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Friday, November 4, 2011

Forbidden World (1982) - Science Fiction Monster

Forbidden World (1982) - This Roger Corman produced science fiction film is really not all that bad. Mike Colby (Jesse Vint) is a problem solver and oh boy does the crew of the base on planet Xarbia have a problem to be solved. Lead by Dr. Gordon Hauser (Linden Chiles) the crew was developing a genetically altered bacteria as an endless food source, unfortunately Hauser crossed Linkethical lines and now has a very nasty growing and violent beast living in his incubator. Now Colby generally approaches things with the line, "if it moves and its not one of us, shoot it.". He should have taken care of the problem well before the movie got rolling but instead, even though the creature is in a cocoon and seemingly harmless, he is convince to wait a bit before killing it. This is a creature that killed every single test animal in the lab and moved itself into the incubator to change into something even more nasty, but these nimrods decide to wait to deal with the problem.
So we leave poor Jimmie Swift (Michael Bowen) to clean up the mess in the lab and to keep an eye on the cocoon. Why is it that we leave the janitor to watch the dangerous monster? Why is it that the incubator is just a glass door not really seal-able or air tight? Why does Jimmie stick his head in and look at the thing when it is clear glass and you can easily check it without ever opening the door? It is often a problem with these lower budget films that the characters have to do stupid things in order to move the story along. Jimmie does not let us down in this regard as he looks around and eventually takes the creature on the face like in the movie "The Blob". Then of course since Brian Beale (Raymond Oliver) the security person for the lab is watching and has to find some way to miss the attack on camera, he gets up right at that moment to get some food. Then the camera in the lab gets blood splashed on it and stops working. All too convenient if you ask me.
When Tracy Baxter (Dawn Dunlap) heads down to the lab and finds Jimmie she screams and since this is what she did for most of the film we will call her Screaming Tracy for the rest of this entry. I don't want to go too much more into the plot details because this is a movie even though pretty bad is entertaining and worth a look. Let me say though that there was this one thing that really got my goat. The first time the crew members are bring Colby into the lab they go through this big "to do" about how they are cleaned of all germs by the cool blue light. It is a way of securing the lab. No unwanted things get in and none get out. It is crucial in the conversation about waiting a day to kill thew creature that it can not get out of the secure lab. So imagine my surprise that after Jimmy is attacked the chief medical guy Dr. Cal Timbergen (Fox Harris [Hello J Frank Parnell in Repo Man] ) comes in and immediately removes the body from the room. There is never a discussion that Jimmie may be a carrier of the creature. There is no talk of any kind he just says I have to get him to the medical bay then opens the door and wheels the body out. Everybody else spends a good minute or two looking for the escaped creature and then agree that there is nothing else they can do that day and head off to bed. Yup that is what I said and lucky Mike Colby gets to sleep with the lovely and seductive Dr. Barbara Glaser (June Chadwick). There is some reasonably tasteful love making as well as the escape of the creature from Jimmie's now apparently melting body. So the rest of the story is set up to be an Alien style movie where the people try to find and kill the creature while they are picked off one by one.
Later they realize why the creature is not just killing them all off at once, it wants them alive while it tries to use them as a perfect renewable food source. It is wonderfully noted how ironic this development is. So since they know that it is an intelligent creature Barbara and Screaming Tracy decide it is probably best to go communicate with it. Since it is on the main computer Barbara figures it will be through the computer that they can have words. She asks "Can we co-exist?" It replies through the computer "Please Stand by" and then gives its answer. Screaming Tracy runs off doing what she was born to do. The remaining group figures out how to beat the creature and exact the plan.
Overall I was rather entertained by this simple event driven film by writer Tim Curnen and director Allan Holzman. Yes Tracy was annoying a good deal of the time. Yeah women were portrayed as fixtures and when they did come up with an idea it was a horrible one. Yes this film was about how our buddy and hero Mike Colby saves the day. Of course both women in this film get naked with Colby. Sure a whole lot of really stupid decisions had to be made to make the events of the plot progress. And Yes it is sort of a rip off of Alien but it was entertaining and so much better than the recent reviews on this blog that I am marginally passing this with a Rent it recommendation. The one black actor did not die right away, nor was he the janitor. The camera work and music were solid and not over done. With a million or so dollars in the budget the effect were alright, granted the creature itself was a bit corny, the effects on the melting people were exceptional and hey they had lasers.
Rating (5.0) 5.0 and up are recommended, Go out and rent this passable watch.

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