Review by JoshB
"Maximillian! The time has come to liquidate our guests."
With that line, a chill went up my spine. I was 6 years old, and I met my first evil robot.
Maximillian comes from the 1979 Disney movie "The Black Hole". This movie was like nothing made before it, and in my opinion, nothing made after it. It was one of the first movies to use computer animation (in the opening sequences), and an odd choice for a Disney movie.
See, Star Wars had just exploded on the American psyche, and every studio began looking for their "Star Wars" movie. It began a golden era for Sci-Fi, and studio executives greenlighted a ton of projects without looking too-closely at the scripts. Although The Black Hole was in production as early as 1975, the influence of Star Wars on it can clearly be seen.
The Black Hole was a movie that on the surface was made for kids, but below the veneer was a dark and twisted movie. There was no comedy. There were tortured souls, lost in space, images of heaven and hell, and graphic murder.
In the movie, the crew of the Palomino are on an exploratory mission when they encounter the lost ship, the Cygnus, sitting at the edge of a black hole. They find the ship abandoned, aside from its captain, Doctor Hans Reinhart, and his crew of robot helpers.
Doctor Reinhart plans to go through the Black Hole. He claims his crew revolted and left the ship, leaving the Doctor alone to build his robotic companions. Doctor Reinhard, along with his companion, the robot Maximillian, make preparations to send the Cygnus into the black hole...
Of course, all those robots were the crew, and Doctor Reinhart was insane. He killed the whole crew and turned them into cyborg zombies. Once the crew of the Palomino figure out what he is up to, the Doctor orders Maximillian to kill the visiting crew.
Maximillian is "de-activated" with a duel with the robot V.I.N.CENT, and falls into the black hole. There, in a sequence that defies description, Doctor Reinhart's "soul" is trapped inside of Maximillian's shell, in HELL, while the remainders of the Palomino crew speed through the black hole, through HEAVEN, and end up on the other side of the universe.
THAT IS A DISNEY MOVIE.
Imagine what did to my mind in 1979.
So yeah, there were toys of the characters from the movie. They were made by MEGO in the now standard 3 3/4 size, and for the most part, they were terrible. The human figures were atrocious, and the robot figures only marginally better. The best of the line were Maximillian, V.I.N.CENT and Old B.O.B..
Mego Black Hole Commercial
Unfortunately, though, the best wasn't very good. Maximillian is made out of hard plastic and has only 3 points of articulation. The head turns, and so do each chrome arm. Oh and the leg flaps move, if you want to call it articulation. The color of the figure is all wrong from the character, and it requires a clear stand (not shown) for the toy to be displayed properly. The card for this figure was the same as all the other cards, with a sticker to differentiate the toy.
Its not that great, but it is all Black Hole fans had for a while, not counting the model kit or the italian Gig magnetic toys. In 2004, Medicom released a Maximillian Kubrick that is more accurate to the design shown in the movie.
Oh, and I would have given anything for this RC V.I.N.CENT (only a prototype was ever made)
|Posted 16 July, 2008 - 05:37 by JoshB|