Final Days

Director: Robert Leiberman

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Final Days Stuff makes lots of noise on the moon in Final Days of Planet Earth (2006), without regard for the lack of atmosphere. So right away it's clear we're not on a realistic moon walk. Then the weightless floaty crew, including a beautifully aging Daryl Hanna as Liz, head home to Earth.

Two years later on Earth, archeological professor Lloyd Walker (Gil Bellows) is busy recovering a buried ship from a long-dried riverbed in the heart of the city. The ship unexpectedly sinks back into the ground taking one of Walker's students, Jonathan (Ryan McDonell), with it. It's explained as just a sinkhole, but it made for a better effect than most of what we'll be abused by.

Oh yeah, & we're introduced to a beautiful young woman who studied entymology so she can make a living as an exterminator. Marianne Winters (Suleka Mathew) romanticizes bugs, then kills them. And as we all know, it's the dream of every gorgeous gal to spray peoples' houses with insecticide, it's just such a glamor job, & woohoo the pay.

These many plot threads take about half an hour to begin to show any possible connection, so for the longest while the film just feels mightily disjointed. It was originally made for cable, which in the present marketplace shouldn't make it any worse than a direct to video product, but alas it doesn't make it any better either.

A sewer worker in what appears to be a semi-natural cave under the city discovers a weird, well-organized insect society just before he screams off-stage.

Liz Quinlan, ex-astronaut, is now the mayor's laison. Boy did she ever take advantage of her former position as Babe Astronaut to score a great job that amounts to squat. She has become the "cover up gal" whose job it is to keep the lid on bad publicity, while a series of minor catastrophes arise throughout San Francisco, related to the weird giant bugs mining under the city. The sinking of the archeological site was just the first of these catastrophies.

Professor Walker goes nosing about underground looking for the connection to the catastrophes & as a minor aside to finding out what happened to his student Jonathan. He finds the weird colony but for no particular reason it doesn't try to get him like it did the the city worker, the logic of this film being completely gonzo.

Reporter "John Doe" aka Jake Roth (John Cassini) is kind of a Deep Throat who knows the city government has some sort of conspiricy going on. He doesn't yet know what it is, but he's sure it has something to do with explosive-gas fungus.

That's exciting, the Farting Fungus Conspriacy. I began to wonder if the scriptwriter for this turkey didn't have a grudge against the film industry when he exploded this one out of his ass.

At the 45-minute mark, something mildly interesting finally develops, as we discover there's a secret lab where evil torture experiments are being done on astronaut William Phillips (Campbell Scott), by wicked workers in hasmat suits. The extensive underground lab is called Room 86 instead of Area 84, so that's original.

Final Days We also met along the way a seedy used car salesman who got fired from his job, & a birdwatcher who has noticed birds disappearing. These & a few other uninteresting people have questions they want answered & want them answered now! This would include Professor Walker & the entymologist/exterminator babe Marianne.

They've all come together seeking out the city ombudsman for some of the answers the mayor's liason keeps stonewalling. They all end up in the outer waiting room of the ombudsman's office. Waiting & waiting & waiting. Just like we poor viewers keep doing.

At intervals the unblinking clerk allows someone to go into the back offices, never to be seen again. It takes a while but eventually the professor figures out that can't be good.

Everyone who comes to the ombudsman's office has a special note that says "First consideration" should be given to this "candidate," a note each believed would finally get them the various answers they required.

When Professor Walker is shuttled into the back offices, he soon has more knowledge than he'd hoped for. Unforseen problem for the baddies: college professors carry guns. He pulls his & starts shooting.

Exterminator Babe hears the gunshots & hurries to help, entering the creepy underground facility surrounding Room 86. The others, like the birdwatcher & used car sleeze, might be expected to hightail it out of there as fast as they could go. Nahh. They instantly join the raid on the facility, killing part-bug people as they go.

Final Days Could it get much dumber? You bet! Mantis-like Bug Eyed Monsters are planning to take over the world. They eat people & can "wear" people like a suit.

They grow their exploding-gas fungus & reproduce like flies. They even get naked & do the nasty with people, lucky for the bugophiliacs of Earth who could never before find a cockroach that was big enough to do.

It's just so, so stupid that it's kind of mesmerizing how void of merit a story can be & still get someone like Daryl Hannah to agree to be in it.

These alien bugs are experimenting on the moonship captain because he's immune to being "jacketed" or taken over by an insect larvae. "I'm their kryptonite," notes the captain. HIs body carries the secret of how humans can cease to be useful to the aliens, so of course they want to keep him alive, bugs being a lot less smart than they think they are.

Even if all he does is touch a "jacketed" insect, they fall apart, which is why he was tortured only by guys in hasmat suits.

There's a queen for this insect society & she's Daryl Hannah. This is constructed like a "Surprise!" in the film, but since it was given away on the dvd box & by all ad campaigns, it was a given from the start that she'd eventually spring some extra legs.

She's very full of herself & certain her race will take over everything in no time. Already the invasion is in full force & we're treated to a vision of the main colony which is on the verge of maturing & spreading throughout the world.

It's now or never for stopping them, so naturally the queen gives a guided tour, daring Captain Kryptonite to take advantage of this last chance to save the earth. Which he does.

There are a couple okay CGI bug FX at the very end, & I kind of like Daryl as a villain, but nothing can save this crapulistic fiasco. Much more entertainingly bad movies can be found to entertain fans of shlock.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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