Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Clones (1973)

A dopey sci-fi thriller with cheap production values, nonsensical plotting, and wooden acting, The Clones unfolds like one long chase periodically interrupted by boring dialogue scenes, all in the service of conveying a silly conspiracy theory about bad guys trying to control the weather. Even the title is something of a misnomer, because until the final scene, only one clone appears. Yes, there are a few laughs to be had at the picture’s expense, particularly when the filmmakers spiral into such idiotic scenes as the finale, which is set at an empty amusement park where the rides apparently operate themselves. Nonetheless, it’s hard to imagine many viewers slogging through the countless dull scenes simply to enjoy a few moments of stupidity. Lanky actor Michael Greene stars as Dr. Gerald Appleby, a scientist who is introduced fleeing some mysterious underground laboratory because of an impending explosion or meltdown or whatever. Upon returning home, Gerald encounters friends who act as if they saw him during his absence, leading Gerald to the discovery that he’s been cloned. Meanwhile, the villains behind the cloning send two government agents to kill the real Gerald, lest he reveal their secret, only the agents turn out to be laughably incompetent. Give or take a few details, that’s the whole movie. Even though directors Lamar Card and Peter Hunt try to inject a bit of visual style by using fisheye lenses, no amount of cinematic flair could have enlivened the project’s mindless script, especially with Greene giving such a bland leading performance. Even the usually dynamic actor Gregory Sierra, playing one of the agents, falls victim to the project’s bone-headed plotting and sluggish pacing.

The Clones: LAME

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