Film: Laserblast

Laserblast is a 1978 low-budget sci-fi movie. Leonard Maltin gives it two and a half stars!

The movie begins with two aliens landing on Earth in pursuit of a third alien. After a pathetic attempt to hide behind a bush, the third alien's pursuers unceremoniously disintegrate him and then leave. Short movie, huh?

...Well, not exactly. See, the bad guy alien was carrying a rather large laser cannon with him, which the other aliens neglected to pick up (we get to see their boss flip out at them over this later). Said cannon is later found by put-down teenager Billy Duncan. Billy then starts using the cannon to gain revenge on those who wronged him. The laser cannon turns out to have an evil influence over its user, because Billy not only grows addicted to the cannon's destructive power, he also starts to undergo some kind of strange mutation. Meanwhile, the aliens have realized their mistake and are heading back to Earth to retrieve the cannon...

This was one of the first film scoring assignments of Joel Goldsmith (Jerry's son), who went on to become the musical voice of Stargate SG-1 and its spinoffs.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode see here .

Laserblast provides examples of:

  • The Alleged Car: Billy's van. Particularly clear in the scene when he challenges the two nerds/bullies to a race, only to have his van refuse to start.
  • Amulet of Dependency: The alien amulet, which powers the cannon and slowly turns its wearer into a monster.
  • Arm Cannon: The eponymous laser blaster has a plastic tube that slips over the wearer's arm.
  • Attempted Rape: The two nerd-bullies do this to Kathy. Billy busts in just in time and beats them up (sort of).
  • BFG: The laser cannon, which is worn around the entire arm.
  • Bizarrchitecture: One scene has a door with its knob placed higher than normal, while another has a window with its drapes placed lower than normal.
  • Butt Monkey: Billy. When even hyperactive nerds pick on you, you're low on the totem pole of teenage status.
  • Cool Loser: Billy isn't super cool; he's a bit whiny and he drives a crummy van. But he's a fairly good looking guy and certainly seems closer to an average guy compared to the spastic nerds who bully him, so it's a bit of a mystery why even Froggy picks on him. What is also is a mystery is this 'darkness and edginess' his girlfriend sees in him.
  • Downer Ending: Billy is completely corrupted by the cannon's influence and goes on a rampage. The aliens show up, kill him and take back the cannon. The End.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: The laboratory technician, due to his odd haircut.
    Crow: Goodbye, Mrs. Joe Don Baker.....
  • Even Nerds Have Standards: Even the nerds think Billy is a loser.
  • Evil Weapon: The laser cannon, which corrupts its wielders and drives them to go on Axe Crazy murder sprees.
  • Hollywood Nerd: A quite bizarre case, as the bullies are portrayed this way, one of them even being played by consummate Hollywood Nerd actor Eddie Deezen. As Crow says, "It's some parallel world where the spazzes bully the cool guys."
  • How Do I Shot Web?: After he finds the gun, Billy spends several minutes dancing around with it, trying to figure out how it works.
  • Human Alien: The bad guy alien vaporized in the prologue. The other aliens may owe their appearance to Dale Russel's Dinosauroid (see the Human Alien trope page for more on him).
  • The Men in Black: Gianni Russo's character vaguely following the trail of the alien gun, although he wears a green seventies casual suit instead of basic black.
  • Police Are Useless: The Sheriff's Department here makes Roscoe and Enos look like Walker and Trivette.
    • If the boss alien's rant is any indication, the two hunter aliens aren't much better.
  • Pool Scene: One of Billy's friends throws a pool party for her birthday.
  • Product Placement: The protagonist is seen drinking Coca-Cola in a few shots. Mike and the Bots theorize it was done by Pepsi to discredit Coke.
    • A can of Pepsi can be seen at the pool party. An act of revenge by Coke?
  • Shell-Shocked Senior: Kathy's grandpa. He barely seems to be aware of the people around him, and goes on bizarre rants about "Operation Sanddust."
  • The Stoner: Everyone, including the police.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: To the point of becoming an Overly Long Gag.
  • Take That: Billy destroys a Star Wars "billboard" with his cannon. Thanks to this movie's budget, it's not even an actual billboard — just a sign upon which someone stenciled the Star Wars logo. Yeah, this movie totally gave Star Wars a run for its money.
    • Oddly enough, the actor who played Billy Duncan co-starred with Mark Hamill in the film Corvette Summer, which was released the same year as Laserblast.
    • This may be one of the reasons why, for a brief time, people took Laserblast seriously, compared it to Star Wars and discussed which film was better and why.
  • The Unintelligible: The aliens.
  • Those Two Guys: When the aliens aren't shooting people they pretty much act that way.
  • Villain Protagonist: Billy. Maybe.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Billy almost always has his shirt open, at least until he starts developing an odd sore thanks to the laser weapon.