Laserblast is a low budget sci-fi thriller from Charles Band that actually could have been a decent B-movie had it been in more competent hands instead of becoming one of MST3K’s funniest episodes. Even still, it is a guilty pleasure of mine and carries the nostalgia of being one of the flicks seen at my beloved Oritani Theater in Hackensack, NJ.
Laserblast opens as an alien outlaw is being pursued on Earth across a desert. After a brief firefight, the reptilian space cops (some cool stop motion FX from the late David Allen) blast the alien bad guy, but in an effort to avoid detection, are forced to flee and the alien’s weapon is left behind. Enter troubled teen Billy (Kim Milford) who, aside from his girlfriend (70s exploitation queen, Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith), is picked on by almost everyone in town including, the pot smoking cops. Obviously fate puts the alien weapon in Billy’s hands and now he has the power to get back at those who abuse him. With the alien weapon transforming him into something unearthly, can Billy be stopped?
Laserblast is sadly directed in a pedestrian manner by Michael Rae and a little energy would have helped a lot as even Billy’s climactic rampage (if blowing up a few cars and a mailbox is a rampage) is very by the numbers and lacks any suspense. Rae’s idea of dramatic intensity is to show the same explosion over and over in slow motion from multiple camera angles and have star Milford overact when under alien influence. And speaking of the acting, the performances range from bland to bad with even cameos from vets Keenan Wynn and Roddy McDowall being obvious paycheck grabs. The casting is also odd in the case of Milford who is too good looking and well built to be believable as the picked on kid especially, when nerd legend Eddie Deezen (his first flick), is cast as one of the bullies. Love to ask the casting director what the inspiration was for that casting aside from booze. But the cast isn’t totally to blame as the laughably bad dialog from the weak script isn’t going to help anyone’s performance especially, when the director doesn’t seem to be giving much inspiration. At least David Allen provides some good effects for such a low budget flick and things are blown up quite frequently.
Despite all it’s flaws, I still think there is a ‘so bad it’s good’ charm here and a lot of entertainment can be had from the epic fail of it all. And as stated before, the film does have the previously stated nostalgia element for me personally. So, I would recommend it to those who love to have a good bad movie along with their six pack or simply enjoy laughing at a cheesy 70s low budget sci-fi flick that aims high and fails in entertaining fashion.