Day Five : Laserblast

Happy Halloween Countdown: Laserblast

In the age before home video, when cable consisted of a mere twenty channels & HBO, a much younger me would scour the TV Guide  as soon as it came, in search of  all the monster movies that would be playing that week.  If you didn’t catch them when they were one, you didn’t catch them at all. So imagine my joy when I found that Laserblast was playing on channel 26 that Saturday afternoon.  The description promised creatures from outer space and a teenager on a murderous rampage with evil alien laser cannon.  Doing the happy dance, I tuned in with a smile on my lips and a song in heart.  It was going to be monster joy and mayhem.

The movie opens with a pair of stop motion shell-less space turtles gunning down a guy in Halloween mask who seemed to have a large piece of black PVC pipe stuck to his arm. My interested was piqued.  The PVC pipe, it turned out, is a laser death cannon.  Left in the desert, it’s  found by a teen named Billy or Tommy or something like that.   When he puts the weapon on, he turns into Alice Cooper and goes laserblasting.  After about six hours of dancing around in the desert terrorizing the rocks and lizards, Billy or Tommy or whatever his name was, gets back to being a boring angsty teen. Then there was a lot of talking.  Bored.  Bored.  Bored. I turned off the TV and went outside to play in the mud or climb a tree or shoplift.  I’m kidding.  I never climbed trees.

Thirty-three years later, Dani suggested Lasberblast for our movie night. What a difference time and company make.

This is one of Charles Band’s earliest efforts.  If you are familiar with Charles Band, you’ll know what I am talking about then I say that Laserblast, like many of his films, is objectively bad and subjectively good.  It’s a low budget movie with marginal acting, a story that makes little sense and horrible dialogue.  The effects are uneven.  I still love the stop motion aliens just as much, if not more than, I did as a kid.  The other effects aren’t nearly as good.

The Internet Movie Database, the massive movie registry, lists 278,986 feature films. Out of more than quarter of a million movies, it puts Laserblast in the Bottom 100.  I dunno.  I’ve seen a lot of bad movies, and in my opinion, there is only one thing that matters: Was I entertained?  Laserblast, taken as a serious science fiction film is failure.  On the other hand, watching it as a party movie with a friend or friends is a lot of fun.  Riffing together with friends during the slow and awkward bits turns what might be boring and deficient into comedy gold.

Laserblast succeeds in one way that many, many movies fail – the ending.  The ending is one of the best ever.

Starring:

Kim Milford
Cheryl Smith
Gianni Russo
Ron Masak
Dennis Burkley
Barry Cutler
Mike Bobenko
Eddie Deezen
Keenan Wynn
Roddy McDowall

Director:
Michael Rae

Screenplay:
Franne Schacht
Frank Ray Perilli

One and a half of five Vincents

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