We get very soppy about Annihilator. Growing up in the UK, I should have missed this entirely but the local video rental shop (a tiny off-license with a collection of 20-30 tapes to rent) carried it and I probably rented it more times than all of their other customers put together.
It tells the story of Richard Armour, a newspaper editor, whose life is turned upside down when his girlfriend Angela (played by Catherine Mary Stewart – pictured below) returns from a vacation but turns out to be a god damn killer robot from space. Eek!
With human looking robots running around and killing people, the Terminator influence is particularly obvious but in many ways it’s better than most of the Terminator sequels (although not the original Terminator obviously).
It’s pretty dark and has a great story, albeit one that doesn’t conclude particularly satisfyingly as this also acted as a TV pilot that never got picked up. And even though they wasted away their budget on a great car chase (which gets shown twice because it was so expensive) this is an unmissable little sci-fi/horror treat.
It’s a great ’80s sci-fi/horror flick in its own right though and is well worth a watch as it is scarier and better made than you’d expect. Even though the movie leaves you with more questions than answers, there is a tantalising look into the robots and their agenda late in the film thanks to Prof. Alan Jeffries, played by Jeffrey Lewis, who reveals they are a race of robots called Dynamitards.
Also notable is the performance of the sadly-missed Lisa Blount as Angela’s best friend. She’s dressed about as ’80s as it gets, like some sort of Cyndi Lauper tribute act but she has some remarkable scenes in the film.
We mourn what may have been the greatest TV show ever but we still have this film that we’ve loved for almost thirty years now. Snagging a good copy of it is basically impossible as it only ever got a VHS release (and I think only a rental one at that) but it is all up on Youtube.