Symptom 129: They Came Without Exposition, But With A Pretty Good Host

Ignore the fact that i say this is symptom 130, it is 129. This week is a dual review, first we review the 1967 disaster They Came From Beyond Space, but we are also reviewing Horror Hotel - a syndicated “Horror Host” show hosted by Lamia, Queen of the Dark. The movie is horrendous. I wouldn’t try to figure out what is going on because I am not sure the writers knew. Aliens invade Cornwall England, because. They have mind control powers and one scientist is immune. The aliens need humans to build them a spaceship to get home. Dr. Temple tells the “Master of the Moon” they didn’t need to enslave Earth but just ask. A handshake later and the movie ends…

Horror Hotel on the other hand is great. Lamia continues the great tradition of Horror Hosts in the tradition of an Elvira or Vampira or even Ghoulardi. She gives factoids about the movie and its production as well as mixing in fun bits during breaks in the film. So give Horror Hotel a look and check it out.

Symptom 127: Tremors 4, 5 and 6 - Gummer and Gummer

What’s new, we finish off September’s topic in October but its very early in October for once and October is Horror Month - so Tremors fits. right?

This week we review Tremors 4, 5 and 6. Why? Well there just isn’t much to these films, although Scott tries to find a deep meaning in Tremors 5 and 6. What can we say. Four rips off back to future 3, 5 rips off everything ever made, Burt gets a son, Val and Rhonda’s daughter show up in 6, and yeah, the graboids find their way to the Canadian arctic, because, why the bleep not?

Tremors 4, 5 and 6. three movies that never should been made, even Earnest from all the “Earnest Goes to…:” movies thinks so. Well maybe not, i have never asked the guy.

***Disclaimer, Sci-Fi Malady does not speak for “Earnest” from “Earnest goes to whatever” movies.

Symptom 126: What Blasters?

We continue or exploration of the Tremors film franchise, sans Rage Master this week. This week gets a double review of Tremors 2 and 3. Tremors 2 is an attempt to reboot the franchise by pairing Earl with not Kevin Bacon, otherwise known as Grady. It fails in that regard so hard that Burt becomes the main character from here on out. Tremors 2 however does still succeed in being a very quotable, fun and action filled comedic romp. Tremors 3, well, this is where the series jumps the shark with the introduction of the A$$ Blasters. Basically they are raptors that can fly by farting flames. Tremors 3: Back to Perfection was an attempt to launch a TV series. The TV series lasted 13 episodes. The movie gives up any pretense at being serious and degenerates into a slapstick comedy. It is still funny but has none of the memorability or quotability of the first or even the second film. \

Next up, well hang on to your hats, Tremors, 4, 5 and 6 are still to come, and it gets progressively worse from here on out. In case that isn’t enough, Tremors 7 is confirmed, although what stories in this universe remain to be told is anyone’s guess. I’ll wager it is something about Burt being paranoid and seriously over armed. Or something like that.

***The sound quality is slightly off this week. it recorded me only on one channel and Thomas on the other, instead of in stereo. I apologize for this***

Symptom 125: Tremors, Graboids With A Side of Bacon

Tremors. Undeniably the first movie is the best of them all. It is an action/horror/.comedy. Oh sure it has contrivances and the Graboid makes zero evolutionary sense. It is a creature that can’t possibly exist, let alone be one of the oldest life forms on the planet. The thing is as the viewer you never care. The movie has phenomenal character acting and chemistry between the actors. It carries this story and creates a film that is as enjoyable on the 50th watch as the first. It also introduces to Burt and is as quotable as any movie out there. Unfortunately, it just goes downhill from here.

Symptom 124: Evacuate Earth, Apocalypse Soon

We wrap our discussion of Apocalypse stories with a review of a National Geographic documentary called Evacuate Earth. It is a generally well done and scientifically accurate. They do a good job of presenting a reasonable world killing event and the doc becomes though experiment in how society would respond to that event. It briefly touches on social issues and the questions if raises but does not dwell on are the interesting lacunae in this one. All in all a good break from the last two crap fests.

Symptom 122: Geostorm, To The Extreme

Welcome to GeoStorm, The crappiest craptastic crapfest ever crapping crapped. Also known as GeoStorm.

