I was kind of happy to catch Hudson's face on the previews they've been showing for the "SciFi Original" movie "A.I. Assault" which aired tonight on the SciFi Channel. Between Hudson and all the Star Trek faces on there (they had someone from the original series, someone from ST:TNG and someone from Voyager), I thought it was going to be a fun evening. After having watched the first hour of the movie I had to turn it off, unable to even get into the cheesy spirit of the thing because I was too hacked off when I realized not even 15 minutes into it that this is NOT and "original" SciFi movie but a rehash of the director's 2004 SciFi movie "Curse of the Komodo". Same script, let's just replace the gian Komodo dragons with giant AI robots. Are there NO rules against plagiarizing yourself and trying to sell it as something new? Or is there such a lack of respect for the science fiction genre even on the SciFi network that they just don't care? Truly pathetic, as far as I'm concerned. I just wonder how many of the actors realized they were appearing in a recycled movie!
- actually, I think both were filmed in 2005 - unsure which was filmed first.
- "A.I. Assault" was the top-rated show for the week for Sci-Fi, beating out BSG, both Stargates, and a new Dr. Who. "Komodo vs. Cobra" aired a couple of weeks later, but on a Tuesday instead of a Saturday; Sci-Fi saves Saturdays for films they've put money into, rather than just buying tv rights after a dvd release. It was about #5 or so for the week it aired, so still very successful ratings-wise.
- nope, there are no rules; in fact, it's literally impossible to plagiarize yourself. But that's been going on since the dawn of time, and everyone has done it from Oscar-winner Howard Hawks ("El Dorado" is a virtual remake of "Rio Bravo," from 7 years earlier, except Robert Mitchum plays a drunker sheriff than Dean Martin did, the greenhorn is now named "Mississippi" and is played by James Caan instead of "Colorado" played by Ricky Nelson ....oh, and Wayne wears a different style hat) to the Three Stooges (they even re-used stock footage of pie-fights from earlier films) to Clark Gable ("Mogambo" is a remake of his much earlier "Red Dust" and re-uses much stock footage) to the 17th century artist Caravaggio, who created several versions of the same paintings (John the Baptist in the Desert in particular) several years apart for separate patrons.
Since you missed the second half, some other similarities were:
- they were produced by the same production company.
- they were directed by the same guy.
- they both involve giant cgi-menaces on a tropical island.
- both start in media res, with scientists running from the menaces of the title.
- both involve a team of commandos landing on the island and getting killed.
- both involve a down-on-his-luck ex-military pilot (clones of Bogart's character from "To Have and To Have Not.")
- both feature the main scientist behind the menaces getting killed by his creation.
- both involve the scientist having a babe daughter who's one of the leads, and survives, along with the ex-military guy.
- both have the daughter flirting with a guy far too soon after her father's death.
- both feature a tough general back at the base, having to decide to blast the island.
- both involve him having an efficient major as his assistant (although only one is played by Will Robinson actor Billy Mumy!!)
- both involve a trek to higher ground as a way to either escape or defeat the titular menaces.
- both involve using a helicopter as a last-minute escape method, just before the island is bombed.
- both involve a weird failure at the last minute which is quickly fixed by the pilot basically jiggling a few external wires.
- both involve one or more helpless females jiggling far more than wires.
- both feature pistols and rifles that have 100 or more shots to them, plus an infinite amount of ammo that we never see anyone carrying.
- both have that classic law of b-movies: if you're not a star, when you fire at the creatures, they aren't affected; then you have to stand still so that the cgi-artist can have them come over and chomp/zap you. But if you're a star, then if you grimace intently to show that you're putting more heart into firing your weapon, it will temporarily faze the monsters, so that everyone can escape.
And both have extremely nice, well-lit, well composed camera work throughout - it's always refreshing for movies like this to take place in broad daylight where you can actually see what's going on.
Note: the director, Jim Wynorski, is the man who gave us: Vampirella, Gargoyle: Wings of Darkness , Ghoulies IV, Dinosaur Island, Sorority House Massacre II, The Return of Swamp Thing, Big Bad Mama II, The Curse of the Komodo, The Witches of Breastwick, The Bare Wench Project, and of course....The Bare Wench Project 2: Scared Topless .
(So I don't think he worries too much about revisiting certain themes. )
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