Monday, 30 December 2013
Twister's Revenge (1987)
There are many goofy ideas for films out there, but few are goofier than 'Herbie, if Herbie was a monster truck, with lots of Looney Tunes style violence'. And yet that is exactly what is offered to us here.
Despite the title, this is not a sequel. Not even to the Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton movie, which if it did happen, I propose should be about their epic quest to find that flying cow. No, the 'Twister' in question is 'Mr Twister', a $200,000 monster truck laden with high tech electronics and computer gear. Three crooks plot to highjack the vehicle and sell the contents, but they're handicapped not only by the fact that they're all extremely stupid, but also by the fact that Twister is intelligent. He can in fact talk, putting him one step ahead of Herbie, though he doesn't bother to do so for the first half of the film.
When their efforts to steal Twister himself come to naught, the crooks instead kidnap the woman who programmed him, intending to ransom her, which leads Twister and the woman's husband on a not-exactly-epic quest to save her. It's more a series of cartoonish pratfalls, all things considered, with plenty of monster truck action thrown in, as Twister flattens cars and buildings alike. All this mayhem is utterly harmless though: blow someone up in this film, and they just end up with a blackened face. It's broadly, deliberately absurd. The climactic encounter of the film sees Twister face off with a main battle tank, in what is merely the most ridiculous of the many ridiculous moments.
A little research online indicates that the film was made entirely without studio support, which makes some of the demolition sequences especially impressive: I guess they bought a lot of old junkyard cars and found some buildings that were slated for demolition. Alas, however, the destructive ambition of the film is not matched in the script department. The film is silly, but not funny, and as they lack any real sense of danger, the action sequences need to be amusing to avoid being dull. You'd be better off checking out Giant Spider Invasion (which at least has the decency to be bad in an entertaining way), by the same director as this, for your schlocky entertainment fix.