Dir: George Elanjian Jr.
Star: Starr Andreeff, Mitchell Laurence, David Gale, Rive Spier

Touted as "the lost David Gale film", this stands as Exhibit A in evidence that most things Hollywood "loses", are for good reason. Could it be, perhaps, because the film sucks, not least since the producers' main purpose was to recycle the molds from a 1982 flick, Scared To Death. So that's why the special effects look about ten years past their sell-by date. The plot revolves around the titular breed of cyborg soldiers, locked in the basement of the company who created them (Norton Cyberdyne: Terminator much?). Inevitably - oops! - they escape, and terrorise a pesky journalist (Lawrence) and the niece of their creator (Andreeff) while the CEO (Gale) goes totally insane, and gives himself regular injections for some reason that's never explained.

The monsters are dire on every level, not least because these alleged fighting machines shamble so slowly, any opposing force could simply back off slowly, firing at will. The manner of their dispatch also suggests this was on TV when M. Night Shyamalan was trying desperately to find an ending for Signs. Add a security force who, disturbingly, dress like Devo, and you have a film just short of "so bad it's good". Except, that is, Gale, who towers over proceedings with a fabulous performance - if only the rest of the cast had followed his maniacal lead (executive vixen Spier tries, but you can tell her heart's just not in it). Though as a sci-fi stab at corporate culture, it's painfully short of Robocop, it is a fitting memorial to the late "Re-Animator guy". David Gale, RIP.

May 2004

Gale Force
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