - Again - to explore the science station - Again - bitching and sniping at each other - Again - all the way to pass for character development.
Now for the standard Fred Olen Ray Monster sex scene. This is handled by Brinke Stevens and Fred's then 18 year old son, Christopher (Whoa! Thanks pop!), who is covered entirely in a stupid rubber monster suit (Yeah, thanks a lot, Pop!). The soft-core sex scene is done
CINEMAX STYLE! Hai-YA!
Fred Olen Ray has never made good movies but a few of his have gained some semblance of cult status like ALIEN DEAD, or notoriety like HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, or so damn stupid it has to be seen to be believed like EVIL TOONS.
The writing credit for this kitty litter goes to my bud, Sean O'Bannon (NIGHT SHADE, BLACK WIDOW ESCORT), who is actually a good guy and has some good scripts he's sitting on. But holy crap: The shit he writes for Fred!
I swear you will get so interested in the soft core porn that the shitty monster movie wrap around will be even more difficult to endure. For you conservatives in the audience, Rush Limbaugh makes a few very unlikely appearances, I kid you not. He likely didn't get paid for it.
Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE schlock! Troma is king! Lloyd Kaufmann and
Michael Herz are two of my personal cinematic heroes! Even when their movies are
tripe, they are also fun! There is no fun to be had in DARK UNIVERSE or HYBRID: They're just a drag. A boring drag. They make half-assed drink coasters though.
Both DVDs also had Nite Owl Theater, a DVD extra with Fred Olen Ray (aka Fabulous Freddy Valentine from the ACW). Via the use of shots of his lavish home (from the outside anyway, he keeps the camera tight on himself for interior shots), Fred would like us to know that he lives in the lap of luxury thanks to his films, so who gives a damn what you think of them? But if you and Fred are on the same page, then he has half naked bimbos on display as he pops out tonight's DVD from his wife, Miss Kim's, ample cleavage.
Fred has a sense of humor about this godawful shit he makes and funds, which you should watch before you see the movie as a way of preparing yourself before going in.
I swear, I'd damn sure like to know what the living hell compels Fred to make movies this bad. It has GOT to be a fascinating story! Or at least, a MORE fascinating story.
But as always,
MOVIES BEFORE THEY BREED!
copyright 2007 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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