Boasting “AMAZING ANIMATED SPECIAL EFFECTS!” (at least that’s what the box says), Actium Maximus is a compelling sci-fi socio-political drama with lots of awesome goop-drooling space monster puppets in a land of model cities blue-screened badly behind people running around dressed in goofy alien masks. It’s an intense tale of intrigue played out with space triceratopses that walk as deftly as the battery-operated Spydor toy that my Skeletor action figure used to ride and a megalomaniacal talking box with eyes—the Grand Automaton PolPox—and his army of hovering stalagmites with tentacles.
Despot Polpox is sovereign of the Actium Maximus Colony whose inhabitants are chiefly concerned with wagering on dinosaur fights and being addicted to some kind of worm-infested alien heads. To celebrate the colony’s Carnivale, Polpox orders his advisers to have XXXL tee shirts made up with Polpox iron-ons to be worn as the official uniform for all his citizens. Unfortunately for Polpox, there are Laffrodite dissidents looking to assassinate him lurking in the ruins outside Actium Maximus and the stalagmite guys are failing to round them up and kill them. Apparently, a Laffrodite is some kind of cross between a pile of guts and a jellyfish. Polpox is a mean guy and I can see why the Laffrodites would wanna kill him but, honestly folks, all he really does is come up with good title bouts between space monsters and have tee shirts made up for his people. Is that really that wrong? Live and let live says I. This whole damned mess could have been avoided save for some timely dialogue. Violence (which, for the sake of the children, is never shown onscreen in this film) never solves anything.
All this highly intriguing nothing is going on with the same shots of alien dinosaurs walking around aimlessly mucking about but never fighting as promised and Polpox and his advisers speaking English in highly distorted robotized space voices that are impossible to understand (but luckily they are haphazardly subtitled… occasionally). So, in reality, I’m just kinda guessing at the plot up to this point. There’s a subplot with Polpox’s space creature rounder-upper that I also may have misunderstood because even though the monster getter guy is human he has conversations with this zookeeper creature that looks like a microscope made of innards and that thing talks in the crappy indecipherable occasionally-suckily-subtitled voice.
But anyhoo, this human guy heads out with a human chick and a Cinnabon-faced alien to get more space monsters for big money monster title fights. They take their spaceship (which looks like steampunk flying turkey robot) to this planet that’s supposed to have some bitchen monster that the locals worship as a god. Their guide leads them to this ancient spaceship wreck and they check it out and the interior looks like the boiler room at this pipefitting class I once took. Okay, that whole scene was just pointless padding that leads nowhere. Moving on, they never do find the monster they are looking for but they do find this other phallic-shaped monster when they get stuck in a field of its gooey saliva. This great beast picks up a boulder with its mouth-hole and hurls it in their general direction…
MEANWHILE back at Polpox’s pad, some kind of pterodactyl assassin is bearing down on the tyrant. And then… AND THEN… TO BE CONTINUED… Oh, fuck me! I need closure, dammit!
On second thought, I just need a drink.