Morlocks (Review)


Written by Adam J. Karp and Royal McGraw
“Based” on The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Directed by Matt Codd

Welcome to Florida!

SciFi Channel (now known as SyFy for years despite that name sucking) goes all H.G. Wells on us again to give us Morlocks, a SciFi Original Movie version of the classic time travel tale, that dumps the entire story in favor of having people trapped in time with crazy killer Morlocks. Though I applaud them taking familiar elements and doing something original with them, the original thing they do is just the same old basic creature feature plot where a team of people are killed off bit by bit until they kill all the monsters. And if you stop to think about it, little that happens makes any sense. But there are a few moments of goofy WTF that will get some praise.

The Budweiser Frogs, 2020 A.D.

Director Matt Codd also helmed the SciFi classic Dragon Dynasty. The keyboard theme blaring out reminds me of the Space Mutiny theme, which is always great.

Sure we’re untextured enough that you can’t tell what we look like, but you can’t see our cool CGI shading until THE FUTURE!

Dr. James Radnor (David Hewlett) – Former time travel project head, who quit his top secret job and wrote a book called Time Travels’s Strife that is pretty much a description of what he did in the top secret lab. No one cares. David Hewlett is also in the SciFi Channel classic Boa vs. Python
Dr. Angela Kelley (Christina Cole) – Angela still works for the secret government project, and is James’s exwife. Figures out what Colonel Wichita is up too, but a bit too late to not get tossed into THE FUTURE!
Colonel Wichita (Robert Picardo) – Military man in charge of the time travel project, his son John has cancer so he goes nuts in pursuit of Morlock DNA in the belief that it will cure his son. The time travel works sort of like Stargate, which is good that Stargate alums Picardo and Hewlett are starring.
Tyrell (???) – Thanks to squashed credits and an awful IMDB page, I have no clue who played Tyrell, one of the main soldiers sent with Radnor into THE FUTURE. Starts out as a stereotype but becomes a full-fledged character kicking Morlock butt.
Vera Cortez (Marem Hassler) – One of the prior team members who was lost in THE FUTURE, she helps Radnor and his team get back to the present. My favorite character.
Dr. Felix Watkins (Jim Fyfe) – Holy crap, Jim Fyfe from Encyclopedia! That show was awesome, Jim Fyfe is awesome, and I hope he pops up in more SyFy films! This time, he’s the rival scientist to Radnor who takes over after he quit, and every time the two are on the screen together they argue argue argue. Which is pretty funny.
Morlocks (CGI) – Green jerks from the future who are almost invincible unless the plot demands they be easily killed by a slight breeze.
Dinobirds (CGI) – For some reason there are dinobirds in THE FUTURE. Why? They never explain why. It makes no damn sense. It’s completely crazy. Just go with it, dudes! Dinobirds! I guess the CG house had an extra model lying around.
The most unreal tournament of them all!

Hi, all my science this week is filed under the letter “M” – Morlocks, maculation, maieutics, merkin, megacerine, meiosis, magnicaudate, macrography, molybdosis, morbilli, moya, maggotorium, mucorrhoea, and magniloquent!

We open with a group of soldiers are running around in the not too distant future, but suddenly monsters attack! Only one managed to activate the time machine and escape, though she dies on the other side. Even worse, the monsters grab the device that opens the time travel portal before they leave!

To fix what went wrong, the government grabs time travel book author Dr. James Radnor, who it turns out wrote his time travel book mostly about reality and what he really did when he was in charge of the time travel project (he left when he sent a team to the future and they vanished, presumed dead.) His ex-wife Dr. Angela Kelley is the one they send to bring him back, leading to the characters sort of sniping at each other.

It’s a lot of hard work finding out when Ghost Hunters airs!
The best attended, best promoted book signing I’ve ever seen!

Radnor was unaware they got the project to finally work after he left. The guy they got to take over is Dr. Felix Watkins, who gets into a science facts argument with Radnor as they slam each other over who is smarter in this IQ pissing match. Before they fight to death with a pair of protractors, alarms blare and morlocks emerge from the time travel portal, killing a few random soldiers before getting gunned down. This is said to happen sporadically but no one has bothered to set up any sort of defense except some random guys standing around with guns.

The rips in time are getting longer and more frequent, James Radnor realizes that eventually they’ll swallow the base and all of Earth into a perminant portal between present and future. That can only be stopped if they go back to the future and fix the device. Something Radnor doesn’t want to do, even though he can do it best. He gets guilted to join the team of soldiers that are sent out.

