Trailer Terrors: Syngenor (1990)

Product of science... nightmare from hell!

While watching Syngenor, I couldn't escape the feeling that Robocop and Gremlins had gotten drunk, started a fight, had make-up sex and subsequently imploded in a gory pile of cinematic afterbirth (now that's a tagline!). A sequel to William Malone's Scared to Death (1981), the beginning of Syngenor is pretty confusing as it jumps right into the action without even the tiniest bit of exposition to explain who the characters are or why the rubber-suited Syngenor wants them dead. We do learn rather quickly, however, that it doesn't like water or an aerosal-fueled blowtorch to the face (go figure).

To his credit, TV-actor Mitchell Laurance does an excellent job as reporter Nick Cary whose slick, gumshoe persona perfectly complements David Gale's unhinged performance as the villainous Carter Brown. Gale brings his signature warped sense of regality to the role of Carter, relishing in the Robocop-esque atmosphere of an evil megacorporation named Norton Cyberdyne (a reference to Terminator perhaps?) that produces genetically engineered, demonoid cyborgs for war profiteering. Starr Andreeff, on the other hand, is ineffectual yet appropriately sexy as Susan Valentine, the niece of the recently departed scientist who helped create the original Syngenor prototype.

Welcome to the party! Wanna try some Kool-Aid?

I also felt a bit misled to discover that there was more than one Syngenor running around, despite the title promoting this as a singular creature feature. Whereas other monster movies such as Gremlins and Night of the Living Dead have proven that monsters can be frightening in large numbers, Syngenor proves the inverse is also true- especially since no one at Norton Cyberdyne seem to be even remotely scared to be working in a building full of monsters in the basement (WTF?!).

To their credit (I suppose), the corporate monkeys at Norton Cyberdyne do eventually deploy their crack team of internally trained Devo dropouts to dispatch the Syngenors. Its roughly the equivalent of trying to bludgeon a grizzly bear to death with a licorice stick (they even shoot their own teammates in a panic). And when, I ask you, is it ever okay to throw a live grenade in a multi-story building? Answer... never. Did I also mention that the Syngenors scream like elephants in heat when they attack? A pack of horny, spinal fluid sucking elephants.

Mother said not to pick it... but I did anyway. Tee-hee.

In the end, Syngenor averages out to your typical B-movie monster fare: men in rubber costumes, a partially coherent plot, (brief) gratuitous nudity and an excuse to blow stuff up. Really the only standout scene of the entire production occurs during the film's climax in which a completely batshit David Gale begins to methodically slaughter everyone. This inadvertently leads to a particularly gruesome genetic mashup of a Syngenor and a human that resembles something along the lines of a meat-flavored milkshake. Alas, this scene occurs too little too late to prevent Syngenor from being as washed up as its lackluster (and relatively bloodless) final battle.


  1. Sadako said...:

    This looks ridiculous. Love your Gremlins/Robocop comparison.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    Thanks for stopping by the clubhouse, Sadako, its always pleasure to hear from somebody new.

    Syngenor was indeed re-dic. And that Gremlins/Robocop analogy? Totally true, haha.

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