The Zombinator (2012)

Of the caption, the only word I agree with is

Of the caption, the only word I agree with is “A”

I wish this was a real documentary, and everyone involved was really killed for real by a bunch of zombies. Or, failing that, the wrap party was blown up by people who love cinema. This is probably one of the five worst films I’ve ever reviewed for this site, and it’ll take a really really bad one to bump it down the list.

My review notes are full of questions, like “why are they doing this?” and “why did they make this film?” But it’s my job to try and formulate coherent thoughts, otherwise I could just replace this review with one long fart sound and it would be the same.

A film crew is making a documentary about a fashion blogger. If your first question is “why would anyone make a documentary about a fashion blogger?” then you’re keeping pace with me. The blogger and her friends take the crew to a patch of wasteland just outside town, and while the girls go off for a stroll, the cameraman spends a few minutes interviewing the sound guy. Why would anyone leave this clip in a film, presuming in this film’s world this footage was edited after the fact? Who knows? They then go to a party, which turns out to be a wake for a local guy who joined the army, and they carry on making the documentary at the wake. Huh?

A couple of points become immediately apparent – one is that not all of the people in this film are good at pretending they’re in a documentary; and two is that the filmmakers are bad at pretending this is a documentary too, as there’s multiple camera angles on lots of shots, and it gets way worse later. They appear to abandon the documentary concept when a band starts playing at the wake, but no – they sort of try to maintain it right to the end. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This garbage “Cloverfield” really kicks off when zombies start attacking people at the wake, and everyone loses their minds. The survivors run off to what they claim to be a school, and meet a group of people filming a ghost-hunting documentary with a couple of priests along for the ride; this group say they got permission from “the homeowner”, a weird choice of words when you’re in a school. They stay there way too long, no-one says “hold on, when did the church start believing in ghosts?” and after wandering round a few derelict rooms, they head off somewhere else and meet the Zombinator.

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He’s an army guy who fills us in on the plot, which I’m going to spoil to hell because none of you should be watching this garbage. Zombie-ism is a military-created virus which they were going to sell to the highest bidder – one of several examples of a sort of extremely naive left-wing ideology that runs through this movie (as a leftie, I found myself embarrassed for the 16-year old who apparently wrote the script). Anyway, even though he looks nothing like the Terminator at all, one of the kids makes the comparison so this film can have a better title than “Not Another Awful Fashion Blog Documentary Zombie Movie”.

There’s bad army guys in town checking on their investment, so while there’s a fairly lengthy religious scene in the middle of the movie, we see them trying to capture the Zombinator and make sure there’s no evidence of their crimes. Blah blah blah.

This film made me angry with its badness. Firstly is the pointlessness of the documentary concept, when you’re just going to abandon it ten minutes in but keep every bit of footage in the movie cheap-looking and handheld. There are times when the camera is clearly not supposed to “exist” in the world of the movie, like when it’s right next to the bad guy who has a gun, but this is mixed in with scenes where the cameraman is part of the action. A scene where someone films a guy get snuck up on and eaten, five feet away, AND DOES NOTHING makes this impossible to accept. It makes no sense whatsoever, but this pales in comparison to my chief bugbear with all found footage movies – there comes a time when continuing to film everything that goes on is severely detrimental to your health. Someone asks this in the movie, and gets the answer that they need to film this in case it’s a government conspiracy. Okay, I get that, just, but when you’ve filmed an hour of people getting eaten, do you never think “well, I’ve got enough footage now, time to put the camera down and concentrate on not dying”?

We’ve got poor acting, a plot that doesn’t stand up to the first second of scrutiny, a concept the movie itself doesn’t seem to be bothered to maintain, and a stupid non-ending. Have I covered everything? Oh, there’s the couple that breaks up, on camera, hinting at some deeper backstory, then three seconds later are fine again and in each other’s arms. There’s the way hundreds and hundreds of zombies stealth-attack people, again and again. There’s the OH MY GOD THIS IS BAD PLEASE STOP THINKING ABOUT IT

The sole interesting thing about this movie is its creation. The director, Sergio Myers, is a fairly successful reality TV producer, and shot this movie in four days while in Youngstown, Ohio to make an actual documentary, working with volunteers from the fashion website he was covering and no script (I guess that answers the question “who’d make a documentary about a fashion blogger?) I said interesting, I didn’t say worth watching, and I kind of have an inkling that there’s some stretching of the truth going on there – there’s too many locations and too many zombies for them to have managed to pull it off from a standing start in four days.

