I remember owning this film on VHS when I was a child. When or how I got it, I have no idea. When my family got rid of it, I have no idea as well. I remember enjoying it. I remember buying into what it tried to offer children. And for some reason, just recently, I began thinking about this film. The reason? I have no idea. Out of the blue, it popped into my brain and I had to look it up. I was astonished to find it on YouTube in full. I couldn't resist. A decade had probably passed since I last saw this picture. I had to watch it... And boy, was THAT an experience! Nostalgia seeped from nearly every single scene. Lines, gags, characters, voices, sounds, specific little moments... ALL of it just dripped with nostalgia. However, I didn't buy into it though. Throughout watching this piece and even afterwards, I constructed thoughts inside my head about what I had just watched. It's had time to sink in and make it's impression. The impression? Very, very, very weak.
It was a very weak film. The writing had very, very, very, very little effort. I won't there wasn't any effort because writing does in fact take effort, whether it's good or not, I'm sure there was at least one ounce of effort when the script was being written. But gosh, the writing was terrible. It wasn't even the kind of terrible where it's so bad it's good... It was just annoying. At times, the writing flat out made NO sense. If you watch it, you'll catch something. You'll catch a couple moments where you think to yourself, "That was pointless" or "They didn't have to do that because they could have done it another way" ... It's stuff like that.
The acting is pretty weak also. I wouldn't act it "Bad acting", but it's "Soulless acting". The actors just spoke their lines, that's it. They put in a few emotions here and there to fit the situation or dialogue, but, it doesn't work. When it comes to the kids, it may what you'd expect... Plain, weak and lacking any, well, "Care". The villains. Well, it's hard to tell how much acting their doing considering all the villains are cloaked in costumes and you have no idea if what they're saying was actually being spoken when they were filmed or if it was just overdubbed because only ONE villain moves their mouth when they speak, and it's a mouth on a mask! But, the voice acting... Odd, interesting, but still, overall, pretty weak. It's very cartooned styled and animated and if it was a cartoon, it may work better... But for a live action film with live actions actors, it looks awkward, though, I didn't mind it.
Flabber and the monsters of the haunted house. Flabber was created simply for comedy. The writers and directors tried SO hard to throw as many gags at him as possible. They're just not funny. It's rare for me to think that about a character, but mostly everything he does that is supposed to be funny, isn't. The gags are usually just too over-the-top and ridiculous, pointless, useless, that it's just NOT engaging. The actor isn't all that funny, but the makeup is very interesting though, I'll give em' that. The monsters don't really do anything. They never progress the story, all they do is hinder it when the story gets close to them. The creators just put them there to appeal to young boys. It's like, "Hey! We've got these three superheroes and they hang out in a haunted house with monsters!" and boys everywhere cheered... But turned off the TV after the first episode, never to return.
The plot? Well, it's fair to note that this isn't actually a movie. It's episode 26 - 31 of the Beetleborgs television show put together. Those five episodes follow one linear story, so when you watch them all together, it is like a movie. It's motion picture length and it tells one complete story, with each following episode continuing where the last one left off. Anyway, the plot focuses on the Beetleborgs trying to battle and defeat a villain named the Shadowborg, who was created by the Beetleborgs nemesis Vexor. Now, I'm gonna say... That Vexor dude, is actually pretty creepy. Sure, his outfit is embarrassingly silly and the mask is undoubtedly cheap... The mask still does kind of have a bit of creepy thing to it, and the voice is also a little creepy as well. However, the creepiness only goes into effect when he's outside of his villain lair cave thing, whatever. Whatever, that's irrelevant. This Vexor creates a clone of the Beetleborgs, but the twist is, this Beetleborg is evil! Vexor is also the leader of some evil group called the Magnavores, a group of baddies who usually do nothing but mildly disappoint Vexor.
At times, it seems the creators are just doing whatever they can do to keep this film running longer. All Vexor wants is to destroy the Beetleborgs and Shadowborg was created for that purpose. However, after every fight Shadowborg has with the Beetleborgs, he just takes off, claiming he'll return to destroy them. He has so many opportunities to do so, but never follows through. At one point, the timing was perfect. Shadowborg may of truly been able to destroy them, and he was acting like he was actually GOING to, but out of nowhere, Vexor appears... As a giant beyond some hills, which was also kind of creepy, telling Shadowborg to return to him because he's almost out of energy. Wah-Wah-Waaah!
