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So Bad It's Good: Legion (1998)

Legion Horror Movie Review

The story is set in the year 2036 and revolves around a special forces team led by Major Agatha Doyle formed from death-row prisoners and their ensuing mission. A former war hero on death row is offered the chance at a pardon if he will join the team and undertake their mission to infiltrate an enemy facility.


A by-the-numbers low budget riff on The Dirty Dozen meets Aliens, Legion is all sorts of awesome. Don't get me wrong - it is dreadful, but gloriously dreadful. Heading up the cast are Parker Stevenson (Baywatch) and Terry Farrell (Hellraiser III), with support from Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys),  Rick Springfield (General Hospital) and Gretchen Palmer (Moonbase).

Legion Horror Movie ReviewWritten by Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Huntsman: Winter's War) in his second ever writers credit - it certainly breaks no new ground. It's so bizarre in it's writing that the death-row prisoners that have been promised parole are guilty of hideous crimes such as mass (like, 37 counts) murder, multiple murder / rape, and Dun Dun DUNNNN...disobeying an order. You can tell who's going to make it out
alive at the headcount in the first five minutes.

Largely the FX are okay - the budgetary constraints are hidden well by director Jon Hess (Alligator II: The Mutation) who does a surprisingly good job of keeping the film on track. It's not played for gags, but there is a genuine warmth in the film, with so much macho-bullshit on screen at one time, you could be mistaken for thinking you are watching the wrestling.

Tonally, it is a total mess. Having played it for tongue-in-cheek silliness would have made it a great early evening movie, but it takes itself too seriously and has (way) too many adult themes in it, with the prisoners trying to either kill or hump anything in sight.

But oh, it is so much silly fun.

And when the monster finally turns up for the third act, it's actually pretty good, rounds the story (which was pretty sparse to begin with) off well, and even plays a sympathetic angle.

Pretty much must see for what it is. -4* out of -5*

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