Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn
|Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn|
Original movie poster
|Directed by||Charles Band|
|Produced by||Charles Band
Alan J. Adler
|Written by||Alan J. Adler|
|Music by||Richard Band|
|Edited by||Brad Arensman|
|Distributed by||Arista Films
MCA/Universal Home Video
|Box office||$5.3 million|
Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn is a 1983 cult science fiction film starring Jeffrey Byron, Michael Preston, Tim Thomerson, Kelly Preston and Richard Moll. It was directed and produced by Charles Band who is possibly better known for his other, rather low-budget science fiction and horror films such as the Puppet Master and Trancers series. The story is a space-age western which combines themes of esoteric sorcery and high technology. Metalstorm was filmed in 3D.
The movie portrays the story of a space ranger named Dogen (played by Jeffrey Byron), who is in search of an intergalactic criminal with supernatural powers named Jared-Syn (played by Michael Preston). He has tracked this individual to a desert planet called Lemuria. The planet's human population lives in scattered mining towns, gathering valuable crystals which seem to be the basis for their technology and economy. Syn has posed as the leader of a strange group of nomadic humanoids called the "One Eyes" – so named because they symbolically gouge out one of their eyes – who are descendants of a vanished culture called the Cyclopians. The territorial nomads have begun a holy war to drive the human miners from their lands. Syn has instigated this crusade, but Dogen knows that Syn's plan is really to enslave them all and seeks to stop him at all cost. Syn equips his nomads with strange red crystals that drain the life out of touched victims. Dogen searches Lemuria's wastelands for Syn's camp, traveling in an armored vehicle which looks like a road-warrioresque SUV.
The movie opens with Dogen attacked by a "skybike" (a one-man, open-cockpit flying machine), piloted by a nomad. Dogen shoots down the bike and finds one of Syn's crystals on the pilot's body. Carved into the crystal is a symbol of a dead tree. Dogen next finds a murdered prospector, whose young daughter Dhyana (Kelly Preston) saw him killed by Baal (R. David Smith), Jared Syn's half-cyborg son. Baal sprayed the man with a green liquid that caused a nightmare dream-state, in which Syn appeared and executed him with a crystal. Dogen convinces Dhyana that it's his mission to find Syn and she joins him.
Dhyana takes Dogen to Zax (Marty Zagon) who tests the crystal and identifies it as a lifeforce storage device. Dhyana tells them about the ancient Cyclopians who once used such devices and says the only power against it is a magic mask located in their lost city. Zax affirms this and directs Dogen to find a prospector named Rhodes in the nearby mining town of Zhor.
On the way Dogen and Dhyana are blocked by an attacking group of vehicles driven by nomads commanded by Baal, who sprays Dogen with the green liquid, paralyzing him. Dhyana drives them off, and cares for Dogen, who in the dream world finds Syn and Baal looming over him. Syn attempts, but fails, to pull Dogen away from Dhyana: their will is too strong. Dogen awakes, but Dhyana is suddenly teleported away and a summoned monster appears in her place and fires electric bolts at him. Dhyana simultaneously faces Syn in his lair. Dogen uses water to short-out the creature and it vanishes.
Dogen arrives in Zhor and finds Rhodes (Tim Thomerson), a washed-up soldier, in a bar. Rhodes denies the lost city's existence and refuses to get involved. Dogen leaves and comes upon a group of miners beating a captured nomad soldier. Dogen runs to help him, the miners turn hostile, and a shootout ensues. Dogen is out-gunned until Rhodes helps him defeat the miners.
Rhodes reluctantly agrees to help Dogen. They drive deep into Cyclopian territory and come to the lost city. Dogen locates a large statue with a single eye and finds the crystal mask the legend foretold. Suddenly attacked by snake-like creatures, they escape, until they are accosted by a group of nomad warriors. Their leader Hurok (Richard Moll) grabs the mask from Dogen and accuses them of trespassing on their sacred land – a crime punishable by death. Rhodes cites nomad law stating that a warrior can fight for his freedom, so Dogen is put into a dueling pit with Hurok. Dogen defeats him and spares his life. Hurok accepts Dogen as a friend and lets him go free.
Dhyana is being held in Syn's lair. Syn takes her before a massive crystal and forces her to touch it. It begins to glow and emits a sound like the suffering of hundreds of beings. Syn tells her the crystal gets its power from the souls he captures, including that of her father. Dhyana, disgusted, says her warrior will come for her.
Elsewhere, Dogen and Rhodes assault Baal's encampment and a chase ensues. Dogen evades them, and stops to rest at a lake. Dogen looks over the mask, then places it over his face and finds himself in the dream world with a burning tree. In his hand he finds an axe and hacks into the tree. The tree moans like the crystal in Syn's camp and trickles a stream of blood. Dogen pulls the mask off his face and finds himself back with Rhodes. Suddenly, they are attacked by Baal, who rushes up extending his robotic arm to spray Dogen, but Rhodes pushes him out of the way and is knocked out, and Dogen, struggling with Baal, rips the robotic limb from his shoulder. Baal cries out in agony and flees. Dogen follows the trail of green fluid leaking from Baal's severed limb, tracking it into Syn's camp. He sees the nomads gathered around Syn and makes his way through the crowd. Hurok is also present and steps forward to greet him.
Syn announces that the warrior is here to stop the people from achieving their goals, but Dogen states that he has only come for Syn. Syn orders Hurok to kill Dogen but Hurok refuses and demands that Dogen be allowed to speak. Dogen tells the nomads that Syn is a liar who wants their land so he can enslave them. The crowd murmurs with anger, but Syn shouts they are all too late. He activates the crystal and summons a blast of energy which stuns the crowd. Syn fires more blasts at Dogen, but he deflects them with the mask. Baal grabs the mask and it shatters on the ground. Hurok seizes Baal and stabs him in the chest with a knife. Syn shouts in despair as his son dies, then suddenly teleports himself away. Dogen hears the sound of a skybike and sees Syn fly off. He jumps onto another skybike and chases Syn over the mountains and into the desert, but Syn casts another spell, opening an energy portal, and he escapes.
Dogen returns to the nomad camp, finding Dhyana safe with Hurok. Dogen says Syn has escaped, and Hurok states that he may return in another place and time. Dogen swears he will be waiting for him, and destroys Syn's soul crystal with his pistol. Dogen and Dhyana leave the camp, walking down a road on foot, but soon encounter Rhodes in Dogen's truck. He picks them up and takes them into town.
DVD and Blu-ray release
Universal released the DVD of the movie on August 3, 2010. On the DVD, the opening credit sequence is presented in the 2.35:1 "widescreen" aspect ratio, the original format for the entire 3D film, but after the credits the rest of the film is presented 1.33:1 "pan & scan" transfer for television. The cover of the DVD also features more simplistic-looking artwork rather than the original theatrical poster. Shout! Factory released the film on 2D and 3D Blu-ray on September 13, 2016 under their horror/science fiction/cult label Scream Factory.
- Actors Jeffrey Byron and Richard Moll, as well as some of the road-warrior vehicles used in this movie, are seen once again in Charles Band's cult science fiction/fantasy movie The Dungeonmaster (1985).
- Richard Moll had originally shaved his head for his role in this movie. Producers liked the look for Moll, so he continued shaving his head for Night Court.
- The movie's tagline "It's High Noon at the End of the Universe." was also used as the tagline for the Full Moon Entertainment production Oblivion 2: Backlash (1996).
- "Metalstorm (1983)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
- Draven, Danny. The Filmmaker's Book of the Dead: How to Make Your Own Heart-Racing Horror Movie. ISBN 978-0240812069.
- Space1970 review of Metalstorm