In the hit sci-fi thriller “The Philadelphia Experiment” the sole survivor of a wartime experiment is catapulted 41 years into the future and must race to save the world as we know it. It’s now 10 years later, 1993. David Herdeg (Brad Johnson), the surviving hero, has built a life for himself and his young son that’s unravelling fast. The U.S. military is conducting another Experiment, one that not only alters Herdeg’s DNA makeup, but also threatens the fabric of the entire universe. The Experiment’s goal is to transport a Stealth Fighter back to 1943 to use as the ultimate war machine, but its effect hurls Herdeg into another time warp, still 1993, but a 1993 where Germany has won the war. Can Herdeg win the race against time and save his son and the world from a terrible future? Or will the future be a twisted reality distorted by the Philadelphia Experiment?
1993 – Certificate: PG-13 – American Film
Rating Details: Military violence
6.0 out of 10
Who actually shops in Marks and Spencer, unless they want a new bra or a pair of socks? It’s like a John Lewis, except with all the interesting stuff removed. For a start, it only sells a limited range of household things, none of which anyone would need; unless you feel owning a big, weirdly shaped glass jar full of ‘interestingly’ coloured marbles is essential. Or a pastel coloured cushion with tassels on it rates as highly for you as food, shelter and safety. Then there’s the Food Hall. These huge caverns are full of food nobody really buys. True, it’s all very nice and tasty looking, but it’s also all eye-wateringly expensive, pre-pealed, pre-prepared, over-packaged and marketed as over-valued ‘superfood’. I don’t know why M&S doesn’t just take that find step and pre-digest it for you too and sell that instead. In fact, just send it your money and save yourself from even having to bothering to do the shopping in the first place. The branch I went to, near Southampton, has its entrance 5m from a huge Sainsbury; why does an M&S Food Hall even exist there? A small, plastic bowl-like container full of cherry tomatoes on the vine, asparagus tips and rocket, costs about a million pounds. (Whatever happened to lumps of cucumber, lettuce and grated carrot?) At the sort of prices it charges, I’d expect the rocket to be a fully functioning space shuttle, complete with crew. Just before Christmas I won £500 of Marks and Spencer vouchers in a competition. Unable to use them online, (and what’s the point of vouchers these days you can’t use online), I finally plucked up courage last week to go into an M&S store and use them. It was a scary experience. I had no idea how to behave. I was convinced I’d get arrested for breaking some sort of social code of conduct, only known to people who have large jars of marbles in their bathrooms. I was served by four people all at the same time, who insisted on wrapping everything up in millions of layers of paper to ‘protect’ it. Do I look that clumsy? What did they think I was going to do with it all? I’m now the proud owner of the most expense set of pans it sells, two kitchen knives that actually cut, some glasses that match one another and a set of chopping boards that aren’t home to most of the world’s infectious diseases. (And being the system-smashing rebel I am, I’m presently using the blue one that’s got the fish symbol on it, even though I don’t ever eat fish.) I’ve also spent the last week or so living on strawberries, cherries, nectarines and ‘speciality’ apples. My body thinks it’s been irrigated with bleach, such is the purity of my insides now. I did manage to find some packets of pasta hiding away in the corner of the store, but the rice defied my best efforts to locate it anywhere. This film is about someone who finds himself somewhere he’s not used to being.
The Philadelphia Experiment was an interesting, if horrendously dated-looking film that came out in 1984. Nine years later we got the sequel. In many ways this is a better film, although it still manages to look terrible dated. It’s portrayal of an America 50 years after the Nazis won World War Two is really quite nicely presented. Very Orwellian. I was interested to see that the concrete HQ ‘bunker’ that features in the film looks a lot like many of the new stations on the Jubilee Line in London. The sight of a Nighthawk ‘stealth fighter’ decked out in swastikas makes a suitably big impression on the senses. A few elements in the film reminded me of The Terminator too. All the father-son-baseball nonsense at the beginning was a bit nauseating, but once we got past this it was a decent enough movie. Gerrit Graham puts in a good show as the slightly mad Dr. William Mailer. Sadly, the sum of its parts is not up to its individual elements; it feels like a film that ought to be better than it actually is.
The soundtrack is a decent effort, with a mixture of what you’d expect, along with a bit of cowboy music and some suitably overwrought Richard Wagner.
Recommended for Nazis, slightly mad scientists, pilots and baseball fans.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? David kills Mailer’s father, which results in some time-based shenanigans and Mailer disappearing, thus solving a number of tricky challenges. I often do something quite similar myself, which makes it badass. I can never understand why people have to complicate life so much. If you don’t like something, just go back in time and try again. It’s not rocket science.
Whilst watching this film, I realised that my life is a lot like Robocop’s. Like him, I used to be a normal guy with a normal life, job I liked and was good at, friends, relationship, etc. Then one day stuff happened and I ended up a half-crazed cyborg, owned by my employer, devoid of outside interests, single-mindedly saving the planet, dealing out swift justice to those that dare trash it in any way. These days I mindlessly follow the instructions I’m given to the letter, fill in lots of forms and databases, drive around in a souped-up Ford, (well okay I changed the stereo in it), and seek out funding wherever it’s hiding, 24/7. I’m tormented by fragments of memory from my former life and long for redemption; and call me paranoid, but I think the rest of the environmental sector is out to get me too, because I want to do more than map and count every bug and flower there is, over and over again. Like Robocop, I also have four Prime Directives:
1) Serve the membership
2) Protect the planet
3) Follow procedures
4) Make money (as is the case for Robocop, this last one is classified, so don’t tell anyone please)
Okay, so I’m not really a cyborg (although I do wear glasses and contact lenses and have a few fillings); and I also sleep and do other stuff at times as well; and I’m hopeless at doing what I’m told, but really, the parallels are startling. And if more proof was needed, then about 12 years ago, when I was just starting a new job with my current employer, I had to make a presentation to a number of people, including the Group Director. There’s a great line in this film from Dick Jones, Senior President of Omni Consumer Products. He stands up in front of the board of directors, adjacent to a bank of TV screens showing images of the company’s products, to do something quite similar to what I had to do. He starts off by saying, “Take a close look at the track record of this company” and then goes on to describe how the company has “gambled in markets traditionally regarded as non-profit”. That’s what charities generally get up to, so I’ve always felt there were a lot of similarities between what I do in my job and what OCP was looking to achieve with Delta City; I’m sure I’d fit right on in there, should it be looking to recruit anytime soon at the C-level. With my crappy little PowerPoint presentation (which I still have a copy of), I began with a very similar line. I’m not sure anyone there at the time made the connection, but to me it was awesomely cool! This movie is awesomely cool too.
1987 – Certificate: 18 – USA
I love this film. I’ve watched it loads of times. It was one of the first DVDs I ever bought. I imagine it’s required viewing for all the new Police and Crime Commissioners that were voted for this week too. The whole story feels quite unique, it’s got a number of great characters in it, the acting’s good and it looks good as well, even though some of the special effects are now a little dated. Its take on corporate greed works for me and even the theme tune is dead-on. (I’ve no idea why the trailer uses the music from “The Terminator”.) Be sure to watch the Director’s Cut, to get all the most violent bits. Since her appearance in “The Philadelphia Experiment” three years before, Nancy Allen has certainly toughened up her act. I guess all that running around with two guys transported through time does that to you. And it’s got Miguel Ferrer in it, who was at one time the First Officer on The Excelsior in Star Trek. Imagining having that on your CV! The remake (which I think is due out in 2014) will be interesting.
Recommended for awesome people. I’m sorry, but if you don’t like this film you’re not awesome and I can’t be your friend, as I’m simply too cool and you’re probably a square.
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws. However, plenty of other body parts do get ‘removed’.
Top badass moment? The advert for Nuke Em. A sample of this was used by Random Hand for “The Eyeballs of War”. As the 5th best band on the planet, this makes it badass.
