The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 09.02.13: Issue #272: Re-Generator (2013)
Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz on 09.02.2013
In this issue I take a look at the low budget sci-fi action flick Re-Generator starring Olivier Gruner, plus two TV Quick Hits, two more batches of Things to Watch Out For This Week, a new B-Movie Babe is named, a new Douchebag of the Week is crowned, and more. Check it out.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #272: Re-Generator (2013)
Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never met anyone nicknamed "mustache," The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number two hundred and seventy-two, I take a look at the 2013 mega low budget sci-fi action flick Re-Generator, co-directed by and starring Olivier Gruner.
Re-Generator (also known as Regenerator. I have no idea what the difference is between the two titles. The movie is also apparently known as One Night) is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It is a depressing slog of bad movie making on just about every level. And when I say "every level" I mean nearly every aspect of the movie is bad. Neil Johnson bad. And the fact that B-movie legend Olivier Gruner is involved as both the star and co-director (he also apparently came up with the story) makes Re-Generator that much more appalling. Does he really want his name on this thing?
The movie is told via flashback and concerns a deadly, super secret military project getting loose and wreaking havoc on the world. Gruner is The Beast, a super soldier that is, as the result of super secret military science and whatnot, essentially indestructible. The Beast, also known as Project S-74, has the ability to completely regenerate himself after twenty seconds in the event that something happens to him. The Beast is also a heartless killer, willing to kill anyone and anything that gets in his way (he doesn't have a problem even killing his own people. I guess that's what happens when you create a super soldier out of a notorious military prisoner). We find all of this stuff out via Mr. Karr (Bradd Potts), a government official who has decided to tell The Beast's story and what happened when The Beast got loose.
See, The Beast was being transported via military plane when some of the guards on board, pissed that they have to transport a murderer, try to take The Beast out. Of course, since The Beast is indestructible trying to take him out is a waste of time, and as a result of the guards' attack the plane crashes into the mountains of Colorado. While all of that is going on, a group of college kids is getting ready to go into the mountains to have some fun. They plan on getting drunk, having sex, and, well, doing fun stuff (what the hell else are they going to do in the woods?). Little do these college kids know that a super secret indestructible military soldier is on the loose in those woods.
And then, on top of all of that, there are reporters milling about in the town next to the woods. They eventually end up in the woods and start looking for The Beast (well, sort of. They originally just want to investigate the plane crash. They don't know that The Beast was on the plane).
So all of this stuff is happening and absolutely none of it is the least bit compelling. The acting is atrocious from everyone. Gruner, who has no lines, just sort of wanders around the woods for most of the movie. I guess he's attempting to play a kind of slasher movie villain here. He doesn't have any good fight scenes, and there are moments where it appears that he doesn't know what he should be doing (he's the co-director. Shouldn't he have an intimate understanding of what he's supposed to do? It's his goddamn movie). I mean, the military eventually drops in some Special Forces guys to trap The Beast and get him out of the woods and yet there are no extended fight scenes where we see The Beast killing those guys. Why would a movie with Olivier Gruner in it not feature several kick ass fight scenes?
Well, I guess you can't have kick ass fight scenes if you don't plan on actually providing lighting in your movie as you really can't see anything once the action moves to the woods. I'm going to assume that either Gruner and co-director Patrick Shanavian couldn't afford to have lights in their movie, or they wanted to try to make a movie in the woods with "natural lighting." It's like watching a movie directed by Fred "The Hammer" Williamson.
The editing is also horrendous. The movie goes from scene to scene with quick fade outs that make it seem like you're watching a series of commercials that end just before you find out what it is the commercial is for. The movie also features seemingly endless close up shots of people talking. But it's not like a Charles Band movie, where you pick up on the director's rhythm. It's almost like the close ups were used because the directors couldn't figure out how to get the information in those scenes across to the audience without endless close ups. The music is also pretty bad.
Bradd Potts, as Mr. Karr, tries very hard to be a hard ass guy (every other words out of his mouth is a cuss word) but his shtick becomes tiresome after about his third scene. He could probably do a good job if he had a better hand in control. Eric Karson, the director of the Chuck Norris flick The Octagon (you can read my review of that flick here), shows up as a drunk ranch owner who witnesses the plane crash, is the only actor in the cast that comes out of the movie relatively unscathed. The producers probably should have allowed Karson to direct instead of act, though. I bet he would have done a much better job behind the camera.
Once the movie finally ends we're threatened with the possibility of a sequel. I would much rather see a full, top down remake of the movie with a better script and a competent director behind the camera. It just makes no sense to allow a great idea like the one at the heart of Re-Generator to only be seen in a movie like Re-Generator. We all deserve much, much better.