You may think I am being harsh. If you are, watch the movie. Seriously, don’t watch the movie and thank me. This is a film about climate change written by people who don’t truly understand what climate change is. Some movies are so bad they are good. This is so bad that it is just bad. It is a standard apocalypse action drama with needless explosives, a horrific assault on science, a plot that depends in contrivance after contrivance and a resolution that is pointless. The hook or high concept for this story is weather control satellites that if used to activate a series of storms in the correct sequence can create a world destroying global super storm known as a Geostorm. It is also kind enough to have a countdown clock which as long as we reactivate the controls before it hits zero, well, everything will be fine, to quote Doc Brown.

Symptom 123: 2012 The Worst Ending Ever

2012 - An action movie that pits mankind in a desperate race to save the world from the certain destruction that awaited us when the Mayan calendar ended. It’s the opposite of Smuckers, with a pitch like that is has to be a crap sandwich. Well it isn’t, it is worse. Calling this movie a crap sandwich insults crap sandwiches. It has all the standard go too’s in a bad apocalypse movie, horrible science, too much drama, no plot, action ramping upon action ramping and it is utterly forgettable. This week, we review a terrible movie.

***Producers Note - You’ll notice Symptom 122 is missing. This was Symptom 123 in production. Due me, Scott, being busy, it has become Symptom 122 in air date. Symptom 122: Geostorm, will be uploaded later this week. I have also corrected the error in Symptom 121, where I initially uploaded the raw and unedited/mixed cut. Apologies for the out of order airing***

Symptom 121: Look! In The Sky, A Super Volcano!

Fact: Yellowstone National Park contains a Super Volcano

Fact: Super Volcanoes are many times more deadly than a Volcano

Fact: Yellowstone has had super eruptions before.

Fact: It is overdue and will happen again.

Not so fast Dwight Schrute. The first three are facts. The last one, not so much. But don’t tell the writers of what is now available on Netflix - Super Volcano. They assert it is just a mater or time and then try to convince you that the worst possible scenario will also happen. The result is, well, Super Volcano.

Fact: I like The Office way too much.

Symptom 120: Solaris, Not Love In Space

We conclude James Cameron July with a discussion of the film Solaris. If you like slow, heady, philosophical looks at the human condition, the criteria of life, love and mental realities we create, this is the film for you. If you like action, this is certainly not it. Solaris asks questions about the reliability of memory, the filtering impact time has, how well do we truly know our friends, family and spouses, do we love and remember the real person or a stylized version of that person, as well as dabbling in the criteria of what is and is not sapient life and what rights it has. Solaris is slow, but if like movies that ask big questions and let you draw your own answers, this is science fiction at its best.

Symptom 119: Cameron Under The Sea

James Cameron July continues as we discuss The Abyss. This movie isn’t dated at all. Fears of Russian military attacks, nuclear submarines, it doesn’t scream 1980’s at all. That aside, this film is a testament to old school film making, with a focus on character, tension and score that is epic and on point. While there are clearly plot holes and this isn’t his best work, The Abyss is a quality film. The problem with this film is that it is not memorable. It simply exists. It is the Vanilla Ice cream of the movie world. No matter how high quality vanilla ice cream is, it is still just vanilla ice cream.

Symptom 118: Avatar, Lakota In Space

We kick off James Cameron July by discussing the blockbuster hit Avatar. You can blast this movie for many things, ripping of Dances With Wolves, a weak plot, average acting, boring and under developed characters, but it was undeniably a financial and artistic success. Avatar set records at the box office and revolutionized film making with innovative use of CGI and 3D. This movie is a decade old and is of higher quality in those areas than films made today. It is also a tremendous achievement in world building. It is a shame that this master class in the usage of CGI, 3D, score and world building was not paired with a more fully developed and original script.

Symptom 115: Next Stop, The Wandering Earth

Explosions. Bad science. An idiotic premise. Generic, repetitive score. Bad acting. A weak, clunky plot. The Wandering Earth has it ALL. Or nothing. I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a movie. The Wandering Earth starts off with the premise that the sun will have a helium flash and turn into a red giant, a couple billion years early. To avoid certain death the Earth will be turned in a generational star ship by putting engines all over the surface. It will then fly to Alpha Centauri over 2500 years. The rest of the movie is downhill from.

While there some nice notes about how humanity might unify in the face of a crisis, far to little time is spent on that and far to much time on pointless action. This movie sucks and is the modern Armageddon, with less believable science.