I’m pissed off with both Argos and IKEA. IKEA is a perennial dislike of mine, with its unsubtle attempt to make every home reflect the state of many of our high streets, with each one looking exactly like the next one. In comparison, I’m generally quite forgiving of Argos. Sadly, both have now enraged me by showing their true, bloated, evil, stupid, corporate selves. I need some more shelves to store DVDs on. I can’t imagine I’m the only person ever to have had this interior design requirement, but after dealing with the aforementioned companies I think I must be, as they’re both so shockingly crap at selling what I would have thought was a very standard, simple, basic bit of furniture. Bloody hell, I only want to store some DVDs, not the Ebola virus. After having considered and then rejected some of my more bizarre, expensive or inconvenient solutions, such as moving to a bigger home, converting all my DVDs to digital files and storing them on a huge hard drive somewhere, or distorting the local space-time continuum (it’s the “space” bit there that’s most appealing), I decided to try and buy some new storage units for them, to match the ones I already have. In the past I’ve bought these from Argos; except last time when it appeared to have discontinued the style I’ve always bought, so I had to get a different type, which kind of pissed me off, because they don’t look the same. Anyway, this time the old style had miraculously reappeared, but the new style I bought last time had vanished entirely. This also pissed me off, as I’d decided what I wanted based on the latter. No matter I though, I’ll just waste a bit more of my life re-measuring everything to see how to fit the old style in the available space instead. A common theme with these storage units over the years is that every Argos on the planet only ever has a maximum of two in stock at any one time, so if you want more than that you have to keep going back to the shop, over and over again, until you’ve got the number you want. No matter I thought, again, I’ll buy them online instead and pay the very reasonable £3.95 delivery charge, (which includes the ability to pick the delivery day too). I got all the way through this process and ordered five, only to be told after I’ve paid that only one was actually in stock for home delivery, so my order had been changed and the others cancelled. What sort of large, modern company doesn’t link its website sales to its stock? This really pissed me off, a lot. Half an hour later, after finally getting the purchase confirmation e-mail and then spending ten minutes on hold, I got through to Betty, (who because she sounded like ‘everyone’s favourite granny’ I didn’t have the heart to get annoyed with about all this), who cancelled my order; (because guess what, you can’t cancel your order online either). All this messing about had sufficiently annoyed me that I decided to go and buy the same things from IKEA instead. It sells what’s basically an identical unit for £1.99 less. So I get through all of its ordering system only to be told it costs £35 for delivery. Seriously, IKEA is taking the piss here. If I was IKEA, I’d use the same delivery firm as Argos and charge its customers a 10th of what they’re presently charged and offer a choice of delivery days too. So after wasting well over an hour of my time, I’m still no closer to solving my original problem. Bollocks to them both. This film also features an ‘issue’ with space and time.
1984 – Certificate PG – USA Rating Details:
Mild Language, violence and horror
“Star Wars” was made in 1977, seven years before this film. It looked amazing at the time and still looks really good now. This movie looks and feels like it was made in 1960. Most of the special effects belong in the 50s; in fact the whole feel of it does too. Despite this, I do rather like this film in a strange sort of way. Maybe it’s the inherent decentness of the hero, David Herdeg. (Although he doesn’t seem that bothered when a car of fellow military personnel that’s chasing him crashes and blows up, certainly killing everyone inside it; it’s not like they were even trying to do anything bad to him either). And come to think of it, that’s far from his only sociopathic reaction to what’s going on around him. In fact, he’s not really very nice at all. So perhaps it’s the natural sexiness of fellow escapee (née kidnap-victim) Allison (Nancy Allen) that does it for me then? She was great in “Robocop”. However, her 80s hairstyle and somewhat pathetic-useless-woman persona do start to grind you down after a while; she even falls over at one post during a chase. Sadly, there’s nothing very attractive about an idiot. Of course, I appreciate that both of them had a lot of shit going on in their lives; he having to deal with the consequences of suddenly being transported 41 years into the future and her having not got a job she’d applied for. But really… Actually I’ve now realised I’ve no idea why I like this film. Enigmatic eh?
Recommended for people who long for the return of rubbish 50s sci-fi. Yes, these people really do exist.
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws. However, one unfortunate guy does sort of get trapped in the deck of the ship with his head half embedded in the metal. That’s going to take at least two paracetamol to sort out.
Top badass moment? Move along, there’s nothing to see here; certainly no one heroic enough to do anything worthy of the accolade of “Top Baddass Moment”.