Planet Patrol (1999)

It is one thing to watch a movie and think you’ve seen it before. It is something entirely different to watch a movie for the first time and know that you’ve seen it before.

In 1998, with the American Godzilla on the way, Full Moon Features made two Kaiju Eiga of their own (under their newly created Monster Island label, which released exactly two films), the so-so Zarkorr! the Invader and the silly but far more entertaining, Kraa! The Sea Monster.

That film introduced the Planet Patrol, a group of teenagers without powers or robots, who keep the Galaxy safe from the bad guys. Or, in this case the bad guy as only the evil Lord (not Doctor!) Doom of the Dark Planet ever seems to give them trouble.

Not that it doesn’t come as a surprise every time to learn he’s responsible.

So, Full Moon being Full Moon, the next year, they released this spin-off film which consists of: a museum planet mystery featuring effects stolen from Subspecies and Doctor Mordrid; a condensed version of Kraa!; and a new story built around the giant robot footage from Robot Wars.

Now, it’s fairly obvious that the teen actors look the same throughout, even though they could have looked quite different a year later, so I suspect this was probably shot at the same time. Its episodic nature also leaves me wondering whether this was be a TV pilot which failed, and, Full Moon being Full Moon, they decided to release it rather than let it go to waste.

The two “new” sequences are actually quite fun in a mild way, with David Allen’s stop motion effects the real stars. As I’ve never seen the epic battle between dinosaur skeletons before (okay, okay, you nitpickers out there, one of them is a mammoth), it was definitely the highlight of the film. Unfortunately, the Kraa! Sequence just seems to drag if you’ve seen the original. I found myself just waiting for it to be over.

Unlike many of the Full Moon films, it actually gives you what it promises, but there is a reason for that. While amusing it never reaches the giddy heights of fun of the first film. If they had created a third “new” story instead — perhaps ripping off the Zarkorr effects — this would have been a far better film.

But somehow I suspect that the Kraa! footage is the only reason this one got made. Particularly if it were meant to be a pilot film.

Let’s face it, this was an also-ran, Full Moon’s attempt at a tokusatsu, Super Sentai style series. Yes, it is mostly fun.

But that’s about it.

(Watch for Free At Tubi)



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One thought on “Planet Patrol (1999)

  1. Watching Kraa right now, saw Zarkorr earlier today. I don’t get the hate for Zarkorr on imdb. People really seem to just miss the point on that one. It’s not supposed to be good. Anyway, don’t see myself watching Planet Patrol. I hate clip shows, much more clip movies. Thanks for review.

    Liked by 1 person

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