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Action/Animation/Adventure/Horror/Sci-Fi/, Canada, 1981, 86 min.

Tagline A Step Beyond Science Fiction

Synopsis The film is divided into a series of animated vignettes dealing with science fiction themes. All the stories are connected by a green glowing ball meant to represent "the sum of all evils", which is first seen floating through space before the film's title appears.Soft Landing/GrimaldiOut in space, near Earth, a space shuttle opens its cargo doors and a 1959 Corvette drops out and races toward Earth. The car lands in a crop field and races toward a remote house. The pilot, Grimaldi, enters the house, carrying a container. A young girl greets him and the man opens the container; inside is a glowing green ball. Suddenly, Grimaldi's body melts and the ball moves toward the girl. It announces itself as the "Loc-Nar", the sum of all evil in the Universe, and tells her that she possesses powers she doesn't understand. The Loc-Nar begins to tell her various stories of its existence and influence.Harry CanyonAt a desert excavation a scientist working with several alien creatures uncovers a glowing green sphere. When one of the aliens picks it up, he instantly melts.The segment then changes course to settle in a dystopian New York City in year 2054. A taxi cab driver named Harry Canyon picks up a punk as a fare. Moments after they leave, the punk pulls a gun on Canyon, demanding all his cash and cab, and implies that he's going to kill him anyway. Harry pushes a secret button with his foot near the firewall of his car, activating a beam on the back of the front seat that disintegrates the punk. Canyon takes the punk's pistol and puts in the glove compartment, piling it with several other weapons he's collected from similar incidents.At a nearby museum advertising an exhibit for the "Loc-Nar", gunshots are heard and a man stumbles out of the front door and collapses on the street. A pretty woman with red hair, the man's daughter, runs from the museum, chased by a man named Rudnick and his two thugs. She finds Harry and he lets her in his cab. Harry remarks that his conscience tells him not to get involved but he takes her to a police station anyway. By then, she's passed out and he carries her inside. The police are little help, quoting Harry an expensive fee to conduct an investigation. Harry leaves and takes the woman home with him to his seedy apartment building.At Harry's apartment, the woman wakes up. She tells him that Rudnick and his men were after the Loc-Nar. With her father dead, she is the only person who knows where it is. She also mentions that Venutians want it, believing it to possess magical powers. Harry offers his couch for her to sleep on and goes to bed. The woman strips naked and gets into bed with him and they have sex. The next morning she's gone and a couple of thuggish cops enter his apartment, demanding to know where the woman is. He tells them he doesn't know and they threaten him with incarceration if he doesn't report her return to them.As Harry preps his cab for another day at work, another punk, one of Rudnick's goons, pops up in the back seat and threatens Harry with a knife. Harry is about to press the button for his death ray and Rudnick appears, warning him not to. Rudnick tells Harry that he wants the Loc-Nar for a group of "interested buyers" from a "nearby planet" (likely the Venutians).Later, in gridlock traffic, Harry gets a message from the woman telling him to meet her at the Statue of Liberty. Harry notices he's being followed by Rudnick's goons. Harry races off, using a cannon on his cab to dispatch the goons. At the Statue on Liberty Island, he meets the woman, who tells him she's going to sell the Loc-Nar to Rudnick. Harry agrees to accompany her for half of the money.At an abandoned bridge with Harry covering her, the woman takes the case with the Loc-Nar to Rudnick, who gives her the money. She leaves with Harry and Rudnick opens the case, grabbing the Loc-Nar. Seconds later, Rudnick melts. As Harry and the woman drive away, with her in the backseat, she pulls a pistol on him, telling him she's going to keep all the money for herself and that she only used him. After confirming she is serious, Harry pushes the death ray button, killing her. Harry winds up with all the money for himself. Back at the bridge, the Loc-Nar begins to glow again and flies away.DenDen is a present-day teenager with a penchant for scientific experiments who finds the Loc-Nar in his backyard, assuming it's a meteor and puts it in his room. While performing an experiment with lightning, the ball harnesses the energy and propels the teenager through outer space to a distant planet. As he travels, his body changes and he becomes much larger and more muscular.When Den arrives on the planet, he's a witness to a human sacrifice being conducted by a nude female priestess wearing an elaborate mask. The woman recites a benediction to a god called Ulatec which calls for the Green Ball, again referred to as the "Loc-Nar" to be placed in the idol's hands. The priestess then orders another young nude woman to be thrown into the large pool of water where the ritual is conducted. Den dives after the woman and rescues her. The woman, Katherine, who is British and from Gibraltar, is very grateful and offers her body to Den. The two begin to have sex but are interrupted by a group of humanoid creatures. Both are taken to the palace of the young and foppish Ard, rival of the priestess who is also queen of the strange planet. Both are competing for possession of the Loc-Nar to perform the ritual to Ulatec. Ard orders Den to go to the Queen's palace and steal the Loc-Nar. If Den completes the task, he will give Den Katherine, who has been placed in suspended animation.Ard's greatest warrior, Norl, accompanies Den with a small unit