Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983)

Movie Title: Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn

Year Released: 1983

Rated: PG

Runtime: 1h 24min

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Director: Charles Band

Writer: Alan J. Adler

Starring: Jeffrey Byron, Michael Preston, Tim Thomerson, Kelly Preston, Richard Moll, R. David Smith, Larry Pennell, Marty Zagon, Mickey Fox, William Jones, Winston Jones,

Review: After a miner and his daughter Dhyana (Kelly Preston) fall prey to the brutal warlord, Jared-Syn (Michael Preston), a brave ranger named Dogen (Jeffrey Byron) comes along to battle the forces of evil. Jared-Syn is determined to rule over the desert planet, and its people, with the help of a powerful crystal that have the power to both give life and take it away. Dogen must battle sand monsters, an acid-spewing cyborg, and Cyclopian warriors before he finds Jared-Syn and ends his reign of terror. It's high noon at the end of the universe... and it's in 3-D! Prepare yourself for Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn is a movie that I had fond memories of from when I was kid during the VHS days. Recently, I got myself a copy of this sci-fi fantasy film and finally saw it in 3-D for the very first time. I was excited to re-watch it with both 3-D glasses and nostalgia glasses simultaneously, unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.

It's without a doubt a Mad Max ripoff, (it even stars Michael Preston from The Road Warrior) but nowhere near as exciting, compelling, or competently made as George Miller's endlessly imaginative series of post-apocalyptic films, but still fun, creative, and entertaining in its own way. However, I must say that I did enjoy the cheapy, cheesy factor provided by Charles Band and his Empire Pictures. The special effects are not very special, although the makeup on the cybernetic Baal (David Smith) and Cyclopian leader Hurok (Richard Moll) are both impressive and memorable. It was nice to see Kelly Preston in one of her early and, most likely, forgotten role as Dhyana. And Band regular Tim Thomerson adds his own brand of anti-hero attitude to the mix which really makes you wish he was the lead of this movie. Oh, and the musical score provided by Charles' father Richard Band may very well be the best part of this entire feature.

Now, here's what's not so hot about Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. First, the 3-D is lame. Other than a few action scenes where arms, lazer beams, and vehicles come right at you, the 3-D doesn't do much to entertain or excite the audience. Literally, there's a scene where a tree branch is pointing at the center of the scene and the camera movies towards it - Wow! I actually remembered this lame scene from when I was a kid. I laughed when I saw it this time around and yelled out, "Oh, no! Not a branch!"

Next, the chases are slower than a foot race at the tortoise sanctuary. The characters could run faster that they drive. I wish they sped up the film just to add a little excitement to these slow-speed pursuits. And half of the time you aren't sure where anyone is in relation to one another or just how many vehicles are involved in the roll-along rally. And not to mention the thrilling final chase, if you can call it that. What a snoozefest!

And lastly, Dogen, played by Jeffrey Byron, is kind of a boring character. I think he's supposed to be the strong silent type, but he just comes off as a sweaty, dead-eyed, charmless hero that doesn't really seem to know what's going on, nor cares. I think he's trying to mimic Mel Gibson's stoic loner from the "Mad Max" movies, but misses it by a mile. I know that the plot doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but the lead character seem just as lost as the audience at times. I guess that can be amusing in its own way.

And here's a bonus: the title is misleading! That's all I will say on that.

Now, as much as I complained about Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn I did have fun watching it and letting the nostalgia wash over me. It was enjoyable silly fun that I look forward to watching again and again. Sometimes bad movies are a good time - and that's certainly the case here.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Richard Band composed and recorded the score in eleven days.


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