November 18, 2013

Movie Review: Badlanders

There are bad movies and there are bad movies. Badlanders is a bad movie. It is not a so bad it's fun movie, it is a movie that just boggles the mind with its inherent ineptitude. Have I watched worse movies? Sure, I would not go so far as to call it the worst movie ever, that sort of hyperbole never seems to fit. It is a movie that is so bad that I kept watching, not because I was in any way entertained, I was just wondering if it would get worse or if anything worthwhile would crop up. Nothing did and it stayed on pretty much the same bad line across the board from start to finish.



The movie, released way back in 1992, was originally called Prison Planet. I guess word got out so they tried to trick you by giving it a different name. So far as I can tell, there haven't been any alternate cuts to warrant a different title, although it would be interesting to see if anyone could make something decent with this footage.

The movie is begins on an alien planet called Anakin (seriously. I guess he likes Star Wars). On this world the bad guy named Akira (I guess he also likes, well, Akira) has taken over control from his brother, Himshaw, who has been exiled to Prison Planet (you'd think a Star Wars/Akira fan would come up with a better name). This led to the creation of a resistance (Rebel Alliance, maybe?) and one of their number, Blaine (James Phillips), has embarked on a mission to find Himshaw and bring him back.


Blaine purposefully gets himself caught so he can be shipped off to Prison Planet. This part of the plan works, although we have no idea how this world works or how bad it really is. We also don't know how to get to Prison Planet or how he might be able to get back. Anyway, Blaine wakes up in a desert landscape.

The story then takes a shift from looking for Himshaw to Blaine facing down a local warlord with the life of a virgin in the balance. Boring fights and chases ensue before the plot drifts back to Himshaw for the final moments.

I don't even know what to say about this thing. For all of the Anakin/Prison Planet/rebellion/warlords/virgins stuff. The world(s) are never that well developed. I had no idea why I should care. The whole thing is just silly. The hero seems rather smug, then there is the warlord guy with the amazing mullet wig, and the guy in the suit (where did that come from?).

This is just a poor film that never lets you forget that it is bad. It is the kind of movie that seems poised to leap into the world of mildly entertaining camp but it never pulls the trigger. It seems content to remain an inept. It is a weird movie that never gains the courage of its convictions.

Not Recommended.


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