I am going to apologize for the lateness of this post because I fell asleep while watching this movie this morning. This was entirely due to the fact that I got next to no sleep last night and is in now way an indication that today’s movie was bad or boring, which I honestly wouldn’t know since I WAS ASLEEP while it was on. I will say that this is not my first time hearing of today’s movie, as I had heard about it on a B-movie fan page I am on, where one of the members was trying to choose between watching this movie and another one (which I honestly can’t remember what it was now). So let’s see what kind of a movie I have on my hands as I finish watching today’s movie, Slipstream (1989).
The plot: At the end of the end of the 20th Century, an event known as The Convergence caused the Earth’s weather patterns to change as natural disasters occurred around the world . Earthquakes and floods broke apart continents while a massive river of wind known as The Slipstream encircles the planet and the surviving people have learned how to travel along it. A man named Byron is running along a canyon while being chased by an air glider. The man makes it to the edge of the cliff and reaches out to the sky but the two occupants of the glider, law officers Will Tasker and Belitski, land and follow after him. Tasker shoots Byron through the arm with a grapple, then pulls him off the cliff and they arrest him and take off. They stop at a diner to get some food and Belitski is hit on by a smuggler named Matt Owens but she quickly knocks him down and steps over him. Tasker had seen the whole thing and offers Owens a cup of coffee, not telling him that he works with Belitski. The two talk and Owens says he is a business man, meaning he is a smuggler, and shows the items he has on him. When Tasker picks up a grenade and says that is illegal, then shows Owens his badge, Owens hands him his pack and quickly leaves. Some guys at another table have Owens sit with them and they tell him about how the prisoner Tasker has with him had killed a man and there is a reward out for him. When Tasker leaves, Owens pulls a gun on him and takes Byron and his gear back but when he gets distracted by Belitski, Tasker hits Owens with a dart, telling him it was poisoned. Owens doesn’t believe him and whenTasker is distracted by an arriving glider hitting him, Owens manages to get away with Byron but Tasker reveals the dart was a tracker dart and they can follow him. As they are flying away, Owens starts trying to talk with Byron and learns Byron’s name. Owens makes a stop at a mountain cave settlement called Hell’s Kitchen, where he has set up his home, and he tells his smuggler friends there that he is leaving and setting up shop elsewhere and giving some of them some of his items. He looses site of Byron but soon finds him and discovers that Byron has healed a young boy suffering from cataracts. Tasker and Belitski are tracking Owens but find themselves running into Montclaire and his group of smugglers and end up killing them when Montclaire’s group shoot at them. After burying the smugglers and burning their cargo, Tasker continue to track Owen but Belitski starts questioning what they are doing and considers quitting. Owens and Byron continue flying down the Slipstream and come to another settlement of cave dwellers and see that they have been attacked by bandits. Byron tries to help one of the members by lifting a rock off of his legs but the man, Avatar, is the leader of the cult that lives there and curses Byron as being one of the machines that brought the destruction of the world. After Avatar dies, his followers tie up Owens, then tie Byron to a large kite and set him sailing high into the sky, saying the winds will judge him. That night, as a windstorm rages, Tasker and Belitski find Owens and ask him about Byron and Owens tells them where he is and says they need to work together to bring him down. Tasker reluctantly agrees and has Belitski cut him loose and they head outside into the storm. Owens holds onto the guide line and uses a parachute to slide up the rope to the kite and works on freeing Byron, yelling at him for not telling him he is an android. When Belitski realizes that Owens is attempting a double cross, she uses a parachute to slide up the rope to stop him but is too late as Owens cuts the rope and the kite ends up falling towards the ground, crashing into Tasker. Owens survives and finds himself dragged into the shelter of a cave by Byron, who had also saved Belitski and dragged her inside there. Byron then heads out to see if he can locate Tasker for Belitski, leaving Owens and Belitski to start