Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983) — Weird name, boring flick

“Are you stubborn?” “Try me.”

Justin’s rating: When will I get my cyborg arm?

Justin’s review: A movie title is a versatile marketing tool, if you think about it. It can inform, intrigue, excite, or remind. It can also completely puzzle you, especially if your movie is cryptically called Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. It’s a cumbersome name that doesn’t bode well for the storytelling skill of the filmmakers. Yet it’s also so weird that I had to see it.

While nominally a scifi movie, set on another planet and all, Metalstorm is much more like Mad Max in tone and Spacehunter in execution. Dogan, a genial if bland Ranger, is hunting down an intergalactic criminal named Jared-Syn who’s riled up a bunch of bad guys. This all takes place in the California desert, which I guess is a stand-in for a barbaric world.

This epic match will be a close one. Dogun gets a generally useless girl, a grizzled treasure hunter sidekick, and a van that’s so flimsy that you can see the paint flaking off the cardboard sides. Jared-Syn boasts a lumpy costume, the ability to suck life force into crystals, and a son who’s got a robotic arm that shoots paralyzing poison.

I hate to report that there’s not much here to get a scifi geek excited. The story is a bare-bones meandering quest to Find A Guy, the future-tech is not much more than a few laser guns and one flying bike, and the desert backdrop gets really old by minute four. I guess the soundtrack is all right? And it’s a short watch? If I’m going to be thoroughly underwhelmed, I’d rather do it in less than an hour-and-a-half.

By the end of this, I’m still just as clueless what the title Metalstorm means. Maybe it just sounded cool to the writers and was slapped on the script before a plot was even formulated. That sounds like something the ’80s would have no shame in doing.

Didja notice?

  • Chunky futuristic van!
  • Um, did they kill that guy with acid or crystals or what just happened there?
  • And now we’re having a funeral for a crystal
  • Lot of people shooting guns out of hands in this movie
  • Alien statue dude
  • Sand worms! Guess they have Tremors on this planet too.

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