Casper Van Dien Versus a Slightly Unseasonal Heatwave: Meltdown

This is something that I’ve been toying with for ages, but the conversation earlier about Sleepy Hollow and whatnot finally motivated me to get moving on it. I’m going to cover as many films starring the future Buzz Armstrong as I can- that’s right, because I don’t watch enough shit for your amusement I’m inflicting the catalogue of the man who can’t say no to a paycheck on myself- so settle down, and rejoice in the start of Jarv’s series of the man called Casper’s films.

First up is an incredibly inauspicious 2006 TV movie: Meltdown. Or, as I like to think of it “Casper Van Dien v a hot spell”. It’s a bit of a con, actually, because Lovefilm billed this as Casper v Meteorite (which had so much potential for stupidity).

Meltdown was something that I watched a while ago, so I may be a bit fuzzy on certain details (not that it matters) but the key point of the film is that our man Casper takes on a heatwave and emerges victorious.

Meltdown is set in the present day. Douchebag movie scientist Nathan (Vincent Gale) works in a job deflecting meteorites. For reasons too stupid to go into, and they really are epic in their stupidity, they accidentally clip the meteorite too close to Earth and thereby deflect the orbit of our planet. Oh Calamity! What are we to do? Well, according to Nathan, we’re all going to cook unless everyone can high tail it to a cooler climate. Global Warming has nothing on this.

You lying fuckers Lovefilm. Casper doesn't fight a big rock. What a gip.

Casper plays Tom. Tom is a badass LA cop with a very, very complicated personal life. He’s balling Nathan’s sister Carly (Stephanie von Pfetten), but is still tied up with his daughter Kim (Amanda Crew) and ex-wife Bonnie (Venus Terzo). Anyhoo, Carly receives a call from Nathan that the world is going to cook, so best get to an airport pronto, she tells Casper, who gathers up his whole weird family. This includes ex-con CJ, played by Ryan McDonnel, who happens to be slipping Casper’s daughter a length, which is really weird, because don’t most fathers take it badly when they find out that a convict is shagging their little girl? Surely Tom should have left him behind, but it’s just as well he didn’t seeing as CJ is probably the only member of the little party that has a practical use.

So, team assembled, and it’s time for them to run the Gauntlet of LA in hot weather. This is even hotter than usual, apparently, as cars spontaneously explode and the population has turned into Omega Man style angry mutants. Not that this makes a jot of sense in the slightest. Eventually our intrepid band of numpties make it to the airport where the plane they were going to escape on explodes. They’re fucked, surely? Well, no they aren’t because Nathan is completely useless, even by the standards of movie scientists, and it starts raining. Hilarious. Basically, they could all have stayed at home in front of the air conditioner and avoided the whole thing.

The temperature's risin' Best ring the apocalypse bell

As you can maybe gather, this isn’t the best planned film in the history of films. In fact, it’s dumber than a rock that’s just been used to smash another rock into smithereens. It’s so stupid that if it were a human being it would be one that works on the bins at McDonald’s. It’s that dumb. That isn’t to say, however, that it doesn’t have a certain comedy value to it.

The script is fucking terrible and not to mention a bit creepy. Take for instance the scene where they’re cleverly holed up in a refrigerated unit eating ice-cream. This is clearly the time for the women to have a heart-to-heart which hilariously involves Carly telling Bonnie that (despite Tom not having displayed any inclination to do this at all) she won’t stand in Bonnie’s way if she wants to reconcile with her ex-husband. This is a monumentally weird scene and more than a little bit stupid- it actually feels like the writers were desperate to find some kind of “conflict” to jam into the movie, as they knew the killer heatwave wasn’t up to it.

Hiding from Logic, although she's clearly forgotten that it is so hot out there that cars are known to explode.

