When Antonio Sabato Jr. spoke at the RNC, most people’s reaction was, “Why do I know who Antonio Sabato Jr. is?” In the ’90s he was an underwear model and a soap opera actor, and in the mid-2000s was in a string of terrible reality TV shows. He’s famous for being someone who occasionally cropped up on the entertainment pages of newspapers twenty-five years ago. But since people are talking about him for the first time since he was in that Janet Jackson video, I thought it would be time to drag Deadly Skies out of the dark hole it has been stored in since 2006.
The most interesting thing about Deadly Skies (including the actual content of the movie) is that it released two versions, one with gay content and one with all that stripped out. That’s the sort of bold, uncompromising artistic vision the film aspires to.
Deadly Skies is gay film studio Here’s attempt to rip off Deep Impact or Armageddon with six actors, five extras, and a budget less than a single episode of Sabato Jr.’s 2005 reality show But Can They Sing?. And since the budget precludes actually going to space to destroy an asteroid, the movie decides to go for the next best thing and just fire a really big gun at it (note, “gun” is technically a laser).
Rae Dawn Chong, who was in Quest for Fire and Purple Rain, damnit!, plays an astrophysicist who discovers the Earth is about to be hit by a massive asteroid. She goes to speak to a crotchety old general, played by Michael Moriarty, to get him to fire the big gun at the asteroid. Now the big gun doesn’t actually work, but the general doesn’t tell her that, just that he won’t do it.
So poor Chong has to go find the military scientist who built the big gun, Donovan played with all the emotion of a pile of lumber by Sabato Jr. She interrupts his vigorous sex scene with fourth actor in the film Michael Boisvert (who, because he’s less famous than Sabato Jr., is forced to do the nude scene), to ask him about the big gun. Sabato Jr. explains that the big gun is broken, and they have to go fix it. Now this is exactly what the general wants, but he is going to spend the entire rest of the movie trying to prevent from happening.
The movie’s plot is hopelessly convoluted. The movie sets up that they could just walk up to the general and tell him they’ll fix the big gun in exchange for saving the planet. Instead the bulk of the movie is spent on complicated plans to break into a military base that, thanks to the budget, looks incredibly poorly guarded. They could have just walked six feet to the left if they really wanted to get in that badly.
Chong phones her performance in, but as a professional she’s at least watchable. Now Sabato Jr. gives an almost inexplicably terrible performance. And as the star, he given multiple monologues about how he was discharged over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The writing is incredibly corny and on the nose, but then Sabato Jr. delivers those lines with all the emotion of a table.
Deadly Skies is bad in an incredibly mediocre way. It never rises to being so bad it is good nor ever falls to being painful to watch. It’s just sort of there. And the only interesting thing about it is to compare both versions of it against each other (which is fairly ridiculous since it would mean subjecting yourself to two nearly identical terrible movies). Perhaps instead you should watch VH1’s My Antonio where fourteen women compete for Antonio Sabato Jr.’s heart, including his ex-wife?