Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Future War

The movie tosses us right in as our characters are sneaking slowly through a barn's, smoky, "tunnels."

We see them wander around a bit, and eventually the camera starts zooming in on the characters one at a time to visually introduce us. First there's the sleeveless-flannel-clad, generic brand Jean-Claude Van Damme as "the runaway" (Daniel Bernhardt). Believe it or not, this guy actually starred in a lot of stuff. You may recognize him as Agent Johnson from The Matrix sequels.

Poor guy got typecast into roles involving only futuristic robot wars apparently.

Next there's a large black man who seems like a really poor choice for subterranean sneaking.

And also there's a blonde woman with a magic mouth. When we reach her, she mouths about 3 words and this is what we hear:

"Four days ago a fire fell from the sky, and it brought a man that would change my life forever. But also came a pack of dinosaur-like creatures, in various ages, shapes, sizes, and etzmysterz (Not sure what she says last, but that's what it sounds like). For all the questions I had about the heavens, all it brought was hell on earth."

They wander a little while longer, and suddenly they stumble upon two dinosaur torsos with bodies extending off camera in precisely the way a puppet's might.

Not hand-puppets.

Now presumably, this is exactly what they were looking for, and the reason they were being slow and quiet. But they have forgotten this by this point because as soon as they see the dinosaurs, they immediately scream and run around.

They retrace their steps to get out, but on the ladder towards the end, the fat guy turns out to be just a little too slow.

The responsible dinosaur turns on his heat lamp before eating to prevent indigestion.

The movie goes back to the opening titles, and spends about five minutes there. When it runs out of names it transitions to telling us the second half of the backstory. We find out that cyborgs invaded, humans are bred as slaves, dinosaurs are bred to track escaping humans, and that heaven is a place on earth.

Five minutes of opening credits, and they couldn't squeeze in a writing credit to Belinda Carlisle?

Jean-Claude wakes up on a beach for some reason, and goes crawling away. We then see that someone's walking on the beach tracking him with a dinosaur on a rope. When we get a good look at the dino-handler, it turns out to be one of the aforementioned cyborgs.

Pictured: T-1000, Angry Mime Limited Edition. Now with robo-mullet.

The runaway guy eventually throws enough kicks and empty cardboard boxes at the cyborg until he's knocked out for a while. The runaway... well, runs away...

And is immediately run over by a nun.

The nun runs off to get help, and finds another sleeveless-flanneled person and another large black man.

Also in flannel... everyone's in flannel.

The nun turns out to know these guys actually, and so the nun talks to her a while and then spends the night. By the next morning she's changed into a flannel shirt too. The runaway apparently spent the night there also, and he spends the morning playing with the radio and eating noodles with his fingers.

The nun tries to communicate with the runaway, and finds that he can't really talk. As it turns out he doesn't know English at all, so she teaches him some basic gestures for "yes" and "no." She then leaves him to babysit. Within a few minutes of watching a kid play with a Talkboy, he's learned English and is talking just fine.

Unfortunately, all he can talk about is bible verses it seems. The nun doesn't have time to hear that sort of thing all the time, so she tries her best to get rid of him but he refuses to leave her alone.

Apparently the filmmakers ran into Forrest J. Ackerman at this point, because they now throw in an unrelated scene of him getting ambushed in the park while he reads a Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

Once that's over, we cut back to the runaway and the nun walking along the street. Soon enough, they're picked up by a cop on his way to another box warehouse. There is no conversation, so we're left to guess why exactly they were picked up on his way there.

Already at the warehouse, we find a pretend-news team reporting on the situation with their pretend-news-camera.

Tape + Cardboard Box + Lens drooping off the front = Video Camera

One of the police already on the scene heads into the box warehouse to sneak around in the boxes. Eventually he finds blood, so everyone else comes in too. While they're looking at the blood, they hear gunshots in the other room. I assume we're to believe that the dinosaur was firing the gun, because he's the only one in the room when they get there. All the policemen immediately begin firing their guns at the dinosaur, who doesn't even seem to notice. Luckily for them, the runaway has arrived as backup, carrying a knife. He runs in and swings at the dinosaur, and apparently misses, but the dinosaur still falls down dead. I guess he was just aiming at the strings controlling it.

Either way, the dinosaur is dead. Also it explodes. The runaway tells the cops that the dinosaur is not alone and that there are more that will keep coming until they find him. The cops listen carefully, and then arrest him.

The nun heads back to meet with her pre-nun business associates, her former gang members, to discuss "monsters in the hood."

But first they all go to their formal gang-boardroom to discuss the details.

The runaway gets back out of jail and tells the gang that they need to go near water where the dinosaurs will be congregated, so the whole flannel gang heads on over to a parking lot in a warehouse district, nowhere near water, and heads into a weird tunnel.

Everyone in the gang is carrying guns, but rather than use them, they start setting up elaborate, Home Alone-style dinosaur traps. The improvised spear and electro-net make short work of the two dinosaurs and then there's a surprise fight with a second cyborg. This second cyborg fight doesn't last very long though. Everyone has to run back out of the tunnel because an unexplained bomb is about to go off.

It's assumed that with the two cyborgs dispatched, everything is fine now. So everyone heads over to some sort of chapel for the nun-reinduction process. Things go well enough for a few minutes, but then the ceremony is interrupted by cyborg #2 again.

You wouldn't think a villain based on the TRON guy would be so persistent.

Cyborg #2 and the runaway have a boring fight for a while, during which we see the runaway with wounds that spontaneously appear, disappear, and the reappear over and over. Eventually the fight is over when the cyborg inexplicably blows up... for good this time.

The runaway talks a little more about the bible with the nun and then the credits roll, leaving us to ponder how we made it through the entirety of Future War without ever seeing a war or anything from the future.

According to IMDB, the director was actually kicked out of the production at some point, and a salvage crew brought in to finish the movie. For their sake, I'll just assume that their aim was to salvage the movie by cobbling together what they had into a comedy. If that's the case, then they were pretty successful. If you're a fan of bad dinosaur movies like Carnosaur (also by Doublin), silly effects, or flannel, then you'll probably enjoy this laughably bad movie.

Available on Amazon: Future War

1 comment:

  1. Great Review! Future War was hilarious.