HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
METAL SHIFTERS (BLU-RAY)
Download Movie
Reviewed by: Pat Torfe

Directed by: Paul Ziller

Starring:
Kavan Smith
Colby Johannson
Nicole de Boer
Paul McGillion

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about

Jake and his brother Ethan are lowly contractors in the small mountain town of Redeemer, Idaho. The town's dying, as folks are packing up and leaving. Things start to look up when Jake's old girlfriend Amanda comes back into town, and even moreso when an old Russian satellite crash lands in Redeemer, which Jake and Ethan sell to a local scrapyard for the much-needed money. Unfortunately, the satellite is infested with a mysterious alien bacteria that is able to animate metallic objects, much like the metal "Golem" the scrapyard owner has fashioned for the town parade. Townspeople start turning up dead, and it's up to Jake and his girlfriend to save the town.

Is it good movie?

Okay, hands up if you knew right away from the synopsis that this film was a SyFy original? Well, it is. Now before you start asking if this is IRON INVADER with a different title (it is) or if the golem looks like a reject from Michael Bay's TRANSFORMERS (it does), I will say this: at least this film is better than SHARKTOPUS. Then again, anything SyFy puts out at this point is better than SHARKTOPUS.

Okay, let's be clear on a typical SyFy movie: it's nowhere near GONE WITH THE WIND in terms of quality, but on occasion there are one or two that are mildly amusing for one reason or another. METAL SHIFTERS (which is a misnomer when you think about it, since there's only one of these things) is one of those films. It exists to entertain on the base level. There's no real deep underlying theme going on, nor any real subplot unless you count the clichéd romance between Jake and Amanda. It's the same old formula for a SyFy film, but at least with METAL SHIFTERS, you won't want to drink too much to forget about it.

That being said, this is still a SyFy film, so the subpar acting, mediocre effects and lame writing still exists. The ancillary characters are still the worst acted, since the qualifications must have been to re-enact your favorite film scene by reciting the lines as best you remember. The familiar names that you do see fare the best in most cases, but it's still not something you'd put on your resume unless you were desperate. Then there's the film's ending, which is either the most hilarious bad thing you've ever seen, or the worst example of Mad Libs ever. Basically, the ending stems from the lack of funds for the film, which when you think about it, is pretty smart. It's still stupid, but you have to give these guys credit for not descending into another clichéd SyFy explosion fest that would seem so ridiculous that it hurt your head.

So, METAL SHIFTERS is bad. That's not a surprise. But it's entertainingly bad, which is kind of a pleasant surprise. You probably wouldn't want to see it again after the first viewing, but at least when you do see it, you can use it as an excuse for background noise while you do some mundane necessary task. Anything more than that would call for alcohol.

Video / Audio

Video: The film's 1080p 1.78:1 widescreen transfer looks pretty good for a shoestring budget affair. Detail is clear throughout, with great colour balance and great black levels.

Audio: The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track provides great coverage from all speakers, clean and clear dialogue, and a balanced musical score. The track really shines when the Iron Invader shows up and starts stomping around, providing some great low-end moments to rattle your furniture.

The Extras

The sole extra in this package is your standard behind-the-scenes featurette entitled Metal Shifters: Behind The Scenes. It's your 15 minute affair of the cast and crew interviews talking about standard stuff like the film's plot, special effects, favorite scenes, what things are like on the set, etc.

Also included is the film's trailer.

Last Call

It's dumb, the effects are cheesy and the ending is one of those things that will either make your head hurt or cause you to laugh uncontrollably, but METAL SHIFTERS isn't as bad as you'd expect. Entertainment-wise, it manages for the most part to keep your attention for reasons which probably weren't intended. It won't rank up there with the greatest of the great B-movies, but it's an okay way to spend your Friday evening while you wash dishes.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Mistress Of The Week

More
Qualley, Margaret