Friday, May 20, 2011
I’m not a zombie guy, but back in 2009 I loved the zombie-comedy Hide and Creep, produced here in my own state. I thought the low budget film was a cut above the unending crowd of movies produced about the walking dead, and it made me eager to see the production team’s follow up, the sci-fi/horror/comedy Interplanetary. If I paid attention, I would have noticed it came out a while back. Better late than never, though, I ordered a copy (you can get it through Amazon) and watched it with my usual critical eye.
In the not too distant future, a small group of people man (and woman) a small base on Mars. Rather than the usual military and scientist types you see in this sort of thing, these characters are more the Office Space type. They are working for a faceless corporation at jobs that seem to bore them, more interested in office affairs or placating their boss than grand exploration. Their mundane lives are interrupted when first a fossil of ancient Martian life is discovered (the reaction is not joy at discovery, but “I’m gonna be rich!”) and immediately thereafter, intruders show up to kill them. There is also a secret lab, with strange monsters created therein.
I thought it probably wasn’t quite as funny as Hide and Creep, but I did enjoy it a lot, but anyone watching this needs to understand a couple of things up front. First off, this is truly a low budget film. You couldn’t hire a single Nav’ii from Avatar for the total budget here, so if you are expecting a mind blowing visual feast, disappointment awaits (although the film makers did make the movie look like Mars, or at least what I imagine Mars looks like). Secondly, this is a retro movie. It is spaced based sci fi as it would have been imagined in the 1950s, with clunky equipment and obsolete looking devices. (Think of movies like It! – The Terror from Beyond Space, a movie that scared the wits out of me as a kid as a touchstone.)
If those things don’t bother you, there’s plenty to enjoy here. I particularly liked the deadly cook, who turns out to be the action hero of the piece, at least for a while, and I thought the script was very intelligent underneath the goofiness. So support independent filmmaking and give Interplanetary (and Hide and Creep) a try.