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by Eli Kroes

You might not be familiar with the term 'Z-Movie,' but if you grew up in the 90's, chances are you've seen one. They're the beyond-low-budget monstrosities that teased you from the walls of the mom-and-pop video store. Usually, the films themselves could never live up to the pictures on the videotape boxes (because this was way before your fancy 'Digital Video Discs' and 'Blu-Rays') but occasionally you'd find something truly unique. 'WEIRDO FLICKS' will clue you into some movies which 'unique' doesn't even begin to describe... 

'Syngenor' - 1990, Directed by George Elanjian Jr.

This is one of those great late-80's/early-90's tech-noir thriller films, like 'RoboCop' but a little more 'present-day,' I guess. It's not great, and it's of course kind of silly, but if you've got an hour and a half to kill, it's worth checking out.

The plot revolves around a corporation that has been creating synthetic soldiers for the military to fight in the middle east (kinda eerie, huh?) Of course, the main scientist quits because he has moral problems with the work, so some other top-tier executives decide to release one of the Syngenors (synthetic genetic organism) so it will kill him. It does, and kills some other people too, and then they find out that the creatures are designed to asexually reproduce, so they now have a whole army of Syngenors on their hands.

Also along for the ride are the deceased scientist's niece, and a nosy reporter. Like I said, nothing groundbreaking, nothing fantastic, but it's got some cool early computer 'graffix' and some super-sleazy business guys.

The CEO of the company is pretty great, and he gradually becomes more insane as the film progresses. He also spends most of his time injecting some weird future-drug in his neck, which is never really explained. Also never explained is the fact that the Syngenors look like mutant frog-people. Why wouldn't they just look like robots or something? Who knows.

Regardless, it's not particularly violent or offensive, so it plays more like a made-for-TV movie than your average sci-fi horror. It's not quite up to the Full Moon standards of sleazy B-sci-fi, but it's close.

VHS photo by Toby Hudson.