Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn 3D (1983)
Director: Charles Band
Starring: Jeffrey Byron, Mike Preston, Tim Thomerson, Kelly Preston & Richard Moll
Released by: Scream Factory
Reviewed by Mike Kenny
Set on the desert planet of Lemuria, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn 3D finds a miner and his daughter Dhyana (Kelly Preston, Death Sentence) caught in the crossfire of the titular warlord. Joining forces with brave space ranger Dogen (Jeffrey Byron, The Dungeonmaster) after the murder of her father, the peacekeepers seek to stop Syn and his crusade to enslave the Cyclopian race. Mike Preston (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior), Tim Thomerson (Trancers), R. David Smith (Fletch Lives) and Richard Moll (Night Court) costar.
Melding the post-apocalyptic with a fantastical science fiction flair, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn 3D memorably blasts space-age action with in-your-face depth at the cusp of 3D’s short-lived return. Otherworldly and futuristic, Cyclop warriors, intergalactic wizardry and wasteland armored vehicles permeate this wild west sendup set amongst the stars. As the human population of Lemuria struggle to survive, crystals become the sole item of value to the mining community of scavengers. As the evil Jared-Syn (Preston), aided by his half-cyborg son Baal (Smith), break a sacred treaty and wage war for power, Syn’s life draining crystals help further his control on the weak. Combining their efforts after the death of her father, Dhyana and savior Dogen seek justice when Baal’s dangerous green acid submerges Dogen into a nightmarish state, allowing Dhyana to be captured. Determined to save her, the lone warrior travels to Zhor and reconnects with grizzled warrior Rhodes (Thomerson). Risking their lives on a journey to the Cyclopian mainland to recover a sacred mask to aid them in their battle, leader of the pack Hurok (Moll) confronts the duo, prompting a hellish battle for survival that proves invaluable on their road to defeating Syn. Enlightening the Cyclopian people of Syn’s true motives, a climactic battle between good and evil takes place before a laser-blasting skybike chase between Dogan and Syn through the mountainous landscape transpires.
Although sporting memorable moments of action-geared fun and impressive mutant design work, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn 3D struggles to fully live up to its imaginative poster art, remaining in first gear for much of its runtime. Achieving a considerable amount of eye candy on its limited budget, Director Charles Band’s (Pulse Pounders, Doctor Mordrid) second 3D effort following 1982’s Parasite lifts off on a shaky screenplay that never catches up with its nonstop visual agenda. An imperfect genre smash set at the end of the universe, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn 3D may not achieve all it hoped yet, remains a mildly entertaining B-grade space adventure with intentions of more installments that never came to fruition.
Newly remastered in both 3D and 2D, Scream Factory presents Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. In their first 3D-related release since Amityville 3-D, the horror/cult subdivision of Shout! Factory supplies each version of the film on their own Blu-ray disc. Kindly alerting viewers of unresolvable issues on the source material for its 3D form, depth reaching attempts from Baal lunging with his cyborg arm and laser blasts whizzing towards the screen work nicely while, occasional out of focus photography creates hazier outlines around characters that can be sometimes dizzying to the eye. Additionally, and true to Scream Factory’s disclaimer, darker smudges in corners of the frame arise throughout the film that although unpleasant, are understandable given the state of the vault materials. A retro serving of antiquated 3D effects work, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn is hardly reference quality for the format but, still offers several moments of depth-filled goofiness that may or may not rattle your vision. More preferable for obvious reasons, the 2D version has healthy layers of film grain that only occasionally teeter into murky waters given the film’s desert-like location. Otherwise, skin tones are pleasing, detail is revealing in Moll’s Cyclops makeup and print damage is largely infrequent. Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, the track is very middle of the road offering audible dialogue levels while, more action-oriented sequences and accompanying sound effects fail to make stronger impacts. In addition, an optional DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix of comparable quality is also included.
Special features (located on the 2D disc version) include, Ballyhoo Motion Pictures’ latest featurette High Noon at the End of Universe: The Making of Metalstorm (42:13). Catching up with a multitude of talking heads including, Director/Producer Charles Band, Actors Jeffrey Byron, Richard Moll, Tim Thomerson, Screenwriter/Co-Producer Alan J. Adler and former Fangoria Editor-in-Chief Michael Gingold, Daniel Griffith’s excellently edited and nicely constructed effort is an enjoyably interesting watch. Also included, a Still & Promotional Gallery (10:26), the Theatrical Trailer (1:23) and a Radio Spot (0:30).
Concluding on an open-ended note that was never explored again, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn 3D may not be nearly as cool as its advertisements built up but, achieves a vast array of special effects and nifty creature designs that can be enjoyed by all ages. A welcome and overdue return to hi-def 3D, Scream Factory rolls the dice on this science fiction fantasy from Empire Pictures founder Charles Band that although plagued with inherent issues, appreciatively provides viewers with both 2D/3D options. Joined by Daniel Griffith’s wonderful new retrospective that’s worth the price of admission alone, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn 3D’s mileage will vary by viewer but, will be a no-brainer for lifelong fans of Band’s illustrious career in the world of cult cinema.