Replikator may be a science fiction thriller packed with babes and action, but it has enough flashbacks to please any demanding aesthete hooked on such mind-twisting Frenchmen like Marcel Proust or Alain Resnais. But then, Remembrance of Things Past doesn't have any exploding mice does it? Well, heck, Replikator sure does. Not to mention a much more stylish look than you have any right to expect.
(Maybe filming in Toronto has something to do with that. Or maybe not.)
But let's start at the beginning. Seems that the good ole Earth is in a world of hurt. The ozone layer is pretty much gone, people wear funky clothes that sometimes clash with their breathing masks, and strapped-for-cash Blade Runner is the dominant design motif. With the Earth's resources scarce, inquiring minds turn to the idea of replication (or replikation if you prefer). Instead of building new objects from expensive materials that might not even exist, why not have a machine that simply duplicates them? To make the story even more exciting, there are two organizations rushing to do this first -- a feisty small-time one, featuring Our Hero, and a larger one run by a well-coiffed businessman. Perhaps you see where this is heading: Duplicated coffee mugs just aren't too fascinating, so how about replicated people? But as one helpful scientist explains, you can exactly replicate each tiniest atom of a person but you still won't replicate all the electrical impulses that make up a person's mind. In other words:
identical body, different personality. So when Our Hero replicates himself, he produces an exact physical duplicate who is so non-nice that he immediately frames Our Hero for a murder and heads off to dance on-stage with the world's most thoroughly clad strippers.
So Elvis, Ned Beatty, porn stars? OK, just this once we'll fill in the connections. Our Hero is actually Michael St. Gerard, who portrayed the Kingly side-burned one in the 1990 TV mini-series "Elvis" (about the same time he was also a semi-regular on Beverly Hills 90210 for the millions of you who care). Replikator must have been the peak of his career, since he hasn't made another film since. Ned Beatty is, well, Ned Beatty, here doing duty as Inspector Victor Valiant, a name even a bad comic book writer would have thought ludicrously improbable. (Speaking of which, why does one character, for no apparent reason, have the name John Cheever, same as the famous writer?) But we know you've been skipping ahead to read about the porn star. Well that's La Cicciolina (real name Illona Staller), who made quite a stir in her adopted Italy -- she was born in Hungary -- when she was elected to its parliament in 1987. At one time, Cicciolina was married to American conceptual artist Jeff Koons.
Now here's the man of the late-night hour with your drive-in totals.
"We have: Twenty-three dead bodies. Two helicopter crash-and-burns. Eight breasts, ix-nayed right outta there. Impaling on a coffee spout. Hand-biting. Crotch-slugging. Sizzling mouse. Virtual stripping. Real stripping. Ex-boyfriend slapping. Virtual burying alive. Fifty-eight rounds gunfire. Face disintegrating. Two stars." Next best thing to Godzilla movies
Last seen on Monstervision on July 1, 2000, Rating: TV-14-V
"REPLIKATOR" Commercial Break #1
This is kinda Blade Runner Lite, isn't it? The guy says "Whenever we try to replicate anything complex, the peripheral software causes the replicated sample to amplify imperfections in the original. The problem is how to sustain quantum flux in the replication field while conforming the signal from the sample that we're replicating." I mean, come on, anybody who's graduated kindergarten knows that the problem is how to sustain quantum flux in the replication field while SEPARATING the signal from the sample, not CONFORMING it. Who writes these things? I do kinda like that Justice Channel, though, where the TV audience gets to vote on the guilt of criminals. That's certainly a FAIR way to decide, isn't it? Vigilantes with remotes. And I especially like the virtual stripper, played by La Cicciolina, [chi-cho-leena] the Eyetalian adult-film star and former member of Parliament. I'm gonna need a whole break to talk about HER, so let's do some ads and get back to "Replikator."
[fading] La Cicciolina's role in this flick has been SERIOUSLY whittled down by the TNT censors, which means that her two enormous talents are on the floor of some editing room in Atlanta. I hope nobody trips over em.
"REPLIKATOR" Commercial Break #2
Was that the wimpiest knock-out punch you ever saw? He caught him with that lethal second knuckle of the fourth finger. That's Michael St. Gerard as Ludo Ludovic. Surprisingly, "Replikator" is the last thing on his resume. He's got kinda that fifties rock-and-roll look to him, so I can see why he got cast as Elvis Presley in a mini-series back in 1990. And, of course, who doesn't remember him as the acting teacher from season two of "Beverly Hills 90210," the one Shannen Dougherty gets a crush on, and who makes out with Gabrielle Carteris? I know I do. You know, everybody in this flick looks like somebody else. The ex-girlfriend looks a little bit like Jennifer Love Hewitt. That's actually Brigitte Bako. We got the female cop that looks like Janet Reno. And then there's the guy who looks like Ned Beatty. Oh, wait, that IS Ned Beatty! How do they get actors like him to do these movies? I mean, the guy's done almost 120 films in the last 18 years, you'd think he could afford to be a little choosy. Anyhoo, let's do some commercials and get back to it.
[fading] You guys know Ned Beatty's FIRST film was Deliverance? That just amazes me. How many times do you think people on the street yell "Squeal like a pig" at him? I mean, what kinda person would do that? Actually, I'd do that.
