Bullet Points: Shadowchaser (1992)
The direct to video action landscape of 1992 was very different from what we currently have today. Sure, we have some bonafide DTV stars like Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White, but both of them have done their fair share work in theatrical stuff and seen quite a bit of success doing so. ’92 is one of those years that will go down in history as one of the better ones in my lifetime. Under Siege, Universal Soldier, Hard Boiled, Lethal Weapon 3; there are too many good ones to write here. But all of those movies earned theatrical releases, and Project Shadowchaser isn’t the kind of movie that would fill a theater.
Synopsis: Set in the near future, a group of terrorists led by an android seize the occupants of a hospital and take the people, including the daughter of the American President, hostage in order to get a ransom from the government. Instead of bowing to the will of terrorists, the Feds unthaw a prisoner in cryo-stasis who was the architect for the hospital building. What they don’t know is that they unthawed the wrong guy and now they’ve sent in a former professional football player with absolutely no desire to be hero.
- All the Rage: After the success of Robocop and Terminator, androids and cyborgs were all the rage in 1992. I still love seeing a good action flick where a character is part machine. No feelings, no stupid love interests. Just how I like it.
- Ricco Suave: Shadowchaser gives us another opportunity to see the immensely talented Ricco Ross (Aliens) on screen. Sadly, we see him striking out hardcore as he tries to get some action from the hottie that he works with. He gets totally jobbed out by her, though, and it isn’t until he’s standing up for her against the terrorists that the uppity girl finally decides to show him a little attention.
- Knockoff Heaven: You could say that Shadowchaser is a knockoff of both Die Hard and of the android/cyborg phenomenon. That isn’t a knock on the film. In fact, it’s one of the best compliments that I could give as those movies are freaking amazing!
- Meg Foster and Her Evil Eyes: It’s impossible for me to see Meg Foster and her steely gaze as anything other than and evil sorceress. I don’t care if she is supposed to be the daughter of the President or flippin’ Mother Teresa. It just isn’t going to fly with me.
- Martin Kove the Action Hero: I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I loved Martin Kove as the hero. He’s playing an ex-football player who was imprisoned after accidentally killing a man and who finds himself in a situation where he’s fighting for his own survival. There are no amazing action sequences and it isn’t till the very end that Kove finally decides to not be a total wimp but he does eventually turn in a more heroic figure by the end. Especially when he has to kill the android dude like 13 times.
- Forever Evil: You can’t fool me by having the always evil Joss Ackland pretending to be a good guy. I was just waiting for the swerve from the moment he appeared on screen. He calls America “Soft” and then says that he “wants to see this country great again”. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.
- Touchdown: You can’t have your hero be a football player and not have him drop some corny as hell one liners after a kill. I could have done with a few more to be honest. Maybe have him throw a flag or kick a guy down an elevator shaft after calling a “holding penalty” on him.
- Must Have: How many android Presidents do you think we have had?
Read these bonus Bullet Points while we wait for America to be great again:
- Most of the set was used from the film Alien 3.
- It was The Rock before there was a The Rock. They send an architect in because he knows the building well! What the hell kind of thinking is that?
- Where do these offices get all their bulletproof office furniture. It makes hiding from gunfire behind tables and rolling chairs a real possibility.
- Dollar Store versions of Dolph Lundgren and Brigitte Nielsen.