Thursday, 13 October 2016
Lobster Man from Mars (1989)
I imagine that the danger inherent in deliberately making a film bad for comedic effect is pretty obvious: if you fail to make the film funny, all you have is a bad movie. Larry Blamire's Lost Skeleton of Cadavra does a good job of avoiding this particular pitfall. Alas, the makers of Lobster Man from Mars, while they clearly share Blamire's love for cheap 50s Science Fiction, do not have his knack for hitting the funny bone.
The plot of this film is that a movie producer has a cash flow crisis when Uncle Sam comes knocking for $4 million in back taxes. He needs a floptacular film, ASAP, to act as a tax write off and keep him out of jail. Enter amateur film-maker Stevie Horowitz, with his passion project, "Lobster Man from Mars".
And that's pretty much the whole plot of this film, since 90% of the run time is given over to the movie within the movie. We see the entirety of Horowitz's supposed creation, in all its schlocky, low-budget 'glory'. Though frankly, having seen a few real "one person passion projects", it's pretty obvious that this is nothing of the sort.
The film within the film is a pretty standard tale of the kind it is aping: hideous alien mutant comes to Earth and runs amok, but is ultimately stopped by plucky humans. It's got some pretty broad references to true examples of the genre. The monster being lobster-like and having a gun that skeletonises its victims are obviously drawn from Teenagers from Outer Space for instance, while the monster's sidekick Mombo is a clear riff on the infamously terrible Robot Monster.
I guess you could check this out if you are really desperate to see Tony Curtis and Patrick Macnee sacrificing whatever was left of their dignity at this time. But if you want a parody of 50's SF, you'd be better off with Blamire's offering, and if you want the real thing, then I suggest you track down Them!. Both are vastly more entertaining.
Though honestly, so was Teenagers from Outer Space.