Nevertheless, I’ve said that there are laughs to be had, and they all come from Casper. He does his best ruefully confused face for most of the film, probably because he’s read the end of the script and knows that he doesn’t really have to be on this epic trek through factor 60 weather. The comic highpoint, however, comes from his exchanges with CJ. Despite CJ consistently being the only person in the film that is remotely useful (he picks locks, fixes cars, comes up with plans, bails Casper etc out), Casper won’t leave him alone. He constantly says dickish things to the kid, and just gives him shit all the way through the film. It is actually quite funny and when I watched it, I was stunned at the depths of assholism that Casper stoops to.

Aside from that, though, there isn’t a lot to keep you entertained. There is a hilarious gunfight or two, all performed with sincerity that the film doesn’t deserve, and a couple of really obvious twists. There’s also the odd ill-thought out aspect to the film (Nathan never takes his jacket off, despite the fact that it is allegedly so hot that cars explode) that provides the odd chuckle, but nowhere near enough of them. It’s just so damned hard to get over the fact that if they’d stayed at home, drank a few beers, and chilled out then there wouldn’t have been any trouble whatsoever.

4 People. Hot Weather. No Clue.

Overall, this isn’t a great start to the series. It’s a pretty crappy film, to be honest, and I don’t really recommend it. Hungover to my back teeth after a heavy session it passed the time easily enough, but looking back at it, the only way I can describe it is, well, rubbish. Casper is entertaining, thank the Lord, but the script and plot are just so terrible that it’s nearly impossible to get over. Therefore, I’m going to be generous to it and give it one and a half Mobile Infantry Caspers, but really, if anyone suggests you watch it, politely decline. The weather may be hot, but the film isn’t.

Until next time,

Jarv.

Oh, and past Casper films that I’ve reviewed are:

Casper v Space Dracula in Dracula 3000

Casper v Plastic Demon that looks like a Power Rangers Villain in Beastmaster 3.

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

36 responses to “Casper Van Dien Versus a Slightly Unseasonal Heatwave: Meltdown”

  1. Droid says :

    Remember those few precious minutes before realisation set in where we somehow believed that we were going to witness Casper duking it out with a meteorite? Man those were good times. Of course we were drunk at the time but thats beside the point. Damn you Lovefilm!

    This is a monumentally crap movie, but a good one for sitting with a few beers and giving shit to. I find it hilarious that their deadly trek is so utterly pointless. And Casper has that square jawed determined look on his face throughout the entire movie where it looks as though he’s either trying to out think heat or trying to suppress a wet fart.

    Funny stuff this one.

  2. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    wait, there are mutants? Awww, helll nawww!

    This sounds awful btw. What’s next on Caspervision?

  3. Toadkillerdog says :

    Dammit Jarv, what happened? Did Casper survive? Did Earth? Did Casper get sunstroke and think he was shagging his girl when in fact he shagged the meteorite?

    What happened?

  4. Spud McSpud says :

    Fucking hell!! By the look of the pic, the next should be CASPER VAN DIEN VS JIM CARREY IN DUMB AND DUMBER FOR LOOK-A-LIKE OF THE YEAR!!

    Great review of what looks so shit I wouldn’t watch it even if it were on SyFy and both my legs had mysteriously disappeared, and the remote had spontaneously imploded. I’d eat my own eyes out first.

    But the question is… when will you unleashes on our fellow Moonwolvians the glory – nay, the MAGNIFICENCE – that is NINJA III: THE DOMINATION?? The screencaps alone will have me laughing for a month…

    Or better still – hunt down the first two for a NINJATHON??

    Either way, looking forward to the CASPER VS series. At least you get a reprieve from the paycheck schlock with the first STARSHIP TROOPERS and SLEEPY HOLLOW. And apparently his James Dean movie was okay too.

  5. MORBIUS says :

    When will you get to the real ‘Casper’ (1995) with
    Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Eric Idle, Don Novello,
    Ben Stien, Fred Rogers . . .

  6. DocPazuzu says :

    Now you have your perfect inway to Megiddo: Omega Code 2, for who is the star of the first Omega Code? That’s right — The Casp!

    • Spud McSpud says :

      Who plays the Antichrist? There HAS to be an Antichrist! It’s not a Christian post-millenialist Rapturist Apocalypse without a fucking Antichrist!!

