Movie Review - Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn [1983]

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn

First off: fuck this movie.

Secondly, I’m going to spoil the shit out of it, so don’t read on if you care.

Okay, I first learned of Metalstorm earlier this year while looking up ‘80s movie posters to use as Satan Ninja inspiration. I stumbled upon a few of its posters, which are pretty rad.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Poster

So I tossed Metalstorm onto our Netflix queue, and when it arrived (yeah, we still do the physical media thing) Jessica and I were a little pumped. I mean, just look at those posters.

The posters lied.

Instead of a sci-fi space-action cheesefest like Star Crash, Flash Gordon, or even Galaxy of Terror, we instead got Gravel Pit: The Movie. That’s right. See those planets in the poster? Kind of gives the impression that some of the movie might take place in space, right? Nope. Just a gravel pit (Okay, so technically it’s not a gravel pit, but the California desert they filmed this in is so uninteresting—or at least shot so poorly—that it might as well be).There isn’t a spaceship to be found in the movie. Just shitty Road Warrior reject vehicles that seem like they’re made out of cardboard.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Vehicle

And speaking of The Road Warrior, the main character of Metalstorm is the most obvious Mad Max knockoff I’ve seen since playing Fallout (which I’m a huge fan of, by the way).

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Dogen

Now, I wouldn’t mind if the guy pulled off being a likable badass like Max, but the dude didn’t even come close. Instead, he spends practically the entire movie either doing his best Eastwood squint or staring all wide-eyed and looking batshit insane.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Dogen's Crazy Eyes

It’s pretty obvious the filmmakers walked out of seeing Mad Max 2 and thought, “Holy shit! We’ve got deserts right here in California. We could totally make that movie. Except it’ll be even better because we’ll add elements of Star Wars and make it 3-D!” Hell, they even got the leader of the oil refinery settlers from Mad Max 2 to play the titular villain, Jared-Syn. A villain that’s impossible to take seriously with his stupid hair and what looks like a dumb-ass face on his chest plate:

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn

Oh, and speaking of the title: it’s also a lie. Jared-Syn doesn’t even get fucking destroyed. No, instead he flies some stupid flying bike thing through an even stupider vortex and escapes into another dimension or some shit in order to set up a sequel that the world wasn’t quite stupid enough to allow to be made.

Also, there’s a lot of slow motion. Often for no reason. It leads me to believe they had about an hour’s worth of footage, so they added random slow motion to pad out the length. That, and many shots seem to awkwardly linger for several moments after the actors have already said their lines. You can almost sense the actors just kind of standing there, waiting for the director to say, “Cut.”

On a more positive note, some of the prop and makeup effects weren’t too shabby. Why, Jared-Syn’s cyborg son, Baal, would fit right in with the best of Power Rangers’ villains.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Cyborg Baal

But for some reason, all the actors seem to have been given the Oompa-Loompa fake orange tan treatment.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn orange tan

The movie was so bad that it was kind of hard to follow the plot, but here's what I recall. Basically, Mad Max Lite meets a girl (played by John Travolta’s future wife, Kelly Preston, who had an amazing nude scene in the ‘85 film Mischief—which is one of the first nude scenes I remember seeing) whose dad was just killed by Jared-Syn and his cronies. Then there’s some bullshit about life-storing crystals and Mad Max Lite needing to get some magic mask and find a lost city.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Dogen & Dhyana

Mad Max Lite and Girl totally fall in love because the script said so, and then Girl gets teleported away by Jared-Syn, because, “Together they are strong.” Then Mad Max Lite gets attacked by the cousin of that one electric monster from Scooby-Doo (who keeps shooting electricity at the camera because: 3-D) which he defeats by shooting a random spot in the ground, causing it to spring a leak that gets the monster’s foot wet. Whatever.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Electric Monster

Mad Max Lite wanders into a Mos Eisley Lite and recruits a middle-aged rogue guy to serve as his guide through Gravel Pit World. Then we’re pretty much stuck with this charisma-less duo for most of the movie.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Dogen & Rhodes

They drive around the gravel pit (getting into one of the most dull vehicle chases I’ve seen since The Dogginator). Get attacked by sock puppet sand worms. Find a stupid mask. Then get captured by one-eyed mutants lead by the dude most people think of as Bull from Night Court but who I will always remember as the Vietnam ghost from House.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Hurok

They fight Jared-Syn’s green cyborg son who sprays acid at the camera because it’s 3-D! Then Mad Max Lite has a “climactic” confrontation with Jared-Syn which consists of him deflecting Syn’s lasers with the magic mask while doing his crazy wide-eyed stare.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Dogen's Stare

But then Jared-Syn suddenly escapes due to the magic of editing. And he looks dumb as hell doing it.

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn Skybike

So either the movie forgot it was supposed to feature a lost ancient city, or the cave/gravel pit Jared-Syn and his one-eyed goons hang out in is the lost ancient city, making it the worst lost ancient city in cinema history. Yes, even worse than the one in The Final Sacrifice.

Oh, yeah, and there's a totally out-of-nowhere scene where Mad Max Lite puts on the magic mask and has a vision of himself, shirtless with axe in hand, in some dark foggy place with a flaming dead tree. So of course Mad Max Lite does the reasonable thing and chops that fucking tree with the axe. The tree starts bleeding. Then he takes off the mask and the story contines as normal. If there was a point to that scene, I have no fucking clue what it was.

Ninja Factor: A bunch of Jared-Syn’s cronies have their faces obscured by red hoods and gas-mask looking things. I suppose that’s sort of ninja-like. At one point some guy throws a spikey metal ball kind of like it’s a ninja star.

Satan Factor: Well, Jared-Syn had a dumbass face in his chest armor, kind of like Satan’s belly face in Ghosts ‘n Goblins.

Boob Factor: NONE! This movie commits the cardinal sin of being a really shitty movie WITHOUT any exploitation. And it's not like Kelly Preston was shy about showing her tits in the '80s. Again: fuck this movie.

Slow-Motion-Cyborg-Arm-Rip-Off Factor: Off the charts! I’ve got to give it credit for that.

80s Factor: Eh, I’d rank this as mildly ‘80s. It’s not nearly as ‘80s as the posters would have you believe.

Overall Rating: 1 pentastar out of five. Fuck this movie.

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