Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hands of Steel - 1986

AKA Fists of Steel, Atomic Cyborg, and Vendetta from the Future....

Another weird Terminator rip off, and, damn am I like the only one that didn't know there were this many Terminator rip offs?  It seems like all the sudden I'm tripping over these things left and right.  This is much more in line of a Terminator rip off than Shocking Dark, since that was mostly an Aliens rip off anyway.  Directed by Italian horror-meister Sergio Martino, who did Torso and some other 70's-80's Italian horror flicks.

This movie has that classic low-rent feel to it.  It seems like the sort of a thing that children would love.  I think I would have loved this movie had I grown up with it.  In the end as I finished it last night, I actually was sad I hadn't paid it more attention.  I put this on last night, despite the fact I have like a dozen other movies I shoulda been watching instead, and I was really tired.  I just wanted something comforting and stupid, and so I pulled out my trusty Sci-Fi Invasion boxset and slammed a DVD into the player.  No drinking, no smoking, just tired ol' me sitting there with a bread bowl of chicken tortilla soup and my loving cat.

I was not equipped to handle this movie though, and for the first time in a long time I'm going to say I need to see this movie again.  This movie isn't one you want to ignore or be tired during, or to not be impaired by a substance.  You want to be high energy, feeling comedic, riffing, smoking, making out with a hot chick, just doing anything during.  Some movies, especially those old black and white monster flicks, are just made for the exact night I provided in that scenario:  tired, hungry, just-want-to-not-care type situation.

The thing is the plot is actually kind of important, and my brain was just not turned on enough to watch it.  Did I mention it was like 10:00, I had gotten like no sleep the night before, had been up since 6am, and was physically worn out from doing laundry all night?  Need to know info.  Complete the picture in your head.  Needless details aside, I still did enjoy this movie - this movie is difficult to NOT enjoy.  What's better than that, is this was a movie I'd wanted to see for a long time, and I didn't even know that when I started it.

Mid way through this I Googled the movie to see what other movies the main actor Daniel Greene has been in, and I immediately recognized the poster.  Much like Def-Con 4 this movie poster sticks out and I had definitely run across it multiple times on IMDb, movie lists, blogs, etc:
I know alternate names are nothing new, but I just love it when IMDb lists the movie as something and the poster lists it as something else.  You just KNOW that's quality.  Better yet, this movie takes place in the hugely futuristic year of...1997!  1997!!  

The guy up there is Paco.  He has robotic arms.  In fact, he's 30% robot and 70% human.  I wasn't paying attention enough to tell you what else is robotic besides his arms, but maybe I'll rewatch the movie or something and revisit this blog later.  Yeah, right.  Probably not for a long time.  Paco is a mystery, he doesn't say a lot and we at first don't know too much about him.  He rolls into a hotel after escaping some guys and stays there for a little while.  While his relationship with the hotel keeper Linda grows, he gets into a conflict with a local gang, and in the meantime his old boss John Saxon tries to track him down.  

Story lines in this move along quick enough, there's a lot of characters and screen time shared, and all the actors were real and decent.  For some rip off of Terminator with an identity crisis, the effects and the story and the music especially, are all really good.  Movies like this are looked at as amateur more often than not, when truth be told everyone in this movie had long and storied careers before and after this.  They knew what they were doing.  Don't blame it's gritty amateur feel on it actually being made without skill.

Because I need to re-watch it, I'll give it 3.5 stars for now.

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