IHAO on ... Omega Doom

I can't help it; I love Rutger Hauer.  It all happened after I watched Blind Fury super late in the night on cable with my best friend on sleepover in high school.  Blind Fury is an awesome movie, by the way, though not a perfect one by any means.  Quick grade is a B++.

Rutger Hauer love has become a large part of my film love, and brought me to a huge number of great films.  Oh, what, you don't know his name off the top of your head?  Oh, that's unfortunate.  Especially considering he is one of the greatest villains in film, from Blade Runner to Nighthawks to the original and AMAZING Hitcher.  Not to mention leading protagonists like in Ladyhawke and the newer exploitation film Hobo With a Shotgun.  With so many great roles under his belt, I decided to go on a journey and collect his entire discography of leading roles.  I've found some terrible ones and some interesting ones.  And I'll keep seeing them.  So expect to see more Rutger Hauer from time to time.

So what about this film?  This obscure, ridiculous, 1996 weird genre-bending western-slash-distopian-slash-science fiction film.  Is this one that will continue to spread my love of Rutger Hauer around the world?  The short answer is ...

I really wanted to find a drum rolling down a hill ...

Heh, this'll work.

Yeah, no, absolutely not.

Omega Doom is very much a western.  It has all the tropes, from the outsider new in town, the warring posses, the trustworthy bartender, the comedic school marm, even a horse.  Also, lots of quick draws.  Oh, and the entire film is about robots searching for guns to kill humans before humans can kill them.  And the bartender serves water because ... robots need water I guess.  And the quick draws are quick drawing energy daggers that they then throw.

But this movie is so much more than that.  It is terrible sound effects for every. single. motion. any. character. makes.  All of them.  It's like a Johnny Test episode.  The dialogue is atrociously corny or worthless.  The setup for this strange version of the future is pointless.  The setting itself is just cheapo film-in-eastern europe.  The action is terrible, absolutely terrible, and the effects are ridiculous.  The costuming and makeup are ... ok, they are fine, they aren't that bad.  But .... ok, do you know what a fish-eye lens is?  Here's a visual aid featuring a cow:

The schtick of the shot is to enhance the center of the shot and create some scope.  Photographers and filmmakers use it to show size and distance for cities and such.  It is an effective tool that can be used in the arsenal of artists.  Omega Doom ... has fish eye on ... basically the entire film.  Every panning shot becomes torture to my optic nerve.  And this is the whole movie.  The whole boring movie.  Ok, it isn't that boring.  It is actually kind of hilarious in how bad it is.  Like many other nanar films, this could be enjoyed in a group with everyone just laughing at how terrible it is.

Omega Doom reminds me of The Happening.  Just a terrible film film with decent to really great actors (ok, one actor in each is really great only, and they are both the leads, who knew) with a surprisingly interesting premise.  Yes, despite all the ridiculousness of the actual film and the setup that is told to us for Omega Doom, it actually had a really cool original premise: nuclear war hit the world, and we have now found ourselves in EuroDisney, with different animatronic characters, now screwed up because of the nuclear war, all interacting.  There is something interesting there.  None of that comes through, not really.  Reading about the EuroDisney thing makes a few things in the very beginning make sense, but the film itself does not understand how to correctly express its ideas.

I think this movie is definitely worth looking up if you love Nanar like me, or Rutger Hauer like me, or just want to get folks together to watch a bad movie.  It isn't quite as entertainingly terrible as Troll 2 or the Room, but it definitely fits in that vein.  I wish I could hate it ... I wish I could love it ... but in the end, I just watched it and still can't decide how I feel about it.

Grade: F+-

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