Format: DVD (Boulevard Entertainment)
Running Time: 97 minutes
Year of release: 1995
Director: Richard Pepin
Production Studio: PM Entertainment Group. Inc
For Christ sake where do I even start with this?
I struggled immensely to make it to the final credits of Hologram Man, as this film took approximately four hours to watch, during two separate sittings, over two days.This is not normal for a 97 minute film. But then again, Hologram Man is not a normal film.
My slipping in to a time-vortex and wasting my weekend was not the result of the movie failing to capture and hold my attention, however. Oh no, Hologram Man would never let that happen. The four hours I spent scratching my head and looking confused were solely due to Hologram Man’s visual paroxysm erupting from the screen like someone ruptured a water main full of Semtex and swear words. As such, the movie had to be paused probably every ten seconds or so, just to figure out what the fuck it was doing so I could take notes.
It’s a bit much.
Especially given that the movie bursts out of the gates at a thousand miles an hour, slaps you across the frontal cortex once every three minutes, and doesn’t stop for toilet breaks. So as I begin writing this review I have a sore wrist and back pain, worse than usual. And a headache, which I wasn’t prepared for.
Despite my swollen brain and wankers-cramp, I must admit that Hologram Man did indeed start as it meant to go on. Let me describe for you, should your local canals and ponds be out of stock of Hologram Man, the opening scenes.
ready for a napalm-gasm?
The very first shot of the film is of the burning wreckage of a pre-exploded police car. We don’t get to see the explosion that caused this, but think of it as a bit of tender foreplay. A gun battle is taking place between the police and some ne’er-do-wells. And, in this films first display of it’s steadfast insistence on having expendable extras engaged in combat…whilst standing still, and in front of usable cover, people are childishly mown down left and right.
This lack of any tactical awareness, as insane as it is, at least sets the general tone of things. Then the first word of Hologram Man is spoken by its ‘star’ Joe Lara…
Oh come on Joe, you’ve scored a good gig here.
As people continue to stand still and shoot each other…
…the second line of the film is spoken, also by Joe Lara.
Oh, now you’re just being negative.
There is an awesome tracking shot of the good guys getting busy with assault rifles, set to swelling music. It screams ‘HEROES!’ and, like any good hero-shot, it makes me wish I had my own machine gun and something to stand in front of. Then Cleo McDowell from Coming to America, takes out a “non-regulation handgun” with “non-regulation bullets” and begins the light show.
Even more swelling music kicks in, and in the span of literally 50 seconds, eights cars and all the people ever are blown sky high in a glorious display of pyrotechnic stupidity.
The good guys eventually win etc. and the burning wreckage of the beginning of the movie fades in to a…sex scene. Yup! Our bad guy Slash Gallagher (yes, that’s his name) is fondling some bewbs and…this has all occurred in the first five minutes and twenty seconds of the movie. Including 02:15 of opening credits.
So you maybe see what I mean about this movie deciding to crank everything up to 11 before you’ve even sat down. Yes, of course it isn’t constant action from start to finish, but even the slow moments have this weird pace to them, where everyone would much rather just stand still and shoot at each other…
…or doing the springboard-explosion thing. That happens too.
So what is this film actually about? It presumably does have a story, right? Yeh, I guess. It’s deranged, but it does have one.
Slash Gallagher is evil (!), and kills a governor, because, and gets arrested. Before this happens, Slash wants to play Russian Roulette, but changes his mind after choosing himself to go first. Slash is also an idiot.
Slash ends up in holographic prison (?), and then five years later, when everything is a dystopia, Slash is up for parole. Shenanigans happen, and Slash is made in to a solid hologram. Hologram Man (Slash Gallagher) then escapes from Hologram Prison and gets reunited with his Non-Hologram buddies.
Slash then acquires new skin for his hologram body, and tries to take over the city. He ends up killing the good guy, but the good guy becomes a hologram himself, who then traps Slash Gallagher in a jar.
Is it okay if we just stop here?
As much as I’d love to go and take some Ibuprofen, I have…glossed over certain details. So, out of self-loathing, I’m going to describe some of the events of Hologram Man, in order of confusion. Bare with me here…
Once upon a time…
…there was an aforementioned governor, who could be that guy from Airwolf. Except I think he’s someone who only wanted to look like the guy from Airwolf. I’m not sure. Anyway…
Early on, during the not-Airwolf governor assassination plan, nonsense occurs when the following ridiculously transparent ploy appears to work on the soon to be obliterated police department.
A clearly not old woman holds up the convoy of Governor-Man and police department, but…SHENANIGANS!!…she turns out to be an eye-patch wearing bad guy in a wig, who successfully ambushes the governor and his entourage and, in the tradition of goons that feature in this movie, stands still and shoots.
Actually, come to think of it, why is he wearing a see-through eye-patch? Oh, right. So the actor can see what he is doing. It’s a shame you weren’t wearing it when you read the script you bell-end. But for some reason that we’re not allowed to know, goon-man applies blood to his (perfectly functional) eye, and dupes some policemen in to thinking he is injured. He completes this dazzling ruse by coming to the whole event already wearing a policeman’s uniform.
