Thursday, June 18, 2015

Movie review: The Philadelphia Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment
Starring: Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas, Bobby Di Cicco, Louise Latham, Kene Holiday, Joe Dorsey, Michael Currie, Stephen Tobolowsky, Gary Brockette, Debra Troyer, Miles McNamara, Ralph Manza, James Edgcomb, Glenn Morshower, Rodney Saulsberry, Vivian Brown, Stephanie Faulkner, Ed Bakey, Michael Villani, Vaughn Armstrong, Bill Smillie, Lawrence Lott, Stephan O'Reilly, Clay Wilcox, Pat Dasko, Pamela Brull, Richard Jewkes, Pamela Doucette, Michael Ruud, Deborah E. Dixon, Mary Lois Grantham, Rick Schrand, Patrick DeSantis, Charles Hall, David Michels, Raymond Kowalski
Director: Stewart Raffill
New World Pictures, Cinema Group Ventures, New Pictures Group USA, 1984.
The Philadelphia Experiment  title
In 1943 U.S. Navy tries to render ships invisible to radars. The final test was The Philadelphia Experiment. The test went wrong and allegedly the ship disappeared for a moment and when it came back some sailors were embedded in the metal structures of the ship and some others vanished. 

Jimmy Parker (Bobby Di Cicco) and David Herdeg (Michael Paré) are two navy sailors who attend the test. They leave their women Pamela and Doris (Debra Troyer and Pamela Brull) behind, and head to the test ship USS Eldridge. The generator creating the force field malfunctions and the ship vanishes. Jimmy and David fall into dimensional vortex. 
USS Eldridge turns invicible
Side effects
Bobby Di Cicco and Michael Paré
Jimmy Parker and David Herdeg end up in desert
They end up in nightly Nevada desert where helicopter tries to shoot them. The boys have ended in the year 1984 where small city has just vanished. The culture shock is great, especially when they meet punk rockers and transvestites. Also TV-programmes have changed. Suffering from side effects of the test, Jimmy starts to sparkle and breaks arcade games in local diner. Escaping the angry mob the sailors try to steal Allison Hayes' (Nancy Allen) car but they can not drive it. They end up kidnapping Allison. After a car crash the trio ends up in hospital and David is arrested. 
Punk rocker girl
Nancy Allen
Allison Hayes
Jimmy is dying because of the side effects and doctors are puzzled. Allison wants to help the boys so she does not press charges against them. Jimmy vanishes and army tries to arrest David. Meanwhile the energy vortex is growing stronger and threatens to destroy the whole planet. Army scientists realize that the Philadelphia experiment is the cause. David's father is already dead but they find old Pamela (Louise Latham). Pamela tells what happened to Jimmy. Then escaping army David and Allison try to find Dr. Longstreet (Eric Christmas) and save the world. 
Energy vortex threatens the whole planet
Eric Christmas
Dr. Longstreet
The budget of the movie was quite low, but the special effects are still acceptable. There are some stupid moments, but overall the movie is quite good old school time travel scifi with plenty of car chases and explosions and also with some romance. This movie has one of Michael Paré's better roles. Paré puts also some emotions to his role as a sailor who realizes that the world has changed and most people he knows have died or changed, and also Nancy Allen sheds some tears. 

John Carpenter was the executive producer of this film. He was asked to direct this film instead he chose to direct "Escape from New York." The film shares some common elements of Carpenter's films such as Starman:, trigger-happy officials, fugitive outsider hero and romance with helpful lady. As such the film's style could be called John Carpenter- lite. 

Rating: Good


  1. Mainio kevyt tieteisseikkailu.
    Jostain syystä olen kovasti ihmetellyt ettei tätä ole monien muiden tavoin uusintaversioitu jo ajat sitten, vaikka hieman vastaavia elokuvia onkin jo useampia tehty aivan samanlaisella kevyellä otteella.
    Ihan syystäkin unohdettu kakkososa vetoaa puolestaan enemmän niillä niin huono että hyvä-keinoin.

    1. Syfy teki 2012 TV-version, jossa Michael Pare kävi kääntymässä. IMDB-kommenttien perusteella se menee enemmän siihen niin huono että hyvä-osastoon.


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