Monday, July 1, 2013

Project Terrible: Condor (1986)

Let's start off with something nice (and cheesy) for a change.  Today's film is Condor, my first film for Project Terrible: Round 11.  Bob really just wanted to make me watch this, even though he thought it probably wasn't that bad.  As it turns out, he was right.  It's silly, dated and ridiculous, but it's not Terrible.  Condor is not a film.  Condor is actually the Pilot Episode of a show.  Long-story short: show didn't sell, so they passed it off as a movie.  This kind of thing happened a lot in the '80s and '90s.  Nowadays, stuff just gets three episodes and abruptly disappears.  That's...better?  The plot involves THE FUTURE and crime in it.  Our hero works for a company called Condor that stops crime separately from the Police.  After a mission where his never-seen partner dies (a la Death Warrant), he joins up with a new one, but she has a secret.  Well, it's not much of a secret for long, but I won't SPOIL it just yet.  I mention all of this plot before the review because the 'film' does that to itself.  If you watch this, you *immediately* know that this is not a real film thanks to this cheesy 'explain the show's premise' intro.  Ray Wise is the lead here, so it should be good from some grizzled acting.  Throw in some random '80s outfits, silly effects and a kitschy feel and you've got a real winner.  To see what this weird gem holds, read on...
In the opening scene, a lady villain/scientist (a low-rent version of Sarah Douglas) escapes from Prison using sci-fi logic and a re-used film prop.  To see which one it is, you'll have to wait until the end of this review.
 Screen-mounted Time Stamps- it must be *the future*

Seriously, it's best not to guess the year unless you just go for broke and say that it's the year 3004.
Our hero (Ray Wise) is a grizzled Detective.  He does the 'I don't like modern society' bit, all the while ordering food from (wait for it) his car and using a car that actually drives itself.

You're a bit of a hypocrite, no?
Our hero is mourning the loss of never-seen, never-named partner, but gets a new one.  She's a lady- a lady robot, that is.  Since this is TV (and cheap TV at that), there are zero 'robot effects.'  Just take my (and their) word that she is one.

Oh and according to Wise's intro narration, the group is called Condor because 'There just aren't that many of us old birds left.'  No, really.
Wise hits the streets to follow up on any leads about the villains whereabouts in his best Miami Vice attire.

Remember when that trend came back 14 years ago?
The villain, meanwhile, wants to take over the city (not the world...yet) and get revenge on Wise for something he did before this show...I mean film happened.
Her plan involves using circuits in the Sewers to control Helicopters that she could make explode.  It's a really weird hostage situation, I guess.
In a bit of eerie prediction, our heroes must stop her from using Drones to blow people up.  I'm...just going to move on now.
Our heroes stop the plot thanks to some hacking, but the villain escapes to fight another day.  Yeah, good luck with that.  The End.
It's terribly funny.  This whole thing is dated as all hell and is glorious because of it.  I can't hate on stuff like this too much.  Watching stuff like this makes me think that I really need to commit to getting Manborg.  Everything about this film is silly, from the fashion to the story to the fashion.  Yes, I said it twice- it's just that silly.  Wise and company do a decent job, but there's not much for them to do.  To be fair, maybe the characterizations would have expanded in the show.  We don't have a show though- we just have this.  As it is, it's a bad, but cheesy movie.  It's a shame that it didn't get the chance to become a bad, but cheesy show. Manimal got five Episodes, but this didn't get any.  Hell, even Heil Honey, I'm Home got *part* of an Episode.  If you like the cheese and you love the '80s, check this one out.  It's a sort of hidden gem- provided that you qualify for it.  To close this out, here's the somewhat-familiar prop that they re-use...
Next up, Roger Corman's final film (as a Director).  Will this pretentious, sci-fi fare be a good swan song?  Stay tuned...


  1. This looks like something I would have watched back then, and I'm pretty sure I would have given it a decent rating if I would have got it for PT - but damn, this time I only got uber-crap. Ugh ;)

  2. Aww, don't forget to explain the reason the group's called "Condor!"

  3. Ouch... 80s robot movies (or failed TV shows) just never seem to be anything but utterly silly and ridiculous especially when you are in or past the year of the "future" that they're trying to be.