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Bad Channels (1992)

Talk Radio meets Doctor Who in this lively, scrappy sci-fi quickie from the Charles Band stable, directed by Ted Nicolaou. Wildman disc jockey Paul Hipp (Jesus in Bad Lieutenant), broadcasting on the 666 frequency finds his studio invaded by an encrusted space creature with a head the size of a volkswagen and a robot sidekick along the lines of the aliens who once advertised instant mashed potatoes on British TV. Everyone listening assumes Hipp's alien invasion monologue is another wild and crazy promotional stunt, but the monster uses radio waves to zero in on the channel's more babelicious listeners, hypnotise them with sub-standard glam rock video clips featuring the Blue Oyster Cult and suck them into the studio where they are shrunk down to a fifth of their normal size and put in test tubes as a preparation for something ghastly the script never explains. Everything falls apart in the end and green fungus, Punch and Judy snake-heads, mucho explosions, a very loud soundtrack and rotten jokes splurge all over the screen. It is vaguely watchable if purposeless, with a post-credits cameo by tiny Tim Thomerson, walking in from Dollman to pick up shrunken waitress Charlie Spradling so they can co-star in Band's audacious, cheapskate effort in recycling footage to deliver a multi-sequel, Dollman vs the Demonic Toys.

First published in this form here.


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