of other guards. They infiltrate the Queen's palace and split up to find the Loc-Nar. Den sees it in a darkened room and reaches for it, grabbing the bare breasts of the Queen instead. She orders him to be executed, then changes her mind and takes him to her bed chamber. She tells Den that if he can please her, she'll let him live, which he succeeds in doing with energetic sex. Later, a few guards enter the room and tell the Queen that the Loc-Nar has been stolen - Norl had taken it and escaped. Believing Den was a distraction so the Loc-Nar could be stolen, the enraged Queen tries to kill Den herself but he escapes on an alien horse.The Queen flies after him to the statue of Ulatec where Ard has already begun the ritual; Katherine will again be the human sacrifice. Den once again rescues Katherine by posing as a priest. When Den sees the Queen and Ard fighting over the Loc-Nar, he gets an idea. Wrapping a chain to a spear, he throws the spear at them and embeds it in the rock above them. He then flips the other end in the pool. When lightning strikes the pool, the energy is carried on the chain to the Loc-Nar, recreating the accident that transported Den to this world, causing Ard and the Queen to vanish, presumably sending them back to Earth. The Loc-Nar itself falls down the steps of the statue. Katherine suggests that Den use it to rule the planet, but Den refuses, choosing instead to fly off with Katherine. The Loc-Nar breaks free of the staff that it had been fashioned into and once again flies off into space.Captain SternnThe Loc-Nar flies through space to a large space station near Jupiter. It lands on a floor inside, much smaller than before, about the size of a large marble. It is picked up by a strange looking man.In a room filled with humans and alien beings alike, a trial is being held. The accused, Captain Lincoln Sternn, is charged by the Prosecutor with a long list of crimes including murder, piracy in space, rape "and one moving violation." The Prosecutor asks for Sternn's plea and, much to the surprise of the attendees and judge, he pleads not guilty, with a haughty attitude. Sternn's attorney, Charlie, begs Sternn to change his plea but Sternn refuses, saying he has "an angle" for his defense.The bailiff calls a witness named Hanover Fiste, to whom Sternn has promised a huge payoff if he testifies as a character witness for Sternn. Fiste is the man who'd picked up the Loc-Nar in the hallway when it had landed on the space station. While on the stand, Fiste begins to play with the marble sized Loc-Nar. As he testifies to Sternn's good character, he begins to spout more crimes that Sternn has committed. Sternn and the courtroom are shocked and Fiste becomes more hostile and angry and begins to grow into a huge, monstrous humanoid bent on killing Sternn himself. Sternn runs out of the courtroom and Fiste, after effortlessly slapping the Prosecutor aside, destructively chases Sternn throughout the station. When he finally catches Sternn, Sternn offers him the money he'd promised for his fraudulent testimony. Fiste instantly changes back to his normal form and thanks his boss. Sternn suddenly bids Fiste goodbye and pulls a lever, opening a trap door under Fiste, dropping him into space. Fiste burns up, the only part of him left is one of his hands, still clutching the green marble.B-17A squadron of World War II B-17 bombers are flying in formation over Europe in 1943. The lead bomber takes heavy anti-aircraft fire and the two cargo gunners are killed. The bombardier himself is also killed, but the plane drops it's load successfully. As they fly back to their home airfield, the co-pilot climbs into the cargo bay to check on the crew. All are dead. He also finds the tail-gunner dead. When he looks out the back window of the plane he sees a glowing green ball following them in the air. The ball flies under the plane and thrusts itself up into the fuselage, lodging in the bomb bay rails and knocking the co-pilot unconscious. The entire plane glows green for a few moments. The co-pilot wakes up and walks back through the fuselage, stopping briefly when he sees the cargo gunners' bodies have disappeared. He checks on the ball gunner's perch, knocking on the hatch. When he gets no answer, he opens the hatch and two clawed hands suddenly grab him and pull him inside. The man screams as an unseen beast kills him and blood splatters on the inside of the turret.In the cockpit, the pilot calls the co-pilot on the plane's radio. When he gets no answer, he flips on the auto-pilot and walks back into the cargo area. When he opens the door, he sees that the dead crew members have been transformed into skeletal monsters with clawed fingers. He fires his pistol at them uselessly and jumps out of the plane. His parachute opens and he lands safely on a desert island. He notices that many other war planes have crashed landed on the island and the crews of them have been transformed into monsters like the ones he saw on his own plane. The man screams, doomed.So Beautiful and So DangerousThe B-17 pilot's image appears on the scope of a massive spaceship hovering over Earth. The image changes to the Pentagon near Washington DC. A limo arrives and a short man in a suit, Dr Anrak, gets out. He's accosted by several reporters asking him about strange occurrences around the globe. He dismisses them all and walks into the Pentagon. In a large meeting room, a group of military officials, senators, representatives and other scientists are frantically discussing the occurrences Anrak was asked about. People are turning green and becoming increasingly hostile. Anrak explains that the phenomena are probably scattered and pose no threat to the world. The rest of the group sighs in relief. As he talks, Anrak's voice begins to slur and he attacks a voluptuous secretary across the table. While he ravishes her, a