THE ADVENTURES OF A GNOME NAMED GNORM; A GNOME NAMED GNORM
Upworld has been conceived as a cute conceptual spin on the mid-1980s buddy cop movie that became all the fad after Lethal Weapon (1987). Shortly after Lethal Weapon came out, we started getting some bizarre spins on the buddy cop concept:- cop and dog K9 (1988) and Turner and Hooch (1988); cop and alien The Hidden (1987) and Alien Nation (1988); cop and split personality Loose Cannons (1989); cop and Hollywood action star The Hard Way (1991); cop and vampire tvs Forever Knight (1992-6); cop and zombie Dead Heat (1988); even cop and dinosaur Theodore Rex (1995). Certainly, the idea of a cop and gnome pairing should take the prize for conceptual bizarreness.
For all that, it is a cute idea that fails to work. This is entirely due to a completely sophomoric attitude that takes over the film. Which is probably no particular surprise for a film that stars Anthony Michael Hall who seems to specialise in these types of films. In the film, Hall even drives a car with the number plate OYNK which should probably give an idea of the films intellectual level. Even the gnome gets into slavering over human female breasts and butts. Hall, who appears all of about nineteen, is laughably miscast as a detective and is far too young to at all convince in the part. Beyond that, the films most fantastic aspect is not its asking us to believe in gnomes or entire societies living underground but surely how someone with a jerkoff attitude like Anthony Michael Halls can remain on the police force without being suspended.
Considering the number of genre films that Stan Winston has worked on and the sterling work he has produced in the effects department on most of these, one would have thought that some of it would have rubbed off on him. At least, Winstons team create a fairly believable gnome. However, Winston fails to light and direct it in a way that would make it look convincing. Which is a sad considering the way most makeup people complain about directors and cinematographers failure to show their creations in a good light.
To no particular surprise, Upworld laid about on distributors shelves since its completion in 1989 and was finally released to video in 1992 and shuffled around under various titles including A Gnome Named Gnorm and The Adventures of a Gnome Named Gnorm.
In other genre material, Stan Winston has also co-directed T2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1991), the Universal Studios theme park ride based on Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and solo directed the 38 minute videoclip for Michael Jacksons Ghosts (1997). Winston also served as producer on the cable tv series Creature Features, a series of films made using the titles of 1950s B movies The Day the World Ended (2001), Earth vs. the Spider (2001), How to Make a Monster (2001), She Creature (2001) and Teenage Caveman (2001). Prior to his death in 2008, Winston formed Stan Winston Productions, which produced Wrong Turn (2003) and The Deaths of Ian Stone (2007).
Full film available online here:-