Bad ChannelsDirector: Ted Nicolaou
Screenplay: Jackson Barr; Charles Band (story)
Starring: Paul Hipp, Martha Quinn, Aaron Lustig
Year: 1992
Country: USA
BBFC Classification: 15

Another classic from the Full Moon vaults, Bad Channels is a silly sci-fi comedy romp about a low rent radio station invaded by rock and roll aliens. Seriously, what’s not to like here? Shock jock Dan O’Dare (Hipp) is attempting to rock and roll up the all polka (that’s right polka!) KDUL Superstation 6.66 (get it!) in the tiny nowhere town of Pahoota (that’s right, Pahoota!). Covering the story is down on her luck news reporter Lisa Cummings (Quinn) who just so happens to see a UFO land near the station. Of course, no one believes her, O’Dare mocks her on air and she’s left with a camera and a microphone trying to prove to everyone what she saw was real. Obviously, it doesn’t take long for O’Dare to eat his words as a big ugly alien (and his robot sidekick) storm the station and take over the airwaves with their out of this world mix of space fungus (!) and rock and roll. Hilarity and insanity ensue as the alien attempts to kidnap all Pahoota’s beautiful women (which it oddly has an abundance of), bottle them in space jars and whisk them off to a galaxy far, far away.

The type of movie only Full Moon could have made in their heyday, Bad Channels rarely makes a lick of sense but is a fun and zany mix of comedy, 80s rock and some funky practical special effects. The cast all seem in on the silly premise and are up for having a laugh and the whole film has a cool sort of 1950s retro vibe to it. Scraping in at barely an hour and seventeen minutes, this is a swift and silly caper that gets by on laughs, some infectious chemistry from the cast and some really cool old school practical effects. The alien and robot, while dated by today’s CGI enhanced/obsessed standards, are funky and once the alien reveals his true form, it’s some mad monster fun times.

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Mix in various musical numbers (which are just as funny as they are catchy) from the likes of 80s bands Fair Game, D.M.T and Sykotick Synphoney and a groovy soundtrack from the Blue Oyster Cult and Bad Channels is a one of a kind gem. Aliens, comedy, fungus, rock music, 80s hair and a robot: what more does a film need? As one of the characters (named Peanut!!) says at one point: “This son of a bitch is crazier than a tree full of owls!” Indeed.

88 Films present the film in clear and crisp 4:3 with their usual assortment of B-movie trailers (The Corpse Grinders, Robot Wars and Dollman who also has a nifty cameo at the end of the credits!) and the always entertaining behind the scenes Video Zone short doc showing the cast having fun making the movie.

Review by Andrew Skeates

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