Posted by: GregMo Roberts Source:Killer Reviews
Over the past 15 years, there have been a couple of obscure DVD titles that I have been desperately trying to locate. These are generally films that I screened when I was a teenager on VHS, and for any number of reasons, they have yet to see new life on DVD.
Last year, I was lucky enough to locate a few titles – Kiss and the Phantom of the Park, the Roger Corman version of The Fantastic Four and Blood Beach. This year, I recently scored with finding a few other titles from my list including the 1986 non-classic Eliminators.
Released by Empire Pictures, Eliminators was the story about a downed pilot that is transformed into a cyborg “Mandroid” by two scientists (Dr. Reeves and Dr. Takada) - one of which (Reeves) has a penchant for evil. When Dr. Reeves orders the Mandroid destroyed, the cyborg (played by actor Patrick Reynolds) escapes from his creator’s laboratory and heads north in search of someone who can assist in getting revenge and stopping Dr. Reeves from realizing his evil plan that includes the use of a time machine. Help comes in the form of Nora Hunter (Denise Crosby from Pet Semetary) who is a doctor/scientist of her own. Together they will team up for a terribly ridiculous adventure that will eventually lead them to a confrontation with evil Doctor and a chance to thwart his dastardly plans.
Eliminators was released on February 2, 1986 to a dismal $1.9 million opening week-end. And on re-screening, it is not hard to see why the film was so overtly ignored. The Mandroid in the film resembled a poor man’s Robocop (which was released the following year). And his various mechanical costume gadgets that included lasers, grapple hooks and even motorized boots, were laughable instead of innovative or awe striking.
The evil Dr. Reeves (Roy Dotrice) hams up the screen, but he really makes Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon look like an Academy Award performance when contrasted. And a host of other supporting characters including Bayou Betty and Maurice are straight out of The Dukes of Hazzard.
The special effects in Eliminators were equally atrocious. From the small teleporting robot that was their sidekick to the laser shootouts, the movie really failed to deliver on any of the promises projected from the movie’s poster and cover art.
Luckily Denise Crosby and Andrew Prine as the playful Harry Fontana give the film enough life to keep us smiling through all the disappointment.
Eliminator s was therefore terrible. But we expected such a response and wanted it as part of our collection anyways. It can sit proudly beside Megaforce and Ice Pirates and badly conceived and executed movies from our past that were entertaining as youngster and almost unbearable as an adult.