I’d watched today’s film because I’d heard that it was in the same universe as yesterday’s film. I’d never heard of this straight-to-video feature before my research for films to watch as a part of 31 days of horror movies, much to my surprise. Perhaps I didn’t watch enough late night cable on those cold Friday nights? After the viewing, I did find some other sites with interesting takes on the film (here) and (here), as well as its own Facebook page (here).
In any case, I’m not so sure any film should feature the word “BAD” in its title? Does that word serve as a premonition for my review of this film? Read on to find out…
31 Days of Howl-oween
A Review of Films Filled with Frights
~ Bad Channels ~
Director: Ted Nicolaou
Cast: Paul Hipp, Martha Quinn, Robert Factor, Aaron Lustig, Michael Huddleston
Country: United States
Specs: 88 mins. / Color / OAR 1.33:1 / MPAA Rating: R
An alien and his robot henchman land in a small town to take hostage a small radio station and its on air disc jockey, Dan O’Dare (Hipp). Using the airwaves to hypnotize unsuspecting women, the alien then uses a transporter device to shrink the women to doll-size hostages for his collection. However, inquisitive reporter Lisa Cummings (Quinn) is intent on learning what strange occurrences have befallen her small town, and it’s up to her to convince the local authorities of her findings, thus rescuing the captive women, freeing the affable jockey, and saving the small town from impending doom.
The B-ist of B-movies, this film feels like an Ed Wood reject. The acting is atrocious, the story is average at best, and the effects have the appearance of a high school car wash funded production. The segments in which the alien hypnotizes the women by use of hallucinatory rock music videos is entertaining, but nothing a repeat viewing of a VHS recording of Riki Rachtman’s MTV Headbangers Ball wouldn’t reproduce. By doing so, you’d likely even get an appearance or two from Martha Quinn (who used to be a VJ on MTV), without the boring storyline.
I’m not sure why the film never quite reached the entertainment value of Full Moons other franchise that preceded this film by a few years (“Puppet Master”)? I think, as I stated in my review yesterday of that film, the puppets having a personality played a large part. Here, the alien is simply an ugly indistinguishable man-in-suit, with little to no defining characteristics. Coupled with the less than stellar acting, I think I can put a finger on it. If only the always entertaining Rifftrax would give it a spin, I’d say it’s worth a second viewing!
The most entertaining aspect of the film was the post credits sequence, which features an appearance by a character who himself goes on to a series of b-movies, of which I have yet to view as well. A close second would be the line “Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard”, which is a little in-joke to “The Three Stooges’ Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Shemp Howard.
Roger Corman, I owe you an apology…
My Rating: ** / D
Available on Amazon: Full Moon Classics, Vol. 1