This works as intended, as one single policeman in among the dozens that are being blown to bits all over the place, walks over to see if he can help, but instead gets shot in the chest by the now gleeful Eyepatch-Man. No, I don’t understand this either. During this needlessly elaborate assassination attempt, Slash Gallagher’s girlfriend is killed, and Slash screams over her dead, but still clearly blinking and breathing corpse.
In an attempt at some commendable self-control, the movie inserts pre-exploded cars in to the backgrounds of shots that were not there previously.
This may accidentally destroy the continuity, but I prefer to believe that during editing they realised they had filmed an additional six hours of things blowing up, and out of professionalism, decided to cut thousands of other explosions from the film. Yes, I know I’m lying to myself.
Slash, now minus his lady-friend, takes things a bit sorely, as one might. So, now holding the two hero cops up at gunpoint, Slash reloads his weapon while threatening to kill them. But instead of taking this glaring opportunity to slap on the cuffs, our heroes just stand there and listen to his gibbering bad-guy crap. This directly results in one of them being killed. Despite this, Slash is still retarded enough to get captured and, during Slash’s trial hearing, we have his many aliases read to us by a judge. These include, but hopefully aren’t limited to…
- Norman Gallagher (his real name)
- Slash (his preferred name)
- Leader of the World Revolution (which is a career, not a name)
- and Vlad the Beast
Vlad Gallagher is somehow found guilty of killing everyone he’s ever looked at, so they suck orange after-effects out of his body and create his skinsuit-wearing hologram. For some reason that I doubt was necessary they saw fit to digitize his pubic hair, but I can’t see in to the future so what would I know?
Norman The Beast is incarcerated in holographic prison, and everyone goes back to what they were doing.
behold! the future!
Cut to five years from now and Dakota (Hero-man has a Hero-name) keeps a photo of his old dead partner next to his HDTV…
…and is all broody, even though he has regular sex time that he may or may not be getting sick of, and luscious hair.
This guy however…
…and that thing on his head appear, and he’s broadly despised by otherwise nice people who refer to him as ‘worm’. Which isn’t very polite, I’m sure you’ll agree, especially given that the bad guys later call him ‘giggles’. So who really are the monsters?
But, oh no!
It turns out that Hat, who works at the holo-prison, and Eye-Patch are in cahoots and are about to free Slash from prison during his parole hearing. They do this through the tried and trusted method of using mid 90’s computer animation to make his holographic body solid, despite bullets still passing through it. I have no idea what any of this means or how it works, and it broadly comes across as someone’s coffee stain that was mistaken for a script rewrite, but it does seem to get the job done as far as Slash’s escape is concerned.
Just in case we forget that this is the future and not some pansy-ass present, the likes of which you still live in you worthless audience, we are shown depressing shots of cardboard-paneled soap box carts and are expected to be swept right in to the magic of cinema.
It was roughly around this point, during another one of the films action seizures, that I noticed how unfairly this movie handles the prioritising of what should or shouldn’t be shot or blown up. Whilst random and incongruous explosions hog all the screen time, simple things like a table of carefully placed empty tin cans are ignored.
If there was EVER a table of items that was patiently set up to be blown to pieces then this was it. But no. Hero-Man uses it for cover (pussy) and no one pressed the squib detonator. Such a waste. I should also note that whilst it would be a fairly simple task to count everything that explodes in this movie (as I did…more on that soon), I’m certain I lack the advanced mathematical skills necessary to count how many people are killed in this movie. Whatever it is, it is a number I’ve never never heard of.
Meanwhile, Slash busies himself playing Mortal Combat with himself and an extra…
…whilst in one of the more sedentary moments of the film, Hero-Man, who now exhibits very impressive continuity-destroying beard growth…
…sits down for brunch with a colourful herd of important future city people who shout at him and call him names. Now determined to take down Slash, Dakota gets on with things.
Oh, and this film is stupid
I think I mentioned previously that some new skin is applied to the hologram of Hologram Man so that he can touch things, even though he was already punching and kicking just fine. Well, that skin appears to be a vat of bubbling crème freche, that somehow can also be sculpted in to hair fibres and genitals. Again, this is the future and I’d be the asshole for questioning how stupid it has become.
A brainless excuse for a scene occurs when Hero-Man, in an effort to practice showing off, dons a pre-release Oculous Rift in a room full of Tron wallpaper…
… and plays a VR version of Golden Eye on the N64.
And the movie starts to give up on trying to contain its haemorrhaging stupidity. Meanwhile, a helicopter explodes (yawn) and more skulduggery takes place, and we see that the future of police cars apparently didn’t get the memo about existing in the future.
Possibly my favourite scene in the movie happens when…how can I put this in to worlds in English? Slash Gallagher, who is still a hologram but looks completely normal, sticks a giant explosive bottle cap to the interrogation droid from Star Wars, then uses his shotgun as a baseball bat to send it flying in to a skyscraper, causing it to explode.
