PROJECT SHADOWCHASER III
BEYOND THE EDGE OF DARKNESS
The best that can be said for Project Shadowchaser III is that it rises to a level of bare competence. It has an adequate cast; there are some okay effects; and there is not too much in the way of glaring improbabilities as there were in the first two films. John Eyres does a reasonable job directing. If nothing else, he keeps the action constantly on the move, which at least distracts one from the fact the film has no plot. On the other hand, Project Shadowchaser III has a number of glaring problems that you cannot help but notice. One of these is the fundamental confusion between whether the film is trying to be a ripoff of The Terminator (1984) (as the other films in the series were) or a ripoff of Alien (1979) and The Thing (1982). We are never sure if what the crew are facing is meant to be a rogue android or a soul-sucking, shape-changing alien vampire. Sometimes it is both and John Eyres, with his typical penchant for minimalist motivation, never deigns to explain anything about what caused the android to go out of control or how come it suddenly develops shape-changing behaviour and the need to devour human souls.
In the second Project Shadowchaser film, John Eyres let his action director proclivities come to the fore but took them to such a ridiculous extreme that the film collapsed into ridicule. With Project Shadowchaser III, Eyres has his action technique under control and effectively manages to substitute on-screen busyness for excitement. Although there are times when the film still manages to descend into the ridiculous like one very silly scene with everybody in the engineering section yelling at each other about whether a switch should be flicked upwards or downwards; or the scene where Bill Kirchenbauers wheelchair spontaneously goes out of control and spins him into the airlock to be depressurised.
Director John Eyres has made a number of other action/genre hybrids including the UFO/action film Monolith (1994), the executed killer returns from the grave/action film Judge and Jury (1996), Octopus (2000) and Ripper: Letter from Hell (2001) about a series of modern-day Jack the Ripper killings. Eyres also produced Dark Planet (1996), The Apocalypse (1997) and Spoiler (1997).