Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown (2008)
Tugg Speedman (Chad Scorcher), Daisy Stamford-Grossman (Vicki Slander - ace reporter) Punt Speedchunk (General Hardcastle), Blast Hardcheese (Mutant Leader), Buck Plankchest (The Concept of Hope), Dirk Hardpek (The Friends You Made Along the Way), Gristle McThornbody (A Particularly Important Tree)
New Ice Age
“It’s really quite simple, Chad, after we’ve had to restart the rotation of the Earth the past five times our planet has simply gone off its axis and we’ve now gotten so far away from the sun that the Earth is freezing over. Your job is to take this cargo plane full of nuclear warheads and fix that, somehow.” - Dr. Professor Science
My unabashed love of the Scorcher series is well-documented here in the annals of Doomsday Reels history. The first film is, of course, classic ‘80s machismo and even if the second one goes a little bit too campy it’s still a lot of fun. Of course, Scorcher III famously involves Chad Scorcher flying a plane into the evil corporate villain’s skyscraper lair a mere two months before September 11, 2001 which didn’t play so well after the fact. But Scorcher IV managed a great comeback in 2004 where Scorcher finds a group of young men fending for themselves in the wasteland and teaches them how to defend themselves from a group of marauding women warriors, admittedly that one hasn’t aged particularly well and in retrospect it was unfortunate that the group of young men in the film dubbed themselves “The Proud Boys”, but who could have seen that coming? Scorcher V was a direct-to-video snoozefest, starring Lucas Lee in the role of Chad Scorcher in place of Tugg Speedman this time, and was mostly notable for how cheap it looked. But Scorcher VI was the first big push at a true revival for the franchise.
These days, Tugg Speedman is mostly known as an academy award winning documentary film-maker, the governor of South Dakota, and some still remember him for his disastrous turn in the titular role of 1997’s Oscar-bait Simple Jack. But Speedman is, and forever will be, an action star. As Speedman’s friend, confidant, and celebrity doppleganger Derek Zoolander freuquently says, “Tugg is like if a fighting action man was a really really really good actor.”
Scorcher VI picks up 20 years after the first film, and while the events of the third, fourth, and fifth movies aren’t discredited, they aren’t brought up here. The Earth has gone spinning off its axis and Scorcher has to get a wingless cargo plane full of nuclear warheads to the middle of the now-frozen Gobi Desert to set them all off at once, the resulting explosion will push the Earth back into its regular rotation and restore order. He’s joined by an intrepid girl reporter played by Chubby Rain’s Daisy Stamford.
Unfortunately, the path to the Gobi is fraught with peril as marauders, mutants, and various ne’er-do-wells stand in Chad’s way. The resulting 2 and half hours are jam packed with explosions, mayhem, and a surprising amount of practical effects. It’s a tour-de-force and a bold slice of cinematic bravado that cannot be matched. Is the movie gratuitous in both violence and nudity? Understatement of the century. Does it carry a subtle undertone of misogyny? Nope, it’s right out in the open for everyone to see it. Is a 45 minute sex scene a tad much? Absolutely.
Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown was never going to live up to the legacy of the original Scorcher, but it’s a nice show of how much life was left in the franchise. Unfortunately between the events of the disastrous filming of Tropic Thunder, Speedman’s political aspirations, and the mysterious disappearance of his close friend Kit Ramsey, the Scorcher VII: Floaters has been indefinitely shelved. Still, it was a fun ride while it lasted.
NEXT TIME ON DOOMSDAY REELS
“Judith, it’s me your boss. I need you to buy my wife a ticket to Michigan, it’s too dangerous for her here. I just love her so much.”