      And yes, we know no-one will EVER be better than Sam Neill was in OMEN III: THE FINAL CONFLICT (“You have won… nothing… Nazarene!”), but hell, I’m up for it!

      OMEGA CODE 1 & 2 FTW!!!

      • Jarv says :

        You’ll love today’s review then Spud- It’s the next 21st Century Horror

      • DocPazuzu says :

        Michael York is the anti-Christ (in both movies). Megiddo is astoundingly entertaining in its awful, unimpeachable stupidity. While Omega Code 1 isn’t as effects-heavy and ludicrous, it’s still perfectly loony and a great overacting showcase for both York and The Casp.

      • Jarv says :

        Awesome.

        Although Mrs. Jarv is a bit pissy at me for a) Revenant and b) The 6 Nations, so I’ll have to save that cracker. She doesn’t know that I’ve downloaded Scanner Cop either.

    • Jarv says :

      Yup.

      Mrs. Jarv has seen the trailer to Megiddo and has said, backed up with threats of violence, that it will never be on while she’s around. However, I think if she sees the first one, she’ll soften.

  7. Droid says :

    Here you go! You are officially allowed to include Casper the friendly ghost movies in your series.

    1997 Casper: A Spirited Beginning (TV movie) – Bystander

    1998 Casper Meets Wendy (TV movie) – Crewcut Hunk

    • Jarv says :

      Oh. My. God. That sounds hilarious in it’s awfulness.

      How inappropriate.

      • Droid says :

        It’s also his directorial debut. It’s gotta be awesome.

      • Jarv says :

        I don’t want to watch Casper having a conversation. I want to watch him versus something stupid like Eurotrash Vampires, Space Vampires, Space insects, Heatwaves, Headless Horsemen, Ninjas and so forth.

        Casper holding diplomatic conversations sounds dismal.

        Which reminds me, I finished Revenant, and unbelievably, it gets a lot better and the end is truly hysterical. It does help that Cattrell dies though.

        There’s also a shit load of boobs and minky in it.

    • DocPazuzu says :

      Isn’t Oxenberg some sort of exiled Eastern European royalty herself? If so, what a dreadful sounding vanity piece. I can’t even imagine how terrible that thing must be. I swear, since The Casp was outed as a sexoholic Oxenberg has been making her husband do horrible things in order to save their marriage. Hilarious.

      • Jarv says :

        Was he? When did that happen?

      • Jarv says :

        Also, this is terrible news seeing as he’s in our top 2 draft picks for Buzz Armstrong, Leader of the Astrodykes.

        Considering the dream cast for the dykes themselves consists of the cast of Bitch Slap, I think we’re opening up a potential bucket of hurt on ourselves.

      • DocPazuzu says :

        I’m not even sure it’s true but it would explain a lot. I think his infidelities were talked about around ’99-’00 or so.

      • Jarv says :

        What- the amount of pure paycheck schlock he’s in?

        He seems really likable as well. I think Xi had a great story about having lunch with him once. Not intrinsically hateful like Douglas or someone.

  8. Tom_Bando says :

    Exploding cars and NOTHING even Remotely Mikey Bayish associated w/ this lovely projectile??? I am amazed. Jarv took one for the teaaaammmmm Jarv took one for the teaammmmm

    • Jarv says :

      It’s a con, Tom. The Cars don’t even explode properly. They heat up slowly and give plenty of warning, allowing our motley crew of heroes to get out of them to safe distance and then they go bang.

  9. Xiphos0311 says :

    Yeah that was me that met him. He was a nice guy very personable but not the sharpest knife in the drawer but still a very decent person, at least he seemed like that based on like 3-4 hours of interaction.

    Oxenberger, I think, is some sort of Luxembourg nobility.

  10. ThereWolf says :

    Cee-Vee-Dee!

    Good idea for a series, this.

    Meltdown, however, doesn’t sound so good. But if there’s ever absolutely nothing else on my Lovefilm list…

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