The world’s hardest to get to screensaver!
Wichita, Kansas, present day.

The future is filled with still-burning fires and recently charred corpses scattered around the ruined city, it looks like the apocolypse happend just yesterday! They easily locate the device, except it is surrounded by a bunch of giant dinosaur birds!

What? This suddenly became Jurassic Park! Not only are these dinosaur bird substituting for raptors, but they’re also very hard to kill (unless the script requires them to be simple to kill!) Between team members becoming bird chow, they also run into humans…the humans Radnor sent to the future that disappeared! Only two of them are important, the survivalist leader Patterson, and the hot female Vera Cortez. Patterson tells the new people they need to go hide, because “They hunt at night.”

Back in our time, Colonel Wichita is getting increasingly nuts about getting Morlock DNA sequenced. This isn’t revealed to anyone except the audience, but his son is dying of cancer and they’re going to cure it with Morlock DNA. Somehow. Even weirder, the secret DNA project doing this is called Project E.L.O.I. (hello, book callback!) and seemed to have existed before the time travel thing happened! I don’t even know any more. This whole part is sketchy and seems contrived to come up with added unnecessary drama. An additional fact to show someone read the wikipedia entry on DNA but didn’t learn anything: The Morlocks are human, but both sets of their chromosomes are identical and they’re all male. Does that mean they have two Y chromosomes? Because you sort of need at least one working X chromosome in order to not be dead. Also if all your chromosomes are identical, you better hope there are no genetic diseases! But I guess the Morlocks had that all worked out perfect. And Angela is left to be Morlock snatched by Colonel Wichita when she discovers he’s up to something.

Kill the Jurassic Park before it spreads!
The only way to stop Morlocks is to become more and more plant!

The time travelers also learn about the Project E.L.O.I. conspiracy because the group is hiding out in the ruins of the old experiment compound. But due to the half-destroyed files they don’t know the full story. The compound does give us a maze of tunnels and when the Morlocks inevitably invade it, we can then steal from Aliens and Alien 3!

They have to wander around a Morlock compound to find the time travel latch to get home, and Radnor also saves Angela. The survivalist Patterson dies an unexpected quick death during this sequence. But they find the missing time travel latch and escape to the present (along with a live Morlock) and then James Radnor realized Colonel Wichita is crazy and will destroy the future.

The time travel removes control of the sphincter!
Want to see my collection of Morlock ears?
Morloks are the bats of the H.G. Wells canon.

Dr. Watkins figures out the future is only 2080! Then he gets chomped and the latch activates, letting hundreds of morlocks into the base, setting off the Morlockpocolypse! People die, and Wichita goes beyond nuts to crazy. The only way to stop the time travel rift is to blow it up, and luckily there is a self-destruct. The dying captain of the rescue team sets it off, and everything starts to explode.

Good thing Tyrell and Cortez have an escape helicopter! Which gets destroyed by Morlocks. Good thing there is also a tank nearby for them and Radnor and Angela to hide in so they aren’t blown up. KA-BOOOM!

It’s over, and everyone is saved!

I guess they don’t have jail cells in THE FUTURE!
It’s that scene from Coneheads!

Or is it?? Yep, the Colonel’s son will be Morlock Patient Zero! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! We just got predestination paradoxed!

Hey, didn’t they use newspapers to get the names of the Morlocks? No one checked the date? No one noticed nothing in THE FUTURE was futuristic at all? Maybe the Morlocks destroyed all the dates on the newspapers because they’re jerks. Stupid Morlocks, I’m on to your nonsense!

Look at these lazy Morlocks. Get a job, you hippies!
Atari 2600’s Combat, the Movie

Rated 5/10 (The President is here!, This chick is also in Star Runners, He must have seen the film, not so Pip Squeak now, It’s a major character I barely mentioned!)

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The worst community theater in the world…
Morlocks is the movie that dares to not be able to spell it’s monster’s name correctly!

3 thoughts on “Morlocks (Review)

  1. Pingback: Morlocks | Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit

  2. I enjoyed this film though it could have been an episode of Stargate lots of action lots of shooting lots of fun 8 out of 10

    • Since Stargate stars show up in so many of these flicks, they should just go full out and make every third movie a Stargate film where another creature has jumped through the gate.

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