This was made at Ardmore in Wicklow (with a scattering of other locations: I spotted the Civic Offices, and maybe Dollymount Strand?) and I remember the buzz as if we’d scored some big Hollywood production (Dennis Hopper! Stephen Dorff! Names we’ve heard of!) when in reality it was a cheap and cheerful slice of post-Charles Band space-ploitation. Critics absolutely piled on it at the time, but there’s really a lot to love.
The art direction transcends what must have been a meagre budget; it’s got that grimy, lived-in look that gives practical SFX guys like Adam Savage the warm fuzzies. And the horror-manga killbots come courtesy of the legendary Screaming Mad George. There’s more than enough to make up for the phoned-in performances from Dorff (he was on the downswing and it shows) and Hopper (like Nicolas Cage today, he was there for the cheque) though Charles Dance apparently had no problem slumming it, taking the opportunity to ham it up as a cyborg sleazeball space pirate.
Rest in peace, Stuart Gordon. ★★★½
Cross-posted from Letterboxd