This Giant Papier Mache Boulder is Actually Really Heavy asks the question:

What ever happened to the good old days of sci-fi — when spaceships were real models, monsters were made of latex, and laser guns were just curling irons painted silver?

And the answer is a fun romp through science-fiction, camp and b-movie films.

Or is it?

Here’s the synopsis from their site:

For three ordinary guys Tom, Jeffrey and Gavin, this just became a reality. One minute they were watching an old b-grade movie, the next they’ve been thrust inside the movie itself and at the helm of a rickety old spaceship. Panic ridden they stumble into a space battle. and make a mortal enemy of the evil Lord Froth while unwittingly saving the space princess Lady Emmanor. Then suddenly Jeffrey starts to change into a sci-fi character called Kasimir. They must adapt quickly if they are to survive long enough to find a way home. For all they know they could be next. If that happens they will be lost in this world forever. They embark on a quest to find a cure for Jeffrey and a way back home. This is an action-packed comedy adventure of giant lizards, space battles, robots, aliens, warlords and amazons that has to be seen to be believed.

All of this is true. This Giant Papier Mache Boulder is Actually Really Heavy delivers on its promise of a tongue-in-cheek look back at the drive-in campy classics and, on the surface, pokes fun at the tropes and delivers a resolution that fits in with the plot. The acting is not terrible, as the cast is asked to swing from the real-world to the over the top genre-speak of bad-sci-fi.

That being said, This Giant Papier Mache Boulder is Actually Really Heavy is a deeply flawed movie. I don’t mean the production values, as many of the sets, props and costumes are bad “on purpose”. (Though I would have cheered if someone from hair and makeup would have brushed Christian Nicolson’s hair out of his face.) The writing is flawed.

Spoilers ahead, as some plot points will need a deeper examination to explain my disdain for them.

Every woman in the film appears as a sexual conquest to be won or a reward for the male heroes’ development. Every single one.

It would have been one thing is this only happened inside the Oz-like world of Space Warriors in Space, the b-movie they’re sucked into. But this also happens to the women in the “real world”. They’re leered at on the convention floor. Both Gavin and Tom make comments about the cosplayers dressed as Amazons. Getting with Emma is the main plot for Tom, even if he is distracted by the actual Amazons who capture him and threaten him with either torture or pleasure.


It was gross and turned me on the protagonists, who act in this way without any ramifications or development, and the women in the film achieve nothing more than gifting themselves to the men once the guys achieve a certain level of confidence. Tom wins Emma! Yay.

There are also a series of gay jokes peppered through the movie. From an awkward fall where one guy lands on another guys’ back (lolz i guess?) to the entire character of Bruce, played by Jarred Tito, is a dated, inappropriate prancing fop whose over-exaggerated gay stereotypes are played for laughs and the result is cringy-er than it sounds.

As well, and this is admittedly a smaller deal, but for some reason this movie sees fit to mock sci-fi and genre fans at every chance it gets. Everyone at the convention is a poorly costumed mega-nerd lacking in any social skills. Jeffrey is treated as pitiable because of his fandom, and Gavin is deeply ashamed of his. Tom points out that he doesn’t care for sci-fi several times, and it is this character trait that of course makes him the hero of the piece, as on fans are affected by the mind-altering powers of the world they’re in.

Who is this movie for? People who want to win women, think gay guys are funny, and laugh at nerds?

I was into this movie when I was watching it, but once everything was over and the credits were rolling, I was left feeling like I’d eaten too much Burger King. Sure, it was okay going down, but now it’s just sitting there like lead.

This Giant Papier Mache Boulder is Actually Really Heavy opens in USA Jan 19th 2018.

Scott is a writer and founder at 9to5. He’s a host on The 9to5 Entertainment System and does a lot of the graphic design around these parts.

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