Hollywood Science, Cheesy Dialogue, and an Exploding Arch Underwhelm in SciFi’s “Black Hole”

WHAT true Scifi fan doesn’t look forward to the cheese and corn amply provided by SciFi Channel’s original productions, where monsters and science collide? Where else can one find Bulgarian actors hobnobbing with Hollywood’s B-list with such regularity? Where else indeed can a bachelor electro-creature from another part of the universe slide into St. Louis, looking for a little juice and a cheap baseball ticket?

So it was, the family Gilbert found ourselves poised upon a pair of matching couches, snacks in hand, ready to feast upon last night’s SciFi Channel disaster flick, Black Hole. Set in our own midwest town, we couldn’t wait to see how downtown St. Louis might play into the promised plot of a terrestrial black hole gone bad. Disappointment doesn’t go far enough.

Mind you, it wasn’t the totally improbable notion of a voracious black hole spontaneously erupting from a lab. Nor was it the pedestrian acting or uninspiring dialogue. We can’t even complain about the special effects. (At least we didn’t see that familiar cargo plane that shows up in so many of SciFi’s offerings). No, our complaint lies in the extent of the absurdity. This insane plot just didn’t go far enough!Come on. If you’re going to start with the premise that an alien creature is using black hole technology to jump from world to world to suck up electricity like lattes at Starbucks, then go with it! We loved the cartoony creature, part Predator, part “Id” from Forbidden Planet (oh, where is Leslie Nielson when you need him?). But we wanted to know why Electro-man wanted to suck up the Earth. Did he have family? What inner demons drove him to consume with such ferocity? But more to the point, why — if he had such technical prowess — did he fall for Nelson’s sophomoric ‘trap’?

The best part of Black Hole might be seeing the arch fly apart (predictive programming anyone?), but even that’s just not worth the disheartening ending, where a one-dimensional president with a bloodthirsty VP (more programming, hmm?) shifts from ‘let’s nuke ’em’ to a ‘what’s for lunch?’ attitude in the space of one page.Me? I was rooting for Electro Man. I’d like to think that somewhere — out there — his twin brother is even now plotting revenge and will soon emerge somewhere near Kansas City.