Thursday, September 15, 2016

Metalstorm: The Destruction Of Jared-Syn

“I’m getting too old for this stuff,” says Han Solo clone Rhodes (Tim Thomerson). Happily, the same doesn’t go for me. Producer/director Charles Band convinced Universal to pick up the tab for this ridiculous post-apocalypse saga released theatrically in 3D. The story by producer Alan J. Adler (who also worked on Band’s previous 3D movie, PARASITE) is incomprehensible, the visual effects shoddy, Mac Ahlberg’s cinematography murky, and the climax more anti- than climactic. Doesn’t mean I don’t have a blast watching METALSTORM: THE DESTRUCTION OF JARED-SYN, which easily makes any list of top film titles of all time.

Dogen, who dresses like Max Rockatansky and is played by Jeffrey Byron (THE DUNGEONMASTER), an actor whose emoting is as plastic as his features, is a future cop on the trail of evil cult leader Jared-Syn (Mike Preston, who was actually in THE ROAD WARRIOR). He meets up with the hot but equally synthetic Dhyana (pre-fame Kelly Preston), whose prospector father (Larry Pennell) was murdered by Jared-Syn’s monstrous cyborg son Baal (R. David Smith). Byron and Preston are awful performers and a perfectly matched screen couple tossed into a ludicrous romance.

I’m not getting into METALSTORM’s story, because, frankly, I don’t understand it. Baal shoots green acid from his robot claw arm that causes its victims to hallucinate or slip into a dream state or alternative universe or something. Jared-Syn uses some mental powers to kidnap Dhyana and transport an electric monster to fight Dogen in a cave. Some futuristic Jeeps chase Dogen around the desert. Most of them blow up. NIGHT COURT’s Richard Moll plays a one-eyed nomad. Jared-Syn mumbles about lifeforces. Usually, the shots are in focus, but sometimes not.

It’s all nonsense, but I honestly don’t care. Tim Thomerson co-stars as Dogen’s sidekick Rhodes in the first of many adventures he would take with Charles Band. Then a standup comedian and actor in light comic film and television roles (JEKYLL & HYDE...TOGETHER AGAIN), Thomerson jumped from METALSTORM to full-fledged action star in Band’s TRANCERS and its sequels. Thomerson is a champion scene-stealer, contributing the film’s (intentional) comic relief and coming through with fists flying in Band’s action sequences.

METALSTORM has cool futuristic truck stunts and explosions and lasers and monsters and fantasy sequences and mutants and arm-ripping and tapping into the master crystal and Bronson Canyon and a fantastic Richard Band score and Kelly Preston looking good and Tim Thomerson being The Man and…well, I have to justify my fondness for the film somehow. Take away the credits, and METALSTORM barely runs 75 minutes and manages to deliver a complete non-ending ending that promises a sequel that never came. There is no metalstorm, whatever that would be, and Jared-Syn is not destroyed.

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