“Metalstorm” is another one of the Not Brand X movies from the eighties where fans of “Mad Max” were treated to a long list of movies that desperately emulated its formula and aesthetic. If you survey most of the late seventies and eighties, you could probably build a whole sub-genre of post-apocalyptic movies that emulate “Mad Max” and “Escape from New York.” There’s a whole library from various studios who aimed to capture the same success and pop culture momentum as the aforementioned. “Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn” is by no means a bad movie. It is a hokey but fun movie, though. It has all the hallmarks with films of this ilk including a desert wasteland, a hot rod driving “road warrior,” and his blonde babe.
Star Jeffrey Byron even looks like a Mel Gibson stunt double most of the time, donning frizzy dark brown hair, a thick stubble, and a lot of black leather, to boot. Byron as Dogen co-stars with a young Kelly Preston, as they basically do battle on the wide open road of a desert wasteland and struggle to find an evil warlord named Jared Syn. Dogen wants to stop him before he fulfills plans to conquer the world, while Dhayna (Preston) is anxious to avenge her father. Aside from the fun director Charles Band is able to have with various machines, vehicles and weapons, there is also your usual suspects from the Empire Pictures legacy. Tim Thomerson appears, as well as Richard Moll, who always seems to have fun playing the evil thug. Basically, hero Dogen is what’s called a “seeker” who is on the hunt for villain Jared-Syn, as played by Michael Preston.
He, of course, has plans for world domination, and there is the patented macguffin in the way of power crystals. These crystals have some kind of function that everyone mines for and wants because they can harness and suck the life force from their victims. And that’s very important in a world bereft of water, gas, and food–apparently. He plans to ally himself with evil Hurok (Richard Moll), and plans to form an army to take down various other settlements and rule the world. “Metalstorm” is a film with cheesy plot elements, and some surreal moments, including one scene where Jared Syn watches Dogen and Dhayna cozy around a fire to make out. As Dhayna, Kelly Preston fulfills her purpose as busty blond love interest for Dogen, and not much else. All the while Dogen spends most of the film roaming around various post-apocalyptic settlements, coming across shady characters and is hell bent on finding and killing Jared-Syn.
Jared-Syn walks around in elaborate metal armor, while his thugs do his bidding, including his son, Baal, a half cyborg monster who spews trippy acid on his victims. If you’re a big addict of these apocalypse movies featuring warriors in wastelands shooting at one another and doing battle for some kind of resource, “Metalstorm” might be up your alley. I have a weakness for these kinds of silly science fiction romps, and Charles Band adds enough of his own personal touches and trademarks where the film feels more like a serial and less like they raided the sets of “Mad Max” and “Star Wars” for leftovers and built the narrative from there. These kinds of movies are like junk food cinema for me, and I always have a blast with them if I’m in the mood for a quick fix of apocalyptic science fiction.
The Blu-Ray comes with the 2D and 3D versions of the movie in one box. Among the special features, there’s “High Noon At The Edge Of The Universe” a great forty two minute making of, with information about how Charles Band used prior films “Parasite” and “Coming at Ya!” to help make “Metalstorm.” There are also some great anecdotes from the cast and crew, and we garner a great inside look at how Charles Band was able to bring this movie together. There’s a ten minute still gallery, a thirty second radio spot, and a great HD trailer for the film, that also promotes the restoration on Blu-Ray.