Forbidden World
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Forbidden World



For most of us fans of Sci-fi and fantasy our first exposure to the genre was with ‘B’ flicks shown in some Saturday afternoon matinee. While these movies will never find themselves on a ‘Best of’ list or hear the phrase ‘the winner is’ preceding the name of the film but they do work as pure entertainment. One man has distinguished himself as the king of the ‘B’ flick; Roger Corman. For several decades he has produced or directed some of the best known flick on the ‘B’ list’. Now, before you dismiss these films as just cheaply made bad movies made by hacks consider one important fact. Corman’ protégés reads like a list of Academy Award winners including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorses and Ron Howard. Each of these gifted men were ‘graduates’ of what is frequently referred to as the Roger Corman film school. With alumni like this you might get to say the films were cheap and possibly bad but certainly not the result of hacks. This proves that even these movies that are the target if ridicule can be the training ground for some of the giants in the industry. While not every director of a film produced by Corman makes it big but the fundamentals remain the same. Corman teaches aspiring film makers the importance of pleasing the audience while remaining on budget. Corman had an incredible understanding of the dual nature of the film industry; keeping the customer happy while bringing a profit to the investor. Shout Factory is paying some well deserved attention to this genius of popular cinema with Blu-ray editions of some of the films he directed or produced. One of the initial installments is a little flick called ‘Forbidden World’. Although released in 1982 it was highly reminiscent of some of those grind house flicks we loved as kids. There is that same kind of carefree fun pervading the movie that comes with this particular format.

As fans of Mr. Corman will readily point out part of his approach to filmmaking is ‘when in doubt blow something up or have a nubile young woman remove some clothing. ‘Forbidden World’ is not an exception with quite a number of both ‘plot devices’ evident here. Writing the script that encompasses this exploration of sex and violence was Tim Curnen and based on a story from Jim Wynorski. There is not much on the resume of Curnen besides this but Wynorski has extensive experience in several facets of creating ‘B’ flicks that has included many that are regularly shown during the overnight hours on Cinemax boasting titles like ‘Alabama Jones and the Busty Crusade’ to ‘The Hills Have Thighs’. Okay, he doesn’t specialize in anything close to ‘Masterpiece Theater’. Bringing it all together is the direction by Allan Holzman who also has experience in this tier of cinema. Right up front it should be noted that you should not think too hard while viewing this movie. In fact just disengage the higher reasoning portion of your brain in order to avoid any consideration of technical or literary merit. Just take it for what it is, for how it was intended to be considered; light, enjoyable entertainment. There is a reason this was kept out of American release for so long but if you are able to embrace the schlock you just might find a guilty pleasure

On the distant desert plant, Xarbia, there is a serious shortage in food. I guess this happens when you live on pile of sand although it never seemed to affect the folks on Dune. A research team has discovered a potential solution to curb the galactic hunger problem. Through the use of synthetic DNA they created Subject 20 whose byproduct Proto-20 can be used as a food source. Unfortunately there is a corollary to the axiomatic ‘Do not awaken the ancient evil’ that is ‘do not genetically engineer a life form with a larger hunger than your own. No sooner than Proto-20 oozes out of its cocoon that it chows down on the nearby research staff. The initial problem is the synthetic DNA mutated change the meal into the diner. Mike Colby (Jesse Vint), trouble-shooter at large and his trusty robotic sidekick SAM-104 (Don Olivera) begin the investigation. Amidst the carnage Mike manages to find a young with suitable lack of modesty, Tracy (Dawn Dunlap) helping to fill the exploitation flick nudity quotient. Mike doesn’t seem to adept at anything other than carnal endeavors but the one remaining uneaten scientist, Dr. Cal Timburgen Fox Harris) devises a plan to kill the even more horribly mutated creature involving feeding the beastie his own cancer ridden liver. If it sounds like there are more than a few plot holes present you would be correct. That is one of the purposes of the naked young woman. Since the target audience here is guys it is a safe bet that exposed breasts will distract them from any form of analytical thought. In Blu-ray the effects come across cheesier than ever. This movie was intended to be shown in some old grin house theater so high definition will provide a lot more detail than you ever imagined. The film is fun in a boy’s night out sort of way and the presentation will open it up to a use of Blu-ray you might not have considered; making a ‘B’ flick look and sound better than the filmmaker imagined.


Posted 06/28/2010

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