Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring David Gale, Starr Andreeff, Mitchell Lawrence, Charles Lucia
Directed by George Elanjian, Jr
Distributed by Synapse Films
Your first question should you be unfamiliar with this particular property from the late Eighties/early Nineties is What the hell is a Syngenor? The name of our key beastie here is short for SYNthesized GENetic ORganism. Get it? Pretty nifty! Thanks to the hard work of people like the good folks at Synapse Films, obscure little movies like this get to see the light of day on DVD releases that are probably a little better than they deserve, but hey, that’s all part of the fun, is it not?
You have to hate those nagging and egotistical multi-national corporations. Especially the ones who dabble in superweapons. Case in point — Norton Cyberdine. They’ve created a super soldier of sorts — the aforementioned killing machine, Syngenor. All is well in monster making land until the prototype of this beast gets out and starts carving itself out a hefty body count. Even worse, the Syngenors are asexual so before you know it there’s a handful of these things set to wreak havoc upon our asleep at the wheel society. Can the creatures be stopped, or will these events lead to an all-out war between humans and monsters?
The storyline is the usual fried gold you’d expect from a film like this, but what sets Syngenor a bit apart from the crop is the cool ass monster design. Although for the keen-eyed uber-fan, the look of this bi-ped critter will surely be recognized from Bill Malone’s 1981 flick Scared to Death.
Malone suggested that his Giger-esque monster design for that little seen flick was cool enough to warrant a return and could be used for its sequel nearly a decade later, Syngenor. As a result there are folks out there who are confused as to whether or not these movies were one and the same so let’s set the record straight … these are two different flicks and Syngenor is more or less a sequel to Scared to Death. There. The air is now clear! Let’s move on!
Synapse Films has delivered a cool little package here. Things kick off with an audio commentary featuring actress Starr Andreeff, writer Brent V. Friedman, and producer Jack Murphy that’s a pretty good listen all things considered. Everyone seems genuinely happy to reminisce about this flick, and the good vibes really shine through. From there we have four featurettes that run around around two to eight minutes long each. The longest, David Gale at the Tokyo Fantastic Film Festival, is narrated by Jack Murphy and is comprised of footage from the movie’s Far East premiere that features Gale and Murphy on stage talking about the flick. From there we get a two-minute long publicity photo shoot, a two-minute snippet from Gale’s audition, and another two-minute long Murphy narrated featurette called Doug Breswick’s Creature Shop, which gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the creature in all its rubber suit glory. Add on some filmographies, a couple of photo galleries, and the trailer; and we are done.
Syngenor is not exactly a classic among creature features, but it is way better than Scared to Death and can be a lot of fun if you’re hankering for a silly monster mash. Besides that we get to see Doctor Hill wearing bunny ears! That alone is worth your dime!
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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