|Copyright 1990 Syngenor Production Company Ltd.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 22 October 2006
- Susan - Created by stretching flesh over a skeletal frame.
- Nick - A reporter who looks for dates on the "Please feed me, I am starving" websites and lucked out by meeting Susan.
- Leo - Detective who is a family friend of Susan's. Killed by a Syngenor, sparing him from a heart attack.
- Donnie - The only security guard employed by Norton Cyberdyne. Shot through the brainpan by Carter Brown.
- Ethan - He created the Syngenors and pays the price.
- Paula - Scheming little witch. She wants to take over the company and her machinations are the root cause of everything that happens. Assimilated, then melted.
- Stan - This would be Paula's little henchman who is inept and a whiner. Turned into blood vapor by an experimental weapon.
- Carter Brown - CEO of Norton Cyberdyne and resident lunatic. Effectively, this means he comes across as an old and unfunny Adam Sandler (okay, he is amusing at times). Crushed.
- The Syngenors - Assault organisms developed to fight a war in the Middle East, but more like Stretch Armstrong than GI Joe. They are allergic to water.
|The movie begins with two drunken couples entering a tall office building. Both men work for the company that owns the building, Norton Cyberdyne. The girls are apparently floozies picked up in an upscale club or restaurant. Everyone heads into the basement, but the audience is privy to the fact that Stan is faking his inebriation. While the other three concentrate on getting drunk and fooling around, Stan unlocks a containment chamber. The Syngenor emerges and quickly kills off the surprised revelers. It then obviously leaves the building, kills Susan's uncle in his garage laboratory, and chases the young woman through the house. She escapes by climbing out of a window.
Why anyone would bring a hot date to their work, let alone the dingy basement of their work, is beyond me. This is just the first of many stupid script tricks that we are exposed to during the film.
Syngenor is an artificial life form developed by Norton Cyberdyne. The creature is tough, aggressive, and reproduces asexually every twenty-four hours. The debacle means that the company's upper management spends Friday morning in the boardroom, listening to Carter ranting. Besides the crazy executive shtick (which is moderately entertaining), the CEO has genuine concerns about how the Syngenor escaped and that the creature, having dined on spinal fluid, has begun reproducing. I must say that having a meeting about the crisis seems practical. However, it also strikes me as useless. "Okay, we created a monster from Hell. What do we do with it? I need ideas, people." Small wonder that Carter is quickly developing a psychosis. In addition, he continuously injects an unknown substance into his body with a needle gun.
One critical point that is completely glossed over is how Cyberdyne captured the Syngenor. Based on some discussions, I am thinking that they only recovered the reproductive sacs it left behind. The adult organism wandered around until it fell in a lake, or something.
After Susan gets home from the police station (the authorities do not believe her wild story), she encounters Nick in the garage. The reporter is hiding under a blanket and nearly gets killed, because Susan has just about had enough of this crap for one day. The two trade information and agree to a partnership until they can get to the bottom of the mystery of what is going on at Cyberdyne.
What is going on at Cyberdyne? More meetings and further meddling by Stan and Paula. The prime conspirators decide to leak the files about Syngenor to Nick. Paula also convinces Stan to let the creatures (there are now several) out of the "Thermal Vault." He has already had one close encounter with a Syngenor, so Stan chats up Carter's receptionist (who is, per the plot and notwithstanding the fact that she is played by Melanie Shatner, Carter's niece). The eager young woman descends into the building's basement and opens the door to the "Thermal Vault" as directed. Ha! The "Thermal Vault" is a food freezer like you would find in a restaurant! She runs away as the monster emerges, but accidentally electrocutes herself. The Syngenors now have control of the basement.
Carter might be crazy, but I will tell you what is insane: security at this company! There is one dog-gone security guard, anyone can easily access the basement, and the holding area for a freely reproducing genetic monster is not even secured by a deadbolt.
There is an obvious sexual relationship between Paula and Carter thrown in here, just to further muddle the plot. The aspiring woman uses it to play mind games with her intended victim. Not that Carter needs more encouragement to go crazy; he slips over the edge after his niece is killed.
In reference to Mr. Brown, the effluent overacting by David Gale is both a saving grace and source of annoyance. He absolutely loses his mind on camera. It is often entertaining, but can grate on your patience after the third of fourth scene that is only there to convey to the audience how disturbed this man has become. You want evil executives to be this scary; it turns them into corporate devils. The movie just overemphasizes the point to the extent that it becomes tedious.
