1999 | Color | 90 min.

Starring: Charles Wesley, Cassandra Ellis, Robert Donavan, Michael Vachetti, Robert Staccardo, William Vogt, Dane Northcutt, David A.R. White, Stephen O’Mahoney, Lindsay Irvine, Mark Edward Roberts, and Kim Robert Koscki.

Directed By: Thomas L. Calloway

When the CIA mysteriously loses contact with one of their field agents stationed at a secret military base, they quickly assemble a team of specialists to investigate the disappearance of their missing agent. Leading the team—under the supervision of CIA operative, Agent Wood—is Kirby, a disgraced Marine sergeant who is on forced leave after inadvertently leading his men into an ambush which resulted in the massacre of his entire squad. Joining Kirby are two fellow Marines, Privates Buscema and Frazetta; a forensic specialist Dr. Adams; and psychic investigator (It’s a Full Moon production. Of course there’s a psychic…) Dr. Lee.

“Resistance is futile.”

Unbeknownst to our ragtag team of heroes (who, despite being a highly-trained unit of elite Marines, lack any semblance of trigger discipline or muzzle control), the cause of the missing agent’s disappearance is not an enemy from this world, but actually an alien creature intent on recovering an extraterrestrial artifact the CIA has hidden within the secret base. Possessing the body and ride of an unfortunate biker who happened to be nearby when the creature crashed to earth, the newly-transformed Murdercycle quickly begins killing anyone in its way. Now it’s up to Sgt. Kirby’s team, along with the help of an eccentric conspiracy theorist named Ditko (played by David A.R. White, who comes off as a store-brand version of Ted Raimi), who had infiltrated and set up camp inside the covert base, to figure out just what the CIA is hiding, and somehow put an end to this seemingly unstoppable alien menace before it finds what it seeks.

For the love of Charlton Heston, take your fingers off the triggers, you numbnuts!

Murdercycle borrows heavily in both name (violent verb + type of machine) and basic premise (alien life form possesses a machine and gets all murdery) from the ‘70s, made-for-TV classic, Killdozer. Unfortunately for Murdercycle, while it does share several similarities with its b-movie predecessor, it lacks both the writing prowess of Theodore Sturgeon and the acting talents of Clint Walker, Robert Urich, and Neville Brand. While the scenes featuring the titular, alien-machine hybrid are entertaining and silly enough, the stretches of time in between our alien friend blasting fools with his bike-mounted space lasers, are mostly dull and talky. There are countless scenes featuring our resident psychic, Dr. Lee, and her late-90s hair antennae—which I can only assume are the source of her psychic powers—attempting to burrow into her fellow team members’ minds to discover the real reasons behind their mission. Other than ferreting out vague memories and feelings from her targets, her abilities seem to be limited to seeing roughly one and a half seconds into the future. Add that to the fact her powers can be completely thwarted by simply “reciting bus schedules” or thinking violent, rapey thoughts about her, I’d say the usefulness of her power is somewhat limited.

“I’m sensing this review isn’t going well.”

As the more nerdily-inclined among you may have have already noticed, every character in Murdercycle is named after a prominent comic book creator (Lee, Kirby, Ditko, etc.), though I’m not quite sure why this was done. As far as I know, Murdercycle was neither an adaptation of an existing comic nor was ever adapted into a comic series. I suppose it may be a tip of the hat to the Killdozer comic, which considering the similarities I mentioned earlier, makes some sense, although Theodore Sturgeon’s novella came long before both the comic and the movie, and the movie is far more famous than either the comic or the novella. Whatever the reason, it’s a nice little nod to some of the men who helped shape not just the comic book industry, but the sci-fi, action, and fantasy genres across all media.

“Okay, who the hell took my microwave burrito?!”

While Murdercycle is admittedly an awesome title, this movie is doomed to share the same fate as so many other low-budget flicks of its kind, many of which also happen to have an outstanding title and a premise seemingly rife with opportunity for some schlocky, b-movie gold. Thanks to either budget limitations, poor pacing, writing, acting. direction, or some combination thereof, these films simply can’t live up to the promise of their ridiculous titles. Unfortunately, because Murdercycle doesn’t go far enough with its goofy premise, it is just another in an endless stream of not quite “so bad, it’s good” b-films which, if they were just a little better or a lot worse, may have been able to escape the realm of unloved, gray obscurity.



Reviewed By Derek “Bike-mounted Space Laser” Miller
Posted On May 17, 2019


Video Clip – Murdercycle Attacks!

Additional Screenshots (Click an image to view full-size)


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