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RECON 2020
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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Christian Viel

Starring:
Anderson Bradshaw
Kevin Kelsall
Patrick Sabongui

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
After the massacre in the Caprini system (yes, we are talkin’ outer space), a group of military tough guys (and girls) are sent to take stock. When they arrive they find that they may be in the middle of what one soldier calls a “suicide mission”. Let the bullets fly and the blood splatter!
Is it good movie?

Recon 2020 is part science fiction fantasy part military shoot ‘em up and part monster flick. There is a little bit of everything here… zombies, werewolves and dinosaurs oh my. When a galactic military infantry are sent to a desolate system called Caprini to take stock of a disused colony factory, things get gory. It seems an alien race called the Ma’hars, aside from a love of all things anal probe, have discovered a way to make folklore into real life killers. When the infantry arrive, bullets are sprayed and blood is shed. And when their pilot Fooks (Gillian Leigh) is captured, Sergeant Sharp (Anderson Bradshaw) makes damn sure that she’s coming back with them.

There is some really good stuff here. Writer, director and editor Christian Viel has some fun with this mixed up genre feast. Part Starship Troopers, part Terminator there is some pretty sweet kick-ass action here. I’m talking explosions, blasts of ammo flashing everywhere and a couple of decent fight sequences. For a low-budget flick it looked pretty damn good from where I was sitting. And considering this is science fiction, one of the most interesting choices was the setting. I really dug the abandoned warehouse that looked like the graffiti infested ghetto of Cabrini Green in Candyman (ironically called “Caprini” here). It gave this low-budget flick a little flair. When this strange brew just played like a blow ‘em up action flick, it worked. Add to that a couple of good performances from Anderson Bradshaw and Patrick Sabongui as Sergeant Gums. And keep a look out for The Arrow (Mr. John Fallon) himself as a bad ass mofo mercenary. Good show dudes!

Even with all the goodies in this testosterone fueled bit of machismo, a few things didn’t gel. What brought this thug down a notch seemed to be mostly budget issues. Many of the special effects shots just didn’t work. The spaceships, the robots, and most importantly some of the ghouls just looked silly (although the zombies looked pretty good) and don’t get me started on the “Steel Mites”. Whenever the beasties went for the attack my suspension of disbelief just didn’t hold up. If this had been a battle of the infantrymen and the scavengers I probably would have dug it a whole lot more. The human baddies, including the cyborgs and scavengers seemed much more of a threat than the Hammer Horror monsters. Those dudes and dudettes rocked. I also had mixed feelings regarding some of the actors here. Gillian Leigh was cute as hell but I didn’t buy her in this role for a second. Not necessarily a bad performance just not a casting decision I would have made. Also a little bit one-note was Buzz played by Charles Mellor, he and some of the other infantrymen I couldn’t give two shites about. Part of the problem being the script itself which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. But any screenplay that comes up with “like a half f*cked fox in a forest fire” can’t be all bad.
Video / Audio
The Extras
Last Call
With a limited budget, Christian Viel has created a pretty good sci-fi “dick flick”. You got guns, gore and a gratuitous tit shot for good measure. Although not a perfect film, it is a good time and there are enough strong elements to keep the viewer involved. Even though the idea of genre-mixing with zombies, aliens, vampires and even dinosaurs was a pretty cool idea, I would have rather seen a little less of the bad effects and more of the guns and knuckles. If your in the mood for some good action and don’t mind a few lousy effects and less than stellar performances, grab your guns and get in formation for Recon 2020.
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

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