I hope Myers sticks to producing TV I have no interest in, or that he bothers to write a script for his next one. For fun, though, go read his IMDB profile, and if anyone thinks it was written by someone other than Myers, I’ve got some good real estate on the moon to sell you. What a thoroughly boring, depressing film this is.

Rating: thumbs down

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Quantum Apocalypse (2010)

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Nu Image were, at one time, kings of low-budget action / sci fi cinema. In the 90s, they made the “Cyborg Cop” series (well worth checking out) and lots of others – see their work here – and seemed to be happy in the shallow end of the pool until 2008 or so, when they made the last “Rambo” film. Now, they’re the people behind “The Expendables” and “Olympus Has Fallen”, but luckily their fame hasn’t gone to their heads and they’re still able to knock out films like this.

A comet which is due to come fairly close to Mars veers way off course and actually hits the red planet, which causes all sorts of problems, including (perhaps, most importantly), a “gravity funnel” which will wipe out all life on earth. This gives us a group of people trying to solve the problem – all those NASA scientists, along with a couple of kooky theoretical physicists they bring in – and, in the B story, a small-town Mayor and his family, his brother being an autistic savant with a computer full of amazing calculations and an online friend at NASA.

The difference between this lot and Asylum is immediately apparent, in that this has humour in it. One of the physicists is Gigi Edgeley, better known as Chiana, the blue woman from “Farscape”, and not only is she given funny-ish lines, but there’s a running joke where she’s wearing different clothes in every scene she’s in; and the son of the family reminds me of Dan Byrd from “Cougar Town”, cracking wise at all times.

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The brother realises he has to get to the space centre at Houston and save the day, and that race, along with the race at NASA to solve it themselves, is the main narrative driver, plus we’ve got the son and his new girlfriend, the Dad’s new wife and her struggles to fit into the new family, and so on. It’s surprisingly full of stuff, which makes a refreshing change. Plus, they have some fun with the altered gravity on earth, by having someone surprised at how much weight they’ve lost, two people picking up and throwing a car, and so on.

One weirdly clever thing this film does is shoot footage in what looks like a real disaster area, with members of the cast clearly not on green screens while there’s real hurricane and flood damage all around. Not sure if they got lucky, or if there was some destruction near-ish to their studios so they quickly wrote a film to go with it, but it makes the film look a heck of a lot more expensive than it probably was.

Both the President and the Mayor have very attractive, much younger wives, which is either an indicator of directorial fetish or a happy accident. The Mayor’s wife, Lynne, is played by Stephanie Jacobsen, and she’s so distractingly beautiful that I found their relationship a little unbelievable. I just don’t buy that women like her exist anywhere outside Hollywood parties, but this could just be me. Anyway, she’s lovely but has very little to do other than look vaguely grumpy that her husband is off saving the world and none of his kids like her very much.

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The world isn’t going to be destroyed, of course, but the way this film finds of solving the problem is pretty interesting, and elevates what came before it I think. Just, not quite enough. It’s a fairly fast-paced film but when you think about it, there’s a lot of filler – the two sides of the story have zero links until the last few minutes; and the B and C stories would be okay in a TV show but feel a little out of place in a film called “Quantum Apocalypse”.

I reckon you ought to give this a go. It’s a lot of fun, if the plot drags you can stare at the pretty people (all of whom remain respectably dressed throughout, by no means a given in films like this), plus there’s a lot familiar faces if you’re a fan of sci-fi TV. When you see a film with a title and cast like this, you kind of know what you’re going to get, and this has a little of the fun of the mid-90s B-movie sci-fi era about it.

Rating: thumbs up

EDIT: searching for this film on Google may lead you to http://www.quantumapocalypse.net , which is the name of a product for shining leaves. That has to the oddest name for a product I’ve ever heard, and my hat goes off to them.

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Swamp Volcano (2011)

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We return to the comforting world of SyFy Channel original movies with misleading titles. Okay, they do briefly visit a swamp at the beginning, and there’s plenty of lava, but no volcano. It has an alternate title, “Miami Magma”, which I suppose is a bit more accurate, only not as much fun.

Cleavant Derricks! My wife and I have been watching “Sliders” recently, a fine 90s sci-fi show that fell off a cliff of quality towards the end, and Derricks was one of the stars. He’s the responsible assistant to Brad Dourif, the evil oil company CEO, and is trying to get him to listen to some environmental people, or wait til the safety checks have been done, or something. You know how those characters are. Anyway, in another SyFy staple, they’re drilling where they shouldn’t, but I’m pretty sure this time is going to turn out okay.

