Making Contact

1985 [GERMAN]

Action / Adventure / Drama / Family / Fantasy / Horror / Mystery / Sci-Fi

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 21%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 21% · 250 ratings
IMDb Rating 4.7/10 10 1793 1.8K

Top cast

Michael Gregory as Doctor
728.87 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 19 min
Seeds 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Zantara Xenophobe 4 / 10

A Real Head-Scratcher

This review contains some SPOILERS.

Way back when we first got a VCR (about 1987), my sister and father rented some movie about a boy and a possessed ventriloquist's dummy. I happened to see a few scenes of it before wandering off to do other things. Trouble is, the scenes that I did watch got embedded in my memory and I couldn't shake them out. Ever. And it wasn't until a year or two ago when I finally found out the title to this mystery movie, `Making Contact,' and then recently I found it available for rent. Finally I could put some childhood demons to rest. Had I know the bad experience I would eventually have put myself through, I never would have watched those few scenes back in 1987.

Joey is an unpopular little kid going through the ordeal of having recently lost his father, which we are thrust into from the very first scene. No time for scenes with the dad before his death, just start right in on the funeral. But the death of his father makes Joey realize an inner power he has. He has the ability to move objects and bring his toys to life. He also starts talking to his dad on his toy telephone. He tells his classmates and becomes a laughingstock, worrying his teacher. One day he wanders into a nearby abandoned house and discovers the ventriloquist's dummy of the house's previous owner. It comes to life and proceeds to rant about how the ventriloquist's ghosts wants to control Joey. So Joey must enter the old house once again and face the evil force within.

People have been comparing this to `E.T.' There is some truth to the comparison, but what I kept noticing were comparisons to some Twilight Zone episodes I saw awhile back. Particularly, the kid talking to his dad on the toy telephone. But that stuff doesn't matter much. The movie still isn't very good. Roland Emmerich's direction is very murky and his writing is very poor. Here's a few head-scratchers for you should you decide to sit down and watch this movie:

---- Joey has the power to give life to his toys, but he doesn't seem able to actually control them. His little toy robot seems to have developed a mind and personality of its own. But it is the only toy that behaves in this way.

---- Is it just me, or does Joey's dad resemble Gabe Kaplan from Welcome Back, Kotter?

---- Listen very carefully to the broadcast when the dummy conjures up the television set. The ventriloquist's back story is fascinating (what you can hear; Joey and the dummy keep talking over it, defeating the purpose of it all). The broadcast suggests there had been a series of child murders in the 30s. I wish it had gotten into this more, but perhaps Emmerich thought it would be too scary for kids. And of course, the intrigue of the ventriloquist is erased in the final moments when we know the truth. Its all very disappointing.

---- It's funny how both the mother and teacher just accept Joey's power. They don't seem too concerned about what he might do with them should he get angry. And it is really hilarious when all those scientists come barreling down with thousands of dollars in tax payer's money at their disposal, with no proof other than an elementary teacher's word that it is all legit.

---- Funny how the strange force doing all this is so powerful that it can build its vast underground maze full of surprises, yet it can't stop Joey from using the Solve-All-Your-Problems-Exit-Door even though it is right in front of him when he does it.

I may have took home nothing from the substance of the movie, but at least that childhood demon is put to rest. Now if I can only track down that one horror movie about the underground albino people I will be free of them all. And it couldn't be as unrewarding as this children's ghost story was. Zantara's score: 4 out of 10.

Reviewed by williawallie 4 / 10

military brats

at the time this film was made, it was cool for us "military brats." one of our own was in this film (actually, two). but anyway, i went to school on a military base in Stuttgart,Germany with josh morrell and ray kaselonis. my group of friends thought we were so cool because we went to see the movie in German (actually, it was pretty amazing that a bunch of middle school kids could actually understand what they were saying in German). it is nostalgic to see this again but can't believe how dorky it is! nevertheless, this film is a piece of our heritage as military brats at robinson barracks. it would be nice to know where these guys are now...

Reviewed by Horst_In_Translation 4 / 10

More of a puzzle than a movie

"Joey" is an American / West German co-production from 1985 and the language is German. This film had its 30th anniversary last year. The director and one of the writers is Roland Emmerich, still a pretty big name in Hollywood these days and this 95-minute film we have here is from his early days as a filmmaker around the age of 30. The premise and idea in this film are actually not too bad. A boy mourns over the death of his father, but somehow he keeps being able to talk to him. the reason is a strange demonic creature in the form of a dummy (with a very dark past). And if this is not enough already for 1.5 hours, there is more supernatural in here in terms of all kinds of toys who manage to keep walking around and acting on their own.

The real problem here is that this film is basically nothing more than a collage put together from snippets (in terms of plot and character) that were used in very successful films from the 10 years before this film came out. And that is why I would basically call it nothing more than a copy, but not of one movie, but about half a dozen. It lacks creativity and uniqueness entirely and if it is true that there is a film that had zero individual genius attached to it, then it is this one. Of course, every filmmaker is somewhat inspired in his creativity by the works of other artists, but this one here feels like it has no individual note attached to it at all. The good thing is that at least you can maybe somewhat enjoy it if you are not aware of or have not seen the films that this mix of fantasy, horror and family movie is shamelessly copying. I never thought Emmerich was the most creative filmmaker and sadly this work here confirms this theory. There is not really to say too much about the cast here as there are no big names attached to this movie. Lead actor Joshua Morrell, who plays the title character, never appeared in another film before or after that and maybe this was a good decision as he is not really great in here. But neither are the supporting players. All in all, this was a mediocre film at best and I give it a thumbs-down. Only worth seeing for the biggest fantasy/horror lovers, but then again these may be the ones who despise it the most. Watch something else instead.

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