If anyone knows how to cut corners in a film, it's Roger Corman. He reuses musical scores, special effects and establishing shots all in the sake of saving money. If one were to watch a movie of his with reused elements, unless they knew the other film elements being sampled, the recycling wouldn't be noticeable. Here is a movie that blatantly reuses scenes from older Roger Corman produced films, and is very noticeably almost completely made out of older (and sadly better) movies. When making a very low budget film, oftentimes creativity blossoms if not to just figure out how to cut corners and still make something believable. There is no creativity here. This movie is lazy, boring, poorly acted and written, and the special effects look like something you could make in Microsoft paint. Even for a Roger Corman produced film, this is extremely lazy.
Andy Colby, has to babysit his younger sister, Bonnie. Things go wrong when Andy rents a videotape that sucks his sister into the TV, where she is kidnapped by Lord Chroma and taken to his spinning animated Umbrella castle. Andy meanwhile is stuck jumping from movie to movie, and meets "The Glitch" along the way, a giant furry monster thing that hangs out in the TV static, and in turn, has no point to anything that happens. It's up to Andy to eventually find out which channel his sister is stuck in and go save her.
The film starts off fine enough, with Andy being told to go to the video store, and then riding his bike off. The bicycle riding scene and music is clearly inspired by Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. The music is very similar to Danny Elfman's score from a few years back, and even the title of the film sounds like it was formulated to somehow capitalize on the completely unrelated Pee-Wee. The opening ten minutes is the best part of the film, in that it's the only part that feels like a real movie. It's poorly written and acted, but at least it feels like a movie.
Once Andy gets stuck in the TV, everything goes horribly wrong. A good 60% of the material here is old footage from movies, with nothing new in it. Occasional reaction shots of Andy on an obvious green screen are thrown in every minute or so, so we don't forget what it is we're watching. The scenes from the movies aren't bad, per se, but the fact that so much of the movie is just aimless scenes from movies makes this movie utterly pointless. Andy gets put in the TV, then the film meanders for 50 minutes before Andy heads to fight Lord Chroma and get back his sister.
The only thing worse than the old footage here are the special effects. I can't think of less convincing effects in any movie. Instead of using practical sets for the villain's lair, they create a wonderland of poorly rendered 2-D computer graphics on top of green screens. Using a four-year old's finger painting as a set would look more believable and visually appealing. Shooting in the director's basement would have looked less cheap and more interesting than the green screen that we get.
It's actually very strange how this movie devolves as it goes. It starts off looking like a real movie, then slowly turns into awful made for video schlock, and then the amateur looking end credits roll, which look like something made by a high school student. It's a movie that tries to trick the viewer. All the effort is put in the first few minutes, as a way to trick the viewer into thinking this is just another mediocre kiddie picture before showing it's true awful face. At least James Horner's recycled score here might lull you into a numb state before being shaken back into the reality that you are wasting your precious, precious time.
Review by Tommy Nelson from the Internet Movie Database.