Laserblast (1978) U.S. Blu-Ray

I haven’t seen this movie since I was in my single digits. My brother and I saw it one weekend in the summer. I remember thinking that alien rifle was cool and wanted to figure out how to make one, so I think I made some kind of facsimile from an old cardboard tube that once had gift wrapping paper around it.

The only scene I’ve ever only retained in memory was when the kid wakes up in his alien possessed guise, goes to chase his girlfriend, but not paying attention bounces off his van’s bumper and hits the ground. I remember that because my brother laughed hysterically when that happened, which got me laughing too. I also remember coming across the stop-motion aliens in the movie in an issue of Starlog magazine and always wondering what movie they were from.

For the most part Laserblast t holds up, which is a relief, I was dreading it wouldn’t and that would have just bummed me right the fuck out. It is, however, loaded with stretches that do nothing to advance the plot, but Producer Charles Band explains why that is in the audio commentary. Movies had to come in at a certain length, a minimum of 80-minutes back then to get some kind of theatrical play, so the story was stretched out by hanging longer than normal on the copious explosions, and the pool party, and supporting characters doing random things. You could easily edit this down to a 30-minute movie and still have it make perfect sense.

Your basic plot of Laserblast is about this green-face, humanoid alien on earth being hunted down and killed by a pair of Dave Allen created stop-motion ETs, but being so spooked by the Cessna plane flying by they hustle their alien asses out of there completely forgetting to reclaim this alien necklace and the alien rifle their prey was using.

Enter teen Billy Duncun (Kim Milford), who’s Mom has just taken off to Acapulco and is clear from their exchange is a lousy mother. Enter Billy’s chick, Kathy Farley (Cheryl Smith), whose grandfather, Colonel Farley (Keenan Wynn), hates him. And then, finally, enter the two bullies, Chuck (Mike Bobenko) and Froggy (Eddie Deezen), who bully him. Is it any wonder that when he comes across this necklace and laser gun he targets those who have “wronged” him? No, he doesn’t kill his mother, she’s gone, he can’t, or Kathy’s grandfather, but he does eventually blow up Froggy and Chuck, some random cops who harass him, a guy who picks him up hitchhiking, and then in the final act takes out his revenge with a general town rampage. But, you see, this alien gun doesn’t work until he either holds the alien necklace, or wears it, and when he does the latter it transforms him into what we saw in the prologue, a green-skinned, funky eyed, alien that moves around like some kind of alien ape or something. That weird performance by Milford is also something I remembered.

The aliens do come back minutes before the movie ends and kill Billy, but his death is different than when they killed that other possessed bastard in the beginning. With that one they totally disintegrated him leaving the necklace and gun untouched. With Billy they disintegrate the necklace and the rifle, leaving poor dead Billy on the ground, with Kathy hugging his corpse.

I forgot to mention Roddy McDowell has a cameo as the town doctor.

Laserblast made to DVD back in 1999 from E1 Entertainment, but with a full frame transfer. You can get this spiffy, new, widescreen blu here at Amazon or from Full Moon Direct!


Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 1.78:1 high definition widescreen—2.0 English Dolby Digital, 5.1 English Dolby Digital—No subs

The transfer is quite good looking, I must say! Commentary was great too!

Extras included . . .

  • Audio Commentary With Director Charles Band & Composer Richard Band
  • Vintage Trailers (CinderellaCrash!The Day Time EndedEnd of the WorldFairy TalesMansion of the DoomedTourist Trap)

 

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About Shawn Francis

Movie collector and horror writer.
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