And what exactly is that final montage all about? Is the movie attempting to justify the overall nastiness of The Beast in terms of American national security needs?
Re-Generator is a terrible, terrible movie. Don't even bother with it. It really is that bad. I don't want to think about it anymore.
So what do we have here?
Dead bodies: At least 10.
Explosions: A few. None of them are interesting, though.
Nudity?: If there is nudity in this movie you probably couldn't see it anyway.
Doobage: A very low budget diner meeting, a long explanation of what "The Beast" is, low budget plane flying, a plane attack, a plane crash, dip shit local cops, a major kegger, a big piece of beef jerky, attempted tent pitching, campfire drinking and singing, eye microchips, sex in the senate lounge, a wet spot, some bullshit about a "magnetic field," lots of swearing, a black ops team, a dreadful song about "putting out," several scenes of people getting killed, arguing, several cuss filled phone calls, magnetic pulse bullets, cannibalism, a stealth bomber attack, a super imposed fire, a hilarious montage, and the threat of a sequel.
Kim Richards?: None.
Gratuitous: Olivier Gruner, a very low budget diner meeting, low budget plane flying, Eric Karson, a polite Hispanic waitress, people drinking coffee or cocoa, "baloney pony," Senate sex, "Colorado," body smashing, Olivier Gruner with a knife, magnetic pulse bullets, cannibalism, a Stealth Bomber, a super imposed fire, a hilarious montage, and the threat of a sequel.
Best lines: "We are going to get so wasted!," "Oh, great, I'm going camping with Cheech and Chong," "Yes! This is going to be the best weekend ever!," "Excuse me, Senator, you have a wet spot on your pants," "Well, what are you waiting for?," "Seems like we have ourselves a little situation here," and "You motherfucker!"
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Facebook Page!
Please check out The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page, which can be seen here. There's not much there at the moment, but, as time goes by, expect to see daily questions and musings and other B-movie hooey. And it would be cool if you "liked" it, too.
- Sharknado: This wonderful, low budget B -movie from the fine folks at the Sci Fi Channel became a big pop culture deal this past summer, and a sequel is set to debut next year. That flick, too, should be a blast. I will definitely be giving this movie a full on The Gratuitous B-Movie Column review very, very soon. Great stuff.
- The Lords of Salem: Rob Zombie's latest horror flick had a small theatrical release, which is a damn shame because it deserved a larger one. If this isn't Zombie's best movie it's a very, very close second. It's unsettling, weird as hell, and features a very naked Meg Foster (you will stop fantasizing about her after watching this movie). Sheri Moon Zombie is the star and gives a brilliant performance. She is incredibly appealing in this movie. You will definitely want to check this out.
- Empire State: How is a movie starring The Rock, Liam Hemsworth, and Emma Roberts not getting a major theatrical release? It just makes no sense. But, hey, I'm all about direct-to-DVD movies, so it's all good. Will the movie find its audience, though? Do people even know that this is coming out?
- Person of Interest Season 2: The second season of the badass, popular CBS show starring Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman, and Michael Emerson, was a little different than the first season, as the show became more about the mythology of the machine and the people that want it. Some episodes actually felt like episodes of The X-Files. Get this DVD, get caught up on the second season, and then get ready for season three. The show is going to be on Tuesday night's now.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Theme of the Week
TV Quick Hits
- Olbermann thoughts: The great Keith Olbermann is back on television, this time anchoring a sports show on ESPN2 appropriately titled Olbermann. It's very similar to the political shows Olbermann did on MSNBC and Current in terms of its presentation and general flow. Olbermann is still doing a "Worst Person" segment and some funny internet video compilations, plus there's a sort of opening monologue, guest interview segments, and general commentary segments. It's a good show, sure, even if you're not a major sports fan (I clearly am not but I still sort of liked the two episodes I watched). But while watching the show I wondered out loud several times: does the world really need this show?
Now, obviously, the world doesn't need any TV show, but is this kind of show the best use of Olbermann's gift as a TV news personality? Does the world really need yet another sports commentary show? Granted, there are oodles of political talk shows on cable; American cable news networks are built around the concept of political chat. The world, in the big scheme of things, probably doesn't need another show about politics. But Olbermann, who essentially created the liberal version of the cable news political show, was the best at it. His old Countdown with Keith Olbermann was, and still is, the template that all liberal shows follow. I know that Olbermann has said several times that he's tired of talking about politics and to politicians and he wanted to do something different, but isn't there a way to get him to sort of do both?
How about this? Olbermann can do the sports show Monday-Thursday, and then on Friday night, on HBO after Bill Maher, he can do his old Countdown show or some variant of it. It doesn't have to be an hour show. It just has to have Keith Olbermann doing what Keith Olbermann does best: comment on the news.
That probably won't happen. I have a feeling, for at least for a few years, Keith Olbermann will be Mr. Sports. That's sad.
- Jennifer Lopez's return will not "fix" American Idol: The impending return of Jennifer Lopez to American Idol has already been framed as one of the big things American Idol needs for it to return to its past ratings dominance. As a complete non-fan of the show and someone who hasn't actively watched the show in several years I can tell you that J-Lo's return will not "save" the show. The show will also not be "saved" by the hiring of Harry Connick, Jr. American Idol wouldn't even be saved if Simon Cowell decided to dump his American The X-Factor and come back. The show will not be saved by any judge or any tweak to the show's format. The only thing that will "save" American Idol is compelling contestants, and, although Fox may try incredibly hard to do so, truly compelling contestants can't be manufactured. They just sort of appear out of nowhere.
Now, there is some truth to the complaint that the format of the show and what it's all about has become stale and kind of predictable, but then that happens to every show that's been around for over a decade. The audience will continue to watch as long as the audience has a reason to. J-Lo and the other judges do matter, as you don't want to have boring judges, but the audience tuning in just for them is small compared to the audience watching for the contestants. That's what matters.
So my advice to the producers of American Idol is the following: it's all about the contestants. Don't try to deliberately manufacture them. And don't bombard us with inside celebrity diva bullshit regarding the judges. No one cares. Make the show about the singers. Let them, in essence, lead the way. The audience will respond, as long as the audience has a reason to.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Babe of the Week: Milka Duno
Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 2
- Cockneys vs. Zombies: I believe that this British zombie flick did get a small theatrical release in the United States, and I believe it got good reviews. People seemed to compare it to Shaun of the Dead (but then most modern British zombie movies are compared to Shaun of the Dead). It looks decent. Anyone out there see this?
- Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie: I remember watching Morton Downey, Jr. on WWOR Channel 9 back in the old days and thought the show was hilarious. I had no idea what it was really about or what Downey, Jr. was about, but I don't think anyone ever watched the show for its ideas. It was all about Downey screaming, smoking cigarettes on TV, and then screaming some more. This documentary is all about Downey, Jr, the show, and what it eventually led to. You may already seen it (this movie, too, did get a small theatrical release). Definitely worth a rental, especially for those wanting to engage in a bit of nostalgia.
- Scavengers: This low budget sci-fi flick has Sean Patrick Flanery, Jeremy London, and John Lee Ames in it, so right there the movie is worth a rental. The trailer features some cool, low budget special effects, and I like how the movie looks kind of creepy. That kind of thing is always cool in a low budget sci-fi movie.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week
This week, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week goes to Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh, for sentencing a rapist to 30 days in jail because the rapist's victim was "in as much control of the situation" as the rapist. The victim in this case was a 14 year old girl, and the rapist was her 54 year old teacher. But, hey, as the judge later said when he was taken to task for his thoughtless remarks, "it wasn't forcible, beat up rape," so, really, it's not that big of a deal.
How is this guy still on the bench? How has he not been forced to resign in absolute disgrace? Is this the first time this judge has said something incredibly stupid?
And then there's the ultra right wing media machine, for whining about the lack of Republican/conservative speakers at the recent "I Have a Dream" March on Washington. Plenty of major Republican and conservative politicians and media people were invited to come and speak, but every single one of them declined the invitation. Let me repeat that, every single one of them declined the invitation. And why did they all decline the invitation?
Because President Obama was there, and he is the devil. Jimmy Carter was there, too, and he's now the second worst President of all time.
Disgraceful. I hope every single time a Republican media lunatic claims that he was shut out of the celebration a Democrat makes it very clear what really happened. I know the Democrat won't, but I'm still going to hope that it happens.
At least President George H.W. Bush had an excuse for not going (he's old and severely limited in terms of mobility). What was John Boehner's excuse? The mark organizers wouldn't let him smoke in the back or something?
And finally there's TV Land, for cancelling Happily Divorced. The Fran Drescher sitcom about a divorced middle aged woman and her gay ex-husband living together in the same house was a great show, one of the better TV Land produced sitcoms. But it apparently had to go (and yet The Exes is still on, which makes no sense). Drescher was hilarious on the show, but the real star of the show was her co-star John Michael Higgins, who played Drescher's gay ex-husband Peter. He was brilliant (he deserved an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination).
So what does TV Land have in store for us next? A Kirstie Alley led sitcom where she complains about being fat? Haven't we already lived through that?
Good going, TV Land. Great job. Jesus Christ.
