14th Mar2014

‘Bad Channels’ DVD Review (88 Films)

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Paul Hipp, Martha Quinn, Aaron Lustig, Charlie Spradling, Ian Patrick Williams | Written by Jackson Barr | Directed by Ted Nicolaou


I’m a bad Full Moon fan. I really am… I can now cross Bad Channels off my list of Full Moon flicks I know of but haven’t seen.

Yet another collaboration between Charles Band and his Subspecies director Ted Nicolaou, Bad Channels tells the story of Dangerous Dan (Hipp) a newly employed DJ at KDUL who is returning to the airwaves after a six month suspension by the FCC for a stunt he pulled while on the air. Covering Dan’s return to the airwaves is Lisa Cummings (Quinn) who doesn’t trust Dan and thinks he’s a hoax. She becomes the butt of his jokes when she spots a UFO landing near the radio station and Dan is quick to laugh until the alien breaks into KDUL. The alien is Cosmo who has developed quite a taste for rock and roll and beautiful young women…

With the film set for a release next Monday there has bee a plethora of reviews of Bad Channels hitting the web recently and, honestly, I’ve been checking a lot of them out and there’s one thing I’ve noticed… Many of my fellow reviewers have criticised the movie for its over the top acting, terrible rock video segments and goofy story – yet no one seems to realise that the film is actually a spoof! A spoof of all those 80s and early 90s movies with their MTV dance sequences and rock band cameos, a spoof of the 50s B-movies with their “aliens want our women” plots, and a spoof of the talk radio shock jock, the proliferation of which was rife during this time. The film is also a play on the classic War of the Worlds – only this time the invasion isn’t broadcast over the airwaves, the aliens are already here broadcasting on our airwaves!

Watching Bad Channels now you have to wonder whether this was meant to be the start of a new franchise, or just Charles Band’s way of giving Dollman a same-sized love interest – after all Tim Thomerson’s tiny hero appears in the end credits and one of the captured (and miniaturised may I add) women appears in the crossover flick Dollman vs. Demonic Toys.  Whatever the reason, Bad Channels is, in my opinion, undoubtedly one of the most underrated and overlooked of Full Moon’s 90s output – probably due to the films more family-friendly content and lack of gore. It does make a great companion piece to the already-released Seedpeople though.

For fans of Terrorvision this film is something of a must see and could almost be considered somewhat of a sequel to that film, especially considering both are helmed by the same director, Ted Nicolaou; produced by Charles Band (the former under his Empire Pictures shingle) and both are horror comedies that deal with aliens using our technology against us. In the case of Terrorvision its TV and with Bad Channels it’s radio… The film is also worth a look for fans of Blue Oyster Cult, who provided the soundtrack to the film and make a cameo appearance.

Admittedly Bad Channels is not one of Full Moon greatest films but it’s definitely a film that fans of low-budget sci-fi horror, and fans of Full Moon, should definitely have in their collection.

Bad Channels is released on DVD on March 17th, courtesy of 88 Films.


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