Charles Band is a real legend in the world of independent film directing dozens of titles from Evil Bong to Trancers and Prehysteria! His latest film, Barbie & Kendra Storm Area 51, is the third entry featuring the titular twosome; the prior two flicks in the series are Barbie & Kendra Save the Tiger King and Corona Zombies.
Barbie & Kendra Storm Area 51 combines bimbo comedy antics with a re-dubbing of clips from 1968’s Space Thing and 1979’s The Day Time Ended. A scant running time of 49 minutes makes sure it doesn’t overstay its welcome as it promises a 4th entry with the immortal “To Be Continued…” tag.
NOTHING ON THE TV
Still haunted by the Corona Zombies, Barbie (Cody Renee Cameron) and Kendra (Robin Sydney) can’t leave their humble abode. Although they daydream of going to the beach or dancing at clubs, the risk of the deadly Corona Zombies is all too great. Bummed out, they decide to stay home to watch something on the old boob tube.
Flipping the channels, they land on the PUN (Probe-U-Network). Barbie and Kendra get excited from watching news on civilians planning to raid Area 51. As they prep for their trip, we watch their TV as two vintage sci-fi features are recut and redubbed into a loose Area 51 narrative. Our favorite duo eventually leave their apartment but make no mistake, the redubbed bowdlerized footage makes up the bulk of Barbie & Kendra Storm Area 51.
Piotr Michael does the heavy lifting for most of the voiceover work. Most notably, he does a pitch-perfect Leonard Nimoy as the narrator of the PUN Network. Other imitations Michael pulls off include Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Takei. Does every character in the remixed footage have a celebrity impersonation? No, but the ones that do help liven up the dull moments.
Dubbing over existing movies that are recut for a new feature is not a new practice. Woody Allen did it back in 1966 with What’s Up, Tiger Lily? Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein, Joel Hodgson, and Kevin Murphy made a cottage industry of it via their signature riffing with Mystery Science Theater 3000. Barbie & Kendra Storm Area 51 does a valiant job with a pair of lemons. Aside from the blatant nudity and charming stop-motion, the movies being spoofed with silly voices are duds.
Cody Renee Cameron and Robin Sydney put a lot of energy into portraying Barbie and Kendra, respectively. Although not all their jokes are winners (to avoid the offensive term “alien”, they go instead with “extra testicle”), they are game for whatever zaniness William Butler and Kent Roudebush‘s script throws at them. If nothing else, they are good sports at playing ditzes in an array of revealing clothing.
The genius title of Barbie & Kendra Storm Area 51 lets viewers know exactly what they’re getting into. If you’re going to watch this one, you might as well marathon the series with some buddies online while imbibing the adult beverage of your choice.
Have any thoughts on Barbie & Kendra Storm Area 51? Is it your favorite of the trilogy? Comment below!
Barbie & Kendra Storm Area 51 is available on the Full Moon Features streaming app or available to rent on Amazon Prime.
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