Thursday, August 25, 2005

Guilty Pleasure

A longtime guilty pleasure of mine has been B science fiction movies from the 1970's and '80's: Soylent Green, Omega Man, Planet of the Apes, Westworld, The Incredible Hulk (pilot), Looker, and now what I consider the Holy Grail of such cinema: Clonus.

Pay no attention to the poor review this film recieved on the IMDB. I guess Clonus is better known for having been roundly thrashed on an episode of Mystery Science Theatre, but I found it to be a really enjoyable film on its face.

You've got Tim Donnelly starring in this movie. He looks like "Larry", Jack's friend on Three's Company with his white-man's-afro. Tim played "Chet" on Emergency, and I'm proud to say that I recognized him as such immediately, though his hair is darker in Clonus and he didn't have his trademark mustachio. And luscious Paulette Breen plays his fellow clone and love-interest, Lena. Peter Graves and Keenan Wynn are also in Clonus, both lending the film terrific nuance with their performances.

What is Clonus about? Well, you know the new film out right now called The Island? It's that. How interesting that a story about clones has, itself, been cloned -- and with no credit to the original creators, from what I understand.

Clonus is a compound where clones are raised like crops so that their organs can be harvested to save the lives of the rich and powerful. When clones have been selected to be killed for their organs, they are told that they're "going to America." They have no idea what awaits them, however. "Richard" is a high functioning clone who is beginning to question his surroundings. One night he makes his way to the "forbidden building" and learns just what "going to America" is all about, as well as his being a clone. He escapes to the outside world seeking his "father", or, the man from whom he was cloned.

It's an interesting premise that I think was executed quite well. It's a low budget movie; one I never heard of before. It raises many thought-provoking questions about mortality and the morality of cloning people for the express purpose of harvesting their organs. The DVD of Clonus has a great commentary by the director of the film.

Well worth watching -- if you're deciding to stay home and forego ths usual Hollywood horseshit.

No comments: