A lot of people are saying that new Cowboy and Aliens movie was admittedly terrible, but was at least a rare example of an amusing new premise that had never been tried before. Well once again, I am here to set you straight, punishing the naive movie lover by reminding them that there are no truly original ideas in film anymore, everything is now derivative. This use of obscure B-movie film to support a thesis about the death of originality in a modern mufti million dollar summer movie not only shows I am knowledgeable enough to hate nearly everything (as any good critic) but also makes me seem like a real antisocial dick who has any number of mental illnesses/ personality disorders (again, as any good critic). But as long as I still have a jaw to flap, (unlike a certain famous movie reviewer for the Sun Times) I expect you to continue reading these things with the interest and idolatry you devote to the opinions of anonymous internet strangers with fake names. Anyway what the hell was I talking about? Oh that's right, now stay tuned for a review of a cult movie that manages to mix up two popular film “frontiers”. A time of Space aces, and wide open spaces.
Oblivion is a little small western town (literally) on the edge of the known universe which is run by a man named Marshall Stone; a job he holds all of the duration of the credits because a big alien who looks an anthropomorphic artichoke named “Red Eye” blows him to smithereens in the opening moments of this thing with his ray-gun. Yes, I said ray gun, for Oblivion is not of this world. While all the buildings of this little western town look authentically “Old Tymey movie set” somehow, all of the characters carry high tech gear which still hasn't been invented yet, and many of the residents are aliens or androids. To first enjoy this film you must accept this strange “Oblivion” aesthetic or at least admire that the visual sensibility of this film is obviously a result of the giant mix-up of a costume department on the set of a traditional western. A mistake that would have stopped almost every other production, yet somehow they kept on filming anyway.
Unluckily for Red Eye, Marshall Stone did have one living heir, his estranged pacifistic son by the name of Zack with nothing better to do but prospect the wastelands and battle giant stop motion scorpions for sport. When news of his death Reaches Zack he realizes that it is destiny to go back to Oblivion and confront the giant green skinned man and make his late father proud. Friends are made, alliances are formed and before he is done Zack will learn a little a bit about himself if not the true definition of the word hero. Such men are needed at all times it seems, whether in the false silver suited technological future of a B sci-fi movie, or the meandering wagon rutted plot road of an old episode of Gunsmoke.
I am not going to say that this thing was traditionally what people think of when they think of a good film. But despite the fact it was a random mess in it's design it did follow the classic character arc of it's western film heritage. So if you can get over the fact that it is unrealistic, stupid and pretty much an unintentional parody of genre, you might find yourself enjoying little stops along the way such as the Sci-fi alumni cast cast who still seems stuck in their previous roles. Julie Newmar (Catwoman) plays Miss Kitty, a Brothel owner in leopard spandex who says “meow” at the worst possible times. George Takaii (Sulu) is on set in the Role Of Doc Valentine, a drunken old physician who misquotes various Star Trek characters throughout the movie. These moments did make me laugh, and it was nice to see a Full Moon feature that was filmed on an actual set, during the day and wasn't centered around killer puppets, dolls, toys or cookies that had a full 94 minute run time. Also, while dated by today's standards, I must concede that the makeup/creature effects of “Red Eye” himself are at least as good as anything seen in the background of the Creature Cantina on Star Wars (1977). Also, his sexy dominatrix girlfriend “Lash” is more deliciously suggestive than “Slave Leia” has ever been, especially when she shakes down a female shop-keep urging her to join her and Red eye in perhaps the simplest most intimate sense of the word...
Nonetheless, while I was never fooled into thinking that this film ever took place in an alternate era other than our own, whether past or future I did have a good time with it, and seriously, isn't that all we ALL look for in a ten dollar B-movie? If you are going to make a flick set in an irredeemable mish-mash of time period which due to the incomprehensible anachronisms will ALWAYS end up as a irreconcilable laughing stock (remember “Wild, Wild West” anyone?) well then it at least helps when the film in question is at least so intentionally fun to watch, that you never realize/care how dumb it was. In this rating, this Full Moon feature was sweet Oblivion indeed.
Curious? Grab yourself a copy here!