Dead Space (1991)

Dead Space VHSWhat sort of movie is only 72 minutes long, but still has time for a slow motion love scene dream sequence? The sort of movie where the slow motion love scene dream sequence features the Beastmaster!

When you’ve got the Beastmaster prowling around a deep space research station, you can bet one of two things is going on: either he’s on the hunt for the most deadliest alien in the universe ever accidentally created by a couple of guys with an incubator or he’s on the make!

Thankfully for us fans of scenes of people running through hallways, anxiously watching computer monitors, and trying to avoid clunky moving space monsters, the sexy stuff is strictly the stuff of dreams in this one!

Marc Singer (Savate) is the Beastmaster of course, but in this movie he’s going by one of his less flaymobant and loin-cloth impaired identies, Captain Steve Krieger. Beastmaster is in charge of a spaceship that has a total of one other crew member, Tinpan.

Tinpan is a robot who is a guy in a grey jumpsuit with a robot head. We also know he is a robot because of all the mechanical noises dubbed in whenever he moves. And also because he walks like he has a stick up his butt.

I don’t care how advanced a civilization is, no matter if a robot can think for itself, feel emotions, or play poker, he’s always going to walk like he has a stick up his butt. It’s just one of those universal laws of robotics. Besides, I’m sure that Beastmaster is just glad to not have to put with those stinky ferrets anymore.

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Beastmaster and Tinpan (which sounds like an old vaudeville act your grandfather would wax nostalgic about) respond to a distress call from a research station, but not before some interstellar warfare!

It’s a mark of how much credit this movie gives its audience that nothing is ever explained about why Beastmaster and Tinpan find themselves in a dogfight with three other spaceships. So many of these really short Alien homages take lots of valuable time to describe all sorts of backstory with empires, rebels, haunted spaceships and mining companies.

Once Beastmaster and Tinpan manage to fight off the enemy ships and damage their own ship enough that they have to hang around fighting aliens at this lab, we finally get some information on just what it was that set off the chest-bursting, parasitic monsters this time.

There’s this virus going around that we need to find a cure for and as everyone with either a second grade science education or a fertile imagination knows, to fight a really nasty virus, you need to create an even nastier virus! And that’s just what they did!

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And then it hatched and turned in a frigging monster that looked sort of like Alien and Pumpkinhead! My history may be a little rusty, but I seem to recall that that’s how Jonas Salk cured polio.

With the creature on the loose, it’s up to Beastmaster to pursue it while it’s up to the rest of the crew to get slaughtered! To be fair, Beastmaster is usually nearby when someone is getting sucked down airshafts, ripped in half or having their head ripped clean off their body, but he had a tendancy to roll out of the way with a lot more acumen than these egghead scientists.

I’d like to tell you that it was because of all his training in the Space Marines or because he grew up on some rough and tumble frontier planet, but that sounds an awful like backstory, doesn’t it? All I know about Beastmaster is that Tinpan is his best friend and that his spaceship is home. And really, is there anything you need to know about a man other than that?

Beastmaster has very little dialogue and does most of his talking with his laser blaster and glazed over squint which he uses to convey both steely-eyed determination as well as disgust whenever the monster does something icky or when he has to shoot a critically injured crew member.

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With his feathered hair, khakis and red safari shirt, Beastmaster doesn’t seem to be appearing in a futuristic shocker so much as heading off to a neighborhood barbecue.

Make no mistake though, these clothes utilize some pretty advanced technology. When he was outside hunting the alien and fell off the side of a mountain, it tore up his white jumpsuit and busted his leg pretty good, but in the next scene back inside the station, his was back in his regular clothes and styling like before! And his leg was as good as new, too!

Dead Space is mainly a series of scenes where Beastmaster chases the monster and where people were getting chased by the monster. I will admit to being confused by both the humans’ and the monster’s actions during all this. Sometimes, the people would close off all the vents and trap the monster there. Except for when the monster was running around loose.

Then the monster would break out of the station and leave, but Beastmaster would follow. Then the monster would come back. Then everyone would announce that the monster was in the control room. And then be shocked when they go to the control room and find, surprise! The monster!

By the time a scientist nonsensically announced that they could use his blood which was infected by the first virus to combat the monster (who was really the second virus created to destroy the first virus) you can understand just why in the world Beastmaster has a sauna on his spaceship that he relaxes in.

All in all, I think the director and writer did what I expected them to do with this one. (Did I mention that the director also made Star Quest II and that the writer wrote Future Kick?)

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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