The blog of Mitch Obrecht
Destination: Outer Space review
Saturday, May 29, 2010
"Destination: Outer Space" is the fifth movie in a series of offbeat black and white homages to 50s era atomic/monster movies. It is a semi-sequel to the third, "Cave Women on Mars," which introduced the main character, Captain Jackson.
Following the events of that third movie, Jackson has returned to Earth and was drummed out of the service. He was an astronaut. When his best friend shows up with a new job offer - returning to Rocket Command, in command of a fancy new single-person ship - he jumps at the chance.
Couple slight problems. One, he's a big old alcoholic. Two, something goes terribly wrong, and what was supposed to be a simple jump around the solar system lands him on the other side of the galaxy.
It's there that he stumbles into my ... er, B'Kee's bar, which is straight out of the Star Wars cantina. It's full of strange, exotic beings including one Yureena Null. I don't know if it was intentional (it's not mentioned in the commentary), but Yureena sounds like a female Londo Mollari.
Once these two meet, the plot goes at ludicrous speed, with loads of cameos, an ill-tempered robot, and the most horrifying monsters yet.
Technically speaking, it's the best Mihm film yet. Speaking as a fan, I have to agree, it's the best one yet.
Fans of the other movies will find a LOT of tie-ins and little gifts. But the writer has done a fantastic job of leaving it accessible for new viewers. (I watched it again today with people who hadn't seen any of the earlier movies, and they were following along with no problem, laughing at the right spots and enjoying it like they would any other movie)
* * *
A few favorite moments (there will be spoilers here) --
1 - A.D.A.M. is discussing Index, talking about how she's the most advanced computer ever. Index goes from a blank stare to having the cheekiest grin ever. You just know she's thinking "Oh yeah, I rock."
2 - A.D.A.M.'s head tilt. Ok yeah, how much personality can you give to a robot? Well, the actor does something with it. Dunno where the quirk came from, don't care. It's fricken hilarious. And he does it repeatedly, this tilt to the right or left, and it's almost like a drinking game writing itself, it becomes funnier every time he does it.
3 - The flashlight! Fans will know what it means. New people won't care.
4 - The epic battle of the monsters.
5 - There is a scene with a group of young girls who give a gift of food to someone. Four of the five act sort of like "oh, ok, we'll present this guy with what we have." But there's one blond who gets a close-up, and she's got this look on her face like that dang food is the best thing she's ever had, and she's trying to tell this guy "if you don't eat it right now, I'm going to!"
6 - "Reverse the polarity." I'm still wondering if Chris threw that line in there just to see if I'd catch it?
* * *
When I go in to a Mihm movie, I try not to have expectations. That way, I can enjoy what's on the screen.
This time was different. I'm in it. Oh, and the story of how I became a superfan? Yeah, Chris tells it in the commentary. But back to the story.
I remember filming last year, like it was yesterday. All those people in such fantastic costumes, including Mike Cook (yes, I am a fanboy, and the second I found out he was there, I thought "I'm in a scene with Gustav. I can die happy now."), I kept thinking "Don't screw this up!"
Everywhere around me was history. The room we filmed in was the same room that was the Sheriff's office in the fourth movie. Right behind the bar, where I'm standing and doing my thing, is the map that hung on the wall in that movie, rolled up and ready to be displayed on my wall.
On the shelves were all sorts of creepy-looking exotic jars. Some of them were veggies and things that George Mihm had canned. There were mugs that had been used in earlier films, and the Panasonic transistor radio from two earlier movies. And yes, when no one was looking, I touched it. I admit it.
There were skulls and hookahs and chess boards ... and the only surviving part of the Monster of Phantom Lake costume, of which I did get pictures.
Everyone there had a great day, a fun time filming.
Many pictures were taken, both during the filming and group shots at the end of the day. When it was over, I was tight-lipped. I gave away nothing, other than me being in it, so that what showed up onscreen would be a surprise when people saw it.
Going in, though, was nerve-wracking. I was nervous, hoping I didn't screw up royally. Would my stuff be cut? Did my little piece ruin the entire movie?
I caught up with others before the movie started ... Angelina, Maggie, Cherie, Rylan, Mike Cook (GUSTAV!), Josh, and more. First big memory of the night ... Shannon (Julie Ann from two movies, another character here) comes up and gives me a big hug and kiss ... I didn't realize until later that I went through most of the night with her lipstick on my neck. She is the biggest sweetheart in the history of ever.
Then the movie starts, and I'm drawn in. That is, until my scene starts. I didn't screw up. I have dialog. And in a five-minute or so long scene, I'm in almost every shot. There's maybe 20 seconds of the whole sequence when I'm not on screen, either in close-up or in the background.
My character is even referenced again later.
Every person who is in the movie not only gets credited at the end, but our pictures are shown too, so there's no mistaking who is who. MAJOR applause for every single person (even me!) from the crowd.
After it was over, most of the cast assembled in the front of the theater, and many pictures were taken.
Then we got up on stage, and Angelina turned to me and said "Paparazzi." It was exactly what I was thinking. We'd walked the carpet, and now we had Paps. People came up to me to get autographs.
I signed autographs. That was so surreal.
The entire experience was like a gift from Christopher to the fans, and I don't think it could ever be topped.