Another film I watched in the cinema was the remake of Evil Dead. I was going to write about this film this week, along with the original trilogy. Hence the poll that is to the right hand side of this blog at time of writing. But this may not happen as few hiccups include:
- waiting for the Blu-Ray of Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn to come in the post.
- the fact that the people behind me in the cinema while watching Evil Dead wouldn't shut up throughout the whole movie. So I will be watching it a second time whenever I get the chance.
- I am currently going through the Marvel/Avengers boxset in the lead up to Iron Man 3.
And given that my ideas for article topics tend to change on a regular basis, whether I get around to writing about it remains to be seen. So I may as well write about something that's sort of related to the Evil Dead franchise. So I'm going with a film that stars Ash himself, Bruce Campbell.
One of the other movies I picked up along with River Of Darkness (which I wrote about here) that also cost a fiver was a sci-fi flick called Assault On Dome 4, featuring Bruce on the cover. I didn't read the back of the DVD case to see what it was about, as I figured that I couldn't go wrong with a film starring Bruce Campbell. However I also had a feeling that it would be the only redeemable quality of this movie, which somehow makes it more intriguing.
91 minutes later.....
It is pretty much Die Hard, but set in space. There's nothing more I can say about the story in that respect, other than the whole court marshal scenario throughout the film was pretty pointless, and undermines the actions taken by the hero. I think this movie was only meant to be TV filler, so I can't lambaste it for lack of originality, production value, or even decent acting. It's a run of the mill sci-fi flick that's at least watchable, but for the wrong reasons.
I seem to have a habit of picking films with misleading cover art. While the film certainly does star Bruce Campbell in a major role, it turns out that he happens to be the villain of the movie, which is quite rare for him to play one (to the best of my knowledge at this time). In this film he's an escaped convict who leads a group of prisoners to take over a space station, of which "peace keeper" Chase Morran, the hero of the piece (and damned if I know who plays him), happens to be present.
In a way the cover is not that misleading, as the entire movie focus on Bruce, instead of the villain. Granted he's the only "major" star in this film, and by far the best actor in it. And that's not because I am a fan of Bruce Campbell to begin with. But imagine if the poster for Die Hard made Alan Rickman the main focus of it, with Bruce Willis somewhere in the background. That's how ridiculous the DVD cover was to me.
|On a sidenote: Alan Rickman is awesome.|
With so much focus set on the villain, and an entertaining one at that, not only did I find myself rooting for him, but everytime the focus shifts to anything else, I wanted the film to go back to Bruce. His performance is his usual wisecracking self that you see in his other movies, but that's not the only reason I wish to see him back onscreen. Whenever the focus shifts to something else, the film just falls apart onscreen. While it is after all a sci-fi B-Movie, it clearly shows that it's a bad one to boot.
The rest of the actors range from wooden to woeful, with next to nothing in terms of character development. Since the rest of the cast don't appear onscreen for too long, or stay alive for that matter, their purpose in this film means very little. Other than Bruce, the only person with more screentime than the rest was the actor who plays Chase Morran. Which doesn't do him any favours, as his lines come across as stupid, especially when spouting unfunny monologues.
The action sequences are so poorly orchestrated that even the one guy with any martial arts background (one of Bruce's main henchmen) doesn't appear in the film long enough to showcase these skills, being taken out by an old soldier with a gun. Not only does this waste an opportunity to use him as one of the main obstacles before taking out the bad guy, the old soldier ends up dead less than five minutes late, which makes this scuffle even more pointless.
Speaking of actors with a lack of fighting skills, "Chase" has very little in that department. So little that I started to wonder why cast him as the good guy in the first place? His part could easily be given to Bruce Campbell. Sure he may not be bulky, but it's not like he has to face anyone that looked more threatening than him (considering that he was never gonna fight the kung fu henchman anyway). But he would have been more believable as a good guy. Here, it's hard to be intimidated by a wisecracking jerk dressed like a saloon bartender.
|Erm, when I said that I wanted a shot.....|
As with any good (or in this case, bad) B-Movie, there is the combination of poor script, plot holes, cheap special effects, and continuity effects. Plus you know the movie is running short on material when many a time the film goes into slow motion, sometimes for no reason whatsoever. I even have a theory that the whole court marshal scenes were just added in to make up the 90 minutes. These scenes just seem out of place when compared to the rest of the film, much like the alternate opening to The Avengers. To me, it's not really clear if he is found innocent or guilty towards the end. But by that time, I was just glad the credits were rolling.
This is a terrible film, full stop. I would only recommend this to fans of Bruce Campbell, and those who at least appreciate his acting style. If it wasn't for him, not only would this film not get a look in, but it would just crumble under the weight of how bad it really is. It goes to show that he can carry any movie, good or bad, on his shoulders and make it work. Plus he is always entertaining in anything he stars in, be it lead, support, or even a cameo. Other than that, for a Die Hard clone, it was at least better than the godawful A Good Day To Die Hard. Not even Bruce could save that pile of excrement.
And on a final note.....