Reboots, reimaginings, and remakes have become so much a part of the movie landscape that they are now effectively their own genre of filmmaking. And, like with any genre, after the initial innovation and interest people start working out the form and pine for someone to do something exciting and innovative with it. Well, good news on that front! The people behind The Banana Split movie certainly took that to heart and transformed a beloved 60s kids’ show into a gore-filled slasher flick! Stop complaining, you wanted different and you got it!
This one was suggested to me by a chum called Rhys Roberts. This proves two things: firstly, that I haven’t heard of every strange film on the planet and thus am always willing to give them a go when someone recommends one. Secondly, that Rhys is a cruel and terrible person. The auteur behind it was world-renowned artist Fredric Hobbs, pioneer of ART ECO and Parade Sculpture, and this movie is a testament as to why probably you haven’t heard of any of his cinematic works.
Let’s cut to the chase: does the line “86.5% [cyborg] is still human” send the kind of shivers down your spine that you haven’t felt since you were a teenager, imagining how wicked-ninja-cool it would be to live in a world of corps, cyborgs and corruption? If not, then this bit of contrived more-cyberpunk-than-cyberpunk nonsense from 1992 will bore the pants off you. If, however, it gets you revved up like the first assault rifle you fell in love with whilst thumbing through a hand-me-down copy of Guns and Ammo, then it’s quite possibly the film for you, depending on how much derivative, corny content you can put up with.
In the world of cult movies, especially that part devoted to the concept of “Worst Movie Ever!”, 1956, very independently produced, sci-fi horror Plan 9 from Outer Space looms disproportionately large. The film, made by the notoriously ambitious, devoted, and talentless Ed Wood, was considered lacking in the merit of any sort from the moment it was first screened to potential investors as “Grave Robbers From Outer Space” (the name changed because the two Baptist ministers, who backed the film as an effort to help spread the message of Jesus, thought it was too sacrilegious), and then rapidly went from a cheap half for double-features to even cheaper late-night TV time filler. Selecting a single reason for its failing to be taken seriously is difficult, as almost every element of the cinematic process is handled with the grace of a three year old making potato art when they are four orange squashes into a tartrazine bender, but none of that gets away from the fact that it is, no matter how you cut it, a highly endearing film.
Dune was supposed to be “The Next Big Thing”, a film to financially rival the Star Wars trilogy based on a book that rivaled The Lord of The Rings for how much it changed the landscape of the genre and how many copies it shifted. Directed and written by the arthouse newcomer David Lynch (his third movie as director), helmed by legendary producer Raffaella De Laurentiis (daughter and student of the also-legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis), it had a budget of around $40 million, a soundtrack by Toto with the main theme by Brian Eno, a cast of renowned part-actors, and a run time of over two hours. It had the author’s blessing, the studio backing, and the fan bases’ eager anticipation. It was going to start a new dynasty of cinema epics, launch a thousand toys and tie-ins, and print money beyond the backer’s wildest dreams!