For those of you keeping score, ANDY COLBY'S INCREDIBLY AWESOME ADVENTURE may be Roger Corman's biggest ripoff yet. It's a soulless, cynical attempt to wring more bucks out of some old New Horizons productions, and it's even more maddening in view of its genuinely charming setup: stuck
with the chore of baby-sitting little sister Bonnie (Jessica Puscas), 12-year-old Andy (Randy Josselyn) visits the local video store in search of a tape to make the coming hours pass as painlessly as possible. When Andy finds an unfamiliar cassette labeled "Incredible Video Adventure," a
mysterious clerk informs him that it is the only copy of the tape in the world. To watch it, Andy is told, he must make sure not to sit too close to the screen and under no circumstances is he to let go of the remote control. Back home, after starting the tape, Andy has to leave the room to answer
the phone. Alone with the TV, Bonnie is suddenly addressed by a strange, dark-cloaked man on the screen who beckons her closer. Andy returns in time to see his sister vanish into the tube. Unfazed, he uses the remote control to rewind the action, but when Bonnie fails to emerge, Andy climbs into
the screen. He finds himself in a desert, but using the remote control he changes his surroundings to footage from the Corman production SPACE RAIDERS. Yes, for what seems like hours the kid gawks at the antics of Vince Edwards as the 1983 film unspools. Then Andy enters WIZARDS OF THE LOST
KINGDOM (1985), in which he shares some tiresome adventures with affable barbarian Bo Svenson. Sharp-eyed viewers who still give a damn will also recognize scenes from CHOPPING MALL; DEATHSTALKER II; WHEELS OF FIRE; and other Corman productions, as Andy hops from channel to channel. After being
stunned by a laser, the boy enters a region of static where a fuzzy, friendly beast named Glitch dwells. Glitch reassures Andy, telling him "It's only a movie," and suggests that Bonnie's abductor might be Lord Chroma (Chuck Kovacic) a resident of the Higher Channels--a zone so rarefied that it's
all in black and white, except for the color stolen and hoarded by Chroma. Eluding Chroma's robot cyclists (provided by DEATHSPORT ), Andy penetrates the villain's fortress and finds Chroma about to vacuum the color from his sister. Again using the remote control, Andy freeze-frames Chroma,
but the effect is only temporary, and the kids flee back to their point of entry with Chroma in pursuit. Glitch delays Chroma long enough for Andy and Bonnie to climb out of the TV set, just as Mom comes home. Finding the two on the floor, she accuses them of roughhousing and tells them they can't
watch TV for a week, much to the children's delight.
Marathon recycling of stock footage is nothing new to Corman. He and then-fledgling director Peter Bogdanovich once cut a Russian sci-fi spectacle, PLANET OF STORMS, into two look-alike cheapies, VOYAGE TO THE PREHISTORIC PLANET and VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF PREHISTORIC WOMEN. But ANDY COLBY'S
INCREDIBLY AWESOME ADVENTURE makes those cinematic crimes look like misdemeanors. Director Deborah Brock (SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II) lets the leftovers unreel like old home movies, making only a slight attempt to integrate the new characters into the old footage. Still, the original sections that
she has shot for the film show some real talent.
The young actors perform capably, and Lord Chroma's castle is a cute bit of surrealistic design. As Chroma, however, Chuck Kovacic seems to be impersonating a kiddie-show host run amok; he cackles, gloats, raps, and performs imitations of Pee-Wee Herman and Carl Sagan--all to little effect.
ANDY COLBY'S INCREDIBLY AWESOME ADVENTURE is obviously aimed at younger viewers, and indeed the stock footage has been cleansed of the usual Corman sleaze. But the death of a crewman in the SPACE RAIDERS segment and Chroma's casual elimination of a youthful slave make the film a questionable
time-waster for young children. (Violence.)
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