Indycar and NASCAR thoughts
The IZOD Indycar Series hit the streets of Baltimore on Sunday afternoon for yet another street race, and for the most part the race was okay at the start, a snooze in the middle, and then with about thirty laps to go the race started to get interesting. It certainly wasn't good racing, but it sure was interesting. Multiple spins and accidents; huge pile ups in turn one, restarts that were like car combat; and questionable moves on the track from just about everyone. Simon Pagenaud picked up the win, his second of the season, with Josef Newgarden finishing second, his best career finish. The NBC Sports Network announcers really thought that Newgarden was going to get a run on Pagenaud on one of the straightaways because he had more "push-to-passes" than Pagenaud (Newgarden had several, and Pagenaud had zero), but that would have required Newgarden to close on Pagenaud, which just wasn't going to happen without another restart. Newgarden's tires were just gone.
Scott Dixon had yet another shitty day, wrecking on the front stretch after Will Power slammed into him while attempting to make a pass on eventual third place finisher Sebastien Bourdais. Dixon had every right to have a complete meltdown in the pits, although I don't quite get what his problem is with race director Beaux Barfield. Does he want Brian Barnhart to come back?
The start of the race was almost a complete disaster for points leader Helio Castroneves (tax cheat) but he somehow managed to get through that early wing damage and he ended up finishing the race in the top ten. I have no idea how he has managed to stay on top of the points for so long, especially since it doesn't seem like he ever has much in the way of speed. Will he be fast at the Houston doubleheader? Will he be fast at California?
How the hell did Justin Wilson finish fourth with no rear brakes? Wilson said that he lost the rear brakes towards the start of the race, which is amazing to think about. You need all of your brakes at a place like Baltimore. And what the heck happened to Marco Andretti at the end? Did his tires go away? I really thought he would be more of a factor at the finish.
The Indycar series is off for a month and returns with a doubleheader in Houston, and then two weeks after that the series goes to California for the season finale. Having a month off at the end of the season is just ridiculous. Is the series really saying that it can't find anywhere to race at all in the month of September? Anywhere at all? No oval? No road course anywhere? I just find that very hard to believe.
And this "international non-points races during the off season" scheme the series is apparently coming up with for 2014 is just so stupid. Even if the international races offer up huge money for the teams I just don't see how it's a good idea to stage races that essentially don't count towards anything. This whole "end the season on Labor Day" idea is pretty stupid, too. The series doesn't compete with the NFL to begin with, so why worry about what football is doing? It just makes no sense.
Over in NASCAR, the Sprint Cup Series raced at Atlanta last night. I had to write this up before the race actually started so I'm not going to be able to offer up any analysis of the event. I also missed the Nationwide race on Saturday night. Kevin Harvick won that race. I did get to see most of the Camping World Truck Series event at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Canada, though, the first road course race for the Truck Series in a decade or so. The start of that race, as expected, was kind of tentative, since very few drivers in the filed had actual road racing experience. But, as the race wore on the drivers started to, well, drive.
Things got exciting towards the end, didn't they? I was surprised that Ty Dillon made it to the front and that he was able to hold off eventual race winner Chase Elliott. I think Dillon complained a little too much, though, about the way Elliott slammed into him in the final corner. Dillon should have held his line instead of trying to block Elliott. I don't blame him for trying to block, but, in retrospect he shouldn't have bothered. He was always going to lose that.
And what the hell was the deal with that woman slapping Max Papis after the race? That was weird, wasn't it?
It'll be interesting to see if the Truck Series decides to go back to Mosport. The track had a good crowd on hand, and for the most part the race was decent. You would think that the Nationwide Series would want to go to Mosport next, since the series doesn't have a presence anymore in Canada.
The Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series are at Richmond this Friday and Saturday night. The race on Saturday is the last race of the "regular season" in Sprint Cup, with the Chase starting at Chicagoland the following week. The Truck Series races at Iowa on Sunday afternoon.
Why did Stewart-Haas Racing screw over Ryan Newman?
And congratulations to Bob Bond for winning the 57th annual Budweiser International Classic at the Oswego Speedway, his second career win in the 200 lap supermodified race. Very few people get to win one. Good job, Mr. Bond (ha).
Well, I think that'll be about it for this issue. B-movies rule, always remember that.
If there's anything you want to see reviewed here in this column, feel free to offer a comment below or send me an e-mail. I'm always on the lookout for new stuff to watch.
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Olivier Gruner- The Beast David J. Phillips- Kirk Paul Logan- Captain Rob Stevens Marisela- Miss. Martha Jeremie Loncka- Derrick Brad Potts- Mr. Karr Brennon Huggard- Joe Eric Karson- Carl
Directed by Olivier Gruner and Patrick Shanavian Screenplay by Martin Mayo and Stephen Meier, based on a story by Olivier Gruner
Distributed by Ytinifini Pictures
Unrated Runtime- 94 minutes
Buy it here (although I'm not sure why you want to)