12/14/06

318 Star Force: Fugitive Alien II

(1986, SciFi/Television, color)

Don’t try to kill us with a forklift!

Rating: *

In a nutshell:

Ex-Starwolf Ken goes on secret missions with the crew of the Earth Ship Bacchus Three.

Summary:

My favorite character got far too little screen time.A dubbed announcer narrates a confusing montage of scenes from the previous film in this series, about how super-powered alien Ken came to Earth with the Starwolves on a mission to destroy a city. Ken rebelled when he was ordered to kill a child (also named Ken)…blah, blah, blah…ex-girlfriend Rita ordered to kill him…etc., etc., etc…joined the kind but boozy Captain Joe on the Earth Ship Bacchus Three…rapeta, rapeta. If you want the whole story you should probably watch Fugitive Alien, or read my review of that excellent episode.

When the backstory’s finished, we rejoin Ken and the Bacchus Three crew as they continue their mission to the planet Caesar, which has developed the ultimate weapon that could “blow up the universe.” They’ve rescued an officer of Caesar to guide them to the weapon, but they don’t trust him. While Cammy, the only female crewmember, pines after Ken, Rocky the pilot tries to kill the Caesar Officer. Captain Joe prevents him, so they lock up the officer.

For some reason, they fly through a black hole into a supernova. This makes things rather hot, and shorts out the engine, and they entire crew passes out except for Ken, Joe, and the Caesar Officer. The narrator comes back briefly to remind us that it’s all up to Ken, while he fixes the engine and cooling systems for a long, long time. He succeeds, and they escape.

Grateful for his rescue, the Caesar Officer tries to sweet-talk their way onto the planet Caesar. He’s quite miffed when they send up fighters to kill them. Ken gleefully shoots them all down and they land in the Devil’s Desert. Conveniently, this is right next to the installation with the secret weapon. Rocky shoots Captain Joe with a tranquilizer dart so that he can lead the mission instead of the Captain, and five of them (Rocky, Ken, the Caesar Officer, Dan, and another guy) hike across the desert to the underground installation. Super-strong Ken throws them all over a high laser fence and then they steal security I.D.s to get inside.

After a very long hike down, they reach the complicated-looking weapon. The Officer chats up the guard while Rocky, Ken, et al. rig the place to explode. They’re about to get away when they hear the Caesar national anthem. The Officer has a change of heart and tries to warn the guard, but the guard sees him coming and shoots him down. Dan gets captured and tortured, but Ken goes back for him, gleefully killing Caesars right and left. Everyone escapes on the Bacchus Three while we see every square foot of the installation explode over and over again.

After about ten straight minutes of things exploding repeatedly, we dive headlong into another plot. The Starwolves’ evil mime-faced leader (previously referred to as the palest member of the Blue Man Group) orders a contingent of Starwolves to Earth to steal a secret weapon. A woman impersonating Ken’s mom lures him away from the weapon scientist and his daughter, but the rest of the Bacchus Three crew hold the Starwolves off long enough for Ken to return and save the day. They all go to Balna Star (I think) to kill the mime-head evil guy. The evil guy almost kills Ken, but his false mom sacrifices herself to save him. Ken chases Evil Guy in space fighter dogfight, and afterwards they talk about how he won, though it’s not clear from the actual fight. Now that Evil Guy’s dead, Ken returns to his home world to help rebuild. The forlorn Cammy pouts and pines, never having confessed her love for him.

Introduction:

It's formal day on the Satellite of Love.Tom and Crow debate puppets and their symbiotic relationship to man. Tom says that feet plus an articulate mouth (i.e. Big Bird) make a costume, not a puppet. Crow disproves his theory by asking about Yoda.

Host Segment One:

Joel drills the ‘Bots on various famous puppets. The Mads invent the Super-Shnoz, which are just really long noses. Quoth Frank, “Now I can brown-nose myself!” Joel has invented a big head. Tom and Crow comment on his head, and how big it is.

Host Segment Two:

Tom Servo’s dead! Joel screams TV drama clich├ęs at the top of his lungs while Crow gets stuck in a bad Shatner impersonation. A few shocks from the defibrillator bring Tom back to life.

Host Segment Three:

Joel and the ‘Bots do a commercial for the Captain Joe Action figure. It can laugh and brawl and drink loads of alcohol. They stage an intervention with Barbie, Ken, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Then they try to kill him with a forklift.

Host Segment Four:

Joel and the ‘Bots sing a medley of songs set to the tune of the bombastic Fugitive Alien soundtrack. It begins and ends with “…try to kill us with a forklift!”

Host Segment Five:

Tom and Crow think of better movies for the Mads to send. Joel shoots that idea down, so they try to design a better evil person than the Nazi Mime in the film. Most of their ideas revolve around some combination of Gallagher and David Brenner, though Gypsy would like to see Richard Basehart in there somewhere as well. Down in Deep 13, Frank sings about how much he loves baby ducks, and then pushes the button with his nose.

Stinger:

Ken fixes the ship.

Thoughts:

Accomplished thespian Endless Fireball was the true star of this film.It’s rather bizarre how the first super weapon storyline occupied the second half of the first movie and the first three quarters of the second movie. Once they finish with the planet Caesar, they reintroduce and kill the main villain in about fifteen minutes. Couldn’t they have cut a little, say forty-five minutes or so, out of the supernova and explosion scenes, and given us a little more of the Nazi Mime? He was a lot more entertaining than watching the unexplained thing blow up over and over again.

About midway through the episode, Tom comments on the “incoherent Mighty Jack quality of this film.” Indeed, if you haven’t seen the first installment, there’s no way you’d have any clue about what was going on, or who any of these people are. Even having seen the first film, it’s difficult to keep track of everything. In fact, without the first movie, the only thing that raises it above the Mighty Jack (now the gold standard for incomprehensibility) is the character Ken and his obvious love of violence. Every time he kills something he gets a big goofy grin on his face.

The host segments are also funny only if you’ve seen the previous film. Granted, Crow’s Shatner impersonation in the face of danger would be hilarious in any context, but the boozy Captain Joe doll and all the forklift references don’t make any sense unless you’ve seen Fugitive Alien.

The film segments are all right. The Satellite crew sings the “tried to kill me with a forklift” song a lot. Whenever someone calls Rocky (which they do a lot) someone says “again?” in a June Foray-ish voice. At one point, while Ken gleefully shoots down his enemies, Joel says, “Faster pussy-Ken. Kill! Kill!” There’s a lot of references the previous film, so this episode’s only worth seeing if you’ve already seen the first one.