Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday Movie Critic Corner

When I was supposed to be growing up, something I've avoided over all these years, my mom would have us help clean the house on Saturday. Depending on which multiple personality displayed for our benefit, we either listened to great music from the old masters or watched poorly done Sci-fi movies while dusting, putting things away and washing dishes. Mom was a big fan of Godzilla and all the funky characters that made up the whole mutated Japanese film genre, a constant reminder of how the world would never be the same after having unleashed the horrors of atomic weaponry. Somewhere between Grieg and Godzilla a movie begs to be made.

This morning I found a movie that mom would have watched while cleaning the house. I joked with Lucy that we might have found somebody’s Master Thesis, “How to make a really bad Sci-fi movie for under a thousand dollars”. The movie’s name, “Out There”, in case you have a friend who owes you money and you want to inflict some extra damage as a warning to other dead beats.

I started watching while eating a bowl of cereal, trying to figure out why the main character looked familiar. It was the same fellow who’d played the lead role in “The Rocketeer”, and so I dismissed the terrible beginning of the movie expecting a turn for the better; I was wrong, it only went down hill from there.

This is the fun part, having invested 15-20 minutes in a bad movie; do you quickly find another, remembering that Saturday programming is marginal at best, or do you stick it out ‘till the end? I hadn’t noticed any swearing, excessive violence or naked bodies that would offend my sensitivities and it would be terrible to wonder how the plot turned out; giving quite a bit of latitude to the definition of “plot”. We watched as big screen actor’s names appeared in odd cameo spots; Rod Steiger, Jill St. John and even June Lockhart, as if Lost in Space hadn’t damaged her enough.

I don’t want to spoil it for die hard Sci-fi movie fans, those who may want to endure 98 minutes of toss salad scripting and plot development; but you might want to have some polka music playing to help get you through this one. As a side note, there are 8 used copies for sale on ( link via title bar ), and the movie was rated with 4 ½ stars by the two folks who took the time to rate the movie. I was afraid to read the comments, lest I see my mom’s name attached, “Great movie to watch while doing the wash” or something close.

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