Sunday, March 18, 2018

the fantastic four [1994]

roger corman's studio, new horizons, spent about a million smoliens to make this flick based on the marvel comic.  it was promptly shelved, never to see a release either in theaters, or dvd, or vhs.  but the internet is proof that nothing is ever lost.  even this non-release is easily found on the interwebs.

is it worth seeing?  depends upon your tastes.  i grew up on marvel comics.  i was not a habitual reader of the fantastic four but i read a shitload of them when i was a wee lad.  and what about this adaptation that was thought to be so awful as to never see a proper release?  let me tell you.

it ain't bad.  in fact, the script is quite faithful to the comic.  even the goofy one liners are scooped from the pages.  that is how this flick plays, goofy, fun and never taking itself serious.  the arch-villain dr. doom looks and sounds exactly like dr. doom from the comic.  if you can't  accept that then you are not the audience for super hero movies.

and remember this movie was made in the mid-1990s when superheroes were a novelty.  the 21st century has been pumped full of superhero pics where the action heroes are anguished super beings that take upon the flaws of human injustice.  that is quite a heady task.  and too much to bear even for a super creature.

naw, give me roger corman's version anytime.  ben grimm, aka the thing, says, once he accepts his misfit status, it's clobbering time!  exactly as grimm says it in the comic.  do you need more than that form your superheroes?  maybe.  our epoch is begging for help in the form of super beings.  our world is so fucked up.

and yet, roger corman knew that superheroes are a thing of the imagination.  so he allowed his studio to make a film that was truer to its source material than any superhero movie made in this century.  because this shit is goofy.  that fantastic four are a group of misfits, in life and our imagination.

this is not a good movie, but i loved watching it.  the actors were either hyperbolic or lethargic.  dr. doom was a delight to watch and listen to because he was straight form central casting.  you might ask who were the director, script writers, photographers, editors, and actors in this movie.  i second that; who?

doesn't matter.  i recognize neither name nor face.  and yet, each person who worked on this film earned my applause.  this is a really bad movie.  a superhero movie of another era.  should you watch this flick you will see how the contemporary world was built from the last century.  that sounds rather dramatic until  you stop and think about how superhero movies are made and played today.  superheroes are drawn in big tragic lines in our century.  and our digital culture utterly changed everything.  everything has changed.  i mean everything.  except for our need of heroes. 

and yet, why should we let changes stop us form enjoying a movie where the good triumphs over evil, even if for a little while.  embrace this version of the fantastic four.  for when this pic was released we had no idea how badly the world would change.


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