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Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn

1983

By Tom BakerPublished 12 days ago 3 min read

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn is a rather rank, if entertaining mid-Eighties sci-fi apocalyptic sort-of Mad Max with one-eyed alien baddies and an evil wizard flick, that has Jeffrey Byron ("Dogen," a name borrowed from "Kung Fu" lore) rolling around in a souped-up dune buggy cum ATV futuristic psycho car, cruising around the California desert which is supposed to be the inhospitable surface of some other planet, randomly fighting dusty, rugged Duneites that have weird plastic breathing masks; and, well, one eye ("Cyclopians"). There's all kinds of really cool action and lots of armored vehicles getting blown up and rolling over and dudes with sort of rotting blue zombie faces getting creamed.

Good old-fashioned comic book fun from the era when Michael and Madonna made MTV a cultural watershed (back when they still played music videos).

Dogen/Byron comes upon a scene where Dhyana (the late Kelly Preston, who would go on to act in another sci-fi stinker, perhaps the ultimate one, the eerily similarly-themed Battlefield Earth), has just seen her father killed by Baal (R. David Smith) the son of Jared-Syn (Michael Preston), the evil wizard or something that lives in a cave with a bunch of other mutants and can pull people in and out of his alternate dimensional portal. Jared-Syn has a giant crystal with dead souls in it, and his cyborg-armed son can shoot a green psychedelic potion that puts people in an alternate state where hideous energy monsters attack them. Baal's robot arm has a claw at the end like those machines in Quickie Marts where you control a little lever and try to get a toy plushie or a pair of fuzzy dice. (I always suspected that, like every good carnival game, those machines were rigged so it was damn near impossible to ever get the plushie toy, or nab the dice. In other words, "no dice." Har.)

At some point around the halfway mark, Dhyana is kidnapped through the dimensional portal to Jared-Syn world, and Dogen goes and finds a washed-up old drunk of a soldier named Rhodes (Tim Thomerson), and then they get rescued from snake people by a gang of mutants lead by the late actor Richard Moll, who was in ALL of these sorts of movies in the middle Eighties (Dungeonmaster, Night Train to Terror, Evilspeak, and on and on). They have a crystal mask that Dogen stole from an ancient stone altar with a hideous Lovecraftian eye. "Skybikes" fly, but not very well, considering the special effects budget (the ending is kind of dead-assed, actually pretty bad, considering it belies the title of the damn movie itself).

On the whole, though, the lousy special effects, stale to stiff acting, hackneyed dialog, and basic bitch plot are all secondary considerations here, as this movie is more fun than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous. It's a straight-to-video (although it really wasn't, it was released in theaters in 3D, which is why characters move ominously in slomo and point their stumpy cybernetic claw arms at the screen) cheese-a-holic's movie night guilty pleasure Eighties nostalgia time warp of VHS love, a little cosmic goodie that is as bad and good as any pocket-protector DND nerdboy would want. The only thing missing is scads of scantily-clad desert planet barbarian babes. And Molly Ringwald. This movie needed Molly Ringwald. (She was in Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, a movie I think of as the OTHER Metalstorm, and it was there that she revealed once and for all that she wasn't no scab, and she didn't "eat dogs.")

Anyway, I liked it. I might devleop it and Spacehunter into a solo RPG mash-up dungeon crawl with lots of polyhedral dicerolling. And none of MY dice are fuzzy, babe. Dig me?

Over and over and OUT.

Metalstorm: The Destruction Of Jared-Syn (1983) - Official Trailer

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science fictionvintagescifi moviemovie reviewfantasyextraterrestrial

About the Creator

Tom Baker

Author of Haunted Indianapolis, Indiana Ghost Folklore, Midwest Maniacs, Midwest UFOs and Beyond, Scary Urban Legends, 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales, and Notorious Crimes of the Upper Midwest.: http://tombakerbooks.weebly.com

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    Tom BakerWritten by Tom Baker

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