Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The final Trebeck film

Alpha One, the final Trebeck film, was shooting for three weeks before the death of its star, had already lost its director Warwick Jehane after the first fortnight. It had two weeks left of shooting when Dalton died.

To cover this, rewrites were done to complete the film. Gabriel Van Dyke, looking shocked, took over for his only real lead. We were also hastily introduced to the son of Dalton's character, hired to act the rest of Dalton's scenes. That made no sense at all, as Dalton was shown to be a total loner. Film feels like Plan 9 From Outer Space of that final Pink Panther film in its cobbling together various bits of footage to make a mess that should have been burned then buried.

There were three directors in all, none of whom wanted credit.

Idea was that Dalton and Van Dyke are aliens who look like humans, who are protecting Earth from Wheatley, also playing an alien, but an evil one, with time travel abilities and many weapons. This explanation makes more sense than the film itself.

It was meant to be a pilot for series. The show was picked up on cable and lasted seven episodes. Van Dyke appeared once in the show, for about two minutes, looking bored, before finally retiring.

Below is a script page for a scene shot by Jehane and placed in the film. I would say that the location that the film was shot in looked like a bland TV set, lit to be over-bright, making it look even faker, the costumes very eighties sci-fi. It had shaky camera so you could never tell what the hell was going on, we unable to work out screen direction or tactical actions exactly beyond generic basics. It was not Jehane's finest hour as a director, was shot in the middle of his drug dependency peak. The sound of the children in scene were never redubbed, so they wear American clothes but speak with an Eastern European accent. As you will see, characters are not named so use actor's names in script, which is very unprofessional.


Wheatley has a tooth-pick between his teeth. Pull back in a Hitchcock Vertigo zoom in/pull out to reveal laser-guns.

Shot ends and Wheatley begins to speak.

I know what you’re thinking.

Dalton and Gabriel look at him in disgust.

Bitch. You’re a long way from home.

I’ll break your d**k off and feed it to my cat!!!

This machine, now inside me, makes me a god.
Can be everywhere but nowhere. Can be one
with life. Come on mother****er, lets dance.

They start firing at one another, with laser-guns, in steady-cam, laser-shots missing targets. Wheatley jumps on a flying surf-board and charges at them, they dodging, get on flying bikes, having a stupid laser-fight. Then over streets and heads of orphan children, lots of wow shots going over/just missing children. Wheatley slowly fades out after a time, surfboard blowing up, nearly killing them and nearby children, who Dalton and Gabriel save.

They land, look around at shocked children.

Don’t worry children. We’ll get him!

Gabriel nods, loading his laser-gun.

What can I say.

It gets worse. Below is another Jehane shot scene, unfortunately still in the film. A Return Of the Jedi inspired bike sequence in the jungles of Vietnam, everyone shirtless like a Michael Bay film, with bad tree effects. It feels like they are trying to do something ambitious on a low-medium DVD budget sans taste and self-control. It jumps from professional to insane and back almost every shot, with some moves good, reactions to trees approaching, odd fight moves suggesting some skill, but with shaky-cam and strange ideas its just a total unmatchable mess in the making. Dalton is watching, knowing without a doubt his career is over. It is an offensive to the living and the dead.

Here it is:


Now Vietnam flying surfboard laser-fights, moving past trees with charlie stripped, firing, underexposed and yelling like a mother*****r, as well as get some!!!. They have tanks firing at them, napalm backgrounds, Dalton and Wheatley doing sword-fighting, back flips etc. Dalton does a kung fu fight with a sword on the surfboard with Wheatley generally, both using swords to fighting one another and to deflect masses of bullets.

Vietnam area is burned by laser blasts at end of sequence, Gabriel is injured, goes MIA.

The film goes back to the birth of Christ, forward in time to see that Wheatley wins and becomes a god, has lots of chases in cheap looking future back projection and bad cgi, with the son character wandering in and out without sense. So Dalton goes back and assassinates Wheatley, only the son does the killing, but it turns out its only a guy who looks like Wheatley. They go back and forward a lot, murdering people in scenes that make no reasonable sense, sometimes it being Dalton, sometimes its the son, Van Dyke always there with a comment. They have dull scenes explaining the logic of this but nobody cares. It's meant to be a chase movie, blowing stuff up. It's such a disaster that dying seems like a good career move.

A few of you may have seen it. Apparently it was based on a novel.

So that's the sad end of Dalton Trebeck. Few careers, save Bela Lugosi and Peter Sellers, ended on such a low.

As a completest, I feel obliged to provide over-views to the careers of Sean Decassey, Warwick Jehane and of course Dirk Michael Wheatley in the near future. Until then.

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