Murdercycle (1998)

Rating:

USA. 1998.

Crew

Director/Photography – Tom Callaway, Screenplay – Daniel Elliot, Producer – Kirk Edward Hansen, Music – David Arkenstone, Visual Effects – John R. Ellis & David Lange, Special Effects Supervisor – Lou Carlucci, Alien and Makeup Effects – Christopher Bergschneider & Jeff Farley, Production Design – Hunter Cressall, Murdercycle Designed by Van Demming. Production Company – The Kushner-Locke Co

Cast

Charles Wesley (Sergeant Kirby), Cassandra Ellis (Dr Lee), Michael Vacchetti (Wood), William Vogt (Private Buscema), David White (Ditko), Roger Stoccado (Dr Adams), Dane Northcutt (Private Frazetta), Steven O’Mahoney (Vincent Coletta), Robert Donavan (General Kubert)


Plot

Kirby, a disgraced Marine, is brought in for a top secret mission. He is to head a team, joined by a forensic scientist, a shady CIA agent and a psychic, and enter a classified testing grounds in Colorado. They are told nothing more about the mission than that. However, once in the grounds of the base, he and his team find they are dealing with a lethal armoured motorcycle and rider that have been taken over by an alien force and cannot be stopped by the mere guns that they are armed with.


Murdercycle is a modestly interesting little B film. The central idea of an alien-possessed motorcycle is rather silly but the film carries it off surprisingly well. [The alien possessed vehicle was for the record first done in the tv movie Killdozer (1974)]. The effects come with a competent cheapness. The characters and their interplay however are well drawn – particularly the sense of unfolding mystery and suspense as the team ventures into the unknown area, and the development of the tensions and secrets within the group. With a better budget, this could have been a decent little film.

What is particularly enjoyable is the humour that has clearly gone into the script. It is clearly written by a comic-book fan where all the characters have been named after Marvel Comics artists/writers – Kirby, Lee, Adams, Buscema, Frazetta, Ditko, Coletta. There are some amusing exchanges with the team comparing themselves to The Fantastic Four – at one point, Cassandra Ellis makes reference to “Superman and Supergirl” only to be corrected “That’s D.C. – wrong universe.” The funniest scene in the film though is the confrontation between the conspiracy freak and the CIA spook where the agent deflates the freak’s expectations by telling him there isn’t anything there at Area 51 but that they encourage all the conspiracy theories nevertheless.

Murdercycle is one of a number of Kushner-Locke productions that seem to be being made by B-budget producer Charles Band in all but name – there is a credited assistant to Band but yet Band himself does not appear on the credits and one suspects he is hiding, for whatever reason, behind a pseudonym.



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