Tag Archives: alien

Alien Dead (1980)

Director: Fred Olen Ray Starring:Buster Crabbe, Raymon Roberts, Linda Lewis, Georeg Kelsey. USA. 1h 27m

Mind bending retro sci fi horror, featuring gator eating alien zombies that lay siege on a quaint rural southern town where a journalist ends up in a dead end town that seems to be running out of gators only to stumbles on the story of a lifetime.

They came from outer space to eat the living!

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Deep Space (1988)

Director: Fred Olen Ray
Starring: Charles Napier, Ann Turkel, Bo Svenson, Ron Glass. USA. 1h 30m

I love when the smaller budgeted movies attempt to retell bigger budgeted blockbuster style stories, and this film, that spends most of its time I’m swimming in the success of other sci fi  classics like Alien (1979) in fact it’s totally an Alien rip off, but all of its good intentions, seems to be another homage to cult film but plays out like another version of the fated project, The Dark (1979),  and this about s successfully thrilling as Alien 2 on Earth (1981)

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The Dark (1979)

Director: Tobe Hopper, John Cardos Starring:William Devane, Cathy Lee Crosby, Jacquelyn Hyde. USA. 1h 32m

This could have been a real contender as one of the more imaginative bold and vibrant sci-fi thrillers of the late 70’s but it fails on a few fronts which is a crying shame. The total of it’s dismal failures is all down to a ton of rewrites as the director duo of Tobe Hopper and John Cardos scramble around trying to wedge their classic into the shadow of the other highly successful sci-fi movies like Ridley Scott’s ALIEN (1979).

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The McPherson Tape / UFO Abduction (1989)

 

Director: Dean Alioto
Starring: Tommy Giavocchini, Patrick Kelley, Shirly McCalla, Stacey Shulman, Christine Staples, Laura Tomas, Dean Aliot .USA. 1h 6m

Largely forgotten, The McPherson Tapes film is an often overlooked early found footage sci fi movie. It’s something that you’ll find among those creepy compilation videos on YouTube, as the kids don’t have recollection of the movie or it’s creepy impact, often citing it as real found footage. If only they had seen the movie they really wouldn’t be any doubts.. But in all fairness the movie was once presented on a 1990’s paranormal investigation show as real footage, so I guess we can’t just blame the kids as the entire history of the movie has been plagued with claims of authenticity. But what makes it so realistic, that even the professionals can’t set it’s a work of fiction?

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Almost Human (2013)

Director: Joe Begos
Starring: Graham Skipper, Josh Ethier, Vanessa Leigh. USA. 1h 20m

For the most part Almost Human has a lot of connections with comedic scifi horror, Altered (2006), and ultimately feels like a blood splattered version of the classic Fire in the Sky (1993) but this indie thriller is way more serious and writhes with brutally dark violence and gore once it builds momentum.

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Спутник / Sputnik (2020)

Director: Egor Abramenko~
Starring: Oksana Akinshina, Fyodor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov, Anton Vasiliev .Russia . 1h 53m

There has always been this strange surreal nature to the epic ideas of Russian Science Fiction, be it art, animation, novella or cinema you’ll always find something so profound and lavish in the Russian culture of art. From the early Aelita (1924) to the genre defining Stalker (1979) Solaris (1972) and Visitor to Museum (1989) there’s a strong sense of new ideas and concepts so far out and esoteric it’s hard to take in but yet these films stand as testament to the ingenuity of Russian Cinematographers (using soviet brutalism and derelicts to their advantage) and Directors who work an orchestra of stunning and creepy visuals and wonderment.

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Infini (2015)

Director: Shane Abbass
Starring: Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Bren Foster, Harry Pavlidis. Australia. 1h 30m

Sometimes the ideas in sci-fi movies are so brilliant they are easily missed, but when dealing with advanced concepts about mimicking bodies, mutations and genetic diseases that are totally alien, there’s no real easy way to go about it. But I feel with some more attention to editing and with an actual drive to interact with an audience then this could have been more hard-hitting and some of its counterparts

I would never suggest that Shane Abbass, is actively copying any other films that I’m about to mention, but I’m willing to step up and say that I’m actually quite intrigued by what he could do with a small budget, this previous movies Gabriel (2007) managed to pull off a lot that was missed from the Prophecy film franchise, with all of his film mastery and magic however, just now and again he just can’t seem to get something quite right and I can’t quite put my finger on it. To my eye, there seems to be a really strong connection with Franck Vestiel’s, Eden Log (2007) and Pandorum (2009) and though Inifini doesn’t really step on any toes per say it appears that they are probably best watched together as a trio of great sci fi movies all connecting a similar theme. Continue reading Infini (2015)

The Jar (1984)

Director: Bruce Toscano
Starring: Gary Wallace, Karin Sjöberg, Robert Gerald Witt as Jack, Dean Schoepter, Les Miller, Don Donovan .USA. 1h 25m

Often described as one of the worst of the worst, this trippy sci-fi thriller is packed with a weird psychotropic atmosphere and has an interesting concept and sterling synth soundtrack but it really does write the book on how not to make a movie, while still maintaining that under-developed charm which B Movie enthusiasts really love.

It’s not entirely clear what Toscano was going for with his movie, it starts well but once the random trippiness kicks in his main character spends so little time in the real world there’s not a lot to grasp onto, the ploy is generally simple, but there’s so much imagery which really needs explaining. With attempts to blast the audience with Altered States-esque visual conundrums with alien and religious iconography. Continue reading The Jar (1984)

Color Out Of Space (2019)

Director: Richard Stanley
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Some Alpacas, Tommy Chong, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Elliott Knight, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hillard, Josh C Waller. USA. 1h 51m

Richard Stanley has made a succinct but highly notable list of horror movies over the last 37 years, my personal top favourite is Hardware AKA Mark 13 (1990), a film I associate with so closely I have my own MARK 13 tattooed as part of my sci fi leg piece, Dust Devil (1992) and Island of Dr Monroe (1996) received mixed reviews but retains a solid cult fan base for their unique approach to horror. Somewhere within all of his back catalogue there includes crazy hallucinogenic colour bursts, unknown hidden horrors and strong powerful characters who are usually lost in the heat of the earth. Continue reading Color Out Of Space (2019)

Alien Factor (1978)

Director: Don Dohler
Starring: Don Leifert, Tom Griffith, Richard Dysz, Mary Mertens, Richard Geiwitz. USA. 1h 30m

Make no mistake there’s a deeper meaning behind this 16mm Quality Color movie, on the surface Dolher’s homemade sci fi adventure is simply about a small handful of rogue aliens that have landed on earth and intend on making some mischief, but by the end of this wintry escapade we’re left questioning who the real monsters are.

In a sleepy Baltimore down during mid winter, the biggest crisis was who was going to be nominated as the new mayor, but after a suspected meteor lands out in the woods, there’s a spate of unusual deaths. Before the town can really comprehend who or what is killing anyone who wanders out into the wilderness, a brilliant scientist is soon lending a hand and aiding the officials in the right direction of a possible downed UFO.

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