massive spaceship appears over the Pentagon, lowering a giant tube that saws into roof of the building. It penetrates to the meeting room and sucks up Anrak and the woman he'd attacked. The two are whisked through a long series of tubes; Anrak lands hard and breaks into several pieces, suggesting he is probably a droid of some sort. The woman, Gloria, lands softly and is met by a short robot. The robot tells her he can't return her to Earth ("instability zone around the ship") and leads her away. The robot's companions, Zeke and Edsel, remark about how he always makes a play for Earth women.Zeke and Edsel snort a huge quantity of a drug called Plutonian Nyborg and experience hallucinatory visions while they pilot the ship. In a bedroom, the robot and Gloria lay in bed after sex. The robot begs her to go steady with him then asks her to marry him. She agrees, but only if he's circumcised and if they can have a Jewish wedding.Zeke and Edsel land the ship in a huge outer space colony - it is a crash landing, but the intoxicated pair are satisfied.TaarnaThe Loc-Nar confronts Grimaldi's daughter for one last story. One night the Loc-Nar, now the size of a massive orb, appears in the sky of an alien planet. It then crash lands and embeds itself inside a dormant volcano. The residents of a nearby city see the event and decide to travel to the site of the volcano. When they arrive at the volcano, it suddenly erupts and all there are covered in a deluge of green "lava". The first man that the lava covers arises, much larger, green-skinned and with clawed hands, an abomination of the man he once was, and declares a death sentence on all who oppose him and his followers.At another city, the Barbarian Leader and his cohort of marauders break through the city gates and massacre the weaker population living there. Many are killed and the city council meets in a large chamber, unsure of what to do. Their leader realizes that the only being that can save them is a Taarakian, an ancient warrior that protected their race throughout its history. The council joins together to call the warrior, Taarna. As they finish the ritual, the barbarians arrive at the chamber, easily breaks the door down, and slaughter everyone inside.Far away, a rider in a hooded cloak on the back of an alien bird touches down at the temple of Taarna. The rider enters, stopping at a large pool. The rider is revealed to be a beautiful woman, who strips and swims across the pool. At the base of a massive idol, she finds her armor and dons it. The last item she receives is a golden sword. She flies off on her bird as a narrator intones that she seeks revenge.She arrives at the devastated city and investigates. The council have all been killed and their leader beheaded. The man holds an amulet with a strange symbol in a death grip. She takes it and flies off, stopping at a nearby oasis that has a tavern. Outside the tavern are three flying bats that have been tied to a hitching post. On one of them, she finds an emblem that matches the one on the amulet she found in the council chamber. Inside the tavern, she orders a drink and draws the attention of three thugs; they are barbarians like the ones that destroyed the city. The thugs mean to get rough with her when she hits one with her tankard, provoking a fight. She kills them all easily with her sword. Placing the amulet on the bar, she grabs the bartender, who tells her she'll find their camp near the mountain where the Green Ball landed.Flying through a canyon, to the location where the Loc-Nar is, she is suddenly ambushed by the barbarians, who capture her using a large net. She's hauled up to the top of the canyon where she's met by the Barbarian Leader. Doubtful of her origin, the leader inspects her and finds a mark identifying her as a Taarakian. The leader orders her "washed" and brought to his chambers where he ties her down and whips her. She's later cast into a deep pit where the marauders throw their prisoners. Above, her bird is being used for target practice by some of the barbarians. The bird manages to pull one of it's captors in front of an arrow shot at it and flies off looking for her master. She rescues Taarna and they fly off. The leader declares that he wants the warrior woman dead and flies after her. In another canyon, Taarna's mount is shot out of the air. The leader finds her and the two fight. Using his mechanical hand, he is able to seize her sword and throw it away. Moving in to kill her, he is suddenly bitten on the leg by Taarna's mount. Momentarily distracted, he is hit in the head by Taarna, who wields a pipe. This gives her enough time to grab his mechanical arm to use it to cut his throat, and as a finishing touch, she yanks off his helmet and kills him by plunging her fist into his face.Wounded and weakened by the battle, she climbs on her mount and heads for the Loc-Nar. Using the energy from her warrior lineage and her sword, she destroys the Loc-Nar, despite the claims that it couldn't be destroyed.Grimaldi (Coda)Taarna's sacrifice was so powerful, it transcended time and space, affecting the Loc-Nar in the present. As the Loc-Nar begins to shatter and break, Grimaldi's daughter begins to flee from the house in sheer terror and reaches a safe point outside just as the house explodes and is destroyed.Outside in the field, Grimaldi's daughter sees Taarna's mount materialize out of thin air. She goes over to pet him, then climbs on the mount and flies off. We then find out the reason why the Loc-Nar wanted to destroy her. She has been chosen by the spirit of Taarna to become the new Taarakian, to defend and protect against the evil that will arise again in the next generation.

Directed by Gerald Potterton  

Starring Don Francks, Caroline Semple, Richard Romanus, Susan Roman, Al Waxman, more...

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