Dark Universe (1993)

Nomination Year: 1994
SYNOPSIS:  The space shuttle crashes in a remote jungle. A crew of ambitious news people, led by their native guide, is looking to scoop the rest of the world by finding the downed spacecraft first. They discover the shuttle, all right, but in doing so also discover what made it crash -- a weird, orange space fungus, which infects all the surrounding flora and fauna, mutating it into horrific and agressive alien life. After losing a couple crew members to attacks by altered critters, the survivors make a last stand...against the Aliens-esque mutated shuttle pilot himself. Who will survive? No, I don't really care, either.

Worst Science

Fighting Fire with Fire, Or, The Case of the Burning Fireproof Alien
The start of the film showed the shuttle pilot's morph into the creature he's now become. The shuttle, on fire from re-entry, blows up spectacularly upon impact, yet this human/alien hybrid was not harmed. That having been established, how do you suppose the heroes finish off the creature? That's right -- fire! They argue about it a bit (and the engineer-guy even mentions that it survived re-entry), but they eventually decide they have no choice. Kim lures it into a cloud of "marsh gas" and Judy shoots a flare gun at it while Kim leaps free at the last instant. Boom! It works and the alien catches fire and fries. In its last moments, one of the principles says that it looked like it wanted to be put out of its misery. I'd have to agree, given that lame finish. Guess it was the end of the film.

Worst Cover Copy

I'm Suprised It Doesn't Star "Siggorny Wheever"
The cover was clearly intended to be a rip-off of Aliens, complete with a woman being menaced by a vaguely insectoid, pointy-toothed alien dripping slime. I guess they figured they might sell a few copies to those who weren't paying close attention.

Acting Appropriately Stupid

Is That a Mutant Armadillo on Your Leg, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?
The gorgeous anchorwoman films a spot in front of the downed shuttle. As soon as the camera shuts off, the nerdy-looking producer/cameraman propositions her for sex -- and she accepts. They plop right down amid the patches of bright orange space fungus. As they're preparing to do the deed, she takes off her top, exposing her (admittedly fabulously perfect) breasts and reclines. The dorky producer lowers himself and has no sooner boasted as to how the Great Outdoors makes him a studly wildman when he lets out a strangled yell. "A little early, aren't you, Jack?" she sarcastically quips. When then camera pans down, though, we see his leg is being mauled by a mutated armadillo.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Joe Estevez Martin Sheen's brother, making him Charlie Sheen's and Emilio Estevez's uncle; he plays a lot of bit parts. 
Blake Pickett  
Cherie Scott  
Bently Tittle  
Paul Austin Sanders  
Director Claim to Fame
Steve Latshaw Directed Vampire Trailer Park and Jack-O 

Bryan Cassidy

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