Blu-ray Review: Terra Formars (2016)

March 30, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

In a very Blade Runner influenced future; a group of humanity’s rejects (including the likes of a serial killer, the leader of a child prostitution ring, Yakuza members etc.) are loaded onto a spacecraft and sent on their (un)merry way to Mars where they are to eliminate a roach infestation that is the result of  a terra-forming project 500 years previous. In exchange for their service they will have their records wiped clean. Sounds like a breeze, right? Well as fate and sci-fi comic book tropes would have it, those roaches have rapidly evolved into humanoid creatures who are quite able to kick some ass. To combat this situation, our “heroes” are given injections that turn them into super-powered half-human/half-insect hybrids…and then the war for Mars is on in earnest!

Directed by the master of disturbing Japanese horror Takashi Miike; Terra Formars is a violent, over-the-top- comic book come to life (not surprising as it is adapted from one). You get convicts versus monsters, super-human abilities, wafer thin plotting (more on that below)…all delivered with glossy visuals, gooey practical effects, and okay-ish CG work that proves to be a rather frothy cinematic concoction that is a ton of fun to witness…for the most part…

Unfortunately with a run time of almost two hours, and a plot that could be fit on the back of a cocktail napkin things do get padded out a bit. As much as I adore action, and this film has plenty of impressive examples of it, the fights do begin to blend as these sequences are inserted whenever the plot gets sparse (which is often) and all of them are all visually very similar which leads to viewer fatigue here and there.

Along with the feature, Arrow Video have included a fine selection of bonus material as well. First up comes an excellent, in-depth, feature length documentary covering the entire production of Terra Formas. Following that we get a series of interviews with actors Hideaki Itō, Emi Takei, Tomohisa Yamashita, Takayuki Yamada and Shun Oguri as well as outtakes, teasers, the film’s trailer, and a stills gallery.

Bottom line, Terra Formars is a fun, action-packed, effects filled romp that will entertain as long as it’s on, and then kind of slip to the back of your mind the minute the credits run…thankfully it’s good enough to revisit for a refresher!



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