Rachel Hunter is aiming for the “Brooke Hogan Award” for unconvincing scientists, a vulcanologist in this instance. Anyway, there’s a bit of confusion when it’s revealed her sister is one of her students, and her sister has a crush on Hunter’s research assistant Brandon (played by Griff Furst, last seen by the ISCFC in “Transmorphers”). So, here’s the confusion. Hunter is 40 and looks older; her little sister is 27 and looks younger, and Brandon is 29. But he says to her that she’s too young…I can’t help but shake the impression that the two women were written as mother and daughter but when they got Hunter they decided to make a very slight alteration to the script.

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There’s more casting weirdness – Dourif dies fairly early on in the film (presumably they could only afford to hire him for a few days) and then Derricks is bribed by the board of directors and takes over the evil boss character. It would’ve made tons more sense to have Derricks as the boss from the beginning and Dourif as the assistant – but then that would have taken out a few unnecessary scenes and the film’s already fairly short. Although we do get to see a super-rich CEO who knows how to adjust oil drilling equipment, so there is that to have some fun with.

Padding is a recurring theme in “Swamp Volcano”. About halfway through, we meet a couple of bikini-clad college girls who are about to take part in a wet bikini contest; and even though one of them sort of complains about having to do it, the film certainly doesn’t complain about getting to ogle the two of them. Anyway, the film spends a fair chunk of time with these two, and when the unleashed lava sends a wave of boiling hot steam over the beach, killing hundreds, you’re expecting at least one of these girls to survive. Nope!

But it’s not all dullness, exposed flesh and weird motivations. Perhaps the greatest death of all time is featured in this film! I kind of don’t want to spoil it for you, but when you see the tennis lesson start strap yourself in because it’s absolutely amazing. There’s also a bug planted in the evil CEO’s office which is so large, and has flashing lights on it, I’m surprised the people planting it weren’t ashamed of themselves. Talking of Cleavant Derricks, his comeuppance scene is properly out of left field, I guarantee you’ll see it and be “huh?”

In a way, SyFy Channel movies are dependable. You know what you’re going to get and how good it’ll be before you start watching it, and this is no different. This ticks all the SyFy Movie Mainstay boxes that I mentioned in my “Triassic Attack” review, and rips along at a fair old pace. Okay, not exactly quotes worth putting on the DVD cover, but it’s a decently entertaining effort.

Rating: thumbs in the middle

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Dead Mine (2012)

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I have had a nice relaxing afternoon nap, and the cause of that nap is “Dead Mine”. To call it slow in getting to the point is almost an insult to things which are slow to get to the point, and it made me long for the days of grindhouse and exploitation cinema where at least those filmmakers knew that if you wanted to keep people interested in your horror movie, you had to put something moderately eventful in the first half.

A treasure hunter, his girlfriend, a scientist and a bunch of the treasure hunter’s hired goons are in the jungles of Indonesia, trying to track down some Japanese general’s stolen WW2 gold. This is a real thing, apparently (well, at least the story is, I’m sure there’s no gold-filled bunker anywhere any more). The scientist lady has some pathetically vague story about wanting to find out why people are evil – of course, there’s no better way to do that than traipse about some long-abandoned military base in the middle of the jungle.

Anyway, it turns out that the base, as well as being the place where the gold was, was also the venue for some pretty horrific medical experiments by the Japanese on prisoners of war. And wouldn’t you know it, but those test subjects are still there, lurking in tunnels underground and popping up to capture the hunters. What was a mission for £££ now just becomes a mission to stay alive!

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Okay, that exclamation mark was about as excited as I could get about this. The first glimpse we get of one of the creatures is at about the halfway point, and I feel like a kid with ADHD for pointing this out, but that’s too damn long! The dull characterisation isn’t really enough to hold interest, is what I’m saying. The sets look great, this clearly wasn’t a cheap film to make, but no-one ever said “I thought that film would suck, but boy those sets really held my interest”.

I wish they’d had a few more passes at the script, or hired a few stronger actors, or something, because there’s the occasional interesting thing in here. The speech about how soldiers are created, while a little out of nowhere, is well done, and the sole interesting relationship in the film between main soldier and scientist lady, is sort of half a philosophical debate about evil and how it’s created…but it’s not enough.

