Weaving werewolf themes into a science-fiction thriller may seem like a unique idea, but the way this movie goes about telling its story is lamentably familiar.
In 1972 Hungary, CIA operative Donald Butler (John Marzilli) heads an operation to secure werewolf blood as a possible agent for creating a better soldier. After killing a lycanthrope and injecting himself with its life-fluid, Butler is turned into a werewolf, and his partner Pete Miller (Barry
Bostwick) must kill him and cover up the incident. Twenty years later, scientist Anna De Carlo (Kim Delaney) and her team are experimenting with an invulnerable metallic flesh called BioFerron. Miller gets wind of their activities. Arriving at their lab, he submits a cadaver for testing--that of
Butler. In the course of grafting the BioFerron, the doctors remove the silver bullets that killed Butler, and he soon revives as a monster.
Learning of the origins of the corpse and realizing what's happening, Anna and her team are able to briefly subdue Butler and try to figure out what to do with him. Before they can, he transforms completely into the invincible MetalBeast (Kane Hodder) and begins killing them off. The survivors
mold some silver-tipped projectiles for a rocket launcher, and though Miller tries to stop them, he too is murdered by the MetalBeast. After two unsuccessful tries, Anna then fires one of the silver missiles directly into the monster's chest, blowing it to pieces.
The idea of using injections of werewolf blood to transform men into super-soldiers is an idea so bizarre that it just might have worked. But nothing else in PROJECT: METALBEAST is as engagingly eccentric as the way its story initially takes the existence of werewolves for granted. Once the body
of the lycanthropic Butler is delivered to the lab, the movie succumbs to formula: The doctors do their experimental (and gruesome) work, their subject goes awry and chases them around the lab, the team seal themselves inside with the creature to prevent it from getting loose in the outside world,
and the villainous official who started it all proves to be as much of a menace as the monster.
The cast is somewhat better than usual, filling out their standardized roles acceptably, and the makeup effects by John Carl Buechler are effective enough. But there are only so many ways one can film a werewolf attack, and director Alessandro de Gaetano rapidly exhausts them: The movie becomes a
succession of scenes in which the beast looms over victims and tosses them around, followed by a cutaway to the remaining characters who subsequently discover the mangled victim. But at least the method of the monster's destruction is unique--this may well be the first and only film in which a
werewolf is killed with a silver-firing rocket launcher. (Graphic violence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: Weaving werewolf themes into a science-fiction thriller may seem like a unique idea, but the way this movie goes about telling its story is lamentably familiar. In 1972 Hungary, CIA operative Donald Butler (John Marzilli) heads an operation to secure were… (more)