Thursday, September 1, 2016

Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time (PDXFF 2016) - Movie Review

Thirteen years ago, Neil Stryker took on an evil cult. Now, the futuristic hero returns to action at the 2016 Portland Film Festival in Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time. This low budget, time traveling action movie features acting performances by David Ogden Stiers, Walter Koenig, Nic Costa, Matt Zak, Bryna Smith, Jordana Ansley, and Rob Taylor in the starring role as both the hero and the villain and is also listed as a producer, writer, and director.

The Review:
This film is such a mixed bag of everything, you never know what you're going to get at any given moment which works beautifully in all but a few moments here and there. While it plays as a straight action movie, the comedy comes from intentionally absurd moments and bits of dialog that are inserted haphazardly through almost every single scene. If I was to make any sort of comparison to other films, I would most likely describe the film as a mixture of Iron Sky, AirplaneMission Impossible, Turbo Kid, and Austin Powers, but with none of the budget most of those films had to work with.

The types of special effects that were used to make this movie give it the look and feel of classic '80's science fiction films that were most likely viewed late at night on cable TV or as a random VHS find at the video store. It was also cool to see everything built practically like the puppet creatures who looked like deformed, evil Yoda clones, vehicles that looked like they were pieced together from model kits, and sets that were all perfectly built for this slightly futuristic world. Overall, I was very impressed with the look and feel of the movie which made it easier to inhabit the fun, wacky story being told.

The Verdict:
Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time does just about everything right and, except for a really bad musical number, I was thoroughly entertained from beginning to end. This movie is sure to be a hit as it makes the rounds on the festival circuit and could easily become one of those cult classics you see getting screened over and over at boutique theaters and genre festivals for years to come.

Check out my "TwoOhSix Picks" article to see what other films you don't want to miss out on during the 2016 Portland Film Festival. Thanks for reading and enjoy the festival!

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