Tuesday, January 6, 2009


There are very few things in this world that I love in cinema more than guys in rubber monster suits rampaging on screen, so the fact that I didn’t much enjoy 1990's SYNGENOR: SYNTHESIZED GENETIC ORGANISM, should tell you something.

Military contractors Norton Cyberdyne develops the aforementioned SYNGENORs as super-soldiers for the U.S. armed forces. Unfortunately, their prototype gets loose, and starts to multiply...

SYNGENOR commits the cardinal sin (see above) of being dull. Despite an over-the-top performance by the late David Gale (RE-ANIMATOR) and some pretty cool monster suits designed by Bill Malone (originally used in his 1981 film SCARED TO DEATH) and executed by the Skotak brothers (Aliens), the direction by George Elanjian, Jr. is sluggish and non-engaging. The script is a cliched mess, but while I don’t require much from a monster-on-the-loose flick, this one fails to provide even minimal wit or sense of fun. The only interesting – though utterly inexplicable – element in the story is Gale’s propensity for injecting a glowing green substance into his own neck at periodic intervals. It’s never explained in the script, nor seems to have any narrative purpose. Is it simply a RE-ANIMATOR in-joke?

The new Synapse Films DVD is a re-issue of an earlier version from Elite Entertainment. It features an improved, sharp, anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer and Dolby 5.1 sound. Extras include an audio commentary with actress Starr Andreef, writer Brent Friedman and producer Jack Murphy, a still gallery, and three behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Despite the presence of David Gale and the cool monster suits, there isn’t much to recommend here.

BUY: Syngenor (Special Edition)