Super Hybrid borrows ideas from several other movies and that’d be all well and good… if it had at least been an entertaining flick. Instead it’s a boring horror movie with card-board cutout characters – and a caricature in the case of one –, a mundane story and just an all around inane plotline to begin with.
Genre(s): Thriller, Horror
Anchor Bay | PG13 – 94 min. – $29.97 | August 23, 2011
Directed by: Eric Valette
Writer(s): Neal Marshall Stevens
Cast: Oded Fehr, Adrien Dorval, Ryan Kennedy, Melanie Papalia, John Reardon, Shannon Beckner
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 28.7 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 1.0/5
It’s sometimes refreshing to sit down to watch mindless cinema; movies where by the end credits you can move on to other basic, household activities without giving what you just watched without further thought. Unfortunately when said movie is complete and utter crap, one has to be thankful that you won’t think about the movie… ever again.
Super Hybrid is titled not because it’s a movie about a hybrid car and alien (yes… alien) but because it takes other movies and smashes them together to give us a 90-minute feature film. Not to write a clichéd review or anything, but this film takes Transformers, Christine and a fair amount of Predator and this is what we get.
The story opens with a dark car with tinted windows stalking outside of clubs in downtown Chicago. No it’s not the Batmobile but instead it’s a blood-thirsty vehicle and it finds prey in a couple of clueless young men. As they pass by the dark car and pay no attention to it, the car transforms into something prettier which does catch the eye of one of them who without hesitation hops in and, after some weak persuasion, coaxes his friend to join. But once inside they realize something is not right as the door handles are gone and something has a hold of them. Cue blood-curdling screams. As the killer car enjoys its latest meal, it fails to obey the laws of the streets and takes a head-on crash killing the other driver and perplexing first responders who see there is no driver in the killer car.
We then meet our main heroine, Tilda (SHANNON BECKNER), a grease monkey with a loser/lazy boyfriend who works for a city garage which is about to close for renovations. This garage consists of male chauvinist boss Ray (ODED FEHR), clichéd sexy secretary Maria (MELANIE PAPALIA), a few other mechanics whose names don’t matter and Tilda’s cousin, Bobby (RYAN KENNEDY). And wouldn’t know it, our killer car is being towed to this very garage!
In one of the most convoluted plot point I’ve seen in a long time, they somehow manage to make the garage inescapable and its location is in a desolate industrial area which means any screams will go unnoticed. Cell phones cannot get reception (due to the concrete walls), emergency doors have been welded shut to keep out junkies and thieves, oh and the boss is not only a douchebag but once he discovers the car, he only sees dollar signs and convinces everyone except Tilda to try and capture the man killing vehicle. When he and others finally see the light to get out, during a chase the car crashes into the electrical system and although they have back-up power, the key to open the gate is lost when the car also crashes into the office (which thereby also takes out the only phone in the place). *Phew*
Having a convoluted plot is nothing new especially when it comes to horror movies where you have several characters as food for *Insert Name* serial killer to feast upon with only one that often survives at the end. Then these one-dimensional characters are placed into situations and corners that will lead to their inevitable demise. Heck, it’s almost expected from any cheap horror flick but when you have a killer car, whose movements are pretty limited, lumbers along isn’t so much bad as just boring.
This isn’t to say Super Hybrid isn’t bad, because it is. The characters aren’t very interesting, the kills even less so and the plot itself is predictable. Making matters worse is the movie falls just short of blatantly ripping off other movies from Christine, The Hitcher, Predator and, *sigh*, Transformers. Making matters worse is the characters openly acknowledge the similarities in a few lines of dialogue thrown throughout.
I understand what the filmmakers were after – a little hard to miss when the cover states “The new generation of killer car movies is here” – but like Adam Green’s Hatchet where he wanted to bring back old school horror, it never quite works. Writer Neal Marshall Stevens, the man behind classics like Hellraiser: Deader and Thirteen Ghosts, obviously wanted to call back to memories of Stephen King’s Christine, but you’re in trouble when your 90-minute horror movie merely meanders along and you’re just counting down the time until the end credits roll. It doesn’t make for a fun movie or one that you can consistently mock, “MST3K”-style.
In terms of the cast, I guess they give it their best shot, given they have to believe an alien car is out to kill ‘em. Oded Fehr is your clichéd douche with virtually no redeeming qualities, the supporting characters are mostly forgettable save for maybe the movie’s sexpot Melanie Papalia while Shannon Bellagarde gives it her all though is hardly Linda Hamilton, or Lena Headey for that matter.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
Under the Hood of Super Hybrid (34:15; HD) – This is a surprisingly long ‘making-of’ featurette where we get insights into the writing, pre-production, production and post-production intermixed with behind-the-scenes footage, on-set sound bites and cast/crew interviews. It’s not a particularly slick featurette or as well made compared with others, yet it still gives some interesting information about the movie.
Previews: Sharktopus, The New Daughter, Dinoshark
VIDEO – 3.5/5
Super Hybrid revs its way onto Blu-ray with a suitable, albeit uneven, 1080p high-definition transfer. At times the picture looks good as far as low rent direct-to-video projects go with some decent detail levels and such but other times, especially for the darker scenes, you get a heavy amount of noise even in the pitch black areas which only hinders the quality rather than amplifying it.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The disc has been given a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless track and from the beginning you can tell the bass is working with some heavy booms during the opening title sequence as well as a several other scenes throughout the film’s duration. The other audio elements also sound good between the thriller music cues, ambient noises and off-screen kills all of which have some depth to them while dialogue is properly relegated to the center channel.
OVERALL – 2.25/5
Overall, Super Hybrid borrows ideas from several other movies and that’d be all well and good… if it had at least been an entertaining flick. Instead it’s a boring horror movie with card-board cutout characters – and a caricature in the case of one –, a mundane story and just an all around inane plotline to begin with. All I can say is it is better than some of those SyFy Original Movies but given how awful they are, it’s not saying much.