I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I screwed up the date for the movie because this movie came out in 2005. Well, you are right in the fact that the Fantastic Four movie did come out in 2005, but that was not the first time a Fantastic Four movie was made. Roger Corman produced a low budget version of the famous quartet in 1994, however the movie was never released. Luckily for me, bootleg versions of the movie are available if you know where to look (aka, Bootleg Guy at DragonCon). So let’s get on with today’s movie, The Fantastic Four (1994)
The plot: While student’s in college, Reed Richards and Victor Von Doom engage in an experiment to harness the power of the Colossus Comet but the experiment backfires and Victor is horribly burned and supposedly dies due to his injuries. Years later, Reed , and his friends Ben Grimm, Johnny and Sue Storm, go up in an experimental rocket in order to study the Colossus Comet, but their experiment fails when the diamond needed for their experiments was replaced with a fake without their knowledge. When their shuttle crashes, they find out that they have acquired fantastic abilities, but are captured by a strange group pretending to be the military. When they try to escape, the four friends are confronted by an armor-clad menace called Dr. Doom, who plans to destroy New York City. Using their powers, the Fantastic Four must stop Doom and save the city before it is too late.
Time for a history lesson. In 1983, producer Bernd Eichinger met with Stan Lee in order to obtain the rights to make a movie about the Fantastic Four but it would be 1986 before he was actually able to get them. While some studios did have an interest in the movie, budget problems kept causing problems for any production to begin. With his option set to expire, Eichinger teamed up with Roger Corman to produce a low budget movie for one million dollars in order to retain his option for the film. However, though there were some trailers released that promoted the film, Eichinger said that he never intended to release the film ( a claim backed up by Stan Lee) and only made the movie so he could keep his options for it. Still, the movie does have a rating of 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on the 6 critics that have seen the film, which isn’t bad all things considered.
Ok, I know this isn’t going to be a good movie, you know it isn’t going to be a movie, but unlike the 2005 movie, this movie is actually entertaining to watch because it is so bad. It is incredibly campy and the effects were ridiculous, especially the ones involving Johnny Storm. The suit they made for The Thing looked every bit like the rubber suit that it was and I honestly thought that Dr. Doom was wearing a blanket around his shoulders for a cape. The actors were ok although I was disappointed in Dr. Doom’s portrayal in this movie. All he did was stand around and look menacing throughout most of the movie. There was a scene where a firefight was taking place between Doom’s men and the Jeweller’s men, and Doom was standing around, getting hit with bullets, and all he was doing was flexing his arms over and over. It was so ridiculous. Still, I wonder what they could have done if they actually were able to get a bigger budget for the film.
So if you ever want a superhero movie to laugh at, and you can get your hands on a copy of it, give this film a try.
Rating: 2 out of 5