Metal Shifters (Blu-ray)



Metal Shifters Blu-ray (2012)Directed by Paul Ziller

Starring Kavan Smith, Colby Johannson, Nicole de Boer


Originally titled Iron Invader when it aired on the Syfy Channel last year, the now more appropriately named Metal Shifters opens with brothers Jake (Smith) and Ethan (Johannson) doing some light restoration construction on their parents' rundown inn when they spot a falling meteor crashing to Earth just a hop, skip and a jump away from them.

Once they discover that the meteor they were looking for is actually a pile of metal resembling a space satellite, they decide to sell it to the old man who runs the local junkyard and happens to be in need of some large scraps of metal for an 18-foot tall metal robot statue he's been assembling in time for the upcoming town festival. The robot is meant to be a golem; however, no one has noticed that there's a peculiar green substance covering parts of the satellite, and soon enough the deadly alien goo breathes life into the larger-than-life robot, which sets off on a destructive tear through the tiny town in search of human blood to satisfy its need for iron, which keeps the monstrous metallic creature going.

To be honest, we all know what we're in for when we show up for a "Syfy Original" so there's no real need to beat around the bush here- Metal Shifters is just not good. Sure, it's got a clever concept that's actually somewhat original and the visual and special effects are surprisingly decent for this budget range, but the acting and writing in Metal Shifters are laughably atrocious enough to completely derail what could have been an otherwise enjoyable and zany monster movie.

Frankly, the movie is just too stupid to be enjoyable at all, and stupid isn't a word I use very often in my reviews. Metal Shifters' biggest flaw comes from the main chunk of writer/director Paul Ziller's concept (giant metal robot) making absolutely no sense- if the golem is just random scraps of metal welded together, what kind of motor or hydraulics system is running this thing (answer: none), and if there is no motor or hydraulics, why is the movie filled with the menacing robot making these kinds of sounds? I applaud the effort to do something clever, but when the very basis of your monster makes no sense, I cannot take your movie seriously. At all.

Oh, and the mysterious green alien goo can also see and hear everything going on around it and is apparently fluent in English as well. Yup, that's Metal Shifters.

In terms of Blu-ray quality, Metal Shifters does have a nice crisp and clean audio presentation going for it, which makes the visual work of the flick stand out. The audio mix is nicely done as well, and Anchor Bay has done an overall great job on the release. Bonus content on the Blu-ray of Metal Shifters consists of one behind-the-scenes featurette that doesn't do a whole lot if you're not a fan of the flick, and that's all that is offered up in the way of extras here.

Overall, only those who relish surviving bad movies need apply when it comes to Metal Shifters. With a somewhat creative concept behind it, the movie suffers from plot holes so huge that the 18-foot monster could walk right through them and some truly awful writing and uninspired performances. The only bright spots for horror fans will be when Jesse Moss from Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and Chris Gauthier (aka "the dude who gets killed in the field") from Freddy vs. Jason both show up, and that's about it.

At best, Metal Shifters is worth a Redbox rental fee.

Film:

1 1/2 out of 5

Special Features:

1 1/2 out of 5

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