Following a planning meeting between the conspirators, Nick and Susan are invited back to Cyberdyne by Stan (actually, just Nick is, but Susan masquerades as his photographer). The executive's job is to leak internal company documents to the press and further drive Carter up the wall. Unfortunately, the CEO has a microphone in Stan's office. He listens to the entire conversation and soon tells Nick that Stan is responsible for the recent killings. Susan is not in the meeting with Stan; she is wandering through the building and eventually discovers a display room of the company's projects. Not only is the door unlocked, but an automated tour guide explains the Dark Skies (Syngenor) program when the young lady enters.
Okay, there were so many stupid parts in the last paragraph that I actually lost count. One of the Cyberdyne inventions on display should have been a light grenade. On the other hand, then the building would have been empty. Everyone at the company is a freaking idiot.
Yet another meeting ensues in the Cyberdyne boardroom (Who thought that filming meetings was a good idea?) as Carter announces to the other company officers that security forces will destroy the Syngenors. We get to see all of six men, armed with various implements of destruction, descend into the basement and engage the genetic monsters. The people lose. That short blurb of good news drives Mr. Brown completely over the top. He rants, he raves, his eyes try to pop out of his head, and he starts murdering people. "Streamlining the workforce" becomes the catchphrase, but Carter quickly runs out of employees. He then activates the automatic elevator and doors, thus allowing the Syngenors to move throughout the building.
Now, just when were the automated systems installed? Something of a plot point there, being able to control the elevator and other security measures from the control room. The only reason this whole stupid plot comes close to working is that the building does not have any sort of physical security! ARRRGGGGHHHH!
You will have to watch the movie yourself to learn the ending (this is akin to me telling someone who is researching punji traps that I have one they can fall into). I will warn you that it continues to supply gross insults to the viewer's intelligence. Not only is an experimental beam weapon used to kill most of the monsters, but the weapon in question is so worthless that I think the circumstances of such use were optimum for the system. They set up ten feet from the elevator and then slowly fried the monsters when the doors opened. How often is that going to come up in modern warfare? No, besides Quake 3.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Amateur chemistry is not kind to citrus fruits.
- Hairspray and a lighter is a credible home defense option.
- PR men are expendable.
- 18 is a magic number.
- Reporters must park in handicap spaces, just like moths being drawn to a flame.
- Technology company mercenaries wear sheer jumpsuits with the company logo on the back.
- Overkill (O-ver-kill), noun: Continuing to fire after your first round liquefies the target's hypothalamus.
- Pulling a fire alarm will cause the sprinkler system to activate for twenty seconds.
- 6 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
- 13 mins - Are you telling me that forensics could not tell the difference between claw marks and chemical burns?
- 24 mins - Hear that? I hear the cries of a thousand weeping masons.
- 38 mins - Carter has got it all backwards. Man, talk about disturbing.
- 45 mins - Praying to the all-powerful burger. (Nope, not going to explain myself, this is a family site.)
- 56 mins - What is the plan?
- 72 mins - I am not certain how much more bad acting my brain will put up with before it deserts me.
- 74 mins - Okay, the horrible dream sequence did it. My brain is gone.
- End Credits - Notice how the catering company is listed before the actors.
- Carter Brown: "Ask Mr. Reporter Man here who killed your uncle. He has the scoop! And he's going to print it, understood?"
- Cyberdyne Sales Voice: "A gun so efficient it can dispatch over a thousand rounds per second with a radial spray of up to ten meters. Easy to load, easy to maneuver, and fun to fire."
Donnie: "Shit, what the hell kind of a company is this anyway?"
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Susan: "Something killed him, Leo, and it tried to kill me too. I don't know what this thing was, but it definitely wasn't human."
||Cyberdyne Sales Pitch: "Here at Norton Cyberdyne, we predict that war will not be fought by American men, but by a new breed of soldier without fear. A soldier impervious to conventional weaponry. A soldier trained to kill, and survive in the desert. And a soldier capable of reproducing every twenty-four hours. That soldier shall be called 'Syngenor.'"
||Security Chief: "The situation is totally out of control. There's at least twenty of those things down there and they just don't die!"
||Carter Brown talking on the phone to the police chief. Yep, he has totally flipped his lid.
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
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|This is what would happen if the Rescue Heroes were given firearms and sent into the basement to fight mutants. I will admit that these guys are a little scrawny for Rescue Heroes (who all appear to have been born on Eternia).
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