|Copyright 1978 Selected Pictures
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 9 April 2001
- Billy - Young man who is picked on by almost everyone in town, until he finds a powerful alien bazooka. Zapped, but not incinerated, by the aliens (so Kathy can weep over his body).
- Kathy - As you can guess, this is Billy's girlfriend. She loves her little toad.
- Chuck and Froggy - Town bullies, why does the big tough guy always keep a loudmouth worm around? Both are zapped.
- Jeep and Ungar - Deputies that act like jerks. Deputies always come in pairs, an imposing corn-fed one and another who is skinny. These two fit that stereotype nicely. Blasted to donut heaven.
- Mr. Craig - Government agent, though we never find out if he has any inkling of his own purpose in this film. Investigating aliens is like that, you don't need any clear goals.
- Doctor Mellon - Roddy McDowall! Just a simple country doctor, not afraid to cut metallic growths out of his patients' chests either. Vaporized before the malpractice suits can begin rolling in.
- The Colonel - Keenan Wynn! Kathy's grandfather was in the military as an officer. Has his moments of clarity, but for the most part he is participating in Operation Alzheimer's.
- The Stop Motion Aliens - Either intergalactic police or bounty hunters, most likely the former.
|I've come to the realization that law enforcement is universally incompetent, as in police all over the universe. As the credits finish we see a sick man stumbling across the desert, carrying the Nerf Gun of Ultimate Destruction and pendant. Judging from the skin color and hygiene, he looks like some species of living dead. Within moments a spaceship passes over, then lands and a pair of armed (as in carrying weapons) stop motion aliens exit the craft. Despite his impressive blaster the zombie/vampire/mutant fellow is no match for the aliens, he becomes a man-shaped scorch mark on the ground. The aliens hear a small aircraft approaching, so they board their spaceship and depart. In the rush something is forgotten; the pendant and cannon are still lying on the sand.
Everything that transpired over the last few minutes should get your mind working on some questions. Under what circumstances did this weapon come to Earth in the first place? What are the aliens saying? How in the world did the aliens forget to grab or destroy the cannon and pendant? You are never going to find out, though some inventive guessing can help relieve the frustration.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to the tragic hero of our story. Billy will never be addressed by the ghastly apparition of a bloody child, but I still think he fits the moniker nicely. Seems like the entire town pushes him around in one way or another, whether it be Chuck's taunting or Ungar loading on the speeding tickets. Ah, a persecution complex in full bloom, the exact person you should avoid giving a laser cannon. Of course, that saves him lots of time studying explosives and building a cabin out in the woods (or desert, as the locale dictates). Why couldn't the Unibomber find one of these? Would have made him more interesting, a kook with a beard is not interesting to me.
Billy finds the cannon while wandering around the desert (nobody picks on him out there). We can assume that sooner or later he was going to explode, but finding the Nerf Gun of Ultimate Destruction hastens things along. I'm of the mind that the pendant is the real problem, it seems to power the weapon. Plus, when the young man is wearing it, he turns into a zombie/vampire/mutant thing. Contact with the artifact is not healthy at all, leaving a strange scar on Billy's chest that appears to be flesh transformed into some strange metal.
Our alien buddies are happily motoring along back home to Alpha Centauri when their leader makes a videophone call. Just like before, we can't understand a darn word they are saying. Scenes of Billy finding the blaster are broadcast, plus the leader seems a little agitated. I'd bet the gist was, "You idiots! You forgot to get the Nerf Gun of Ultimate Destruction!" Tweedle Dzzzrkkk and Tweedle Dvvvrkkk turn around, obviously on their way to prevent Billy from using his toy to do something unpleasant.
Too late! Looks like the pendant completely short circuits the superego, because the normally quiet main character is blasting anyone who ever wronged him! Even Dr. Mellon is killed to prevent him from examining a sample of tissue taken from Billy's chest. You may notice that "Laserblast" yields a huge number of random acts of violence, especially at the end. This is the possessed teenager wandering through town, destroying everything in sight. Okay, so maybe he was just demolishing temporary structures in some alley, but you understand the intent.
The aliens are exceptionally neat and definitely make the movie, even their strange squawking speech is well done. Other than the stop motion I am at a loss for words, because the plot is simple. "Kid with a (valid) persecution complex finds a Nerf Gun of Ultimate Destruction and blows things up." That's the plot, everything else is padding and it feels like padding.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Mothers rarely tell their teenage children before traveling out of the country.
- We put old people in homes for a good reason.
- Vans are not made for racing.
- Men: if a female refuses your advances you should toss her into a pool.
- Hitting someone with the mesh of a tennis racket will knock them unconscious.
- "The Morning Uglies" are caused by close contact with alien artifacts.
- There is always somebody with a bigger gun.
- Opening credits - You can tell which people changed their names to work in show biz.
- 10 mins - Billy is running around without a shirt, but Kathy has on a full flannel nightgown. I'm confused, what is the ambient temperature?
- 20 mins - RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST SHRUBS!
- 32 mins - Hey chubby, the reason you don't have any friends is that you sit around eating cake when they come to visit.
- 37 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A CAR!
- 49 mins - It's almost as if they were trying to pad the film by showing this footage again...
- 58 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A PINBALL MACHINE!
- 72 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A "STAR WARS" ADVERTISEMENT!
- 73 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A TELEPHONE BOOTH!
- 77 mins - RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A LETTER DROP AND A NEWS STAND!
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Colonel: "Everything is hush hush! Operation Sand Dust, hush hush! Everybody connected with it, hush hush! Everybody except me..."
||Chubby Girl: "They tell me cake is bad for me. Well, what about radiation?"
||Kathy: "Someone blew up Chuck's car." |
Billy: "What? Who would want to do a thing like that?"
|Theme Song|| Listen to a clip from the soundtrack. |
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|The stop-motion aliens were chasing this wretched creature when it ambushed them. He puts up a good fight until the advanced bipeds start returning fire, then it's all over.
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |