Bad Channels
Rating -

Comedy/Sci-FI (US); 1992; Rated R; 88 Minutes

Robert Factor: Willis
Martha Quinn: Lisa Cummings
Aaron Lustig: Vernon Locknut
Michael Huddleston: Corky
Roumel Reaux: Flip Humble
Paul Hipp: Dan O'Dare
Rodney Ueno: Moon

Produced by Charles Band and Keith S. Payson; Directed by Ted Nicolaou; Screenwritten by Jackson Barr

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Written by DAVID KEYES

Can any person on this planet point out one good thing about Bad Channels? It’s not likely, considering the fact that it is severely dimwitted, on top of the fact that it pushes so many buttons that I wouldn’t blame anyone who would like to push them back.

Here is a movie where nearly every person that sees it can agree on one major thing: the level of badness it and the studio represents. The film has no points whatsoever to save it, and probably never had any intelligent humans on the set to point out its numerous shortcomings. The result astounds people in absolute boredom and dead silence; to witness it unfold is as bad as having a root canal.

The movie opens with the audience meeting a radio DJ named "Dangerous" Dan O’Dare, who, in his radio career, has managed to make audiences madder than hell (and I’m not talking just about his radio audience, either). We learn that in the past he has stooped so low to play 20 hours of polka music straight until someone can correctly guess the combination to the lock that keeps him in his chair (heck, 20 hours of polka would be a picnic in this case).

He’s a pig and ignoramus, no doubt (so are the people who made the movie), but he and his worthless subplots with other people working at the radio station are quickly subverted and ignored when an alien with the head in the shape of deformed fruit lands on Earth to take over the radio station (ho, ho).

When the alien initially succeeds, he covers the station doors with a bubbly, green slime so that no one can get to him in any way (maybe screens playing Bad Channels should have this, too, so no one can get into this movie). Soon, the lumpy-headed alien is on the air, charming female listeners of the radio station with his War Of The Worlds act, only it’s for real (supposedly).

Then we meet Lisa Cummings, played by former MTV VJ Martha Quinn. She’s a TV reporter who happens to stumble onto the alien’s plan for world domination, and plans to bring it to a downfall.

Meanwhile, the alien uses some sort of alien device to pull three ‘unique’ female listeners of his into music-video fantasies, which all end with the girls shrunk to the size of ten inches, enclosed in glass cases for the ugly alien to admire (too bad he doesn’t have standards).

Soon, when Lisa gets wind of this, her attempt to destroy the alien fails, and she, too, is shrunk down to ten inches.

Oh, but if you think that’s bad, wait--it gets worse. Dan and his sidekicks, after sitting around panicking their heads off for an hour of the picture (what, not two?), get together to take down the alien once and for all. The stumble in on him while Lisa is being transformed to a miniature, and they manage to reverse the process in scenes so fragmented and un-fixated that we can’t actually tell what goes on. The next thing we know, one of the station members is spraying household spray cleaner at the alien, which knocks the aliens head off to reveal an ugly deformed-looking plant with an annoying screeching sound (this is a rip-off from Little Shop Of Horrors). But that, too, is taken out with the spray cleaner (Dan’s ‘secret’ weapon, to be noted).

And so we are left with one final unsolved thought--what will come of the radio station after the mess recently on air? What will come of Earth? How will they react? That, I presume, is for you to figure out, but if you were just as appalled at this movie like I was, don’t dare try to answer--you shouldn’t really care, anyway.

No one should care. No, not even those who made Bad Channels. Did someone actually find this type of material amusing? Did they think it would sell like hot cakes? I fear that the creators of this movie must have had brain tissue damaged sometime in their lifetimes.

Staggering out of the room in disbelief from this mess, I was instantly reminded of one frame that the movie brought on to me. During one of the music video sequences, a rock star turned his head to the camera and shouted in utter loudness "it really sucks!" What words to perfectly describe this movie.

© 1998, David Keyes, Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
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