Oblivion Sam Irvin

Oblivion Sam Irvin
Typically, when filmmakers tackle the ever-tedious task of genre amalgamation and deconstruction, it comes from an introductory film theory background and a lack of anything substantial to say. On occasion, someone might stumble onto something culturally incisive, relating a retired or dormant genre to a change in the dominant moral compass, but for the most part, these blasé experiments wind up like space western Oblivion. Preoccupying itself with nods and winks to audience expectations, this low-budget, mid-'90s cable trash entry follows the template of the traditional western, with a villain entering the rustic town of Oblivion to exploit precious metals, killing the local Sheriff in the process. The distinction is that said villain, Red Eye (Andrew Divoff), is an alien (that looks alarmingly like Louis Gossett Jr. in Enemy Mine) and the mourning deputy (Meg Foster) is a Cyborg left to team up with the Sheriff's cowboy son (Richard Joseph Paul) and a wise Indian (Jimmie F. Skaggs). And in case the constant self-conscious dialogue about paternal cowboy alienation and native mysticism doesn't clue everyone in to the overriding camp genre consciously, the presence of Julie Newmar in a cat suit and George Takei as a doctor spouting various Trek-isms should. In theory, something like this could be fun, in a lame, observational capacity, generating smirks by the sheer juxtaposition of an ATM machine in a saloon. But the lethargic, almost non-existent direction and abundance of inconsistencies, along with painfully contrived writing, make the entire thing a draining, painful experience. At least the sequel, Oblivion 2: Backlash, had the good sense to embrace its badness with a little more gusto than this, which actually fancies itself clever, embarrassingly enough. No supplements are included with the DVD, which is a surprise, since I can't imagine that Richard Joseph Paul or Sam Irvin are up to much or would demand much remuneration for an interview or commentary track. (Shout! Factory)