It’s like someone saw “The Descent” and mixed it with a tiny soupcon of “Dead Snow” and thought just changing a few locations would be enough to make a good movie. There’s really no drama in here, just waiting for your least favourite character to get killed by the mutant zombie fellas. As they’re super-powerful and the humans, well, aren’t, it’s not much of a fight either…there’s just nothing fun or interesting or particularly dramatic about this film, and you shouldn’t bother watching.

Rating: thumbs down

Remains (2011)

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The good thing about comic-to-movie adaptations is that when the big companies have hoovered up all the main franchises (your superheroes and so on) there’s plenty of room for fans of independent comics to get their favourites on screen. Steve Niles is the creator of “Criminal Macabre”, an excellent comic, and “Thirty Days Of Night”, which was turned into a really decent film. I’ve not read this but it feels like an attempt to start a similar sort of franchise, but how well did it do?

It starts off promising, with Tom (Grant Bowler, known for “Ugly Betty” or “Defiance” depending on your tastes) sleazing his way into work as a croupier in a run down casino in Reno. I imagine the portrayal of the town as a nasty, dirty place devoted solely to taking your money is fairly accurate, but the film doesn’t spend too much time on that. It does go out of its way to make Tom an asshole though, as he bribes Tori, one of the waitresses, with cocaine in return for sex.

While they’re doing this, the TV is full of the biggest news ever – all the world is getting rid of their nuclear weapons, but there’s a problem putting them into the “Nuke Oven” and it seems most of them go off. The one nearest Reno knocks out the power, trapping Tom and Tori behind an electronic lock – and apparently turning everyone who got a blast of the radiation into a zombie (although, honestly, they sort of gloss over this bit). By the time Tom and Tori get out, all hell has broken loose and they have to survive, along with a few other stragglers.

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Another thing this movie nails is how people with no weapons and no training would cope with a sudden invasion of speedy zombies. The four survivors improvise, shoving zombies into washing machines and locking them in rooms and hitting them with whatever is at hand. This contrasts with the group of army guys who turn up later in the film, led by one of my favourite actors, Lance Reddick (“The Wire”, “Fringe”). His group seem friendly, especially his daughter, but they may well have other ideas in mind.

There are snippets of a great movie in here. The occasional touch which you can tell has had some thought put into it, the odd bit of clever dialogue, it’s like shoots of new growth breaking out from an almost dead plant. Like those shoots, though, they’re doomed because the rest of it is just not quite good enough. The characterisation is all over the place – Tom starts off as an asshole, turns into a good guy leader seemingly without notice, then flip-flops again before the end. Tori is in the spot in the film where a sympathetic character ought to be, but just isn’t; and the nastier of the two other survivors behaves like a pretty decent guy for most of his time on screen. While it may work in the comics, showing our morality as an elastic thing, in a 90 minute film it just seems like they weren’t really paying attention.

For a film which dispenses with all the typical zombie movie preamble and gets down to business, based on a comic by a great author, I was expecting to like this a lot more than I did. I just feel it’s a bit predictable, with twists and drama telegraphed. But then, considering its vintage and probable budget (it’s a TV movie for the Chiller Channel in the USA, levels below SyFy) it’s not that bad. So, provided you come to this with very very low expectations, you might have a good time, but I think probably not.

Rating: thumbs down

Jurassic Shark (2012)

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2012 was a real banner year for Brett Kelly. Apart from directing maybe the worst film this site has ever seen – “Agent Beetle” – he also had the time to make this, another addition to the ISCFC’s ongoing mission to review every low-budget shark movie there is.

Not that anyone could possibly care, but the plot revolves around some drilling by some evil company that unleashes a prehistoric shark, the megalodon. This is near a beautiful deserted island somewhere, and the two groups of people who’ve decided to visit the island are some hot college students, one of whom is a journalist trying to expose the drilling company; and a group of thieves who’ve stolen a painting and try to make a water-getaway, only to get their boat eaten by the shark.

I occasionally wonder what I’m doing with my life. I’m sat here, slightly hungover, writing a review with a farting dog sleeping next to me, and Brett Kelly, a man with absolutely zero ability as a filmmaker, gets to hang out with model-beautiful women all day and make movies. He’s annoying because 99% of the audience of this film think “I could do better than him” and they’d be right. As we’ve proved on this site, budget is no hindrance to making a decent film, but ability is. I presume the extremely low budget was a tax write-off, or a money laundering scheme, or some pathetic attempt to get the crumbs from the table of the big boys by selling this to the sort of channels which show anything with bikini-clad women in it.

