Director: Leigh Scott
Writer: Leigh Scott
Distributed By: The Asylum
Starring: Matthew Wolf, Griff Furst, Eliza Swenson, and Amy Weber
Release Date: June 26th, 2007
Aliens who can transform into buildings and vehicles (Transformers) take over the world, darken the sky, and cause the humans to live underground (The Matrix). However, in an effort to take these metal maniacs once and for all, jarheads gear up and take the battle to them (Starship Troopers). And yes, the plot is as stupid and as simple as what I just wrote.
Dante had to enter hell, Boba Fett had to escape a sarlacc, and I have to endure a five round marathon of The Asylum mockbusters. And let me tell you, if I thought Alien Vs. Hunter was bad, this is ten times worse.
Let’s start off with the story. Yes, there is a story, but it’s not a story worth checking out. Quite the contrary. There is a plot, but of course, being a mockbuster, it’s a blatant rip off of Transformers and some other sci-fi materials. It’s “original” enough to get away from being plagiarism, but it’s nothing to applaud. Transmorphers is direct to video quality of story, but a couple steps down from even that.
But the plot is nothing compared to the dialog. Much of the dialog is simply a filler of words and plot instructions. None of it is really worth listening to except a sentence or two every now and then.
And of course, with bad dialog comes bad characters. Most of them tend to be pastiches of sci-fi channel stereotypes. The tough chick, the “he’s too dangerous but dammit, we need him!” hero, the ex-boyfriend and girlfriend who part ways but become close friends towards the end, etc. etc. etc. A lot of these characters remind me a little bit of the ones from Starship Troopers, except that they aren’t even interesting.
Which is what you get when you have an abysmal script with bad acting. Terrible acting, I should say. Maybe not on the level of The Room, but it gets pretty damn close at times. At least with Alien vs. Hunter we got William Katt and Dedee Pfeffier, who at least tried to salvage their roles and entertain us. Which is what an actor is supposed to do. But here, we don’t have any major talent or actors that put a smile on our face. It’s just cardboard characters, wooden lines, and stiff acting.
Now, some people (a.k.a. anyone from The Asylum who wandered in here) might say that I’m being unfair. After all, don’t big budget Hollywood films produce some bad writing, directing, and people who aren’t really actors? Yes. Here’s the difference, though. A big budget film has a budget. And it might seem silly and unfair for me to say that budget and production values are important to a film. But once you start watching the film, you’ll see that production plays a big part in the lack of quality with Transmorphers.
Even though the budget might be bigger than Alien Vs. Hunter, all the same old mistakes are in this film, too. The only improvement is that at least the sound mixing is better this time around. Now you don’t have to blare up the speakers to get volume, and you can hear what the people say (not that I care). However, they left the sound of people walking on the stage and that air blowing in the microphone in the film. I’m not sure if they’re trying to be realistic with the sound, but it starts to irritate me. Plus, while the sound is mixed to be audible, it’s not mixed well enough. You may say to yourself, “Who cares? I don’t know much about production to care about sound mixing.” But when the sounds don’t seem smooth and balanced, even someone with hearing aids can tell the lack of care.
The cast find that alcohol is the best way to get through this film.
The camera is no better, either. I’m not one of those tech junkies who knows all the types of cameras, but even I can guess that it was shot with a camera you might be able to find at Best Buy. Who knows, maybe they bought expensive equipment for the cameras. But it sure as hell lacks a tripod. It’s like they paid someone who’s never been a cameraman/cinematographer to just hold (and subtly shake) the camera in their hands while the shot is being made.
Let’s not forget the film quality. It’s not shot in 35 mm (the professional movie film quality). It’s not even shot in 16mm (for lower budget films or TV shows). I can definitely tell this was shot in digital and without much production cleanup with the visuals afterwards. Even worse is the fact that sometimes the quality of film will suddenly jump to a harsh, grainy digital print without any notice or reason.
But none of this, none of this, compares to the special effects. This might have impressed people back in 1990, but even then I’m not so sure. Ever heard someone complain that a film’s CGI looks like something out of a video game? Well, this looks like something out of an Atari Jaguar. It’s so bad I laughed at it. At least for the first few times, then I just groaned the whole way through.
These may seem like fun bad movies or films you and your friends can have fun tearing apart. But I’m warning you, stay away from The Asylum films and stay the hell away from Transmorphers. Sure, it’s only about an hour and twenty minutes. But even a minute in hell can seem like an eternity.
And now I leave you with some more CGI pics.