Would you risk your life to film the latest chapter of a dying science fiction franchise that probably should have been killed off back around the fifth one so all the snarky online film critics would stop making jokes about it already?
If you answered yes, you need professional help. Stop reading this RIGHT NOW and go get you a shrink. No, I’m serious.
If your name is Charles Band and you answered yes, I’m really not surprised. So, when’s “Puppet Master Twenty Three: The Toy Line Profits Have Gone to Hell” going to hit shelves?
But you’ll also be in good company, because the hot chicks and the washed-up actors….uhhh…I mean, the boys and girls of “Cykorx 7” just don’t know when to quit…uhh…I mean, will never say die right along side you!
So what we have here is the story of a science fiction franchise on the decline. The impressive part is that it has its own fandom, its own critics, its own everything. But the problem is, fewer and fewer people are watching the Cyxork series, and so, they need a GIMMICK.
The new director of the Cyxork series, Angela LaSalle, has arranged for a move that will guarantee both cheap publicity and dirt-cheap special effects.
She’s shooting in the MIDDLE OF AN EARTHQUAKE.
And not just any old earthquake, either, but the Big One. The long-prophecied scourge of Californians anywhere is apparently about to rip California to pieces within the next few days of shooting.
Of course, I find it incredibly ironic that they got Ray Wise to do this, seeing as how he was in a similar washed-up science fiction franchise (Robocop ring any bells? No? There’s a reason.) not so very long ago, I guess.
What’s really impressive is the sheer amount of comedy they packed into Cyxork 7. There’s everything in here from slightly dated dings on the “fair and balanced” news networks (My GOD was it a good idea to get Greg Proops in on this! Wow!) to how fandom can influence movie making (does anyone really think we NEEDED to see “Star Trek: Nemesis”?) even right up to how a franchise can make and break a career between the two extremes of mind-boggling publicity and the horrors of typecasting.
And watch that news ticker at the bottom of the screen! This is where half the jokes in the first three minutes come from, and they fly so thick and so fast that you’d swear they just dunked you in a big vat full of jokes and said, “Start swimmin’, Jimmy!”
Even if your name happens to be “Mary.”
But anyway. This is just unbelievable in terms of how many jokes they managed to pack into a script. The Cyxork shooting scenes are the worst kind of bad-movie swill but they’re done so convincingly, and with such fervor, that it becomes uproarious.
I could point out hundreds of nifty little bits and pieces. I could actually do that within the first twenty minutes. From the positively preposterous sex scene to the laughable news coverage and all the way back around to the issues between the director and the Nazi-escapee-esque cinematographer (if his accent were any thicker I’d be calling him Director Mengele!), “Cyxork 7” just plain does not STOP.
And the best part is it’s so eminently believable. I really would not be a bit surprised if this were actually going on somewhere. It would not surprise me one bit to hear that somewhere, a film was going south because the wrong director got hired in, or the fans were going berzerk, or anything like that.
We’ve got everything here…vaguely mafioso producers, idealistic young directors, cinematographers with a Prussian efficiency and ambition to match, film-school snobs who think they know a whole lot more than they actually do, everything. “Cyxork 7” is the quintessential cross-section of the entire film industry, packaged to look like a bad science fiction movie.
And yet, it all comes together into this cohesive, decisive whole that even has just a bit of a dark side to it. It’s a laugh a minute, and it also manages to produce a shudder or two.
The ending is a real thrill, as the body count (yes, there’s a BODY COUNT!) starts climbing and the landscape starts…well…let’s just say starts rolling.
No pun intended.
Plus, there’ll be a magnificent surprise thanks to the news feed, which once again provides most of the comedy.
All in all, freaking wow. “Cyxork 7” is a beautiful little package, containing just about everything you could ask for from a movie. This is the kind of stuff we need to be seeing crop up on video store shelves.