|ATTACK OF THE SUPERMONSTERS
|Copyright 1982 Associates Entertainment International
| Reviewed by Warren H.
on 20 December 2002
- Jim Starbuck - Leader of the Gemini Squad and half of Gemini. Also a major jerk.
- Gem Starbuck - Second in command of the squad and the other half of Gemini.
- Gemini - Hermaphroditic savior of the human race.
- Jerry - All hail the only Odious Comic Relief Character (TM) to ever be likable.
- Wally - He of the disturbing face. The squad's science officer.
- Professor Carmody - The omnipresent and seemingly omniscient founder of Gemini Squad.
- The Narrator - Ever present voice that describes, in minute detail, what's on the screen right in front of us.
- Emperor Tyrannus - Leader of the Super Monsters. Possesses the "Brian Blessed" gene.
- Mike & Anna - Incredibly senseless friends of Jim and Gem. Anna is Mike's baby sister.
- Random people - Get killed.
- The Super Monsters - An allosaur, a pterosaur, a stegosaur, a ceratopsian, and another allosaur.
|70 million years ago, the dinosaurs were thought to have gone extinct. Turns out they've just been living in underground caverns and are ready to come back. Some of the dinosaurs are willing to share the surface world with humans, but Emperor Tyrannus (sadly not played by Christopher Lee) will have none of that. According to him, humans must die. MOO-HOO-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Tyrannus just happens to have the power to turn any animal, including the dinosaurs, into evil killers. He puts this to use on an allosaur named, I kid you not, Eddy. Eddy burrows his way to the surface and promptly turns some dogs into evil killers. I guess being turned into an evil killer also gives you the power to turn other things into evil killers. Or something. The dogs, which resemble nothing so much as Clifford the Big Red Dog, go on a rampage and kill some people and...
What the hell?
Up to this point, the movie has been live action. Suddenly, we are presented with animated human characters. The effect is rather jarring at first but one gets used to it quickly and it really is a novel concept. I find myself wondering how many other shows were made this way. I know of only one.
Elsewhere, the narrator introduces us to the Gemini Squad. Helpfully, Professor Carmody then repeats the information almost verbatim. Thanks, Professor Carmody! The Squad eliminates the possessed dogs by lasering them and by squashing them under the wheels of their nifty flying bulldozer thing. Eddy makes the scene and promptly kills a bunch of kids! Holy cow! To stop him, Jim and Gem combine into the hermaphrodite known as . . . GEMINI! Becoming a hermaphrodite gives them ultra-super powers, which allow them to defeat the rather languidly rampaging allosaur. Once dead, Eddy explodes for no good reason! This movie is great!
The rest of the movie goes much like this first episode. A monster shows up, Jerry and Wally put out a fire, Gemini is formed, and the monster is defeated. The best monster by far is the pterosaur. He has a cool voice and is quite competent. Unlike Eddy, the pterosaur is evil on purpose! One can tell because his eyes are the "normal" yellow, not red like the eyes of creatures possessed by Tyrannus. The pterosaur is charged with laying siege to a building containing the President (of what is not touched upon) and delivering an ultimatum: humans will live as slaves or die. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The pterosaur commands a flock of giant, rubber bats with a taste for spelunkers. I must mention the poor spelunkers. They wander into a cave where the bats are roosting, are eaten alive, and end up a shockingly gory mess. The "tension" in this episode comes from Gem being trapped in the building with the President. She isn't there for any other particular reason, just so that she can't meet up with Jim until the climax is near.
The third episode concerns the stegosaur named Ashtoreth(!). He controls rats with sonic vibrations generated by the plates on his back. Yeah. The rats attack and set aflame an oil refinery. Check that, they attack and set aflame The Oil Refinery. The rats are defeated when Jerry and Wally burn them all to death in the oil fire! Can you imagine the stench of millions of charbroiled rats? Ashtoreth is finally given a new belly button by Gemini. The obliging dinosaur even stands up to give them the best possible shot at him. Tension is inserted into this episode by having Jim and Gem quarrel over a dry-cleaning bill. They can't combine into Gemini unless they get along. Jim proves himself an utter jerk by being downright abusive to his sister, his best friend, and his teammates. This is the episode with Mike and Anna, who you may remember I labeled as "incredibly senseless." How senseless are they? Anna chases a rat that ruined some of Gem's dry cleaning all the way across the city over the course of an entire day. She begins the pursuit in the early morning and doesn't stop until well after dark. For his part, Mike, for no particular reason, decides to try and fight the giant stegosaur hand-to-hand. Unfortunately, neither of these oil slicks on the gene pool is removed from the circle of life.
