Ever since I was young I have been a big fan of video games. I still remember playing the NES and SNES when I was young and have continued with the passion ever since. I have always been a little leery about movies built around video games or the industry in general. While video game movies have gotten better in recent years, there are far too many video game inspired movies that are really bad. I think this can mostly be attributed to many video games not having a deep enough plot to drive a movie and most of the people that are involved in creating these movies don’t have much passion for the franchise and industry. Until a couple of weeks ago I have to admit that I had never heard of the movie I am taking a look at today Max Reload and the Nether Blasters. Instead of being based on a real video game the movie is based around the video game culture and a fake video game. As a fan of video games I was intrigued by this premise and it didn’t hurt that the movie was clearly trying to be a B movie which I generally enjoy. Max Reload and the Nether Blasters is a silly and sometimes stupid B movie that might not be perfect, but the creators’ love for retro video games and pop culture from the 1980s and 1990s is clearly evident.
Max Jenkins is your typical 20 year old that doesn’t know what to do with his life. He works at a local video game store with his friends Liz and Reggie who he also spends a lot of time playing online games with. Back in the early days of gaming (Colecovision era) a series of games were created in the Nether Game series. The franchise was really successful until it suddenly ended as the next game in the series Nether Dungeon was never released. One day while working at the shop a copy of the never before released Nether Dungeon turns up at the shop. Being a big fan of the franchise Max decides to play the game. By playing the game he unleashes the ancient “Curse of the Ages” which quickly begins possessing the local residents. Max and his friends need to find a way to defeat the curse before it takes over the world.
The main reason that I wanted to check out Max Reload and the Nether Blasters was that I was hoping for a genuinely good video game movie. I wouldn’t call the movie great as it has a number of issues, but you could tell that those responsible for creating it had a true passion for video games and geek culture in general. The movie is basically made for fans of retro video games, 1980s/1990s pop culture, and geek culture in general. In this regard I think the movie does a good job as it is filled with a ton of Easter eggs and callbacks. Some of the jokes and references feel forced, but you can tell that the movie was made by people that truly cared about these things. For this reason I think people who are generally into these type of movies should get a decent amount of entertainment out of Max Reload and the Nether Blasters.
I will admit that the movie is not going to be for everyone though. The film doesn’t hide that it is inspired by B movies. Therefore if you are looking for a serious movie you might as well move along as you aren’t going to get that from Max Reload and the Nether Blasters. The movie is really silly which is what you should expect from a movie about a video game that releases a curse on anyone who plays it. The fact that the movie embraces its silliness is probably what I liked most about it. The movie has quite a few genuinely funny moments. At times the movie leans a little too much into being silly/stupid, but I genuinely found it to be a fun and enjoyable B movie. People who enjoy B movies should enjoy this element of the movie.
While there are a lot of things that I liked about Max Reload and the Nether Blasters, I am not going to deny that parts of the movie are kind of stupid. I think most of these elements come from the movie trying to be a B movie. A lot of them work, but some don’t which leads to some groan-worthy moments. The plot itself is quite simple and doesn’t always make a lot of sense. The plot seems to borrow quite a bit from other movies and it is kind of predictable. If you hate B movies or are looking for a deep movie you likely will find Max Reload and the Nether Blasters to be a stupid movie.
Max Reload and the Nether Blasters also shows its limited budget at times. I don’t know the total budget for the movie, but the movie was made with funds raised from Kickstarter totaling around $16,000. I don’t know what other funding the movie received, but it is obvious that the movie didn’t have the money that most sci-fi movies have available to them. If the movie was made for around that amount of money I have to say that I am quite impressed. The limited budget does impact the movie at times though. The special effects are pretty simple and could be better. The sets feel like they were the locations available to the people who made the film. Even the acting is a little hit or miss. If you don’t mind smaller budget movies this shouldn’t be a big problem. Those that only really care for blockbusters though will probably be disappointed by the movie.
Max Reload and the Nether Blasters is basically what you would expect it to be. It is a silly B movie about a video game that unleashes a curse on anyone that plays it. While the movie takes it a little too far it is a pretty good B movie. The movie can be genuinely funny. Max Reload and the Nether Blasters knows it is a B movie and embraces that fact. In addition to being a B movie it also features a lot of 1980s/1990s nostalgia as well as references to video games. I think it does a good job in this area as the writers truly are passionate about these things. While I enjoyed the movie I will admit that parts of it can be pretty stupid. The movie’s small budget also shows at times.
Basically my recommendation comes down to your thoughts on a B movie that features a video game that curses anyone who plays it. If this doesn’t sound all that interesting you likely won’t enjoy the movie. If the premise sounds fun though I think you will enjoy Max Reload and the Nether Blasters and should consider checking it out.
Recommended For: People are nostalgic for 1980s/1990s pop culture, retro video games, or silly B movies.
Appears On the Following List Posts: None at the moment
Movie Completionist is our never-ending movie review journal where the ultimate goal is to watch, write about, and curate as many movies (both new and old) as humanly possible. For more information on this post series and a list of shows already covered, see this post.