The story for Kamillions is very simple: A scientist has been working on opening a portal to another dimension, and today on his 50th birthday (and coincidentally while his family prepares a birthday party for him), he succeeds. In this other dimension, he sees lifeforms that resemble horseshoe crabs moving around and he notes the activity of these crabs. After the window on his portal machine thing breaks, the scientist Dr. Nathan Wingate (Harry S. Robins) gets sucked into this other dimension, and two of these crab creatures jump out. These crab like creatures have the ability to replicate itself into the image any living body it can come into contact to, or can see (now you can figure out how they got the title). All of this craziness happens as the guests are arriving, and any of the guests are prime targets for this mighty morphin spectacular.
One of the crabs ends up morphing into the form of Dr. Wingate’s cousin Desmon, who happens to be the Duke of Luxembourg, and the other turns into a model that the doctor’s son Sam is obsessed with (named Jasmine). Each of these beings has the power to change humans into other beings or objects, and if you haven’t guessed by now, one is good and the other is evil. The rest of the film revolves around the cat and mouse game between Desmon and Jasmine, with Sam trying to keep his hormones in control and trying to save his dad before the coolant on the portal machine runs out and destroys the northern hemisphere.
Kamillions was only the second film directed by Mike B. Anderson who most people probably know better as the director of several episodes of “The Simpsons”. This film is on par with a lot of the humor found on that show and has a few gags that are pretty ambitious. It’s campy, relatively funny and obviously shoddily edited, but I get the feeling that it’s supposed to be like that. While the version I’ve seen was just over 90 minutes, from what I’ve read, it’s a case where the editor wasn’t closely involved with the film and edited it without much direction. Teresa Woo was more used to editing action movies, and was confused when this movie didn’t contain a lot of action. The result we get is this cut of Kamillions, and I’ve heard that a 120 minute cut exists, and I’d be interested to see that.
As it stands, Kamillions is really a decent movie. Cheesy, yes… but really entertaining. The effects are low budget, but effective and funny. One of my favorites is a scene where two of the characters are about to stuff the ol’ turkey, but aren’t aware of Desmon watching from the ceiling in the corner of the room. Desmon’s face turns blue (which indicates he’s about to work his magical powers) and turns the man’s unit into a giant snakelike creature that chases the woman around the room before it turns itself on the guy it’s connected to.
I wasn’t expecting to like this movie much, and when it started I definitely had my doubts. I’m glad I stuck around to watch the entire film as what I ended up watching was really just a fun movie that definitely didn’t take itself too seriously. Kamillions is a tough film to find, and if you’re a fan of campy, cheesy sci-fi comedies (because there are probably a million of those, right) you’ll probably have fun with it too. Kamillions gets 3.5 heads stuffed into fishbowls out of 5.