"REPLIKATOR" Commercial Break #3
David Hemblen, giving a multi-faceted and subtle performance as the chief of police. You think maybe he's . . . evil? I'm just not sure. David's got a recurring role on the show "Earth: Final Conflict," and fans of that show are VERY familiar with Lisa Howard, who plays Captain Lili Marquette. Here she's Lena the lovely lab tech. Of course, around here, we like to remember David Hemblen most fondly as the doctor in "Booty Call." All right, the replicated Ludo has just grabbed himself some pimp clothes, so let's go see how he looks in em, after the ads.
[fading] Do pimps still wear those jackets with the big fur collars? Where do you get those? Are there special catalogues? Cause I don't really see too many of em at J. Crew. Write me at TNT, 1010 Techwood Drive, Atlanta, Georgia, 30318, and let me know. Or e-mail me at email@example.com. Maybe I'll post the info on our website, which, by the way, is tnt.turner.com/joebob. I'd look good in some purple satin pants, don't you think? They wore some of those in "Booty Call." You know, "Booty Call" just came and went, didn't it? There was no "Booty Call 2." There was no "Booty Call" cast reunion. There was no "Booty Call" video. And they wonder what's wrong with Hollywood today. Who's calling the booties?
"REPLIKATOR" Commercial Break #4
I have a question. Is that character named John Cheever? The one in the old pilot headgear who looks like Peter O'Toole? I mean, John Cheever is a very well-known author, so I'm just wondering if they did that on purpose, and if so, why? Isn't John Cheever the guy who wrote stories about bored insurance adjusters in the suburbs of Connecticut? They haven't made a lot of Cheever books into sci-fi action blockbusters, have they? And another thing. The replicator amplifies the bad parts of whatever was replicated. Again, why? Ludo's evil clone is making a nuisance of himself, but I didn't see a bad side of LUDO, did you guys? And what's the point of the clone? Just to walk around picking fights in strip joints? Course, that's not a bad purpose to have in life. Okay, back in a few.
[fading] John Cheever. Pulitzer Prize winning author, and goofy lab tech from el cheapo Blade Runner rip-off. It's symbolic. I don't know what it's symbolic OF, but I'm sure it's symbolic.
"REPLIKATOR" Commercial Break #5
Now we KNOW that Clone Ludo is evil, because who would steal a blind beggar's dog? THAT was funny. Okay, the clever "Replikator" researchers decided that, in the future, prisons will let visitors walk right up to the cell and have a chat with the prisoner. In drag, no less. All right, I'm totally confused about this computer program. Did the clone just destroy it? Why wasn't it working? I have no idea. You know what, let's get to the IMPORTANT part of the plot, the part where we get see the performance of Tina Show--otherwise known as La Cicciolina--and her two enormous talents. Go. Get those commercials out of the way.
[fading] The clone got some more pimp clothes. The pimp he mugged obviously had an overnight bag with him. Or maybe he's Pimp Of The Future. Pimp Of The Future has a self-renewing wardrobe.
"REPLIKATOR" Commercial Break #6
[piece of paper, looking at paper] Lord Falcon is a cryptic of Byron Scott. Hm, why don't I see that? We have a character named John Cheever and a character named Byron Scott. Because this screenwriter is a fan of both East Coast intellectual fiction AND the Lakers. Well, Tina Show's show got pretty much cut beyond recognition. We saw a flash of bewtock, and they did keep in the part where she rubs the horn player's trombone, if you know what I mean and I think you do. But we missed the show, and even worse, we missed the bathtub scene with the fabulous Ilona Staller, better known as La Cicciolina. She's famous for bathtub scenes, and ménage a trios scenes, and ménage a quatre scenes, and, well, let's just say that in Italy, they've seen a LOT of Ilona, even during her campaign for Parliament, where she made sure voters got a peek at her two enormous talents. And big surprise -- she DID get elected, as part of the Radical Party. She crusaded for some very important issues: Allowing prisoners conjugal visits, sex education in schools, and the repeal of article 528 of the Penal Code. That's the law that prohibits offending the "common decency," under which La Cicciolina has been prosecuted many a time, so she knows it well. Okay, guess what? It's almost over, so stay with me.
[fading] Some of Ilona's movies were shown in a New York courtroom a few years ago, when her husband was suing her for divorce and custody of their kid. They were providing visual evidence of her lifestyle. That was a good day in court. This lady can do the entire multiplication tables with her THIGHS, you know what I mean?
Wow! Seven screenwriters on that baby! I guess it just took that many people to PERFECT it, right? And boy howdy, am I looking forward the SEQUEL. Okay, next week, we don't have a low-budget rip-off to a well-known movie. We have a low-budget SEQUEL to a well-known movie, Children of the Corn 2. Can't wait for that.
That's it for me, Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you not to worry -- it only seems kinky the first time.
You guys hear the one about the old man who's critically ill? He feels death is near, so he calls his lawyer, and tells him, "I want to become a lawyer. How much is the express degree you told me about?" Lawyer says, "It's $50,000. But why? You'll be dead soon, why do you want to become a lawyer?" Old man says, "That's my business! Get me the course!" Four days later, the old man gets his law degree. His lawyer is at his bedside, making sure his bill will be paid. The old man is suddenly racked with fits of coughing, and it's clear that this is the end. The lawyer's still curious, so he leans over and says, "Please, before it's too late, tell me why you wanted to get a law degree so badly before you died?" Old man faintly whispers with his last breath, "One less lawyer."
Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die.
[fading] You guys know what the letters D.N.A. stand for? National Dyslexics Association.
Host segment transcript © 2000 Turner Network Television. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved