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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Abducted by the Daleks (2005)


Director: Don Skaro
Stars: Katarzyna Zelnik, Eliza Borecka, Sonya Karina, Linda Black, Maria Vaslova and Baron Trenk


Index: Weird Wednesdays.

If My Grapefruit, My Father wasn't a great film, Abducted by the Daleks makes it look like Citizen Kane. I once watched this on fast forward and found it a great deal more entertaining than it turned out to be at regular speed. You might be surprised to discover how stunningly, outrageously, depressingly awful this picture is, given that it features both a trio of daleks, one of which appears to be a real Doctor Who prop, and a set of young ladies who begin it scantily clad and promptly remove what little they're wearing to spend the rest of it buck naked. That does sound like it ought to be a bundle of fun; in fact, it sounds like it would take some notably inept filmmakers to screw it up, which is just what these pseudonymous folk manage to do. They cast some good looking girls to frolic around in nothing but high heels and they did make a feature film containing daleks (which they had to rename to Abducted by the Daloids when the BBC sued) but that's it. I can't find another positive thing to say about any aspect of this production.

Well, that's not strictly true. The opening credits could have been a lot worse, though they're better with the sound off, and there's a great score, albeit one that we would miss if we turned off the sound to lose that narration in bad serial killer voice. The score isn't appropriate but it is mostly made up of Pink Floyd, early tracks like Interstellar Overdrive and Pow R Toc H, which is never a bad thing; I must have blinked when they played Black Sabbath's War Pigs though. If the score is good, the sound is atrocious, which is unfortunate because the four young ladies driving into the forest at night are apparently Polish and not particularly understandable in the English language. Clearly none were cast for their ability to enunciate or intonate, but the obvious solution of having someone else dub over their voices was ignored. All four look great but this would have been far more successful if they'd have chatted in Polish, whether we got subtitles or not, because frankly nobody is watching this for the plot.
What's perhaps most surprising is that there is such a thing as a plot, even though it's an awkward and tortuous one that actually had my family debating what happened after it was all over. To be fair, that's not entirely because it's convoluted (though it is), it's also because it's mostly explained in dialogue that we struggle to understand, whether it's delivered by girls or daleks, and because there are long periods where nothing whatsoever happens except naked girls walking through a forest. I did wonder for a brief moment if that was strangely appropriate, given how many episodes of classic Doctor Who involved the cast running up and down corridors, but I really don't want to give credit for homage where credit surely isn't due. Mostly, this is just a kludgy attempt to explain away naked chicks, shoehorn in daleks and end up in a slasher plot featuring the Serial Skinner. The script does tie these together, but very loosely. Plot progression is not a strong suit here, but then nothing is.

Whoever wrote the film didn't care about the script in the slightest, most obviously because he adopts a transparent pseudonym, Billy Hartnell (for those who aren't classic Doctor Who fans, William Hartnell was the very first Doctor). When he decides that he needs the girls to get out of the car and into the forest, he conjures up a bad CGI alien for them to literally drive into. When script ideas are half inched from Eegah, you know you're in trouble. When he realises that their skirts, so short that we can clearly tell that some are wearing no underwear, are still too much clothing, he has Isabella strip down to her skin in a clearing. Why? Well, why not? After all, we've just spent way too long trying to decipher dialogue and way too long wandering around in a dark forest. It's time for our eyes to be treated! At least the lighting is decent, as inappropriate as it is to have a strong light source conveniently placed for these ladies to know where to point their torches in the dark and avoid breaking their necks while they do so.
And of course, just before Isabella strips off for no reason whatsoever, we discover that there are daleks watching through some remote viewing device. There's nothing to suggest that they'll be in the picture, except for the title, of course; they simply show up out of the blue. We can't understand them either for the most part and they're so inept that they beam up her skirt instead of her (if it was still on her at the time, we might understand); they have to wait for her to spend what feels like ten minutes holding one high heel in a snag for them to grab her too. Hilariously, she's not even aware that she's not in Kansas any more until the daleks tell her to obey their orders. She honest to God slaps one of them right in the plunger, which might just be the single best moment in the entire picture. Two others decide it's cold so disrobe, fondle each other and start licking thigh. They don't notice the daleks either, until one, no lie, says in a famously mechanical dalek voice, 'Ahem.' This movie has a whole two syllables of humour.

If plot continuity is as close to non-existent as makes no odds, there are plenty of goofs to watch out for too. While the girls weren't noticing the daleks, they weren't noticing the boom mike either. Later in the film, one of the dalek operators is clearly visible during one scene as the metal bits surrounding its head aren't attached. The effects are just as miserable; one hilarious scene has two naked girls strapped to a stark metallic wall while the daleks fire some sort of laser beam at their parts; I'm not sure if we laughed more at the girls' unsynchronised writhing reactions or the fact that the daleks couldn't keep their beams up, perhaps telling some sort of cosmic Viagra joke. Of course, choreography is a word these filmmakers have no conception of (or simply don't care about, which might be more accurate). They apparently like dry ice enough to deluge some scenes in it, but their budget isn't up to cover the rest. The cameraman was also clearly drunk as I can't explain his work in any other way. Yes, technically, it's all horrible.
Best of all, there's an impromptu actress switch. The villainous fourth girl turns out to be a slave trader from outer space who shows back up in the daleks' ship in a dominatrix outfit flopping a whip around to intimidate the others, but she's clearly played by the only actress to sign a contract that didn't task her with getting naked. That means that when she's transported back to Earth to join the slasher plot, she's not only stripped to the skin, it's someone else's skin. Lina Black becomes Maria Vaslova, clad only in a pair of high heels, ready to be tied to a tree and molested by a pervert in a bad Hallowe'en mask. IMDb identifies the director, Don Skaro, as Roman Nowicki (also known as Trevor Barley), who apparently likes series, as this is the only one of nine films he's directed to not be part of one. Thus far there are no less than four Fantom Killer movies, and a pair each in the Fantom Seducer and Mark of the Whip series. The plot synopses and casts look rather familiar thoughout, though some were actually shot in Polish.

Katarzyna Zelnik was in the first three Fantom Killer films, but this was the last of her credits; the same goes for Eliza Borecka. Maria Vaslova, the intergalactic slave trader dominatrix, took over for the fourth Fantom Killer and was also in both Mark of the Whip films and Kristi and the Time Machine, whose IMDb keywords include 'duct tape over mouth', 'time machine', 'high heels', 'leash', 'bound and gagged' and 'female nudity'. I wonder what that could be about. It's directed by Richard Stalin, who directed a Polish horror bondage porno called Girl in the Lift, so maybe Nowicki is more prolific than he first appears. The Kristi film does feature an actor called Rovert Yelrab, which of course nobody would notice is his Trevor Barley pseudonym backwards. I should add that this film isn't pornographic, only going so far as to have the Serial Skinner touch both sets of Maria Vaslova's lips while she's tied to a tree. She's manifestly the least aroused aroused girl I've ever seen though and the Serial Skinner is just as lackluster.

It's hard to imagine why this film was made, beyond the basic concept. Really it's a Doctor Who fan film, made by people without talent but access to an authentic dalek and a bevy of hot Polish beauties happy to get naked. Sure, if you have props like those, a soft porn fan film is clearly the way to go, but any eight year old kid would have more imagination as to how to use them than 'Billy Hartnell'. I fail to understand how any wannabe softcore director can fail to direct naked chicks to do interesting things for the camera. Even if the girls baulked at doing porn, they certainly proved willing to gyrate and fondle and lick. How can anyone fail to imagine how to put that to good use? This film would honestly have been better with no plot at all. Just have these chicks strip off and stand on platforms for daleks to scream orders at for an hour and a half. That film would clearly suck but it would still be better than this. This has to be the best example of how to screw up a gimme since The Phantom Menace.

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