Where man and metal converge.

Iron Thunder
1998 | Color | 1 Hr 53 Min | Action Sci-Fi | R | Sterling Entertainment

Director: Jay Woelfel

Writer: Jay Woelfel

Richard Hatch
Susannah Devereux
Don Hughes

Danger faces unsuspecting tourists in Las Vegas as Colonel Nelson, who goes mad when he is accidentally electrocuted by the very super secret U.S. military tank he is testing, Iron Thunder. He now believes he is in the middle of an actual war and the city of glittering lights is his target. In a desperate attempt to stop him from using the state of the art offensive and defensive technology on board, the head of the Iron Thunder project sends out a Special Forces team, headed by a woman who has to deal with a crew that has its own ulterior agendas. Following Nelson's trail of destruction across the desert, they face off in a spectacular battle and force Nelson out of his tank. The battle continues on foot into the ruined Ghost towns of times gone by. Nelson is in his element, matching wits and weapons with the less experienced soldiers. Iron Thunder is about military technology gone wild and the price humans must pay to survive in the 21st century.

So I wanted to celebrate the life of  Richard Hatch after hearing about his passing. Iron Thunder looked like one of those simple fun action flicks so why the hell not, right? Sigh, I was wrong.

Iron Thunder

When you get a movie about unstoppable tanks and an unstoppable super soldier you have to think your in for a treat. Sadly director Jay Woelfel (Trancers 6, Demonicus) has a great idea and a very low budget. We get simple locations that work fine and model tanks that do not. So many elements will take you out of the movies main focus pretty fast. It makes me wonder if he had just a little bit more money what he could have done. He wanted a Robot Jox with tanks but sadly he falls way short. Hatch and Woelfel have worked together on numerous films including what looks to be Hatch's last the yet to be released 2017's Asylum Of Darkness.

Special effects used for the tanks were fine even though the use of a real tank that all of a sudden switches to a Godzilla style miniature that does not fit in at all. And you would think that we would get an epic battle with two super tanks duking it out, but we don't. You are left wanting more from this flick. And at an super long run time of just under 2 hours the movie really drags on by. I found myself checking the time code way to often. If they would have kept it to an hour or maybe an hour twenty the poor special effects would have been less noticeable.

We do get a wonderful young cast that works very well together. Their wit drives the story along but sadly the dialoge wrote for them is sparse leaving a shit ton of dead space between words. Actor Chad Theroux was my favorite in this one something about him kept me intrested long enough to finish. Sadly he had a short film career only doing Trancers 6 after this movie. 

I do not want to beat up Iron Thunder's paper thin story line too much but if I were to have one true gripe that has to be the unnecessary sex scene that happens for no reason! There is a war going on around these two but hey let's do it right here and right now! Why, why I ask? Oh yeah, so all those pimp faced young men watching this at home would have something to talk about. Thankfully it is cut short and we get back to some of the only war style action this movie has to offer.

So the biggest reason for watching this movie was Hatch, at times I was truley uncomftrable watching him on screen he looked so sick even back then. Maybe it was  just in my head with his death still fresh on my mind. He did have some shining moments but a far cry from the action hero roles he once had. If you look at IMBD it looks like Hatch and Woelfel seemed to be buddies and that friendship helped bring back Battle Star Galactica. So all was not lost on this film. Hatch will be truly missed as he was such a hero to me growing up. But sadly with that, I must say this is a movie you should truly miss.

2 Bloody Brains out of 5


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