Genre: Sci-Fi Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 30 min.
Release Date: April 3rd, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG
Director: R. W. Goodwin Actors: Eric McCormack, Jenni Baird, Dan Lauria, Jody Thompson, Robert Patrick
clever and surprisingly authentic throwback to the cheesy sci-fi films of the ‘50s, “Alien Trespass” maintains a consistent style. But when it comes to the laughs, the majority is derived from nostalgia alone. The attention to detail (cars, clothing, hairstyles, diners, etc.) is amazing, and the theremin music doesn’t hurt, but sadly the most appreciative viewers are a seldom few, leaving general audiences to snicker at the shoddy special effects and rubber monster suits rather than recognizing what the filmmakers tried so hard to replicate.
When a strange meteor lands in the peaceful town of Mojave, chaos erupts that will change the lives of its citizens forever! Against his wife’s wishes, astronomer Dr. Ted Lewis (Eric McCormack) decides to investigate the crash site and makes a startling discovery – the shooting star is actually a UFO, and its pilot is a silver-suited spaceman. Taking possession of the doctor’s body, the alien being heads into town and recruits unsuspecting waitress Tammy (Jenni Baird) to help him in his mission to hunt down and recapture the dangerous cargo that escaped his ship – a flesh-eating, cyclopean, tentacled monster intent on wiping out the world.
With the archaic newsreel footage intro, the campy dialogue, the typical plot consisting of disbelief followed by paranoia, cheesy camera-trick special effects, loopy music, purposely sub par acting, garish titles, and picturesque diner, “Alien Trespass” recreates a ’50s science-fiction B-movie with daring precision. But that’s also the fault – the unique gimmick only lasts for so long. Younger audiences unfamiliar with the purpose behind the film will be unable to tell where homage stops and originality begins.
In its attempt to mimic a potential film for “Mystery Science Theater 3000” ransacking, “Alien Trespass” is painstakingly genuine – in one scene, the action directly parallels 1958’s “The Blob” (with Steve McQueen) while that very movie plays in the background. “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and other now classic fantasy fare also serve as the inspiration for this spoof – except that its authenticity doesn’t allow for much actual parodying. It’s funny because many ’50s schmaltz movies were unintentionally humorous – it doesn’t go overboard or exaggerate on the already laughable qualities that naturally come from low budgets and overactive imaginations.
In a way, it’s reminiscent of Tarantino/Rodriguez’ “Grindhouse”; if it’s similar enough, why not simply watch a real exploitation film? In this case, why not watch a real sci-fi B-movie? During an early scene, Ted attempts to explain the difference between an asteroid and a meteoroid to his wife, who doesn’t even want to know. “Alien Trespass” may represent the same conundrum: what’s the point of seeing a new movie styled after an old one when the originals are still readily available? And will contemporary audiences be able to tell the difference?
– The Massie Twins