The final episode is a doozy. A ceratopsian attacks a city suburb and knocks over Tokyo tower, a target that proves Tyrannus must have watched his share of kaiju. Jim wants to leave the people in the tower to die (jerk) and go after the fleeing styracosaurus (which they insist on calling a triceratops). Jerry defies Jim's orders and uses his vehicle to prop up the precariously leaning tower, thus saving the people and becoming the most genuinely likable and heroic comedy relief character ever. However, a second dinosaur arrives on the scene and belches radioactive dust and laser vomit all over the place. Can Gemini defeat both monsters at once, especially since Jim's "bionic circuit" is damaged? What do you think? Well, Gemini wouldn't have won if not for Jerry. In a move that proves beyond any doubt his heroic character, Jerry decides to crash the flying bulldozer into the dinosaurs in the hopes of killing at least one to give the injured Gemini a chance. Way to go, Jerry! I salute you! Jerry's choice provides one of the movie's worst attempts at matching animation and live action. Wally, in the flying bulldozer with Jerry, doesn't want to die. Jerry says goodbye to his friend and ejects him from the cockpit. Meanwhile, in live action, a completely dissimilar figure (it looks like an Army Man) is flung out at what appears to be roughly 1000 miles per hour, scale speed.
This movie is awesome. Plenty of kaiju, the ludicrous action is almost non-stop, and the attempts to match the live action with the animation provide much amusement. Roger Rabbit this isn't. The dinosaur suits and model work are pretty good when you consider the budget this must have had. All the monsters are bursting at the seams with personality and the animated parts are up to the standards of late '70s TV anime. Fans of anime and/or kaiju will be well pleased.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Dinosaurs live in huge caverns right underneath the surface of the Earth. I mean right underneath, like a few feet.
- Dinosaurs like to laugh boisterously at inappropriate moments.
- A hermaphrodite formed from the unison of a brother and sister is a very disturbing idea, on many levels.
- Dinosaurs are highly volatile.
- Circus music does not go well with scenes of carnage and destruction.
- Aerodynamics? Physics? Pfft.
- Allosaur Episode
- Opening redits: I recognize some of this footage from Spectreman.
- Why is Tyrannus laughing? Because he's eeeeeeeeeevil!
- Holy crap! They just slaughtered all those dogs! With malice!
- The dinosaur exploded for no good reason! This is officially the greatest movie ever.
- Pterosaur Episode
- Those poor spelunkers.
- Oh, my God! Bats! Bats! Millions of bats!
- Why does the pterosaur keep ramming the building? Looking for the cream filling?
- Goodbye, pterosaur, you were cool.
- Stegosaur Episode
- Yes! Yes, rats! Kill the annoying little girl! Kill her! No, don't let her get away, you fools!
- Jim, you jerk, it isn't nice to hit a lady, especially your sister.
- RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST JIM! (Yay!)
- They drilled right through the stegosaur and it was really gory!
- Ceratopsian Episode
- Nice driving, Jim, you crashed it right into that building. Hope there weren't any people in it.
- Jim, you really are a jerk. What's it going to hurt if Jerry saves the people? Way to go, Jerry, for not taking his crap and doing what's right.
- RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN ALLOSAURUS ARM!
- Dual explosion alert.
- Closing credits: The narration was provided by Tom Wiener. At least his name isn't Dick Wiener or Harry Wiener.
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||The narrator lays down the plot. I urge you to listen.
||Dr. Kharmady: "We've received strange reports from Alpha Sector Three. Reliable witnesses there tell of monstrous red dogs ravaging the countryside, as well as earthquakes and fires." |
Wally: "Did you say these were reliable witnesses?"
||Jim: "The supermonster is attacking the school! Those kids are in danger!"
||Pterosaur: "I am here, oh great and mighty Tyrannus. What is your will?" |
Tyrannus: "I have used my power to infect the bats with a thirst for blood and destruction. Lead them against the humans!"
||Dr. Kharmady: "This is a real emergency! The supermonsters have sent a triceratops to the outer suburbs of the city."
||Jim: "Don't tell me my duty!" |
Jerry: "Tell me Jim, there's a rumor going around the base that when the professor installed your Gemini circuitry he also took out your heart."
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|The Gemini Force has just arrived and is engaging the "triceratops" that threatens the city. The dinosaur's voice is the same as Lord Tyrannus', but do not let that distract you from the monster calling the train/tank a "stupid toy."
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |
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