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One day, I’d like to see a film where a group of sunbathing women are shown as competent and resourceful, as opposed to eye candy. We’ve had “Tucker And Dale vs. Evil”, an amazing comedy which turned the cabin in the woods hillbilly tropes on their head; so the time is right for a movie which turns these tropes around. Although, in reality, with films like this I’d take anyone being resourceful and competent, because all you’re doing is just waiting for everyone but one or two of the hot girls and maybe the new love of one of them, to die.

Sadly, the lack of competence appears to extend to the entire cast and crew. Not a single good actor, the script is tired and cliched, the direction is boring, the sound is rotten and the camerawork is ugly. More so than even the films I see normally, this has depressed me and made me doubt what we do here. If you’re going to make a cheap movie as a tax dodge (let’s settle on that as a reaon for its existence) why not have fun with it? Why not hire a college improv team and say “here’s twenty grand, go make me a 75 minute movie about anything you like”?

There’s a good argument to be made that if you watch a film like “Jurassic Shark”, you deserve everything you get. I can see that, but as any long-term readers of our site will know, there’s good stuff out there hiding behind cheesy titles and promises of bare flesh. I think this will be our last interaction with Mr. Kelly – I advise you to look at his IMDB page and avoid everything on there.

Rating: whatever below “thumbs down” is

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Swamp Zombies! (2005)

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There are two main reasons that low-budget filmmakers tend to make their films short (typically, 90 minutes and below). Firstly, making films is expensive, and it’s not like you’re going to be able to charge more for your 2-hour film than you would for an 80-minute one. Secondly, if you’re fortunate enough to sell your film to a TV channel, it’s convenient for them to have it in a 2-hour block, which minus adverts is around 1:30. So when I saw that “Swamp Zombies!” was almost 2 hours, I was intrigued.

I loved this film. Absolutely loved it. It’s beyond cheap – filmed on camcorders, a cast of rank amateurs, weird stunt casting, non-existent lighting, sub-bargain-basement special effects – but it’s got something to it that I just warmed to immediately.

You don’t need a ton of recapping with a name like “Swamp Zombies”, but you’re going to get some. Evil doctor is experimenting with fresh corpses, but before he gets the chance to finish it off, the Government comes to do an inspection of his hospital, so he has to pay some criminals to dump the bodies in a lake next to a swamp. Also in the swampland – a group of students doing some biology fieldwork; a Sheriff and his amazing kickass deputy; some sunbathing ladies; and the corporate villains. They keep one of the test subjects at the hospital, and he turns into a zombie too and starts causing some havoc there.

The stunt casting is minor stars of wrestling – Brian “Blue Meanie” Heffron plays a guy living out in the swamp, mourning the death of his wife and son; his real-life wife at the time, former porn star Jasmine St Claire, is the evil doctor’s main investor, or boss, or something; and MMA legend and occasional dabbler in pro wrestling Dan “The Beast” Severn is a cop who shows up near the end. If the rest of the cast isn’t just Kabasinski’s friends, family and people from his martial arts school – the guy was a nationally ranked martial artist before turning his hand to filmmaking – I’ll be very surprised.

The extreme lack of a budget shows itself in a hundred small ways, but there’s little more boring than film reviewers going “haha look at that continuity error” or whatever, although if that’s your bag then you’ll have a good time. My favourite is when Jasmine goes for a shower (which includes a great deal of her lathering her boobs with spurts of creamy white shower gel) and when she leaves you can see urinals on the far wall. Not too many urinals in female bathrooms, I’m thinking.

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Favourite character is Deputy Anna, played by Monica Picirillo (her only credit, sadly). She’s clearly a martial arts friend of the director’s, and looks like the sort of character who’ll see a zombie, shriek and then get eaten. But no! She whups an absolute ton of ass and although she does a bit too much standing around trying to figure out where to go, she shows those dead scumbags who’s boss…until she gets overwhelmed, bitten and turns into perhaps the world’s first martial artist zombie. My notes just read “deputy = BADASS” and that is absolutely right.

