The Space Western Oblivion

  • Directed by Sam Irvin
  • December 14, 1994

On a far-off backwater planet, a group of outlaws are intent upon taking over the dusty town of Oblivion.

I remember seeing Oblivion for rent in places like Blockbuster and some other local establishments for years but never really felt like picking it up. For some reason I just avoided it. Time marches on and I decided to give it a look after finding it on streaming.

Surprisingly it is a rather witty satire of not only science-fiction but of the Western genre in general. If you’re versed in either you will see what they are going for. And it does so with a simple outlaws-taking-over-a-town plot. This all in a screenplay written by the great Peter David. David is a brilliant comics writer and novelist with a great wit. His skills are in full use here.

The cast has the likes of George Takei as Doc Valentine and Julie Newmar as Miss Kitty doing bits with their characters that play into their better-known parts. Carel Struycken, who was the individual at the time they always cast as the creepy tall guy, plays undertaker Mr. Gaunt. The underappreciated Meg Foster plays cyborg deputy Stell Barr with Isaac Hayes as Buster. Our villains are a scene stealing Andrew Divoff in reptilian makeup as the outlaw leader Red Eye and Musetta Vander as his right-hand Lash. Richard Joseph Paul is our hero, the empathic Marshal Zack Stone who is accompanied by the “native” Buteo (Jimmie F. Skaggs) who is an homage to the general Native American Western character and Tonto in particular.

The jokes play pretty solidly here. You will get at least a chuckle and maybe even feel a bit guilty at laughing over something so cheesy. They weren’t going for anything too deep but rather aiming for something that was an affectionate nod to what came before. Though low budget they do make the most of what they got. They use it as a strength for their humor rather than try to exceed their limitations. The random creatures or the general visuals done on the cheap are done with a humorous edge to them because real quality is beyond their grasp. As much as it looks like a bargain basement Western it also has that same feel when it comes to science fiction. Revenge. Outlaws taking over a town. Cyborgs. Aliens. This movie really is a weird mix of genres that is bad fun.

Zack seeks justice/revenge in this story for not only the death of his father but the murder of his family at the hands of Red Eye. The events of the story all lead to a finale that makes a mockery of the movie ending that implies there could be a sequel. Red Eye gets killed in such a way that there is no chance he can return and they hang a beautiful lantern on that.

Oblivion is nothing great but it is very enjoyable fun. It’s a bit of a sendup of two genres but does just fine as it’s only thing. This though is a cheesy movie that will only appeal to people that like such.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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