Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turkey Day Part 6- Fugitive Alien

And now we continue our Turkey Day event with something from Japan, Fugitive Alien. A Japanese TV series edited together into a movie, Fugitive Alien is a great big mess.

The "film" opens with Wolf Raiders from the kabuki planet Valnastar attacking Earth, with all of the clown white that entails. The Wolf Raiders are armed with ray guns and helmets adorned with blond wigs, the functionality of which is never adequately explained. One of the Raiders, Ken (who is twice as strong as other Raiders and ten times as strong as any human), is about to open fire on a young boy when he learns that the lad is also named Ken. This triggers an attack of conscience in Ken (the Raider, not the boy). He gets into a fight with his best friend (who's also his girlfriend's brother), resulting in Ken killing his compatriot. (Get used to this scene; it shows up A LOT in this movie.) Branded a traitor, Ken is on the run. He escapes, and falls in with the crew of Bacchus 3, Earth Space Command's oldest ship.

Let's take a look at the crew. There's Tammy, perky young science officer. There's Rocky, the pilot- loyal and courageous, but also proud and slow to trust. There are two other guys who just generally mill about. Holding this motley crew together is Captain Joe, the cigar-chomping, hard-drinking, two-fisted veteran.

"Do you like gladiator movies, Ken?"

Joe, well aware of Ken's shady past, blackmails Ken into serving with the Bacchus 3.

Meanwhile, Evil Clown Emperor sends Ken's girlfriend, Rita, to kill Ken.

While preparing for their next mission, Joe drinks and mourns his family who died in the Wolf Raider attack, Tammy gets all swoony over Ken, and Rocky tries to kill Ken with a forklift (ole'!). The misfit crew then embarks on their mission, involving two warring planets and a superweapon, or something.

Ken gets arrested on the first planet, breaks out an officer from the other planet, and reunites with Rita, who finds she can't kill the man she loves. She quickly gets killed by an errant shot from some soldiers. Military officer in tow, Ken mourns his love and heads off to complete the mission. Our film ends, but Captain Joe and company will return in Star Force: Fugitive Alien 2!

Ow. That was painful. At least there's a lot of fun segments and jokes in this episode. There's the song Joel and the Bots make up ("He tried to kill me with a forklift! Ole'!"), there's the sketch where Joel acts like Captain Joe, and then there's Jack Perkins. Mike Nelson portrays A&E's Jack Perkins during several bits of the episode, and it's hysterical. This bit was so successful, Mike would reprise this impersonation several times throughout the course of the series, most notably as the host of the Mystery Science Theater Hour (basically, an episode cut in half and shown on weekday afternoons on Comedy Central).

This movie is odd and off-putting, which probably explains why it's such a good episode.

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