Fantastic Four (1994)

Rating: *
Review Date: 9/5/99
Cast: Alex Hyde-White

Wow, this movie really IS as bad as everyone says. This two million dollar Roger Corman atrocity was thrown together and then shelved to ensure that the producer's rights to the comic book property didn't expire before he could create a bigger budget version. What a waste. A bizarre galactic phenomenon known as "Colossus" flies past Earth, and when a couple of genius physics students attempt to harness its power, one of them is presumably killed. He comes back ten years later as the nasty Dr. Victor Von Doom, intent on sabotaging Dr. Reed Richards' second attempt to harness Colossus's power. While in space, Dr. Richards' spaceship explodes and he and his three friends all manage to fall safely to Earth and into Dr. Doom's custody. Okay... They discover that they have mutated and possess extraordinary powers - Reed can stretch his body, Susan can become invisible, Johnny becomes pyro-kinetic, and Ben becomes a rock hard powerhouse. The Fantastic Four is born. Doom keeps them locked up in his castle, intent on extracting their powers and infusing them into his own body. But soon it becomes clobberin' time, and our heroes escape. They're given just enough time for Susan to whip up some slick spandex costumes before Doom threatens to blow up a major city with his new super laser. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY DR. DOOM USES SIGN LANGUAGE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE FANTASTIC FOUR?!? This bit is so ridiculous and unintentionally hilarious that you have to laugh in disbelief. Unfortunately, when they need him most, Ben has run off in a fit of despair, grief stricken and horrified by his new freak status. He stumbles across a band of outcasts and meets up with his dream girl - a blind woman who has been kidnapped by a strange leprechaunish villain known as "The Jeweller". Talk about a weird side plot. Doom also has an interest in the Jeweller, and soon the Fantastic Four are reunited, allowing the Human Torch to take out Doom's laser in a barrage of confusing and barely competent special effects. The final insult in this groan-fest is seeing Reed and Susan drive away in their "Just Married" limo, with Reed's stretchy hand waving good-bye out of the sun roof. Simply priceless. Everything about the movie is downright dreadful, but that gives it a certain amount of charm. Young kids might even thoroughly enjoy it.