There was a time when a name like Fred Olen Ray could capture the attention of lowbrow b-movie lovers everywhere. I'm talking, of course, of the video boom of the 80's when low-budget movies shared equal space on shelves with Hollywood fare and guys with a do-it-yourself ethos like Ray could get exposure. Of course, making a movie called Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers couldn't have hurt. As one of his earlier efforts, Biohazard is a scattershot monster movie that feels like it was shot on the fly with minimal takes, contains a few washed up stars, and has Ray's then five-year-old son, Christopher, cavorting around in a dopey creature suit - and it's not very good. However, this doesn't mean it's not preferable to the seemingly endless cycle of soft-core titty flicks (usually containing the word "Bikini") Ray seems stuck making nowadays.
Given the most basic plot possible, things start off at a top secret military installation in the middle of the desert where there's been experiments using psychic Lisa (Angelique Pettyjohn) who, as we sort of pick up from all the unbelievable mock scientific talk going on, has the ability to enter into another dimension and bring things back. It's during one of the test runs for higher ups (including a way past his prime, Aldo Ray) that things go wrong resulting in one of the scientist's assistants being fried in his radiation suit but also unleashing a child-sized mutant creature from a strange container Lisa has brought into our world from said dimension.
There to witness these events is the heroic Carter (William Fair) who soon finds himself in the city with Lisa taking time out from a mild make-out session with her to try and track down our multi-dimensional beast who's taken a liking to randomly killing various townsfolk, hobos, and rednecks. Ray also throws in a scene with a canister that contains a toothy slug monster that chews on a guy's face, lets our creature tear apart an E.T. poster for laughs, and even tosses in an obvious rip-off of Alien's face hugger as his shoddy script stumbles its way towards a silly ending and it's, admittedly, priceless last shot.
By this time we're barely over the hour mark, so Ray also pads things out during the closing credits with lots of bloopers and outtakes thereby disproving my theory that the entire film was done in one take. This is a theory I'd like to stand behind since there's so much proof judging from the multiple continuity goofs and wooden-as-Hell line readings from the cast.
Much like his previous efforts Alien Dead and Scalps, Ray does try and get the most out of a limited budget and two-line premise and it does feel like he's attempting to stuff in as much as he can into Biohazard's brief 76 minutes giving things a feeling of cheap charm, but I found myself worn out by the flick's outright chintziness well before Fair looks into the camera and proclaims, "Well, I guess that's it."
As our hero, Fair really doesn't do much but crack sarcastic occasionally, get to briefly fondle Pettyjohn's "assets", and act macho. Still, he's much better than most of the cast who are amateurish at best. Former actress-turned-porn star Pettyjohn gets a few dumb moments and was pretty much only cast for her sex appeal, but even she doesn't reach the embarrassing level of veteran actor Ray who seems out of it most of the time - probably due to spending all his time on set drunk (according to director Ray on the DVD commentary track). Possibly the only success story to come out of this, if you could call it that, is that Christopher Ray would grow up to carry on his dad's b-movie spirit by helming such fare like 2-Headed Shark Attack.
Over his career Fred Olen Ray has directed an incredible 126 movies. He's employed many a downtrodden former Hollywood star. He's exposed many a set of breasts. He's unleashed various monsters on us. He helped make "Scream Queens" out of Michelle Bauer, Brinke Stevens and Linnea Quigley. He generally seemed to be having fun. And that's why I can't totally dislike Biohazard. Sure, it's shit, but it's the kind of shit you just don't see any more - na´ve but at the same time quite self-aware.
Followed by a sequel. (Chris Hartley, 9/16/12)
Directed By: Fred Olen Ray.
Written By: Fred Olen Ray.
Starring: Aldo Ray, Angelique Pettyjohn, William Fair, Frank McDonald.