The Fantastic Four (1994)

This is NOT the 2005 movie that had an actual budget and real-life actors.  This movie is a glorified test-shot.  The studio was about to lose the rights to the characters unless they made a movie.  So they looked through their couch cushions and used that scratch to make this flick.

Reed Richards and his buddy Victor are trying to assemble some thingamajig that shoots cartoon lightning around and aparently harnesses the power of a comet, when something goes wrong. Shit just starts blowing up with no real explanation, and Reed chickens out and manages to escape, but Victor was “Doomed”  as he is electrocuted and crushed by rubble.  A few years later Reed gathers up the kids (Johnny and Sue Storm) from the boarding house he used to stay in, and with his best pal Ben, they get ready to fly a rocket into the tail of a comet to capture its power again. The bad thing is the gigantic diamond that they are going to used to channel the energy, is stolen by a dwarf called The Jeweler, who is a poor man’s Moleman. Confused yet? It’s okay, because the evil dwarf left a fake in its place, so the “Fantastic Four” don’t notice any difference and continue with their mission.  So as you can imagine, when they get up into the tail of a comet things again go horribly wrong, so the ship crashes back to Earth and as they walk away from the wreckage they discover that the group now has fantastic powers; Reed can stretch one arm, in a very specific way, Susan can turn invisible, Johnny can spontaneously burst into cartoon flames, and Ben has been transformed into a foamy orange ninja turtle.

Ben’s new girlfriend is kidnapped by Victor, who is now clad in armor and calling himself Dr. Doom.  He gains possession of the real diamond and aims to use it to steal the Fantastic Four’s powers for himself.  He has also made some sort of laser and wants to blow up New York for some reason.  As the team breaks in to Doom’s lair, they proceed to walk directly under the thing Doom was going to use to steal their power.  Now the’re trapped by some force field and it is sucking the life out of them, or is it.  Apparently no one tried to escape as Reed just sticks his leg out and it goes all stretchy and wonky and knocks over the machine that is ‘holding’ them in place.  As Dr. Doom’s henchmen proceed to get they asses handed to them, and The Thing shouts ‘It’s clobberin’ time!” for about the 15th time, Doom fires the laser and escapes.  After the Four are done with Doom’s lackys, Reed goes after Victor to find that he has gotten about 4 feet past the door he walked through 5 minutes ago.  Reed strechy-arm-punches him a few times as Doom speaks unintelligibly through his mask with no microphone in it or no voice-over.  He probably says something about getting revenge, but we’ll never know as he then falls off a cliff.  Johnny somehow races the laser to NYC and stops it with fire or some shit, who knows by this point.  All is well with the world as Reed and Susan get married, and the credits start to roll on this piece of trash.

Alex’s Thoughts: There is a reason that this movie was never released, and most people involved will deny its existence – it is a total shitfest.  The 80’s and early 90’s were full of some awful comic book movies, and looking at this you are shocked to think it came out in 1994, when the effects make it look like it was made in 1984.  There really isn’t too much good to say about this movie. Dr. Doom’s outfit looked more in-line with his comic appearance than the 2005 movie… and that is about it.  Awful acting, horrible practical and special effects and just a confusing story.  I realize they didn’t have much of a budget, and did what they could, but it was a failed attempt none the less.  It’s funny, because the 2005 version is awful as well, and that movie cost 60 times as much to make ($1.5 million vs $100 million) and is probably only 2 times as good.  The franchise has not had good luck in film – all of them are bad, and don’t get the fanboy in me going about how they turned Galactus into that cloud. NERD RAGE!  They are already rebooting this mess for a new 2013 movie.  Let’s hope it is better than all previous horrid tries.  If you are a hardcore comic book fan, you have probably already seen this, and hated yourself for it; if you didn’t even know this movie existed just forget that we even mentioned it.  Alex Rates This Movie 1/10

Tim’s Thoughts: Compared to the “Official” version of the Fantastic Four, this is leaps and bounds better. While the effects are crap, the story is crap, and budget is nonexistent, this has all the charm of a Roger Corman cheapie. That doesn’t make this a good movie, but for me it made it a fun movie to watch. The studio cranked out this movie only to fill an obligation to hold onto the rights for a few more years, and that was probably for the best, because if they had put forth real effort this would have been just as crappy but without the charm. This seems to be a doomed franchise, but who knows, if you can get the right writer even “B” list Marvel heroes can become stars, (see Iron Man). For me this was a fun movie to watch, and despite how awful it was, I really enjoyed the camp, and horrible effects. Not a good time, but it was a Fun time, so if you like finding the obscure stuff, and revel in Cormanesque budgets, then you will enjoy this. If you need good effects, acting, and directing, pass on the FF, not just this movie, but all of them. Tim Rates This Movie:8/10

View the IMDB entry for this movie here