January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

As a band of renegades travel through space, a dark force looms in the distance and as time passes, it only grows in strength. The ship of renegades includes Dr. Paul Hamilton (John Barrymore III), Dr. Leslie Morgan (Brinke Stevens), and the beautiful Carla Ferguson (J.J. North), who are involved in all sorts of cutting edge rebel stuff. They soon happen upon a drifter named McQueen (Tim Abell) and this sparks a chain of events that will change their lives forever. The trek continues as planned for a while, but soon after, some mechanical issues trouble the ship and as such, the crew is forced to land at the soonest spot available. So the crew unpacks their camping gear and heads toward the closest shelter on the landing area, an abandon research facility of some kind. The place is eerie, dank, and of course, void of other humans, but this means some fear is involved, perhaps with good reason. Remember that dark force I mentioned? It happens to live in this research lab and if the crew wants to survive, they’ll have to defeat it…

This low rent creature feature from director Fred Olen Ray (Evil Toons, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers) might lack production values, but hey, how about that shower scene, eh? In truth, this movie seems to have been shot for a few bucks on a weekend, as everything screams cheap, including the film stock used. I usually like Fred’s flicks, even the really bad ones, but Hybrid never clicked too much. It has the shower scene I mentioned, but aside from that, not much to speak of in terms of blood & breasts. You’ll see a few cheapie gore moments, but nothing too good and on the whole, the B movie fun value is kind of low with Hybrid. I wanted to like it, as I love B movies and all sorts of bad cinema, but it just falls short on the basics, laughs, blood, and naked chicks. It does have some decent moments, like when it tries to be a normal sci/fi picture, but all things considered, this was a let down. If you’re a diehard B movie fan like me though, you’ll want to give this a rental, just to test the waters, but keep your expectations low.

Video: How does it look?

Hybrid is presented in a full frame transfer. As the trailer features widescreen moments, I assume this is an open matte edition, but since other films in the Retromedia line are often widescreen, perhaps this is Fred’s choice, which is fine. What isn’t fine is the condition of the image, which is not too good here, especially when the film was made in 1997 (released on DVD in 2001). I assume cheap film stock was used, as the print shows excessive grain throughout, which lessens the visual impact of the other elements. The colors seem dulled and contrast is compromised, as if this were shot on someone’s home video camera, to be honest. I know B movie fans are used to bad transfers, but for such a recent movie, I am very displeased here.

Audio: How does it sound?

As this was a low rent quickie, I assume not much of the budget went into sound design, or if it did, you wouldn’t know it from this mix. The sound is anchored and never moves around much, even in terms of right & left pans and the like. Even so, this isn’t the kind of flick you need dynamic audio for and as such, I see no reason to bitch too much. The sound effects are as cheese laden as they deserve to be, while dialogue is always clean and never hard to understand. Not a phenomenal audio track, but it covers the basic bases and that’s enough.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some still photos, drive-in antics with Fred & Miss Kim, and the film’s full length trailer.

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