Film Review: Future War (1997)

Release Date: January 28th, 1997
Directed by: Anthony Doublin
Written by: Dom Magwili, David Huey
Music by: Arlan H. Boll
Cast: Daniel Bernhardt, Travis Brooks Stewart, Robert Z’Dar, Mel Novak

Screen Pix Home Video, 90 Minutes 


Future War is a really bad ripoff of the movie CarnosaurCarnosaur is an atrocious ripoff of Jurassic Park. The film also stars Daniel Bernhardt, a Swiss martial artist and model who finds work because bad filmmakers believe he can trick you into thinking he is Jean-Claude Van Damme. In fact, he was the replacement for Van Damme in the Bloodsport sequels. Also, in this film, he is a ripoff of Van Damme’s character from Cyborg: one of the worst movies Jean-Claude ever did, which says a lot.

Going back to Carnosaur, this film was actually the directorial debut of that film’s special effects guy. He also did the effects and crafted the miniatures for the Carnosaur sequels.

Future War is also the most modern film to be featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It came out in 1997 but was featured on that show’s tenth and final season in 1999. Weirdly, I actually saw this picture for the first time before it was lampooned by Mike Nelson and the ‘Bots. Having my future cousin-in-law working at a mom and pop video store was always beneficial when one wanted to find the lowest form of crap that could possibly fit onto a VHS tape. This movie is possibly the record holder.

The film sees a cyborg escape his alien slavers who don’t have thumbs. They enslave cyborgs or people or something, I’m not really sure what the deal is. I just know that the cyborg was enslaved because his alien masters don’t have thumbs. Yet, somehow they were able to enslave people and build starships to look for slaves, already overcoming their handicap. But since they can conquer the galaxy, apparently, they enslave it because why deal without having thumbs when you can make other people hold your bottled water?

We also get killer cyborgs and large hungry dinosaurs. The plot makes no sense but the alien slavers are using the killer cyborgs and the dinos to hunt down the cyborg hero. Eventually, the dinos takeover “the ‘hood” and “the ‘hood” fights back because the cops don’t care about them or something. By “the ‘hood” fighting back, I mean like half a dozen people.

Most fight scenes are horribly edited and take place in tight warehouse spaces littered with empty cardboard boxes. I could’ve shot a better action sequence when I was the stock boy at Kinney Shoes in the 90s.

The boss cyborg is played by Robert Z’Dar, most famous for being the title character in the Maniac Cop film series. He’s as dull and bulky as ever.

The dinosaurs are pretty much puppets and their size is achieved by using really bad forced perspective. They are also killed way too easily and don’t feel like that much of a threat. Plus, the film makes mention of how they are always around water but they are actually never around water.

Future War is a film devoid of any sense, logic or purpose. As Mystery Science Theater 3000 pointed out, it isn’t set in the future and there is no war. It is an awful snoozefest that’s awfulness is amusing to a point but you will most likely find yourself nodding off a third of the way into this thing.

In fact, I challenge anyone to watch this without falling asleep. But beware, you may be haunted by dino puppets, grunting dudes who look like Dog the Bounty Hunter playing Photon and an endless maze of cardboard boxes.

Rating: 1/10