Zarkorr! The Invader (1996)

Own it!

review by Scott Hamilton and Chris Holland
See also:

Kraa! The Sea Monster

King Kong vs Godzilla

Gappa, the Triphibian Monsters

Zarkorr! The Invader

Lava Lamp

Our rating: one LAVA® motion lamp.

The Big Z?
Zarkorr! The Invader is a film that reminds you of that old film adage: Before you start shooting your movie, perhaps it is best to write a script. Simply put, Zarkorr is a lousy giant monster movie. Its IMDB rating of 3.8 points (out of 10) is a tad generous. The acting is painful, the script was written to fit the existing monster footage, and the monster himself appears on screen far too infrequently.

The film begins with Zarkorr's appearance. He bursts from a mountainside (in California, of course), shooting death rays from his eyes and roaring a terrible roar. Meanwhile, our hero, Tommy Ward, watches the cartoon channel and misses the news footage of the stampeding monster. Suddenly, the monster's foot comes down, crushing our hero and ending the film.

That's not what actually happens, though that version certainly would have been much more merciful on viewers. Tommy is warned of Zarkorr's approach by a tiny little "mental projection" of a mall tramp in a halter top in go-go boots. The girl explains that she's been sent by an alien race to give Tommy this message: Only You Can Stop Zarkorr. Maybe Superman is busy. Tommy is apparently the most average human on the planet. This explains why he lives in southern California and works for the U.S. Postal Service. This is also the reason that he has been chosen: Zarkorr is a test for the human race.

Armed with a few dumb clues, Tommy does the sensible thing: he runs to the nearest TV station to kidnap the resident expert on cryptozoology, or the study of unknown life forms. Exactly how being an expert on the bigfoot translates to being an expert on huge honking animals bursting out of mountainsides is beyond us. Wouldn't it be a better idea to get a paleontologist? Or someone who has seen every Godzilla film? As it turns out, what Tommy really needs is someone who has penetrating insight into bad, low budget movies.

So Tommy kidnaps the pretty lady, and then converts a wacko cop to his cause, and finally finds the solution to whole Zarkorr problem with the help of computer hacker.

"Don't worry, I won't hurt you!
See, I'm a postal worker!"
Of course, if this were an incredibly cool movie, the worried US government would call on Ultraman, who would fly in and wrestle Zarkorr into submission, and then blow up the huge rubbery miscreant with his beam weapon, the one that could have ended the fight in the first ten seconds. But darn it all, Ultraman loves to wrestle! Whatever you do, don't think thoughts like this while watching Zarkorr. You'll only hurt yourself.

There is probably no more that 4 or 5 minutes of actual footage of Zarkorr invading anything, and the screenwriter, in a letter to G-Fan, confirmed that the footage was shot without any consideration as to a plot. This is the main problem with the movie. The objective of the production was to make a giant monster movie. But they were so intent on filming the monster and the few city destruction scenes, no thought was given to the movie that was supposed to surround those scenes. What we ended up watching was an amazingly bad movie about a crazy postal worker, infrequently interrupted by some scenes of a low budget monster knocking over buildings.

Review date: 11/19/1997

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