Sunday, 6 April 2014

Flatastic Four

Let's go back further, to 1994. And this was a movie that no-one saw, and yet, in a way, is better than a certain big budget version...

With a McGuffin in space, first there's is an accident that creates Doctor Doom, and then ten years later creates the Fantastic Four. They escape from Doom, but then have to go back when he threatens to destroy New York. And, in the meantime, Grimm's would-be girlfriend (with a romance that's quick by even movie standards) is taken by the Jeweller, so that gets dealt with first by making the Jeweler completely pointless. Finally, the Torch manages to fly faster than the speed of light to beat the New York destroying laser and exist in space, so there's that.

Most likely because they didn't have a huge budget (this is Roger Corman after all), the action is kept on small stages, which gives the movie a more personal feel than the city expansive fights of the bigger movies. This movie knows it's camp, and goes whole hard... although some of the actors play it a little too seriously (probably because they couldn't hear the sound effects and incidental music track we get treated too). Doom is completely cackling insane, and the other bad guy... should have been the Mole Man. But no, they have the Jeweler? Who is that?

Effects-wise... you know what? I prefer this Thing suit to the big budget one. It looks better and moves better than that foam monstrosity. Reed's stretchiness is just creepy at times, Susan's invisibility is cheap, and Johnny's flame is clearly laid on afterwards. Oh, and if you don't get it, Reed totally explains how their personalities relate to their powers.

Because it didn't have money, this movie had more freedom to not try so hard, and so it does work better. Still not a good film, but better than others.



Jet Simian said...

Count me in as someone who prefers the Thing's look in this one to the brickless Chiklis. It also has a strange, very 80s look to the face - reminds me of something. Maybe Richard Moll's zombie character in House?

I'll be covering the next FF (via a Fox roundup) in the next few days!

Jamas Enright said...

Just rewatched the recent ones myself... with the aid of Rifftrax!