Troops

troopstitleEric Hilleary as Captain Jyanix Bach (Cameron Clarke voices)
David Max as Officer Daemon Mott (Jess Harnell voices)
Neill Elliott as Uncle Owen
Susan Hinshaw as Aunt Beru

My computer is on the fritz, so I’m stuck with a crappy laptop for this week’s review. To “celebrate,” I have selected one of the earliest fan films, since they also have to be made without the best technology.

troops1

I don’t actually know where this cover came on, I just know that it had to be sold somewhere to a sucker who doesn’t know that you can watch it for free.

Fan films are sometimes viewed as a realm of nerds making movies because they have no lives. The truth is much worse than that. Nowadays, there are plenty of ways that those who make these, ahem, movies, actually make a lot of money from them. Fundraising sites and Youtube ad revenue have made this stuff profitable. Some, such as Mortal Kombat: Legacy (those making these are never successful at getting them watched without a popular brand) even got popular enough to make it to stores. That makes fan films con jobs by any objective measure because the lack of funding creates a standard of bad acting, primitive dialogue, and unimaginative plotting.

But by a more subjective measure, there are redeeming factors to be found. Number one, most of them are free. Number two, you do get plots you’d never see in Hollywood because the door is always left as open for sequels as possible. That’s not an issue for fan filmmakers.

Troops was one of the earliest fan films to ever go viral on Youtube. It is a parody of Cops and a fairly funny one at that. This becomes clear with the following line in the intro: “all suspects are guilty — period! Otherwise, they wouldn’t be suspects, would they?”

Bad news. Police brutality will make it into the space age. Sorry to disappoint.

Bad news. Police brutality will make it into the space age. Sorry to disappoint.

Basically, we have imperial stormtroopers of Star Wars fame stationed on Luke’s planet patrolling it and making arrests. This film has a rural feel that I appreciate as a lifelong country boy. There were a couple of gruesome things that the stormtroopers did on this planet that we never saw happen. This film has them happening in different, comical, ways. It also gives us this humorous impression: for all we know, this actually is how they happened.

Of course, there’s a natural ceiling to how high I can rate any fan film. The acting, with the exception of Cameron Clarke and Jess Harnell (believe it or not, they have careers) as the voices of the two stormtroopers who are characters in this movie is as bad as you would expect from fan films. But all said, this is definitely one of the better ones.

Overall: 7 out of 10

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