Sunday, March 4, 2012

Laserblast (1978)


An early effort from grade-Z movie producer Charles Band, who later achieved cult notoriety with gory flicks like Re-Animator (1985), this amateurish sci-fi thriller features the numbing combination of a brainless script, cheap production, lifeless acting, and terrible special effects. Clearly, there’s a reason why, as of this writing, Laserblast occupies the No. 77 slot on IMDb’s “Bottom 1oo” list of the worst movies ever made. While that distinction might be unnecessarily harsh, there’s virtually nothing to recommend in the picture. Among its myriad shortcomings, Laserblast tells a silly story with watching-paint-dry tedium; a pair of B-list actors (Roddy McDowall and Keenan Wynn) appear very briefly, despite their prominent billing; and the flick even disappoints by delivering only meager amounts of exploitation elements like gore and skin. In the goofy opening sequence, a green-faced but otherwise humanoid alien wearing a Star Trek-style uniform runs through a desert somewhere in the American southwest, carrying a giant hand-mounted laser gun. He gets into a space-age shootout with a pair of reptilian aliens, who are presented in cheap-looking stop-motion animation, and the humanoid alien dies, leaving his laser gun behind. Soon afterward, a slacker-dude teenager (Kim Milford) discovers the weapon and begins experimenting with it, unaware that every time he uses the gun, he transforms into a bug-eyed monster. What follows is the usual drill, with the lizard aliens returning to reclaim the gun while a nefarious government agent tries to find the weapon first. Yawn. Milford is an awful actor whose career went nowhere, and leading lady Cheryl Smith, who starred in the 1973 cult film Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural, is equally bad. Supporting player Eddie Deezen, in his screen debut, will be familiar to many viewers because he later forged a solid career as one of Hollywood’s go-to character players for geek roles.

Laserblast: SQUARE

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