Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

When a movie has exploding cockroaches, Terminators, Zombies… errrr… I mean Biological Organic Weapons, cyborgs, Werewolves(?), pirates, sea monsters, mutated dogs – I think that was what that was, Ghidorah the three headed dinosaur and has an opening scene that features titties… How in the world am I going to find it my heart to hate on such a movie? I can’t do it people. If you want to find someone who’s going to completely crap on this movie ‘Recon 2020: The Caprini Massacre’, a movie that probably has more flaws than you can shake a stick at, then look elsewhere. But here at the FCU, we respect any filmmaker who has the cojones to attempt to jam all this complete and utter nonsense in his film, all on a low budget, no matter how far short they may fall.

The year is… uhhh… 2020! The war between humans and the brutal race of aliens, which no has ever seen, known as the Ma’Har has escalated to galactic proportions. For reasons that I forget, the powers that be have assembled a crack team of their best Galactic Marine Infantry soldiers (GMI) to head to the distant Caprini System to do something… really super important. Led by the totally hardcore Sergeant Sharp (Anderson C. Bradshaw) this team of seven or eight… or maybe nine or ten hardcore marines have landed on this planet with dual moons and are ready to inflict some major damage because that’s how GMI do.

It doesn’t take long for these marines to see some action as tough ass marine Sgt. Damon (Marcus Champagne) hears a weird sound and observes thousands of these killer cockroaches descending from the walls. Our marines proceed to shoot at these things… one by one. Not too terribly efficient. On top of that, each of these 2-inch roaches you shoot explodes into roughly three gallons of green goo. Finally Sgt. Sharp remembers that they have flame throwers and the roach threat is quickly eliminated.

For his sharp ears, Sgt. Damon (who is Black) is rewarded with being the first marine to bite it via death by Cyborg. In all fairness though, Sgt. Sharp is Black also and it looks like he might have a chance to survive this entire movie. The movie is also Canadian and I don’t think those Canucks are aware of the rules that govern U.S. American horror type movies and Black people.

Mind you the movie has basically just started and we’ve already had to deal with mutant roaches and Cyborgs with Zombies, werewolves, pirates and so much more to follow. Eventually Sgt. Sharp knows a boondoggle when he sees one and calls ace transport pilot Fooks (Gillian Leigh) to pull he and his crew off of this rock, which subsequently leads to a spaceship dog fight, then a land shootout, and then the super cute pilot Fooks ends up getting shot and captured by the pirates. Pilot Fooks needn’t worry because Sgt. Sharp has a fever for the flavor and isn’t about to leave that pretty girl behind which will lead us to more cyborgs, some good guy cyborgs, a three headed dinosaur, some cyborg kung fu fighting, a motorized garbage can and a spectacular raid on Entebbe! Freaking Outstanding!

‘Recon 2020’ was less directed and more Ring Mastered by Canadian filmmaker Christian Viel and initially upon seeing this, one might think it suffered from the ‘wouldn’t it be cool’ factor. You see I used to work on a TV show that could never manage to get anything done because people would always chime in with ‘but wouldn’t be cool if…’ which would bring everything to a halt while the production contemplated on how to execute the coolness of the suggestion. As much stuff that was crammed into this movie I have to believe the ‘Wouldn’t be cool’ factor was running rampant in this one, but after watching it, taking out any of the elements like the werewolves or the exploding mutated cockroaches would have made this way less of a watchable movie.

Recognizing that this was shot on the low low, there’s a lot to admire about this film, one that entertained me pretty much from start to finish. The costuming was very good, a lot of the action sequences were well shot and the movie had all kinds of CGI special effects - some decent, some terrible. It amazes how some people will watch a movie like this and comment on how terrible the special effects are… and if you’re comparing them to ‘Revenge of the Sith’, then yep… they fall far short. But taking into consideration what Viel and his team are working with, I’m more than impressed.

Less impressive was some of the acting that was emanating from this flick, which save for a few exceptions was pretty bad across the board. The good thing was that lead Andrew C. Bradshaw wasn’t one of those bad actors and since this is basically an over the top action flick with three headed dinosaurs and wasn’t filled with that much Shakespearean prose anyway, the poor acting was secondary. Almost tertiary. But it was unavoidably still there.

Imagine my glee as the credits ended and I see there was sequel in the works, ‘Recon 2022’. Imagine my further glee upon the realization that I’m watching a four year old movie and that ‘Recon 2022’ is finished already and waiting me in my Netflix cue. Then upon hearing that Viel and them are shooting a third film in ‘Recon 2023’ I think my head almost fell off. In the grand scheme of things ‘Recon 2020: The Caprini Massacre’ probably doesn’t qualify as a good film, but as a fan of Straight to DVD movies, and a fan with a TV review show about these movies no less, ‘Totally Twisted Flix’ – like I’ve never mentioned that before in any of these articles – you can rest assured that this movie, and it’s sequels, will no doubt make an appearance.

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