Iron Invader (2011)

Iron Invader (2011)

One man’s junk is another town’s nightmare

A Russian satellite infected with some form of space bacteria crash lands in the small American town of Redeemer. Two local brothers take the scrap metal to a local junk dealer who plans to use the material to finish off his seventeen foot tall ‘Golem’ that he has been building for the town’s centenary. The Golem comes to life when it is exposed to the bacteria and it proceeds to wreak havoc around town, sapping its victims of their life.

 

Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man gets a big aggressive Sy-Fy makeover in this middling offering which is about on par for the channel’s usual produce. Fresh out of flesh-and-blood monsters, the writing team have come up with an unusual and rather unique threat in the form of the metal monster but saddle it in an enclosure of lame genre clichés. But hey, those of you familiar enough with Sy-Fy Originals should know by now that their name is not a seal of quality – more so a death certificate.

It would be pretty easy to substitute the iron monster for any other creature: a dragon, a snake, a tiger, a crocodile, etc. The plot runs exactly the same way that any other creature-on-the-loose film does which is a shame as the concept, though slightly off-beat, could have worked properly had it been given more of a free reign instead of having to stick to type. But there’s not really much to the wafer-thin plot anyway – all bases are covered within the opening fifteen minutes and then it’s just waiting for the Golem to start doing it’s intergalactic robot thing. The trouble with Iron Invader is that it’s played too straight. Right from the moment the Golem comes to life and starts plodding around town, this film needed a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek. The film knows how over-the-top it is yet never really plays upon this in the script.

The Golem looks like a low budget Transformer though the special effects to bring it to life aren’t too shabby, certainly better than they deserved to be. I guess it is easier to animate metal than it is flesh and so the monster looks shiny, smooth and inorganic but I guess that’s the idea – it is just a cobbled together bunch of metal and the animators don’t have to bring to life flesh, blood and spontaneous movements of an animal. Apart from it is look, the monster isn’t well-thought out. No consideration is given to how it moves, why it’s got eyes and why it has an uncanny ability to sneak up on people despite being huge and metallic. The script points out how big it is so why doesn’t it leave footprints in the mud or cause minor tremors when it’s pounding down the road? It kills people by grabbing hold of them and draining their life which is kind of weird the first time but gets repetitive very quickly as the same thing happens over and over again.

Nicole de Boer is the token ‘name’ in this, more famous for her role as Ezra Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She plays a biology teacher who not only provides the token knowledge and explanation scenes for the existence of the creature but also the love interest. Coincidentally, her character was a childhood sweetheart with one of the brothers but left town marrying someone else. Now she’s back and looking down the barrel of a divorce. What do you reckon the odds are that facing nightmarish scenario like facing a giant metal monster will allow her to reconcile with her sweetheart and make everything perfect by the end of the film? De Boer is way too lovely to be relegated to Sy-Fy junk like this and is way better than the material on display.

 

Iron Invader is marginally better than its Sy-Fy counterparts but that’s more down to the fact that a giant Transformer-wannabe is the star of the show here, not a giant snake or crocodile. It came from the scrap yard and it should be sent back there pronto.

 

 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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