Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Metamorphosis (1990)

Long before The Asylum mocked their first buster, the Italians had built an entire industry on "being inspired" by successful international films.  In today's film, the inspiration was Cronenberg's The Fly.  Which I am reminded I have never seen.  Should fix that.

In any case, using what I know of Cronenberg's film, courtesy of the power of cultural osmosis, it's pretty easy to see the parallels here.  Dr Peter Houseman is a maverick scientist engaged in cutting edge research, though rather something silly like teleportation he's pursuing a much more functional goal: immortality.

Being the maverick, lone wolf researcher that he is, Peter's neglected to file any reports for the $200,000 of funding he's spent, and his rivals at the institute are after his blood.  He's forced to make a presentation to defend his work, but that backfires when he reveals that he's conducted testing using human embryos.

Desperate to prove his work, Peter takes the radical step of testing his serum on himself.  Given that we've not been shown him conduct a successful test up to now, this plan seems colossally stupid.  But for an (allegedly) very smart man, Peter's been pretty stupid a whole bunch of times already, so what's one more?

Initially all seems well, but really, there's not going to be much of a film if your plot is "guy performs dangerous experiment on himself and everything works out okay".  Peter soon begins to physically devolve, reverting to an earlier, more bestial form of life, and putting everyone around him in danger - including the woman with whom he has recently begun a romantic relationship.

Metamorphosis is exactly the kind of schlock you'd expect from a cheapie Italian knock-off, though it's badly hobbled by the fact that Peter is deeply unlikable even before he turns into the lamest dinosaur ever put on film.

Yes, really

Even the hysterically goofy "dun dun dun!" moment at the very end can't save this one.  Tell it to buzz off.

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