Planet Patrol (1999)

planet-patrol-1999“Planet Patrol” is yet another of Full Moon’s films that has its heart in the right place. At the right time with the right budget it could have been a decent B family film. As it stands it’s merely a mess of a picture that really doesn’t do much for the Full Moon banner. “Planet Patrol” is mercifully barely eighty minutes long, which is a plus. So thankfully the audience doesn’t have to endure the endless string of inconsistencies and messy editing that ensues. For one thing, around 1999, Full Moon found themselves losing money production wise. So to fill time and save money in “Planet Patrol” they re-use footage from their past films to work for this film.

Footage from “Subspecies,” and “Robot Jox” is completely recycled to fit the confines of this story and the entire first half of “Kraa!” is inserted detracting from the primary narrative involving the space patrol. So if you’ve seen “Kraa!” before, prepare to see most of it yet again in this picture. Secondly, the script is absolutely all over the place with no attempt made at binding the plot elements together. What does this sacred stone do beside re-animate the skeletons of dinosaurs? Why does our heroine Curtis have the ability to re-animate dead things? Why is there such a thing as a Museum Planet? Are there really that many planets to accommodate them for menial tasks? Who employs the Space Patrol? Are they from Earth? What do they guard? How are they recruited?

Does only space cadet Curtis have super powers, or do they all possess an ability? What holds back the film is mainly the budget as Band and co. are unable to develop any of the character beyond broad introductions and stale dialogue. So any potential for action from the group of youngsters is a pipe dream, as is hope of evil from the sinister Lord Doom literally does nothing but sit on a throne on what we can presume is an abandoned planet perpetually draped in darkness with only one minion who is a dwarf barely capable of walking. Where is his army, his warships and forces? How can we fear someone so generic? If that’s not enough the Space Patrol are some of the most bland superheroes ever conceived and are merely attempts to market on the Power Rangers template. They also do nothing but sit in a ship and discuss tactics while investigating strange events at the Museum Planet involving a weird relic and shape shifting monsters.

Everyone in the film looks bored out of their skull and Alison Lohman is the only individual who seems to be giving it her all with a character that’s barely developed enough to fill a page. When the shit does finally hit the fan, the leader of the group throws a few kicks at Lord Doom and they live to see another day fighting crime in space… or something. I’d like to see someone tackle this series someday with a better definition of what these characters can do. I insist with a bigger budget and better writing this could have been an entertaining adventure film, but as a final product it’s merely a tedious mess. I really think a good writer with a good imagination can take “Planet Patrol” and transform it in to something entertaining, but in its current state it’s just a sad state of Full Moon cutting corners. What a shame.