Death Machine (1994)
Director: Stephen Norrington
Producer: Dominic Anciano
Writer: Stephen Norrington
Date Released: February 4, 1994 (UK)
Brad Dourif as Jack Dante
Ely Pouget as Hayden Cale
William Hootkins as John Carpenter
John Sharian as Raimi
Martin McDougall as Yutani
Andreas Wisniewski as Weyland
Richard Brake as Scott Ridley
Rachel Weisz as Junior Executive
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Recently, Hayden Cale (Ely Pouget) was hired by the Chaank Corporation which produces defense equipment to run its projects. However, what Cale is unaware of is how dangerous, unethical and illegal their projects are. One worker named Jack Dante (Brad Dourif) is one of the lead machine designers and he has a new weapon to show everyone. Cale, along with a group of humanists who had planned to blow up the Chaank building must try to escape the building and the clutches of Dante’s new invention.
There are some scenes which consist of blood and gore that are caused by the death machine. However, only some of the scenes actually depict the gore itself. Some scenes only are suggestive or allude to a horrific gory act. Although there is a fair share of deaths in this film, the most impressive aspect comes from the animatronics and special effects of the death machine, itself.
The Grave Reviews
The biggest downfall of Death Machine is the fact that the plot does not have much of a direction. On one hand, Hale is hired by the Chaank Corporation to restructure the companies image based on faulty and illegal defense projects. At first, you believe that Hale’s antagonists will be the other executives in the company who have previously overseen these activities. But then, a psychotic IT worker named Dante, is introduced and poses a separate threat. The story had too many conceptual aspects to explain and because the story never explained one complete aspect, the film felt convoluted.
Another fault was the character development in this film. There were several talented actors and actresses including Brad Dourif (Chucky) and a young Richard Brake (31). But, unfortunately, the story really never gave any backstory to these characters giving them little to relate to. Supposedly, Dourif’s character was one reason why this film was banned in multiple countries in conjunction with the violence of the film. Although it is difficult to understand why this film was banned, perhaps the standards were different in the 1990s.
Sources indicate that other critics have also criticized the acting and plot in this film but have praised the special effects. To that point, we agree with that assessment. The animatronics and special effects of the death machine were very impressive and eerie. In fact, there were several awards given to this film for its special effects. Unfortunately, the special effects and animatronics were not enough to save this mediocre film.
The film overall was somewhat boring but picked up in the end. Death Machine is best described as a mediocre version if Robocop fought Terminator. Although props to the artist for the movie poster.
For the foregoing reasons. Grave Reviews gives the Death Machine (1994) two graves out of five graves.
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