Lance Lindsay needs something to distract his audience from the overwhelming load of bullshit he just tried to feed them, and that distraction comes in the form of a meteor swarm. Now, the special effects are the high point of this movie, so I don't want to get too down on them, but I've left more convincing meteor swarms in the toilet after a bowl of Fiber Flakes. Luckily, the ship is protected from the meteors by the single dumbest looking force field in the history of dumb looking force fields, or really of protective fields of any kind. The ship weathers the storm with only some minor hull damage and some easily repaired damage to the engines. But what's this? This ship isn't equipped with a force field! What could be happening here? Is it the beginning of an almost indescribably lame plot twist that will make you want to rip your skin off in strips and fashion them together into some sort of cat-o-nine tails which you can then use to whip yourself into unconsciousness? Maybe...
Stupid mask. Stupid tubes.
Two days later - yes, you read that right, Roger and Adrienne sit there without engines for two full days - Roger decides to take some action. He takes a medkit off the wall. I swear to God, the medkit is one of those roll-out ones that have been advertised on infomercial for the past couple decades. He removes an oxygen mask that consists of nothing more than a mask and plastic bag, as well as a flashlight. He rigs a rope between the two hatches that provide entry into the bridge. I have absolutely no idea why, though. It accomplishes absolutely nothing and never comes up again at any point in the movie. The only thing I can come up with is that some well-to-do rope manufacturer approached Lance Lindsay and said, "Son, you put my rope in your fancy movin' picture, here, and I'll call off my goons who I hired to beat you to death for a-makin' this movie in the first place." I didn't say it made sense, I just said it was the only thing I could come up with. He wakes up Adrienne before he goes, then head off into the tubes. According to the computer screen, the air supply to the tubes is now off. Why, I can't say. However, I can say that I'm fairly certain that in an oxygenless environment, breathing into a deflated plastic bag is not going to keep you alive. I suppose there's really only one way to find out for sure. I volunteer Lance Lindsay for the job. As he's inching through the tubes in a most un-space-otter-like fashion, he stumbles upon Cal's skull, which is also black. Seriously.
Roger scrambles to the engine room, where he quickly picks up another useless oxygen mask and gets the engines running again. At least, I imagine he gets the engines running again. That part, you know, the entire reason he went to the engine room in the first place, is sort of glossed over. Roger makes a break for the tubes again. Once inside, a gas starts pumping in through the vents. Assuming it must be oxygen, Roger dumps his mask. He's right, but even so, dropping the mask seems like a pretty cocky move. Theoretically, the air supply could kick out again at any minute, leaving him gasping for air in some stinking tube, his eyes bulging from their sockets, his veins straining at his flesh, his throat closing up, desperate for the sweet kiss of oxygen, until he finally collapses and can swear in his last moment that he can feel his brain cells dying one by one. But no, the oxygen stays on. However, he does get stuck in that stinking tube. When he gets back to the door to the bridge, he can't get it to open. He pounds on it for a few minutes, until Adrienne finally manages to get her ass up. It takes her an inexplicably long time to make it from the floor to the panel above the door where she has to push all of one button. She has to move maybe five feet in total, but it takes her like three minutes. If Roger was actually in trouble, he'd be nothing but a carcass by the time she got that door open. What a team. Roger bursts out of that tube and curses the alien blob for having the gall to turn the oxygen back on. Then he makes soup.
I couldn't make this up if I tried, but if I did, I'd hate myself for it.
The computer reports that the ship is only twenty-four hours from Alpha 7, the nearest space station. You'd think that that wouldn't be a problem. After all, Roger and Adrienne spent two full days sitting on their thumbs while the ship sat floating in space with no engines. Waiting another day to arrive should be a cinch. But of course, there's always a catch. They have to activate the ship's brakes, which of course it's impossible to do from the bridge. You wouldn't want to go and design a ship where the captain has the power to make it stop, now. That would just be crazier than a mayfly on a Tuesday! Meanwhile, the alien blob has the computer access files on human history. That's great. The computer doesn't have enough power to run Windows, but it has complete files on the whole sum of human evolution. Okay, sure. The blob goes through menus at random and eventually ends up reading a few select passages from the New Testament. It's sort of like that scene in "The Fifth Element" where the Supreme Being is going through every word in the English language and happens to decide to go into greater depth on the word "war," only this is really, really stupid.
Oh no! Someone turned E.T. inside out!
Armed with a water pic / flamethrower, Roger braves the tubes once again. It makes perfect sense to me. He went unarmed last time and encountered absolutely no danger of any kind. So naturally this time he would want to arm himself with one of the most destructive inventions in the history of mankind. He reaches the engine room, but there is no sign of the alien. Adrienne watches his dot on the Crew Tracker, and shouts out warnings over the intercom. Startled, Roger turns and drops the flamethrower. On a long list of the all time worst ideas, dropping a flamethrower out of fear is near the top. The entire principle behind a flamethrower is that you don't need to be afraid of anything as long as you've got one in your hands. No matter what sort of opposition you're facing, it is by default nowhere near as badass as you are as long as you've got that flamethrower. Even if you're still facing certain death, while that flamethrower is in your grasp, you go down fighting without a worry in your head. That concept is lost on Roger, though. Luckily, the alien menace has no interest whatsoever in his pansy-ass flamethrower, so Roger is able to pick it up again. That's when he finally comes face to face with the alien itself.
Meanwhile, Adrienne decides that Roger is helpless, alone with his flamethrower like that, so she takes a ridiculously small knife from the medkit and heads off into the tubes.
The alien, which goes by the name of Gar and looks like one of the creatures from "Feeders," attached to a large tortoise, but made out of orange gelatin, and sounds like Yoda after being punched in the throat repeatedly, engages Roger in a conversation. Roger tries to accuse Gar of killing the rest of the crew, but Gar is ready for that. He lays the guilt trip on Roger - you know the drill - the ol' self-defense / man inherently hates what it does not understand combo. It's all very touching and horribly cliched. Every time someone busts out the monster-is-really-the-only-logical-one-and-mankind-is-the-real-moster rap, Rod Serling's corpse explodes just a little bit more. Roger, moved by Gar's words, lunges at him at the same time as Adrienne comes out of the tube, brandishing her utterly ineffective knife. Seriously, she could be prying my right eyeball out of its socket with that thing, and I still wouldn't be convinced it's dangerous. Gar doesn't seem particularly convinced either, but just for good measure he pins them both to the wall with his super blobular telekinesis. Once the humans are properly subdued, the three of them have a discussion over whether Gar's murders were justified. He seems to think they were. He even says it was self defense when he killed Sherrie, since she poured acid on him. Personally, I think she was just reacting to his trying to caress her facial area with a spiky pincer of doom, but that's just my take on it. In any case, as people who are being telekinetically held to a wall often do, Roger and Adrienne eventually learn to see Gar's side of things. He says that he wants the ship, but he is willing to take them to the space station and drop them off there. And with that, a lifelong friendship begins! Seriously.
|Special Effects:||- 4|
|Music / Sound:||- 6|
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
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