Along with a villain who never takes his chances at destroying his enemies because... Well, it'd end the series, the Beetleborgs do something that follows the entire duration of this movie. This may occur in other episodes, or maybe even the entire series, you MAY notice it when watching this, but... The Beetleborgs suck. I'm just going to say it. There are, I don't know how many battles are in this film, but, there are a good amount of fights and battles with enemies and whatnot and, the Beetleborg NEVER win. There is a battle RIGHT at the beginning. Beetleborgs fight villains, they only want a piece of the Beetleborg armor, they get it and then they take off. All of the battles with Shadowborg, they loss... Horribly. They never even stand a chance. So many battles and they never do any damage it seems to there enemies. The enemies do damage, but then take off before they destroy them. It's a mess. The choreographed fights are really, really weak. It's a bunch of jumping, grunts and swinging arms at each other, I'm not even kidding. Here, I bet the script looked like this:
Shadowborg: You Beetleborgs are toast! I will destroy you! Mwhaha!
Blue Beetleborg Dude: You'll never win Shadowborg!
(Beetleborgs transform into the Beetleborgs as chorus from theme song plays)
All Three Beetleborgs: HAH!
(One or two Beetleborgs run toward Shadowborg. Another runs around somewhere else before dramatically jumping into the mix. Beetleborgs swing arms, Shadowborg pushes them or grabs their arms and then pushes them. Grunt at every movement. Beetleborgs run away from Shadowborg)
Shadowborg: Hahaha! You'll never win! I'll be back! We'll keep playing this game because this is a game! Everytime before I take off after one our weak battles, I'm going to comment on how this is all a game because I'm too pussy to destroy you! HAHAHA! (Flys away. Beetleborgs transform back to their human counterparts)
Yeah, that's roughly the battles!
Some small plot points pop up for comedy purposes and then fade away like commercial breaks. It's just the Beetleborgs versus Shadowborg, Vexor hoping to create any entire army of baddies from the comic books so he can rule Charterville, the Beetleborgs home town. Along the way, the Beetleborg kids get the creator the Beetleborgs comic to help them defeat Shadowborg. He creates a new, third Beetleborg, the White Beetleborg to assist them. He follows that up by creating a special weapon that could take on their rivals.
It's pretty standard, every now and again you get the monsters at the haunted house doing something quirky that's meant to take up time and create laughter, when all it does it waste time and hinder the plot.
Who's Vexor? Odd placement, I know. Vexor is the Beetleborgs main rival from the comic book. In the pilot, the Beetleborg kids, BEFORE they became Beetleborgs, released Flabber from a pipe organ by accident and he granted them one wish, and that wish was to become Beetleborgs. However, in a bizarre and phoned-in twist, it released the villains from the comic as well. So, you got the Beetleborgs villains running around Charterville, a seemingly innocent little town that periodically has to deal with crazy dressed villains with weird voices running around, causing damage and scaring the townsfolk... I'd move.
In one scene, when Shadowborg is causing trouble in the town... He's... Well, it's not really trouble for than it is murder. He's got this gun that can blow stuff up, and you see shots of storefronts and closeups of buildings being blown up, so you assume he's just blowing up the fronts of building and whatnot, pretty bad, pretty evil, KIND OF extreme... But then they insert some, I can't tell if it's stock footage or some genuine old footage that the creators just found or owned, but it's footage of an entire building blowing up... And MY GOD, this movie jumped the shark! This happens in, I think, the first twenty minutes... Maybe twenty-five... We see an entire building BLOW UP at the hands of some bad guy who was created by these Beetleborgs... Boy, I bet these kids regret wishing to be these Borgs... Because of their selfish wish, hundreds of people probably died... Watch it for yourself and tell me you disagree.
It's bad, but nostalgic. For me, it's worth watching and I'll probably watch it again. I might even check out the entire series. It cheap, cheesy, WEAK BEYOND TWIGS, but it's campy and somewhat... Delightful. Yeah, it kinda is. Odd, huh? But, whatever. I'd recommend it.