Hologram Man (1995)

It’s hologram vs. hologram in a battle for all of Los Angeles! Two men digitized to fighting perfection pull out all the stops as they wreak havoc up and down the city, guns blazing, cars exploding, and lightning bolts shooting out of their hands in an effort to take control of L.A. back from the evil corporation that has taken over! Even better though than it being a hologram against hologram situation is that it is also a war between a couple of guys with fine low budget action resumes and girlishly long hair that you just know they spend all kinds of time conditioning!

In one aisle of hair products you’ve got Evan Lurie as the insane Slash Gallagher! Evan is bent on stealing, killing, and periodically remembering that he also supposedly is trying to free the denizens of L.A. from their corporate masters! But is shooting the governor of California in the head a good way to affect system-wide change? Who cares! That was simply the prologue to the real mayhem! And we’ve actually got Evan to thank for that since he also came up with the story for Hologram Man!

Evan’s bona fides extend beyond his roles behind the scenes of this movie (he was also an associate producer!) since he flung his hulking physique and impressive head of hair around with such legends as Don “The Dragon” Wilson in Operation Cobra and Ring Of Fire II, and Jack Scalia in T-Force. Stints in films such as Shadow Warriors and American Kickboxer 2 only further solidified Evan’s status as a guy who worked steadily in the mid 1990s.

The other mane attraction in this film is Joe Lara, most famous for being one of the Tarzans no one has ever heard of. (Admit it, after Johnny Weissmuller and maybe Lex Barker if you’re really an obsessive freak, can you name any other Tarzans?)

Hologram Man 1

Joe though, like Evan, comes to us well-seasoned in action movies most of us have never seen. Steel Frontier, Warhead, Operation Delta Force and Operation Delta Force 4: Deep Fault are just a few of the movies that sound really awesome, but probably aren’t that he’s appeared in. Of course the most awesome sounding of all his films is American Cyborg: Steel Warrior which holds the distinction of being the second-to-last movie released by Cannon Films. (Jeff Speakman’s Street Knight is perhaps fittingly, the very last movie from Cannon.)

This tangle of manly pony tails though wouldn’t be worth the kegs of shampoo it probably took to keep Joe and Evan in tip top shape if the movie was nothing but a bunch of yakking over stuff like brushes vs. combs and how much volume a particular brand of mousse gives you.

You’ve got nothing to worry about though because this is a movie that Richard Pepin made for his PM Entertainment! Pepin and Joseph Merhi specialized in movies devoted to exploding cars and endless gunfights dressed up with a few scenes of talking, presumably put in the film to allow the crew to locate more cars to detonate.

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Pepin himself directed CyberTracker, Cyber-Tracker 2, Firepower, and Dark Breed, four movies that contain as much violence between them as in both World Wars, the Crusades, the Hundred Years’ War, and my last family reunion combined! Thankfully, despite its gimmicky and stupid story, Hologram Man is cut from the same cloth!

Holograms are the latest technique in dealing with criminals. Somehow, their consciousness is turned into a hologram and stored in a computer while their body lies frozen elsewhere. Computers are used in an attempt to “fix” the criminals while in their hologram state. Periodically the holograms are brought before a parole board where it is determined whether they have been rehabilitated enough to be reunified with their bodies and released back into the general population.

But what would if the unthinkable occurred? An unthinkable thing like some computer genius working for Slash messing things up so that a power surge somehow caused Slash’s holographic form to be allowed to escape and also somehow given super holographic powers like being able to pass through physical objects, assume any identity, and discharge deadly energy blasts! (Regular old prisons where guys just lifted weights and came out of jail really ripped don’t seem so bad now, do they?)

Joe Lara is the cop who is charged with taking Slash down and it doesn’t take a genius to know that at some point during the film, he will also have to become a hologram to fight Slash.

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The holograms were a little silly, looking like the projection of Princess Leia at the beginning of Star Wars when Luke accidentally caused R2 to play her message to Obi-Wan. Aside from that, I didn’t fully understand why the holograms always had to be dressed in a form-fitting white leotard and why both Joe and Evan had their hair in ponytails whenever they assumed that form. Luckily, they made use of some special rubber and stage makeup to provide themselves with an artificial layer of skin which allowed them to look normal even when they were truly holographic! Don’t worry about how Joe’s girlfriend knew how to find and use artificial skin/stage make up, just enjoy that helicopter getting shot out of the sky!

Familiar faces appear to class up the production and pick up a paycheck, so you get an unexpected dose of William Sanderson, Michael Nouri, John Amos, and Joseph Campanella along with your long-haired action icons. Director Pepin does exactly what you want giving us a nice mix of vehicular-related violence and guys shooting each other.

Yes, some of the action scenes in these PM Entertainment movies tend to look the same (didn’t I see a bus chase in Running Red? Weren’t some of those shoot outs just scenes from Cyber-Tracker 2?) but you can never get tired of seeing guys jumping in slow motion toward the camera while a car explodes with the force of a hundred nuclear bombs behind them! Shoot, Pepin even ends things by having Joe use his holographic powers to blow up a limousine! In short, this the same old PM Entertainment movie with a new paint job. Thank God!

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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