Friday, November 15, 2013

Bad Movie Endurance Test 14: Invasion

Like the HG Wells mini-series that the Sci Fi Fever collection counts as 3 movies, Invasion is a 2-part TV mini-series that the collection counts as 2 movies. Which means I'm 25% of the way through this one. That might be a good thing, since any hope the Wells stuff gave me that this  collection would be more watchable than Freakshow Cinema  was pretty quickly dashed by this Robin Cook novel adapted nonsense.

Luke Perry gets bit by a shiny rock, has CGI stuff happen to his  skin, gets the flu, and then starts acting weird and building exploded laser things out of his girlfriend's CD player. Meanwhile, the rock, which got left  in Pike's hospital room blows up a janitor for no apparent reason other than to bring Kim Cattrall and Jon Polito's characters, a doctor and cop. Then a bunch more rocks fall and the girlfriend, Rebecca Gayheart notices other people making CD player lasers. You'd think these CD player lasers would be important to the plot, but they only get used twice in the whole mini-series (possibly because they require special effects). 

Anyway, Luke Perry is the alien king of earth or something and all the other people who picked up the shiny rocks are his mind slaves except the ones who have a certain blood type and go crazy instead. Luke wants to build this thing that consists of two of those half-a-tin-can-lying-on-its-side style airplane hangers facing each other with lines coming out of them in an Atari-logo kind of shape. He even draws it on his computer. And has "blueprints" of it. And later has it on a chalkboard inside one of the hangars. None of these drawing includes measurements or wiring diagrams or indications of the machinery inside the hangars that create the Atari lines, just the hangars and the lines, making these drawings even less useful than the one Tim Robbins carried around in his sock in The Hudsucker Proxy

Also, for some reason 90210 starts to get all scaly and Voldemorty, which doesn't happen to any of the other people infected by the shiny rocks. Other than becoming alien mind slaves, the only indication that the others are infected is that they flash colored contact lenses whenever it would be convenient for the protagonist to realize that they're aliens. 

Anyway, Cattrall, Gayheart, Politio, and a bunch of people I didn't recognize hole up in Polito's remote cabin to try to find a way to the fight the alien invasion. Luckily, they're able to use THE INTERNET! (because luckily the cop has a connection in his remote cabin era when movies could do things using THE INTERNET!) to find a guy who has access to an abandoned but still operational top secret underground government lab with lots of high tech equipment. Once they get there, they're able to use a "Virtual Reality Microscope" to determine that the shiny rocks contain living things that look like evil shrimp from a DOOM-era video game. They also find a way to reverse the alien infection and come up with a plan to make it into a gas that will clear up the infection almost instantaneously. Those things happen in the span of about 3 minutes, making most of the other 3 hours of the mini-series even more pointless than they already were. Anyway, they do that and everything is good except Luke Perry dies because by this point he's completely an alien or whatever. So basically it's Invasion of the Body Snatchers, only three hours long and with all the stuff that made Invasion of the Body Snatchers good replaced with dumb shit. In the end, the only meaningful contribution this mini-series made to the art of film making was the fact that it presumably provided Polito with a paycheck at some point when the Coen Brothers weren't doing anything. 

Takeaway: If this movie is any indication, my long-held assumption that reading Robin Cook novels would take up valuable time that could be spent doing something more prestigious and meaningful, like writing Battlefield Earth-themed furry porn, was right on the money. 
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