Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Reviews:
Blast From The Past
What if Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek were your parents?
Now here is MST-3000's Mike Nelson:
The year is 1962. Fidel Castro, fearing the world will laugh at his vaudevillian beard and cigar, allows Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to place nuclear-capable missiles on Cuban soil. American president John F. Kennedy rolls off Judith Campbell and snaps into action. “It shall be the policy of this nation to regaahd any nuclear missile launched from Cuber against any nation in the Western Hemahsphere as an act of wah against the United States,” he tells a tense nation.
After meeting with advisors, Kennedy decides to initiate a naval quarantine zone around Cuba, completely cutting off Castro’s borscht supply. He hopes this will buy more time for scientists to finish development of their Synthetic Incendiary and Explosive Cigar (SEIC), a technology that until then had only been the stuff of cartoons.
Fortunately, Khrushchev relents and withdraws the missiles, knowing that any further escalation could lead to nuclear engagement and a total disruption of his meal schedule.
From this historic episode, the film Blast from the Past imagines a fiction in which husband and wife Calvin and Helen Weber (Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek) retreat into a bomb shelter and stay for 35 years, mistakenly believing that a nuclear holocaust has indeed taken place. The pregnant Helen gives birth, and they raise their son, Adam, beneath the earth, completely unaware that he will turn out to be Brendan Fraser.
As they hide below the surface, the ‘60s slip by. Fortunately for the Webers, they completely avoid having to hear a single note of Creedence Clearwater Revival. The ‘70s pass. No one in the Webers’ bunker at any time says the word “dyn-o-mite.” The ‘80s disappear into history, and with it any chance of seeing Head of the Glass. Adam is raised on old-fashioned values, is taught to dance, box, and learns all about baseball. In short, he’s a dope. A moron. A total square. It’s the ‘90s, and Huey Lewis’s theory that “it’s hip to be square” has been disproved.
After an ill-fated trip to the surface on reconnaissance, Calvin (Walken) has a heart attack, so they send Adam to the surface to get supplies. He botches the job immediately and gets hopelessly lost, proving once again that you simply can’t trust guys raised in bunkers beneath the earth. Realizing he’ll need more money than he has, he tries to sell off his baseball card collection and is aided by kindly stranger Eve (Alicia Silverstone). Adam falls for her immediately, apparently unaware that she was in Batman & Robin and, telling her a lie about living in remote Alaska, asks her to help him buy supplies.
Thus begins a love affair destined for tepidity and luke-warmedness.
Eve shuns Adam at first, finding his earnest nature almost as annoying as his performance in Encino Man, so he asks for help in finding him a mate. She agrees, but then discovers that she loves Adam herself. When he reveals the truth about himself, she tries to have him committed.
Blast from the Past starts off strong, with funny performances by Sissy Spacek and Christopher Walken...who could play the Dalai Lama as though he were about to snap. But the whole thing is hampered by the awkward love story between Fraser and Silverstone. As for Fraser, it’s best to see his movies only when he’s starring as a Jay Ward cartoon character (Dudley Do-Right, 1999). I look forward to seeing him take a star turn in the upcoming Hoppity Hooper with himself as Hooper, Rupert Everett as Professor Waldo Wigglesworth, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Susan Swivelhips.
You may be able to view this movie in your very own home! See Monstervision page for time & date if showing this week.
Canadian/American (duel citizenship) Brendan Frazer has also starred or had major roles in "George Of The Jungle", The Mummy (1999), "Gods & Monsters" (aka Father of Frankenstein,
1998, a bio-pic about Frankenstein director James Whale), and of course "Encino Man" (1992, Fraser always uses the character name Link when appearing in Pauley Shore movies)
"Blast From The Past" availabilty on video and on DVD from Amazon.com
Books by Michael Nelson available from Amazon.com include Movie Megacheese. Mike's episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are available from Amazon.com on both video and on DVD, and he co-wrote the MST3000 book
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© 2000 Michael J. Nelson. All rights reserved, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles & reviews. Mike Nelson is no relation to Lloyd Bridges and has never run low on air while hunting around under the sea.