Welcome back to 1 out of 5 – Would Recommend, where we do our best to be trendy. In that vein, today we’re talking about the made in 1994 but never officially released The Fantastic Four!
What’s The Plot?
Fantastic Four #1, with elements of Fantastic Four #5 and Fantastic Four #8 and some original elements. You know the high points – Space flight, cosmic rays, super powers, I love you despite your rocky exterior, Damn You Richards!, etc.
Wait…why was this never released?
It was never intended to be (allegedly)! 22 years ago, Bernd Eichinger – the holder of the F4’s movie rights at the time – found himself in the same quandary Fox did about two years ago: his license was going to expire if he didn’t make a movie soon. Instead of fast tracking a summer blockbuster (like Fox has), he hired low-budget movie king Roger Corman to produce an adaptation on a budget of just one million dollars. Stan Lee claims that the film was never intended for release and that’s the generally accepted story, but Corman and Eichinger have disputed that.
Five Reasons to See It
- The Jeweler, a small ugly man who lives underground, is the F4’s first antagonist before they really fight Dr. Doom. He’s not the Mole Man, the F4’s first antagonist and a small ugly man who lives underground, and he resents your implications that he’s a blatant imitation of him.
- There’s a shot of the world going woozy from the perspective of the just-drugged Alicia Masters. Who, like her comic book counterpart, is completely blind.
- Mercedes McNab, best known as Harmony from Buffy The Vampire Slayer & Angel, has a brief appearance as a 14 year old Sue “Invisible Woman” Storm. Which would be cooler if the movie wasn’t immediately laying the groundwork for her romance with 21+ year old Reed Richards.
- Ben Grimm wants to use the kids of his and Reed’s college landlady, who they haven’t seen in a decade, to round out their crew for their dangerous space mission. Reed reasonably objects, until he see that Sue Storm grew up hot. Because that’s what you need in an astronaut.
- “Hi Mrs. Storm! Can Johnny and Susan go to outer space with us?”
It is truly unfortunate that this movie has never seen official release, because it is a gem. It is pure Roger Corman cheese mixed with pure Lee & Kirby cheese and it is just a fun little movie. Transfers of VHS bootlegs abound online, so you can find it fairly easily if you want to. Go and check it out before you see the Josh Trank version this weekend!
NEXT WEEK: We’ll have a look at Prince’s debut as a writing/directing/acting triple failure, 1990’s Graffiti Bridge!