As our Hero chases down Slash, we see that Dakota is not above being a complete dickhead himself during a highly charged and emotional scene following some of Slash’s explosive antics, as Hero-Man’s latest partner is mortally injured after a man strapped to a wheelchair explodes…
…sending her blown up body on a springboard flightpath towards certain death. But as she’s lying there unconscious, Hero-Man shakes her awake just long enough for her to be fully conscious and in agony before groaning and dying, thereby denying her what would have otherwise been a peaceful death. But then again…something about dramatic intent and character motivation and blaa blaa blaa…Jesus, how many partners do you think we have to see killed until you just GET ON WITH IT? Meanwhile, one of the best lines of dialogue is spoken when someone screams at Hat:
“Get the hell outa here you gigabite dipshit!”
Hat gets no love.
As things continue, and in what I can honestly describe as slightly surprising, Hero-Man gets killed by Slash. But, because it would destroy the fabric of the universe if the credits ran, he is reincarnated in to a hologram.
Of course, the film makes certain to bestow the same measure of digitised holo-pubes as it did with Slash, and he escapes to the scientists daughter/love-interests house. She comes back from a hardware store with some rubber hosing (not explained) and some crème freche (no explanation required), and once he has been re-skinned…
…he is warned that because of ionised something-or-other he can accidentally zapp anything electrical (?). But, with skin, hair, and presumably cock, re-sculpted, the two of them get horny (as you would) and they fuck so ferociously that all her appliances explode.
In another example of award winning script-writing, the following (which was probably not meant as to be viewed as sex talk but did immediately follow the hologram whisk porn) is said to Hero-Man by Scientist-Woman.
“I didn’t have a chance to ionise your particles.”
A highly convenient and welcome speeding up of things occurs, as the cops now magically know the location of Slash Gallagher’s Lair. Hero-man electrocutes Hat, and throws Eye-Patch in Slash’s crème freche machine. When he emerges with his head looking like a breaded ham, he dies…beautifully. The following is his chosen death pose, and no I didn’t just pause it and pick something silly looking, he contorts himself in to this shape and stays there.
So Hero-gram and Holo-Slash duke it out and, much to Slash’s surprise, Hero-Man punches Slash through the air and in to…
Hero-Man, in one of the many ‘fuck you, audience‘ moments can now throw fire balls and electricity bolts from his hands. I know, I know. But seriously, by this stage I was long past trying to apply sense to anything, so just go with it. He uses his newly discovered abilities to best Slash in an epic duel, and wins the day. This ends with Hero-Man, which I think I already spoiled, putting Slash Gallagher in a jar (I said just go with it). Hero-Man wanders outside and, probably for contractual reasons, blows up one last car, except this car contains the mayor of the city who now, free of enemies, wants to become king.
Then, absolutely definitely the best ever line of the movie is spoken;
“My God Dakota, what are we going to do now?”
Cut to credits.
God damn it, I’m out of breath.
Seriously, describing the events of this movie was almost as exhausting as watching it. But why? Hologram Man and it’s balls-out lunacy, should have been so stupendously incredible that I could have retired from looking at movies and stabbed myself in both eyes. So why do I feel like I deserve, and would happily accept a lobotomy? Well, the truth is, Hologram Man’s direct-to-DVD-ness, and it’s needy cries for attention in the form of rampant detonations actually bucked the trend and created an even more strenuous pile of shit than it should ever have been. It’s bizarre. It has everything any human being could ever hope for…explosions, the future, a death count in the hundreds, more explosions, virtual reality, and holographic fire-balls. So why the hell was it such a chore?
Am I the problem? Have I watched so much magnificent nonsense in my day that, like a primary school teacher who has done a twenty year stint and now hates the little fuckers, am jaded by it all? I’m not so sure. Actually, I think I know exactly what it was.
It was the explosions.
Yes, I think it had too many…(if I actually type these words will I explode?)…explosions (phew!) in the film. It would seem that Hologram Man has proven once and for all that it is possible to feature too many things that go boom boom in one movie. I know, you think this couldn’t be true, but let me explain something. I counted the number of explosions that took place, diligently adding one to the counter every time an extra had his eyebrows singed, and never counting multiple angles of the same explosion. The results blew my mind.
The total explosion count for Hologram Man was a fairly staggering 33 explosions. For one movie.
Given that this movie is 97 minutes long (including start and end credits) on average, an explosion occurs in Hologram Man…
Once every 2.94 minutes.
That, is too much. Ok, fair enough fucking eight of them happen before you’ve had a chance to breathe, but still. That’s a LOT of bang bang. And just like anything else awesome that just won’t stop, it eventually gets annoying. Sorry explosions, but I got bored of you. Which we can all agree isn’t natural. After all, there can never be such a thing as too many explosions.
It’s worth noting that as stupid a film as this was, and as highly embarrassing it must have been for an actor to play the role of someone called ‘Slash Gallagher’, the screenplay AND story for ‘Hologram Man’ were written by this guy…