Biohazard (1985, directed by Fred Olen Ray)


At a government research lab in the middle of the desert, Lisa (Angelique Pettyjohn) is a psychic who has the ability to go into different dimensions and bring things back with her.  While demonstrating her abilities for Gen. Randolph (Aldo Ray), she accidentally brings back a container that is carrying a small, humanoid/lizard hybrid.  (Inside the costume was director Fred Olen Ray’s six year-old son, Christopher.)  The monster goes on a rampage, killing hoboes and other random people who live in a nearby town.  Lisa and Carter (William Fair) try to track down the creature before it can cause too much damage and kill too many people.  Meanwhile, the town drunk wants to sell the monster’s story to the newspapers.

Biohazard is a typical early Ray film.  Hire some veterans, like Aldo Ray and Carroll Borland.  (Fred Olen Ray, if nothing else, was good about finding work for Hollywood veterans who, otherwise, would have spent their final years in obscurity.)  Unleash someone in a monster costume.  Toss in some gratuitous nudity.  Spill some fake blood.  Pad it out so that the film reaches feature-length.  Biohazard goes the Hal Needham route when it comes to padding out the film and gives us several minutes of blown takes and other mistakes.  The takes start out amusing but, eventually, there’s only so many times you can watch actors blow lines that weren’t that good to begin with.  It’s still not as bad as having to watch Burt Reynolds slap Dom DeLuise a hundred times during the closing credits of Cannonball Run.  At least most of the actors actually look like they enjoyed being on the set of Biohazard.  

With Fred Olen Ray, you know what you’re going to get and Biohazard delivers all of Ray’s trademark moments, including ineptly lit day-for-night scenes, overacted comedy relief, and one or two scenes that work despite themselves.  As bad as the end result was, the film does have a DIY aesthetic that will appeal to anyone who has ever thought about getting a couple of friends together and just making a movie.  Supposedly, it took Ray two years to complete Biohazard.  Today, an aspiring filmmaker could just film it on his phone over two weekends and then upload it to YouTube and get a few thousand likes.  In some ways, independent filmmakers like Fred Olen Ray were ahead of their time.

One response to “Biohazard (1985, directed by Fred Olen Ray)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/3/22 — 10/9/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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