Friday, June 27, 2014

"Titan Find" (1985) d/ William Malone

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Four years removed from 1981's Scared to Death (and prior to his House on Haunted Hill remake (1998), and Feardotcom (2002)...two toilet bowl sinkers that we won't rub it in too much about here at the Wop, at least, for now...), director William Malone once again reiterates his unquestionable love for Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), with this low budget rip-off of said movie, starring television regular Stan Ivar, Wendy Schaal, who provides the voice of Francine Smith on Seth MacFarlane's animated hit, American Dad, and Ferris Bueller's dad himself, Lyman Ward. Cult icon Klaus Kinski also returns to space here, putting his stamp on the picture by delivering some archetypal Kinski tomfoolery on camera.

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Ashton Kutcher gets the change done at the shop...details at eleven.
When a crew of scientists that apparently don't know each other on a first name basis lands on Titan, a moon of Saturn, to document some artifacts believed to be two thousand centuries old (that's the date they put on it, and I'm too wasted to tackle the math), their ship detects that a rival German spacecraft has already landed in the cavernous crater, forcing Davison (Stan Ivar) to touch down sneaky-like on the outer perimeter, which naturally collapses, leaving their spaceship in a state of utter and complete fuck. An inspection of the German crrraft by space suited search party sees Susan (Marie Laurin), who really does look like Ashton Kutcher in drag, get snuffed by unseen slitherer, after which Bryce (Diane Salinger) gets felt up by the lone survivor of that failed mission, Hofner (Klaus Kinski), who offers oxygen, bombs enough to blow up the elusive beast, and a space-campfire tale about how twenty-two Deutschlanders stumbled upon this ancient metaphoric collection of butterflies, but not all of the butterflies were dead, nor were they all friendly, as they were to tragically find out. He then grabs Bryce's ass and is set upon by a space-zombified Susan.

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"You vill come vis me to mein crrrrraft...I promise not to suddenly grasp your breasts. Maybe your ass, yes?"
Meanwhile, with the oxygen running out back on the American ship, Davison, his tech support/ squeeze Sladen (Wendy Schaal), and Ferris Bueller's dad watch helplessly as their crew mates are whittled down, one by one, like a nice chunk of Balsa, before their very eyes. Before too long, zombies in Members Only-esque space suits and throbbing latex bladders on the sides of their headpieces are tricking unsuspecting folks into wandering into that damned engineering sector, where the prop-fiend lies in wait among cobwebbed neon and flashing lights. Zombie-Hofner terrorizes Sladen, who can't seem to draw a bead on any of her dialog marks afterwards. She suggests that they try electrocuting it, a la a sci-fi movie about a space carrot she once saw (The Thing, perhaps?), but the xenomorph-ish killer proves harder to kill than Steven Seagal, just like a hundred more impressive aliens, in a hundred more effective movies. With the selfless sacrifice of Ferris Bueller's dad, helped by Hofner's explosives, Davison and Sladen are free to escape to Earth in the German ship with Bryce, lost somewhere (I didn't write it), and perhaps learn each other's first names in less-stressful surroundings...

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Exploding heads were big in the eighties. Don't get any meninges on your boat shoes, dude.
I'm sure Kinski's wandering hands were a mere flash of the great artist's improvisational talents (Ha!), and not anything you'll find in the script. Kinski's not on screen for long, but still manages to deliver the most coherent acting performance in the whole movie. The already choppy pacing is slowed to a crawl by perfunctory delivery of a script, derivative as a Broadway bootleg to begin with, by most of the other actors on board, and to a screeching halt by ten minutes of inanimate rubbery alien that looks like Giger's design if it was tackled by a Chinatown knock off street vendor. One wop for Klaus. Approach with caution, if at all.

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He secretly wished Jennifer Grey would have refrained from the raspberry preserves before recognizing him at the 20th Anniversary Ferris Bueller reunion.
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