Bret McCormick was a pretty prolific producer and director of low budget B-movies starting in the late eighties and stretching well into the late nineties. Along the way, he's worked with notable performers such as Jeffrey Combs (in Cyberstalker) and Richard Harrison (in Highway To Hell) but oddly enough one of the movies that he's best known for is the 1996 film Repligator, featuring top billed stars Brinke Stevens and Gunnar Hansen. Now, through the magic of DVD, this legitimately screwy entry in the annals of B-moviedom can now be enjoyed time and time again, without the need to rewind when you're done!
So yeah, what the Hell is Repligator all about, anyway? That's a very good question, let's try to answer that. When the movie begins, Dr. Goodbody (Brinke Stevens) is conducting an experiment that allows her to see the fantasies of a soldier she's connected some wires to on a screen. Not surprisingly, he's imagining her naked, and then imaging her taking him to bed to join up with her and her friend. From there, Stevens is more or less out of the picture and we meet a fat, bald scientist who, along with his female assistant (who sports a mole that would make Motorhead's Lemmy blush), has designed a device called the Replicator. What this does is transport matter from one place to antoher, it doesn't actually replicate anything, but regardless they have this device and they test it out for top brass military man Colonel Sanders. When they put poor Private Libo through the machine, however, he comes out a horny red headed female who can't keep her hands off of the many men around her.
When this happens, Sanders is annoyed and he takes the project from the fat bald scientist and gives it to a thinner scientist with a beard and an effeminate male assistant. They try to Replicator again on the assistant and then on the previous assistant with the mole - she comes out hotter than ever in black lingerie and he comes out a brunette with giant fake knockers, now completely turned on by the bearded guy. From here, the females who have experienced the Replicator start to enjoy sexual pleasure and their primitive orgasms turn them into alligators that actually look more like dinosaurs. These alligators that look like dinosaurs bite people and those people turn into zombies - thankfully Gunnar Hansen is around, if only for a gratuitous cameo that adds nothing to the plot. But hey, he's got X-Ray glasses, so that's kind of cool.
Repligator is horrible but if you've read this far then you probably figured that out on your own by this point. There is some enjoyment to be had here, so long as you go in with the right expectations and in the right frame of mind. This isn't a movie made for the serious cineaste, but rather for those who enjoy the simple things bad, low budget movies can and so often do provide instead of any sort of artistic merit: cheap lingerie, fake boobs, real boobs, dinosaur alligator face masks, zombies (?), horrible optical effects, bad science, characters with horrible names like Dr. Goodbody and Colonel Sanders, and bad, trashy jokes galore. Nobody involved in this project was taking it seriously, that much is obvious, so there's no need for anyone else to take it seriously either - because once you do that, the movie becomes an endurance test.
So yeah, go into this cinematic turd knowing full well how truly turdy it is and it's hard to get too upset by it. Sure, none of it makes any sense and the script seems to be made up on the fly seemingly with the only intention of showing off some kind of cool dinosaur masks that are not alligator masks, but hey, it's Repligator. Seriously, what do you expect? Just look at the cover, that pretty much tells you exactly what you're in for.
Repligator was shot on 8mm and then, we can guess, transferred to tape and edited, so this DVD image is probably about as good as it's going to get. For the most part the picture is stable - noticed only one tape roll during playback and it was very quick - offering pretty good color and okay looking black levels. There are no compression issues to note and the picture is clean. Detail is nothing to write home about but given the origins and source material here, it's not bad. This is not an amazing transfer by any stretch but it is perfectly watchable.
The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix is on par with the video in that it's not anything to write home about but it gets the job done. There are a few spots where dialogue is a little bit muffled, but the levels are generally balanced well. Hiss and distortion is never really an issue, though not so surprisingly things lean a bit towards the flat side. There are no alternate language options or subtitles provided.
Outside of static menus and chapter selection we get two supplements, the first of which is a four minute interview with director Bret McCormick who notes that Roger Corman was the inspiration for this movie and who talks about where the idea for the film came from. The second supplement is a six minute featurette that is made up of some behind the scenes information and some quick cast and crew interviews. This isn't a jam packed special edition but honestly ,the fact that there are any supplements included for a movie this obscure is kind of amazing in and of itself.
For better or worse, Repligator lives again. Brain fryingly horrible in every possible way, it's hard not to laugh along with this one. With that said, it takes a certain kind of movie fan to properly enjoy this one, this is not a film for the masses or one to be taken in the least bit seriously. It's bizarre, it's poorly acted, it's devoid of logic and it is more or less a complete waste of time. So we can't really recommend it in the traditional sense, but at the same time we can't hate on it enough to say skip it. So, with the dilemma in mind, rent it. Decide for yourself where you stand on this one, but do it without investing a lot of money until you know for sure that you need Repligator in your life.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.