Wednesday, April 29, 2009

All I Want Is A Motorcycle Riding Stuntwoman With Frickin' Laser Beams On Her Head!

The best selling poster girl pin up of the Reagan era rides a plastic motorbike to glory in Cyclone.

Often when I watch movies, I like to analyze it and look at the artistry of what's happening. The cinematography, the lighting, the editing, the sound, shot composition...it all goes into the art of filmmaking which I am a big fan of. So I tend to watch movies that art kinda artsy fartsy with acting and stories and what not...but not today! Today I felt like watching the video equivalent of comfort food, so I sought out something that would match the sort of B level Cannon Films quality of action film. And then I found the perfect match: Cyclone!

Back in the day I saw this movie's cardboard box in just about every video store I went to. And it was always in the same condition-unrented. So today was the day, the day when I would finally get to see what was hiding on that little plastic strip of videotape. The Fall Guy's Heather Thomas. A motorcycle. A title that implies wind and excitement. Oh Hell Yeah, it's gonna be a winner of a movie!

Let's get to the story, a government scientist builds a secret room (referred to as a lab, I guess because it has a chalkboard and PC in it) in his house to create a motorcycle that can fire electric bolts and rockets. Also, the motorcycle helmet shoots lasers off the side of the head. But the lab rat doesn't trust the government he works for, there's leaks you see, and despite death threats the geek won't back down. His live in girlfriend Heather Thomas, fresh from working out at the gym and kung fu'ing some random thugs, talks him into going out to a club for a dance. At the club the geek gets iced by the late legendary stuntman Dar Robinson (playing a hitman along with a punk/retro chick assassin as a partner). Heather Thomas goes home and in the "lab" discovers a message from her boyfriend that auto plays if I guess the computer assumes he's dead. It tells her the super motorcycle's secrets including that it's weapons are powered by a box the size of a remote control that can generate enough power to run a battleship. She must get the Cyclone motorcycle with the power source to the one government agent he trusts, outwitting other corrupt government agents and the assassins. And the thrills begin!

Cyclone is an incredible monument to crap. But that's what makes it sooo great. Nobody in this movie is convincing, least of all Heather Thomas as the girlfriend. Her fight scenes are ridiculously staged, scenes where she is supposed to cry or show concern all get played out with the same air of husky stiltedness. Best of all there is a torture scene, where she first portrays getting electrocuted like someone poked her back with a stick and then gets a "hot" cup of coffee thrown in her face. The coffee part is really cool because it's so blatantly cold that she has a delayed reaction to it. It was like "Oh yeah, my face is supposed to be on fire right now after I've been given electrical torture I better do something." So she acts like someone slapped her. Classic stuff.

And after all the hype about the motorcycle there are only like two chase scenes. You have to wait to the final chase to see the gadgets go on the Cyclone. And in that type of physics that can only exist in B movies, the electric beams of Cyclone blows the hell out of a 70's American Car but can't hit a motorcycle driven by her nemesis, even with rockets. The rockets and beams would score a direct hit and the motorcycle baddy just kept rollin until it drove into a parked car. That was of course just an excuse for the main bad girl to play possum long enough for some final fight scene fu.

Movies like this are made to be torn apart and enjoyed as junk and by those standards Cyclone is phenomenal. What I like best is the logic of the supposed genius lab geek in the movie. This guy invents an endless energy source that would make fossil fuel and nuclear power obsolete. Instead of using this idea to end fuel crisis and revolutionize the power industry, he builds a weaponized motorcycle. A motorcycle with enough cheap grey boxy plastic on its coverings to make a years supply of Casio digital watches. A motorcycle, a vehicle that provides almost no protection from attack except for the bullet proof glass shield in the very front. Fortunately, everyone that shoots at the Cyclone aims for exactly that spot.

So if you ever find yourself thinking "I really wish there was a movie with Heather Thomas from The Fall Guy driving a missile launching motorcycle and firing laser beams from the side of her head" then this movie is for you. Below is a clip from this magnificent hunk of junk. Enjoy!

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2 comments:

Kevin said...

Awesome! I just watched this movie and couldn't believe how 80's craptastic it really was. Still, can't get enough of Heather--AND the Ninja 250 her character rides (seen in the photo).

Interesting bit of trivia: when Rick is out riding Cyclone, he stops to chat with some kid. The second time I watched that scene I noticed he was wearing one of the early Aerostich Roadcrafter riding suits that was likely custom made for the movie. Aerostich is alive and well in Duluth, MN, and makes some high-end riding gear.

I have a couple different riding suits that they make.

Thanks for making my day with this blog.
-K

Kevin Kocur, Minneapolis

Mr. Mike said...

Thanks Kevin! Craptastic is the perfect description of this movie. And thanks for the motorcycle trivia.