Thursday, 24 January 2013

Assault on Dome 4



ASSAULT ON DOME 4 (1996) (aka CHASE MORAN)

Directed by: Gilbert Po
Screenplay: Hesh Rephun
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Joseph Culp, Jocelyn Seagrove & Brion James

It’s B-movie a go-go in this ultra violent, mad-as-a-bag-of-smashed-frogs, Die Hard in space (well, maybe not space but definitely a dome) action sci-fi flick featuring everyone’s favourite B-movie legend Bruce Campbell. He gets to play a full on bad guy this time around in a role that fits him like a glove: charming, smarmy, funny and completely ruthless. Campbell plays Alex Windham a super genius villain and cold blooded killer who, once escaping from his umpteenth maximum security prison, heads to the said Dome of 4 with a bunch of escaped convicts under his leadership. Windham, the crazy bastard, wants the scientists who work at the dome to build him some bombs so he can blow stuff up and make a nuisance of himself but is unaware a top space cop, Chase Moran (Culp), is hiding in various vents and is ready to kick Windham’s ass.


This is super low-budget mid 90s sci-fi trash with a budget that barely stretches to show spaceships flying through space convincingly but damn if it isn’t a lot of fun, has a bit of an edge to it and is packed with gun blazing action and fist fights. What it lacks in budget and subtlety (and any form of class!) Assault on Dome 4 makes up for with lashings of pistol popping action, some wry wit and an awesome performance from the man Campbell. Old Bruce has always been a good actor, underrated and underused, and here he gets a chance to shine in a role that gives him a lot of the screen time and allows him to stretch his bad guy acting muscles. He’s fantastic as the lunatic Windham and gets to let rip with wit and word in lengthy monologues as he torments his captors, sleazes onto the pretty babe and tries (and tries) to kill the hero. Campbell is on top form, giving this little flick a great bad guy and raising the overall entertainment of the entire production.

Likewise Joseph Culp makes for a decent hero and there are some fun bit parts and cameos from genre stalwarts James Lew, Ray Baker and the always-welcome Brion James. While there is plenty of crappy special effects and (strong) black comedy the film also packs a lot of punch. The makers don’t scrimp on the gun blasting action and there is plenty of bone crunching scraps as well, making Assault on Dome 4 an action packed ride.

Lean and mean, rude and lude and low of rent Assault on Dome 4 has the action chops and is probably one of the best low budget flicks, sci-fi or otherwise, that Bruce Campbell found himself starring in post Evil Dead trilogy.

Fun.


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