At some point in Miami Golem, I realized that local TV reporter Craig Milford was quite low functioning, albeit still adept at handling a firearm and piloting an airboat through the Florida Everglades.
But it wasn’t because he only halfheartedly said it was crazy and didn’t immediately dump his new girlfriend when she said the strange things he recorded at the university lab weren’t a message from Atlantis but from aliens from another dimension. (If a woman is hot enough her crazy talk doesn’t really register.)
It also wasn’t because when the aliens contacted him they did so disguised as a duplicate of himself and he agreed to do their mission for them despite not getting any reason why he was chosen to do it. (Heck, he bragged about covering the Falklands War, so he’s surely seen his share of insanity, right?)
No, what really drove home why he had the brains of a local TV reporter 20 years past his prime doing boring stories about university experiments no one cares about is that when his girlfriend uses her telepathic powers to get the bad guys away from their lab so Craig can sneak in and complete the mission, he didn’t ask why she just couldn’t use her telepathic powers to have the bad guys complete the mission instead!
Miami Golem though isn’t just borderline lazy in how it handicaps its heroes to keep the uninteresting plot of a businessman growing an alien creature in a vat so that he can somehow rule the world going. It also forces the villainous alien fetus to use its own telekinetic powers during random intervals instead of when it would be most advantageous to do so.
Yes, the Golem does throw the girlfriend around the room like a rag doll and breaks her telepathic hold on the bad guys. And he tampers with the brakes on the car Craig was riding in and then causes it to explode just after Craig dove out of it. He even batters Craig during a showdown at the lab and sends an axe flying in his direction.
But why not kill both Craig and the girlfriend when they are concocting this scheme in the first place? Or why not blow up the cab Craig took to the lab after his other car got blown up? And why wait until Craig is practically breathing on your artificial womb to heave him through the air? Throw his ass into the burning vehicle, space dummy!
And remember those aliens that needed Craig to do their dirty work, turning him into an unwitting alien abortionist? Why couldn’t they do it themselves? They lamely explain that it’s because they cannot gain access to our dimension. Except they have no problem giving the girlfriend powers, assuming human form to talk to Craig and most surprisingly of all, flying their spaceship to the Everglades and tractor beaming up the Golem at the end of the movie. They can do all that, but dealing with four or five thugs with guns? We need a human to handle that. A human whose job is to file feature stories that frankly, probably air on the newscast’s weekend edition.
These aren’t Miami Golem‘s real crimes though. This is a mid 1980s Italian movie starring David Warbeck so there was a better-than-even chance that all of these lapses in logic would be the hilarious interludes between exciting stunt work and all serving an enjoyably silly story. But the excitement never came, reduced to a lengthy and mostly dull airboat race that was likely done to capitalize on the popularity Miami Vice enjoyed at the time.
And the story was such a slow stew of science babble, vague schemes to take over the world and even vaguer machinations by the good aliens that you quickly gave up trying to make sense of it all. I still have no idea how either the bad guys or the aliens got involved in the first place.
Even the usually reliable David Warbeck feels wrong here as his unflappable grubby everyman persona that served him so well in adventure movies like The Ark of the Sun God and Hunters of the Golden Cobra seems out of place for a character confronted by aliens, monsters, telepathy and telekinesis and whose background is just being a reporter. He is no more surprised by anything that happens in the movie than if he was told that a restaurant served Pepsi instead Coke. It would have been much more entertaining if he reacted just a little bit normally to what he was mixed up in. Was Warbeck incapable of doing the funny bugged-eyed double take the movie so desperately needed when he laid eyes on the ugly alien baby in the lab?
It’s also not the best choice for the monster to be a fetus in a lab jar because I felt like when Craig was going after its feeding tubes with an axe that he was being a bit of a bully. Yes, the monster had sharp teeth and whenever it felt threatened, it opened its eyes and growled, but so does my cat! I was actually relieved when the aliens came and took the beast from Craig because he had it in the car with him and he was talking about chopping it into a bunch of little pieces! And the poor little bastard was still alive in his jar!
Alberto De Martino (Holocaust 2000) stopped directing the year this movie came out, though it remains unclear whether it was before or after he finished this picture.
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