No, you did not enter a time warp, ladies and gentlemen. I really am reviewing a movie based on the Fantastic Four that was made in 1994, despite there being a more popular and bigger budgeted film having been made in 2005. You might be wondering how one could have made a worse movie than the one made with Jessica Alba, and this version made in 1994 certainly managed to do that in spades. As opposed to 2005 version that was made for around $100 million, this film was made for $2 million. Yes, you read that correctly, this version cost 50 times less than the contemporary version, but don’t let that fool you, this film isn’t 50 times worse. I’d say it’s maybe 20 times worse, which I guess can somehow be converted into a math problem, but I don’t feel like working that out right now.
In case anyone forgot how awful the 90’s were…
The story starts with Reed Richards (soon to be Mr. Fantastic) attending Empire State University with Victor Von Doom (soon to be Dr. Doom). They are working together on some sort of project involving space and explosions or something, and spend time bickering over the details. The machine explodes with lightning and Victor dies. We then cut 10 years into the future to Reed with his pal Ben Grimm (the Thing) recruiting Susan Storm (the Invisible Woman) and Johnny Storm (Human Torch) to go into outer space. They go out there and are sabotaged by the surprisingly still alive Dr. Doom. Apparently they fall from space, and we see them wake up unharmed. Everyone is confused, especially me. They get hints at their powers and get picked up by the military. Another villain starts showing up who is never actually named as the Mole Man, but might as well be. Ben’s girlfriend is kidnapped, the Fantastic Four go after them, apparently Dr. Doom loses, everybody’s happy, especially me, because it’s over.
Yes, he’s made of stone, but also requires a stone helmet?
This movie plays out like an awful episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Not even a good episode or anything where the robot fight at the end was awesome, one of the terrible early ones where the bad guys were made out of clay. Reed Richards used his elasticity to trip bad guys. That’s right, HE TRIPPED DR. DOOM’S LACKEYS. Not to mention the fact that the “doom bots” were basically guys with their faces painted silver and wore green hooded sweatshirts. There is one scene that plays out like a back to school special where Mr. Fantastic explains that it was their personality traits were what caused their powers, Reed stretching himself too thin and Johnny always having a temper, always being a “hot-head”. I do have to say, that any scene involving the Thing is so laughably awful, it is almost redeeming…but not actually. The best is a scene where he is wandering the streets of New York looking for acceptance and finds none. So in a slow motion shot, he looks at his hands, then looks skyward, seemingly to ask God why he has been turned into a big orange pile of dogshit.
Where to look…Reed’s boner, Susan’s boobs, or the hint of the Thing’s thigh, because yes, he’s wearing briefs.
Horrible acting, directing, writing, special effects, and costumes, that goes without saying. The interesting part is the fact that I was able to see this movie, that was never actually intended to see the light of day. The company that produced it had the rights to make this film for so long that, had they not filmed anything, they would have lost the rights. They knew from the beginning that no one would ever see this piece of garbage, but they didn’t mention that to the actors. Even after word was getting out that this film would never be released, apparently they were being told it might serve as a pilot episode of a TV series. Despite horrible production value, I was actually kind of surprised to see ways they were faithful to the comic. In the original series, Dr. Doom blamed Reed Richards for the accident at Empire State University that made him deformed, and in Ultimate Fantastic Four their origin is also connected to miscalculations between Reed and Victor. The Thing’s love interested, Alicia Masters, is a blind sculptor, just like in the comics. Something else I appreciated was that they pointed out the original age difference between Reed and Susan, of 11 years. Other than that, total garbage. If someone asks if you have seen it, say yes, so you can advise them against ever seeing it.
Wolfman Moon Scale