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the pathetic caverns - movies by title - Oblivion 2

eclectic reviews and opinions

Oblivion 2: Backlash

1996, D: Sam Irvin; S: Peter David

This sequel to 1994's Oblivion, a campy SF/Western which I kind of liked despite its goofiness, looks for all the world as if it were shot at exactly the same time, and includes virtually the entire ensemble cast from the first flick, including original Catwoman Julie Newmar, looking rather well preserved, George (Sulu) Takei, playing of all things, a drunken country doctor with obvious relish (not to mention ham), and Musetta Vander, whose portrayal of the scene-stealing, black-leather-clad, lip-licking, whip-wielding villainess Lash makes me want to utter a decidedly un-Politically-Correct and vigorous mee-ow!

Just in case you missed the original, this one starts off with a convenient 7 minute recap detailing exactly how Zach Stone (Richard Joseph Paul, who seems to have more than enough first names) reluctantly became Marshall of Oblivion (a backwater town on a backwater planet), defeated the lizard-looking bad guy, and so on.

The plot of this one, such as it is, involves a rather prissy-looking super-galactic bounty hunter, played with a certain overacting panache by Maxwell Caulfield, attempting to extradite a resident of the town, but it's mostly an excuse for a series of sight gags, jokey Star Trek references, standard western clichés given a slightly sci-fi spin, and gratuitous special effects (explosions, morphs, stop-motion, etc.).

What makes this work, when it works, is that the clichés are being stirred up by noted comic-book writer, Star Trek novelist and first-name-only guy Peter David, whose gently humorous takes on the likes of Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk have won him plenty of kudos from the Trekkie-set. The flick's fisticuffs and rayguns approach surely owes at least as much to Superman comics as it does to High Noon or Star Wars. I bet the lines David writes are nowhere as witty as he thinks they are, but the actors seem aware of this as they deliver them -- if it were any campier, it would probably implode into a black hole of self-indulgence, but as it is, it at least looks like everybody involved was having fun.

It's nowhere near as good as Tank Girl of course but then, what is?

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