HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn 3D
HTS Overall Score:64
They always say that movies were better back in the day. That we have lost all sense of originality and imagination with our modern films. I always have to give that notion a chuckle when I hear it as history is often times very capable of repeating itself, and rose colored glasses tend to cloud our memory of the past. So many films have copies and copied and recopied the same tired old tropes time and time again, to the point where anything new that we’ve seen before automatically is criticized. Its times like these that I have to point people back to “Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn” to point out that copycats were alive and well even 30+ years ago. Taking elements of “Mad Max” (“Metalstorm” was created a mere 4 years after the original “Mad Max”) and the fantasy of “Flash Gordon” and “Krull”, it puts them all into a blender and hits the frappe button, turning the experience into a hilariously bad knockoff that is just soooooooooooo bad that it’s almost good.
The film starts out in a barren post-apocalyptic wasteland, devoid of anything but southwestern rock and sand where roving bands of mutants (I guess they’re mutants, nothing is ever really done to tell much back story) are at war with the rest of humanity. However humanity itself isn’t in such great shape either. They’re dressed in robes and black leather (much like “Mad Max) and appear to have vehicles that are cobbled together out of the remnants of other scrapped vehicles (again, like “Mad Max”. See the correlation?). A “finder” named Dogen (Jeffrey Byron) runs into the remnants of a mutant nomad attack where the only survivor is the hot sultry blonde daughter of a prospector (Kelly Preston) named Dhyana. It seems that Dogen is actually trying to find the ringleader of the mutant nomads, a human by the name of Jared Syn. A man who is stirring up rebellion amongst the regular humans and the nomads (I think). He’s the normal ach villain in a film like this. Tall, ugly, and wears heavy duty costumes that make him look like he was rolled in leather and stuffed foam to create an intimidating figure who is out for the normal villainous results. You know, death destruction and mayhem with a dash of world domination thrown into the mix.
There’s some silly sub plots about powerful crystal and magical masks (a sub plot that really goes absolutely nowhere thanks to some awful editing and storytelling. Dhyana is stolen from Dogen after the classically forced romantic scenario, and now Dogen is not just hunting Jared to stop his maniacal dreams of world domination. Now he’s got to rescue the hot blonde who he JUST met and is now desperately in love with. Combing forces with an old finder named Rhodes (Tim Thomerson), Dogen is out for revenge, and with a little bit of luck he can save the world at the same time
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=79826[/img]I have to chuckle more than a bit after watching “Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn”. It was a movie that I had completely forgotten existed until I saw the press release from Scream! Factory. However I had semi fond memories of this movie as a young boy playing on broadcast TV and I HAD to see if it was as awesomely bad as I remembered. Yup, it was every bit as bad I had expected, and more so. However, there is still a ridiculously bad charm to the movie. Everyone takes their roles deadly seriously, like they’re making the next “Flash Gordon” or “Mad Max”. Subplots, and even major plots, vanish into thin air as you realize that this was probably written and cobbled together from someone who was probably only 6 months in the film industry. Jared-Syn’s main confrontation feels like they ran out of budget too soon and really expected the movie to turn into a franchise. Really that alone hampered the movie dramatically when the creators made it feel like “this week on Metalstorm!” instead of a cohesive and self-contained story (watch the ending, you’ll know exactly what I mean).
Still, the movie was financed and directed by a man who grew up in the old days of the serial, and his touches are all the final product. “Metalstorm” is a byproduct of a much younger time, mixed with the cheese and low budget B-movie effects of the early 80s. Nothing about the production screams “take me seriously!”, and that’s really where the charm comes from. It’s a great movie to drink to and have a good laugh at, and even the commentary makes mention of the fact that it never aspired to be anything more than a cheap B-movie. In that regards, mission accomplished.
Rated PG by the MPAA, Parental Guidance suggested
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=79834[/img]“Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn” is given a 2 disc edition by Scream! Factory with one disc being the 2D disc and the other a 3D disc. The 2D disc looks rather decent, with solid color saturation and a leaning towards the brown end of the spectrum (dusty southwester filming locations will do that to you). Image clarity is usually good, with more than acceptable detail for the age of the film, although some shots have a sort of “Vaseline smeared” look on the right hand side of the screen. It isn’t constant, but changes with camera shifts so I can only assume it was the optics used in that particular camera. Blacks are solid and inky enough, and despite some darkness in daylight sequences, the image is quite satisfactory amidst a little bit of print damage and speckles.
There is a distinct difference in the quality and look of the 2D release vs. the 3D release. Scream! has given a warning at the beginning of the film that states "While we took great effort to preserve the best 3-D presentation for you, the source film elements had some unresolvable issues. We cleaned it up as best we could, but you may notice minor dark spots on certain shots of the 3-D version of the film." The 3D image is distinctly darker than the 2D image and some of the source elements look a bit hazy and out of sync with the 3D effects. Layering is ok, but there is some really weird optical effects which make it almost nauseating to watch due to motion sickness. There are some weird looking 3D sync issues that almost remind me of the left eye and the right eye in the 3D presentation not syncing up properly, making things stand out oddly. Other than that there are some nice pop out effects (look where Dogen rips off Baal's arm), and the I'm really happy that this version was able to make it into the set, despite some of the source issues that are obviously present.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=79842[/img]“Metalstorm” is presented in both a 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix as well as a 2.0 track in the same encoding format. Both are pleasant to listen to, but I find the 5.1 track is a tad more immersive than the 2.0 mix. Dialog is a bit wonky, with vocals dipping and rising depending on the scene (and sometimes even in the same scene). Although the rest of the track seems fine. LFE is mild but still there, and surround use is limited except for some ambient noises during the car chase scenes and the laser blasts. There’s nothing wildly amazing about the audio, and it has a few budget oriented flaws, but it is a solid encoding that is mainly source limited more than anything.
• NEW High Noon at the End of the Universe - featuring interviews with director/producer Charles Band, actors Jeffrey Byron, Richard Moll and Tim Thomerson, screenwriter/producer Alan J. Adler, special effects artist Allan Apone, make-up artist Kenny Myers and composer Richard Band (42 minutes)
• Promotional and behind the scenes still gallery
• Radio Spot
• Theatrical Trailer
I have a great fondness for 80s B-movies. In fact a large portion of my collection is littered with them. Whether that be in my all-time favorite horror genre, or the less populated B-movie fantasy/adventure. I have a soft spot for “Metalstorm” and even though the movie is technically cheesy and awful, it is sort of fun in an odd manner. The movie doesn’t aspire to be anything more than what it is, a bad movie, and the ridiculous cheese makes for an amazing bad movie night with some friends. The fact that this was resurrected in its original 3D in a 2 disc set makes it all the sweeter. Low rental though unless you’re an actual child of the 80s like myself and have a soft spot for it.
Starring: Jeffrey Byron, Michael Preston, Tim Thomerson
Directed by: Charles Band
Written by: Alan J. Adler
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Studio: Scream! Factory
Runtime: 84 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: September 13th, 2016
Buy Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Low Rental
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