Your opinion may vary radically from mine about this. It’s incredibly low budget and the performances are truly abominable, the sort of people who’ve seen a lot of genre movies but have never had an acting lesson (with a few honourable exceptions – I liked most of the group of teenagers, who seemed pretty natural). The doctor is extraordinary, almost a new level of acting badness – but you know what? I just think it all works, and for a film which cost an estimated $12,000, these people had to really want to make a movie. Compare that to the similarly low-budget “Agent Beetle” we reviewed recently, where the people all seemed to be on the Hollywood ladder (even if it’s right at the bottom) but the finished product was cynical, nasty and cheap – trying too bludge a few dollars from people drunkenly expecting a real Blue Beetle movie. This could not be called cynical at all – it’s a guy with a few credit cards, lots of friends and lots of chutzpah trying his best to make a fun zombie movie.

Time for my now obligatory railing against sexism in genre movies before we part, dear reader. There are a lot of boobs in this movie, most notably Ms St Claire’s, but far too many females in the cast show too much flesh, while the only thing for fans of the male form is a few seconds of the director (who is put together, I’ll admit) doing some shirtless katas on his deck. Take a look around, people. The world is changing and there are a lot of straight female and gay male genre movie fans, and you should either be catering for them or catering for no-one. I don’t think anyone’s sitting through two hours of a movie about swamp zombies just for the occasional shot of boobies, is what I’m saying.

So be prepared for wildly disagreeing with me, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, if you’re in a forgiving and friendly frame of mind, you’ll have a damn good time watching this.

Rating: thumbs up

Space Milkshake (2012)

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Sci-fi comedies have a long and glorious history, starting (to all intents and purposes) with “Dark Star” in 1973. With its crew of slackers and oddballs, it showed that space wasn’t all clean corridors and humanoid aliens, but dirty underwear, things breaking down and weird beachball-with-feet aliens. We fans of both genres are living in its debt, and the makers of this film are definitely doing so too.

Robin Dunne, Billy Boyd, Kristin Kreuk, and Amanda Tapping are our heroes, the crew of an orbiting sanitation station, sort of a rubbish bin / recycling centre for all the junk left in space. They keep the space lanes clear but they’re seen as no better than the garbage men of earth. Bog-standard incompetence and petty jobsworth-ness on their part leads to an unscheduled transport getting blown up, and it contains two things – a rubber duck and a blue glowing time cube (the deadliest machine in the universe, so we’re told). One quick beaming to an alternate universe later, the duck starts mutating, while still retaining the personality of Tapping’s ex-boyfriend (and the voice of George Takei), and a robot double of Kreuk’s beams on board, kills her and starts behaving very oddly.

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There’s little in life worse than an unfunny comedy, and sadly for way too much of its running time that’s what this is. These people are all awful to each other, with the exception of Dunne as he’s the new guy on the station, and that snark and unpleasantness is used in the place of jokes and funny situations. You can tell where the jokes are supposed to be, but unless you think unnecessary rudeness is hilarious then you’re not going to get a great deal.

There’s also a lack of care over the finer points of the film, which worries nerds such as I. People making monstrously large words in Scrabble is a pet peeve of mine (you only have seven tiles, dammit!) and when they make a big point of the computer voice having changed, there’s a scene where it’s changed back and no-one seems to notice. Still, in the history of movies very few people have ever said “I would have loved that hilarious film, except for a lack of verisimilitude when it comes to Scrabble” so ultimately it didn’t matter.

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Gives an unrealistic expectation of how much fun this film was

The acting is absolutely top-notch, as you’d expect from a cast such as this, full of TV and film veterans. Boyd pokes a little fun at his Lord of the Rings role, while suffering from a mild case of Small Man Syndrome; Kreuk does well with her two roles; and clearly Tapping and Dunne must have had fun working on TV show “Sanctuary” together for four years, as they’re both producers on this. All four of them are clearly capable of comedy, but I feel the problem isn’t them so much as the writing. And now I feel bad because it’s a low budget movie made with several Canadian tax benefit packages, and was filmed in a little over two weeks…but then “Dark Star” had a tenth the budget of this and was a classic.

I love that people are making more sci-fi movies now, and they’re trying to do different things with them. And this certainly isn’t a bad movie, but it’s just not quite good enough. I presume there’s a hilarious story behind the title, too, but I don’t care enough to find out what it is. Still, I’d be happy to watch this cast do something else together, and given it’s the director’s first movie, he may improve too.

Rating: thumbs down (sorry)

EXTRA: The film’s website is remarkably similar to the film, having lots of little games to play which look fun but are in fact sort of boring and pointless.