Hey gang, Valkor here. Asteroids and meteors have taken over the month of February; first an asteroid flyby of Earth, Russia gets clocked with a meteor and in relation to both, I get a film that has a lot to do with asteroids, while on paper probably sounds awesome, however the final product swings and misses. I'm talking about Solid State DVD. And I'm gonna ruin the shit outta this movie, just to give you a heads up! But trust me, you'll thank me later.
Solid State centers on once broken up, but now attempting to get back together rock band known as Three of Sin – Emily (Debbie Rochon),Cynthia (Ava Brunini), and Sharon (Suzi Lorraine), along with new drummer Ray (Diego Casale). Unfortunately for Ray, past drummers didn't do to well with the group. But maybe things have changed? The group is off to their first stop in Italy, which would be the first stop of their tour. That night they party it up all the while the world is in utter chaos as an asteroid is speeding its way towards the planet.
Pause: The world appears to be at an end… and this group goes on tour? Not only that, but to a sellout crowd no less! Oh yea, we're off to a great start.
Fortunately for Three of Sins and their sell out audience, the world came together, shot off a nuke and destroyed… most of the asteroid. A chunk lands in the village right near where they're staying and when a couple of the locals go to investigate, they find the fallen asteroid and learn that when they touch it, they become infected in such a way that it looks like they're living ash creatures. And if the ash people touch anyone else, they in turn become a creature thus spreading the infection through the village. The creatures wind up at the doorstep of Three of Sins, where the group hold up until the creatures suddenly leave after seeing a beam of light.
Pause: Prior to that, the group wake up, hung-over from the party they had the night before. They go out to look for Cynthia, who is lying by the pool covered in a blanket. The music is slow and dreading and it's presumed that Cynthia is dead. But she wakes up after a few pokes from a stick. I just found that whole scene completely uncalled for.
Once the creatures are gone, the group makes a break to find help. Emily and Ray get into a heated argument as he blames Emily for all that has happened, using her past mishaps as evidence. So they split up. Cynthia, Sharon, and Ray find an old cottage where they meet a crazy old coot who holds them up by gunpoint, believing they're one of the creatures. As he attempts to gain proof, Ray gets into a scuffle with the old dude for the gun getting him, Sharon, and the old man shot up. Cynthia is alive, but now she has a creature to deal with. Lucky for her she gets a hold of the gun and is able to make a hasty escape.
Back to Emily, who is checking out the now abandoned town in an attempt to find help. She enters a house and follows a paper trail that leads to a dead priest with a key around his neck (that she takes); she also finds a video camera with some video footage of past instances involving the creatures they now face (there's a hint of a really big one, but nothing ever comes of it). A creature appears and as she makes her escape, she just happens upon a box, which lo and behold, the key fits! The box contains a mystical weapon that can be used against the creatures. More so, if the creatures happen to touch her, it will fight off the infection. I'm not kidding!
So now Emily and Cynthia find one another and they discover what they must do to finally end the threat. They are gonna take the fight to the heart of the beasts. But before that there's a montage of the two girls taking advantage of a deserted town by drinking it up, playing around, and even trying on the towns people's clothes. I'M NOT KIDDING!
Emily ultimately defeats the creature by slamming her newfound fist weapon into the source of that beam of light seen at the beginning, walking over what appears to be a bed of lava to get to it. Her boots were melting away the entire time, but she makes it. However she doesn't survive.
Vivica Fox makes a cameo appearance at the beginning and the end of the film as Agent Fox and her role isn't very important. One can only wonder how she ever got involved in such a film. Maybe it was the promise of many sandwiches? A Girls' gotta eat! Finally this film gets a TOV award for "Best use of B-Roll footage"; there's quite a bit of it and in relation to where it's placed I'd say they used it quite well.
As horribly bad as Solid State is, there are some positive moments to point out. For starters, I'm digging the locale that was chosen to shoot the film; it's a very picturesque and historic looking town; quite charming to say the least. Next, some of the CGI, while cheesy, is actually just "OK" - nothing too terrible. I mean, for these types of films, I wasn't expecting anything on par with Pixar stuff, just enough to get the job done. Finally the creature effects are pretty bad ass. That whole flickering movement was pretty genius too; gave me quite a start a few times. Even the story, for the most part is pretty tolerable. Again, I think on paper it's probably amazing, but when put into effect… eesh! Finally to Debbie Rochon, Ava Brunini, and Suzi Lorraine – just checking out all that sexy on screen made this pill that much easier to swallow. You ladies are hot! Hot like the lava Emily walked on to defeat the asteroid infection!
The overall story; I like the idea behind it, but had it been fleshed out more, the film might be something decent. I mean right from the jump when you have a newscaster spelling out the world's demise, you switch to Emily complaining about how her new video sucks, how she doesn't want to get together with her band, or even the group flying off to Europe for a tour. I think the film might have been better without the dramatic opening and the nuking of the asteroid sequence; just have a meteor crash land on earth with crazy shit happening as the result. Boom! There's your movie! And on top of that, there's so much unwanted junk in between that it raises the film's cheesiness to limburger status such as the whole Emily/Cynthia partying in a deserted town sequence. They don't even do it at night when the creatures are off towards the light; they party in the day when they're flickering all around. The hell is that? Next, the film is a prime example of how NOT to use the 300 slow motion effect – completely unnecessary and it's almost comical to watch. Wait… did I say almost? It is comical to watch! Finally the weapon that Emily finds - I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself! First there's no backstory of what this weapon is or where it came from. Maybe that info was embedded somewhere in that video Emily found? Doubtful! And how she just "happens" to find it will make you wanna scream - yea I'm not buyin it! In the end it's an unneeded plot device because we learn guns are just as effective.
That one ash woman with the fucked up eye area. Ugh!
So the meteor hits, knocking out all the power in the town, right? Question: How is it that cars don't work… yet a camcorder does? Yea but Val their cellphones worked, only they had no signal. Yea that's true, but how is it that none of the cars the characters attempted to start, failed to work? That's just stupid.
I haven't done a review like this since Basement Jack and believe me Solid State is just as bad with equal amounts of laughable/WTF moments. The little good this film does have, doesn't save it from the trash bin. If you decide to go in, bring a friend. Trust me you'll enjoy it that much more. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm slappin this baby with a 1! Oh and FYI, the whole meteor occurrence is called Oopawat, which was given its name by Cynthia. I'm not kidding!