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anonymous kph

Aram, Beram, Ceram ... Zeram

So, it was time to sit down and watch a movie. But what to watch? I had a Sam Raimi film that I was considering. Perhaps a nice juicy documentary? Or even maybe one of the movies that we have borrowed from other people.

I asked lunargeography what would be least distracting to her. Until I get the wireless hooked up properly, the Internet and the Television are in the same room. And lunargeography was trying to write (and edit).

"Watch a bad movie," she said. And the hunt was on! What kind of bad movie to watch? The public unveiling of S16 was a mere ten days away (from when I watched the movie in question -- it's only a week from today), but I could not let that stop me! Next up in the queue was a movie from 1950, but all of the clips I have (so far) for 2009 are from movies made prior to my birth. Time to change that, I hoped.

A giant monster movie sounded like it was probably right up my alley. But which one? I quickly narrowed the choice to three. Gorgo is set in London and has a nice typo on the cover (I have three different copies of this movie, and each has a different amusing typo on its cover). But it also predates my birth. So that was out. Kraa! the Sea Monster sounded just perfect, except ... I wasn't entirely sure that I could deal with the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers ripoff aspects. Just not in the right mood. So that left the one whose monster turned out not to be so giant after all: Zeram. Not quite the last movie alphabetically on my shelf, but close.

I do want to make one thing perfectly clear about Zeram. It was not a painful movie. It was very pretty. The direction was good, even clever. The script was not exactly top-notch, but it didn't get in the way of what was meant to be a pretty basic "fight the evil space monster" story. I almost feel bad about Smitheeing it.

Almost.

For one thing, the characters could not stop with the Inane Dialogue to save their lives ("Nothing can go wrong," "It's not going anywhere," "It's finished"). You'd think that after the third or so fatal blow, they might not be so quick to judge Zeram dead and the movie over. It took them at least ten minutes to finally kill Zeram after they struck their first fatal blow.

And the other thing (literally) is Zeram itself. I have found some screen shots, but they don't really do justice. Zeram sort of looks like a giant bipedal toadstool with glowing eyes that resemble the visor of Cyclops from X-Men, and a Noh-mask face in the middle of its forehead that is actually on the end of a giant phallic tentacle (think Soul Vengeance with bite).

Zeram also spawns these weird little pink mutant things (I couldn't find any screenshots) that fight on its behalf and serve as plot devices when necessary. Oh! The plot! Zeram escapes from some kind of space prison, and during the opening credits, kills lots of people we don't really see. A pair of bounty hunters (the woman Ilya/Iria, and her computer Bob) are sent to intercept it before it can do collateral damage. They also cannot let any of the inhabitants of the planet where it's landing (Earth) know of their (or its) existence.

They create a "zone" (a weird alternate dimension thing populated with inanimate objects but none of the people) to catch it in. Their plans are screwed up when a couple of guys from the power company show up to investigate their unauthorized power tap, and end up in the zone along with Ilya/Iria (and Zeram).

The rest of the movie is a race to (a) take out, or at least survive encounters with, Zeram, and (b) get out of the zone before it discorporates.

The movie is even pretty well-paced. And I am still feeling a bit sorry about including it here. And then I think of Zeram, and I know what has to be done.



The terrible thing about 'thulhu is 'thulhu's a terrible thing. His mind encompasses madness. His back sprouts vasty green wings.

Comments

The anime is much better.

(waves) Hi. :-D
-BJ
I was told that. Haven't seen it, though. I imagine that the Guyver anime is better than the film, too.... Another case where I've seen the live-action movie, but not the anime.

For that matter, I have a copy of the live-action Atragon movie sitting on my shelf unwatched-as-yet....