VHS Verdict: 90’s Remote Control Radio Shack Robots Gone Psycho in ‘EVOLVER’ !
Hey there I’m back for a whole NEW year in 2018!! Yeeehaw!! I’m starting off with a little review from a recent batch of VHS I bought while thrifting around Portland, Oregon. In my huge stack of weird movies I’ve been burning through, was a movie called ‘Evolver’ from 1994. From the cover of this one I was more than certain this was gonna be some total bull shit show that I’d likely not be able to make it all the way through. HOWEVER I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually dug Evolver!
Let me be clear though, this movie is totally stupid, but in the best way imaginable. It starts off with some shitty virtual reality video game being played in an arcade by our lead character, hot shot video gamer Kyle played by “teen heart throb” Ethan Embry. He’s basically on stage in the arcade and of course there’s a big crowd there cheering him on, becuz in the 90’s that’s what people did dammit! Anyway he’s a computer hacker as well and uses his skills to make himself the prize winner of a new real life robot called “Evolver” a prototype game system that plays laser tag with you in your own house. Evolver kinda looks like the baby of the robots in “Chopping Mall” as he’s only about 3 feet tall, oh yeah and he’s voiced by none other than William. H Macy! At first Evolver is easy to beat but at each new level of household combat that he’s defeated he gets better and even transforms a bit so he can be “more menacing” to his foes.
Kyle’s family basically adopts Evolver as one of their own and lets him roam around the house as he tries to constantly convince everyone to play with him in his thrilling “games of combat”. There’s some pretty fun scenes of Evolver and the kids having a blast playing together and of course Kyle’s always the one to defeat him, you know, cuz he’s a hot shot virtual reality arcade champion-DUH. However it’s soon clear Evolver has a dark side and it just can’t help himself from loading steel marbles into his cannon blaster arm to up the ante. From here things just keep getting more ridiculous as this little menacing tin can can’t resist embarking on a savage mini-killing spree around the neighborhood.
He also watches a bunch of violent tv shows while everyone’s at school and gets inspired to drop a bunch of filthy F-bombs and even threatens to slice Kyle’s little sister’s throat at the dinner table! Yeah Evolver hangs out at the dinner table of course! This flick’s got a ton of fun moments and never lags. It’s also got some nice cheezy action sequences, sweet practical fx work & despite it’s robot villain hardly being truly menacing (as it never really evolves much aside from at one point getting a neck so it’s head can turn) he’s still funny as fuck as he slowly becomes a cold blooded robo killer. Evolver also looks a bit like an early 90’s Radio Shack remote control robot and looks like he’d be pretty easy destroy with one swift kick. Still though this one’s got total charm and tries it’s best to be an action packed horror thriller with a fairly straight face throughout. It’s best paired up with some rowdy friends & some tasty beverages, it’s a barrel of awesome 90’s fun! Seek this one out!