talking. Outside, Byron finds Ariel, who was there to visiting the cult, and Tasker’s broken grapple but no sign of Tasker. As the storm passes, Ariel leads them out of the caves and Belitski parts ways with them, saying she is going to find Tasker and that this is only a head start for them. Owens, Byron, and Ariel work on fixing Owens’ glider and they head to Ariel’s settlement, where they plan on getting supplies before heading back out but the glider ends up crashing and they are forced to walk the last of the way. Ariels people are hedonists who inhabit an underground museum and Byron is fascinated by the history inside, which draws Ariel closer to him. As night falls, they end up dancing, with Byron partnering up with a local girl, with the two pairs each ending up sleeping together. The next day, Ariel is speaking with the group’s leaders about her bringing Byron and Owens there, with some people feeling that she never should have brought them there as they can’t trust outsiders. Ariel tries to convince them that they need Byron and Owens, particularly Byron, for their technical expertise but the group’s leader and curator of the museum, says that since Ariel brought the men here under false pretenses, she might be lying for her reasons to keep them here. Elsewhere, Owens goes looking for Byron and finds him working on fixing things in the museum and Byron excitedly tells Owens that he fell asleep and dreamed, something that androids should not be able to do. Byron tells Owens that he dreamed of a place at the end of the Slipstream, where others of his kind live. Owens then tells Byron that he is free to go, as he decided not to turn Byron in for the reward as he feels they have become friends and Byron asks if that means he is free to stay with Ariel. Meanwhile, Tasker and Belitski have followed Byron and Owens to the museum, killing the guards in order to gain entry. They make their way to the conference room and demand the group turn over Byron, with Tasker threatening to kill everyone there to get what he wants. The hedonists head towards the lower level and grab Byron, knocking Owens down in the process and as Owens gets up, he sees Belitski watching him. As Owens tries talking to her, Belitski pulls out a gun and shoots him but he knocks her out. As he is handcuffing her to a bed, Belitski comes too and tells him she shot him with the antidote and he kisses her before heading off to try and save Byron. The hedonists bring Byron to Tasker but Owens shows up and tries to shoot Tasker. Byron stands in front of Tasker and takes the shot, as he doesn’t want anyone else to die for him. Tasker shoots the shotgun, causing a shell inside to explode and injure Owens and when Ariel grabs a gun and tries to shoot Tasker, Tasker kills her. Byron runs over to cradle Ariel while Tasker leaves and Byron goes after him, though Owens tries to get him to stop. Outside, Tasker heads to his plane, shooting Byron when he follows and when that doesn’t stop him, he tries running him over as he takes off. Byron manages to hold onto the plane and smashes through the control panel to get to Tasker but as he starts to strangle him, Tasker recites a quote he often says and Byron changes his mind. With the plane out of control, Byron tries to use the wires from the panel to try and land the plane but they end up crashing, with Byron surviving but Tasker dies in the flames. Byron heads back to the museum and sees Owens outside waiting for him. Byron approaches him and says that he is too dangerous to be human but Owens tells him he is wrong. Some time later, Byron leaves to go find the place in his dreams while Owens has started a relationship with Belitski and they go off to start a balloon shop that Owens has dreamed of.
Ok, this actually was a pretty boring movie, which is sad because the story actually had some potential. The acting was ok, with Bill Paxton (Owens) and Bob Peck (Byron) making for a pretty good duo, while Mark Hamill (Tasker) was an interesting villain but I have to admit, he looks a little more like Kiefer Sutherland than Luke Skywalker. The story was interesting and seemed to borrow a little from Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep” (and there was actually a brief reference to that book when Ownes and Byron are talking and Byron says he dreamed. The special effect were on the weak side, with a lot of green screen used during some of the flying scenes, while some other scenes that required stunt work or special effects, like the kite crashing or the plane crash, just felt cheap. Good for some laughs on how bad it is, but not something I would watch repeatedly.
Rating: 2 out of 5