Written and directed by: Chance Shirley
Starring: Mia Frost, Kyle Holman & Michael Shelton
Reviewed by: Brett H.
ďWeíre gonna have a hard time docking if you donít get out of those clothes.Ē
There is an episode of Trailer Park Boys where three grown men don tinfoil helmets and suits to play space. Ricky, the discordant one of the bunch, listens to the other two use big, sci-fi words and circumstances. When it comes to Rickyís turn, he picks up his radio and spouts off an unusual mix of trucker and space talk, going on about how the ďaliens fucked over the carbonator on engine 12Ē and how he needed to ďhead to Juniper and get some space weed, overĒ. His friend explained flat out that his way of playing space is not very good. Going into this review, Iím like Ricky. Iíve never gotten into science fiction and I havenít been interested in space since grade school. I really enjoy the isolation aspect of even the most terrible of backwoods slashers and much like the middle of the woods; in space no one can hear you scream. Now, that may sound clichť to most of you, but I can pull out a get out of jail free card since I can honestly say Iíve never written that sentence before in my life. So, grab the old space helmet and letís get Interplanetary, shall we?
Life on Mars is a drag, and no one knows that better than the employees of Interplanetary Corporation. Stationed on Mars Base 2, the employees spend most of their time doing menial tasks and kill time on the planet any way they can. That is until a few spacemen make a startling discovery; a martial fossil in the walls of a cave of the supposedly lifeless planet. One of the astronauts sends a video stream back to earth where it creates a shit tsunami and is eventually dismissed by the corporationís homeland headquarters as a hoax. When a rocket launcher wielding, black-helmeted spaceman shows up at the door of the base and starts unloading, the crew is forced to take refuge and eventually confront the alien beasts roaming the planet. Is there really life on Mars, or does the corporation harbour a hideous secret?
Interplanetary is standard space horror fare, offering a goofy, but nice looking monster and moderately entertaining use of sex and drugs. I can count on one hand the amount of space horror Iíve seen in my life and I figured out where this one was going after about ten minutes. Fortunately, the film takes a tongue in cheek approach to the genre and manages a few laughs and chuckles by poking fun at its origins. The overall look of the film is rather grainy, which adds a little grit to certain scenes, especially ones on the rocky, crimson planet, but may be distracting for some in darker scenes.
Perhaps the best part of the film is the fifties style astronaut orientation video for the Corporation. Filmed in black and white with very upbeat, follow-the-leader narration, the video is sure to entertain. Character-wise, there are an array of standard slasher types walking the base, a slight lesbian angle and at first you wonder how any of these people are qualified to be sent to work on Mars to begin with. Eventually it becomes apparent why the characters arenít too bright, yet the viewer must wonder why it took so long for these people to spot random radio signals from a place on the rock in close driving distance, ultimately kicking the film into horror mode.
Brought to DVD by Shock-o-Rama, Interplanetary is treated to a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer that is very acceptable for such a low budget feature and a stereo mix that really thumps the bass. The sole extra is a commentary track and thrown in for good measure is the Shock-o-Rama trailer reel. While nothing revolutionary, Interplanetary offers up some nice topless shots and blood spraying, head tearing effects that ooze the red stuff when itís called for, chiming in with some nice cinematography, too. Story-wise, youíre not going to see anything new, but the pace is always flowing (it does lose some pizzazz in the middle, but it starts and finishes strong) and will suffice as a time waster when flipping through the channels or holding a low spot on your Netflix queue. Rent it!
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