Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I first saw this movie in the dollar theater with my son’s mother.  It was over a year after my son was born (we’d given him up for adoption because we were kids) & almost a year since her family had moved to another city.  She was in town for a couple days visiting her grandmother & it happened to be near the theater & I walked the three miles to meet her for the movie.  I was 14 & the post-apocalyptic nihilistic savior vibe of the movie was great.  It was the last time I’d ever see the girl.  She lived an hour away & writing letters for over a year just wasn’t a sustainable relationship for two high school kids not old enough to drive.  I like to think it was her that stopped writing first, but to be honest I can’t remember.

So this movie came back on my radar because I was hanging out with my son before he was moving across the country to go to graduate school & the house we were hanging out at had a collection of B movies including Cyborg & I pointed it out to him & told him his mom liked the movie.  Then almost a year passed & he came back to town for spring break & we played a house show together at that same house & there was the movie still sitting on the shelf.  So I felt compelled to re-watch it.

There’s a couple of odd things about this movie.  It’s called Cyborg, but the cyborg in it really doesn’t have to be a cyborg for any reason – though I guess if you titled the movie Genetic Scientist Trying to Get to Atlanta it doesn’t sound as cool – & isn’t even really a main character.  According to Wikipedia this movie was made in an attempt to recoup costs from two cancelled movies, so I’d guess the cyborg prop that appears in one scene was probably something they had lying around.  Most of the characters in here are named after musical instrument companies for some reason (Gibson Rickenbacker, Nady Simmons).

Now I know this movie isn’t good in the same way as Alien or Blade Runner, but it is good in the same way as Return of the Living Dead Part 3 or Soldier.  It stars Jean-Claude Van Damme & it’s directed by the guy who did the Masters of the Universe movie.  Well, here’s a confession, I like the Masters of the Universe movie.  I also like this movie.  It doesn’t have incredible style or great production values or anything.  But the character Van Damme plays is a little more sophisticated than being a simple bad ass, somewhat reminiscent of Mad Max in the original Mad Max.  Also like Mad Max or Soldier it’s more of a post-apocalyptic western than a sci-fi action flick.  Somewhere between Shane & The Terminator I guess.  I spent a good portion of my life the twenty years between my viewings of this movie trying to like arty movies & re-watching this lets me know me liking something has nothing to do with technical merit & what I want is something that is just competent & satisfied with what it is.  Probably because that’s what I’m seeking for myself, to be competent & satisfied with my lot in life.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Lathe of Heaven (movie)

I first saw this movie when I was five or six years old. The main things I remembered from it were dreams altering reality & aliens that looked kinda like turtles hiding on the moon. & I was sure it was black & white (but I think I watched on a black & white television). The movie freaked me out & it’s one of the many things I watched as a kid that I don’t really understand why I watched it & that went on to kind of effect my interests for the rest of my life.

So it was hard to figure out what this movie was to re-see it. First off everyone says, “Oh, Dreamscape” when you say a movie about an early 1980s movie about a guy having crazy dreams that effect reality. Second off, it wasn’t actually in black & white. Anyway, I actually managed to find it by Googling “alien turtle moon movie” which is pretty crazy as a description. I guess Google is getting to know me better. Re-seeing this movie is interesting to me. It has that vibe from before sci-fi movies became a genre of action movies, definitely a Philip K Dick vibe even though it’s actually by Ursula K Le Guin. One of the things I find really interesting about this movie for me is it may well be the root of my complete dis-trust for psychiatrists as the psychiatrist in this is pretty corrupt & manipulates his patient. The basic premise is there’s a guy who has dreams that can alter reality & it opens with him undoing a nuclear war after which he starts taking drugs to suppress his ability to dream. After a near fatality from the drugs he is forced by the state to go to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist figures out he can manipulate the dreams & tries to use them to make the world a better place, but usually it ends up making things worse – the solution to over-population for example is a plague.

This movie really works for me. Which is odd. The production value & acting quality isn’t too far removed from Logan’s Run or an episode of Twilight Zone. Maybe that’s what I like about it. It isn’t driven by fancy special effects or action or good acting or good cinematography – it’s just an interesting story told in an interesting way. It’s simple & dull & soothing. It’s not for everyone & that’s fine because I do think it’s for me.

Powered by Blogger.

  © Blogger template 'Darken' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP