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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.83%
Worth A Look29.17%
Average: 25%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 25%

3 reviews, 6 user ratings

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Evil Aliens
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by Peter Sobczynski

"This Generation's "Undead"
1 stars

For a horror-comedy hybrid to work, it needs to succeed both as a horror film and as a comedy. This is trickier than it sounds because both genres require similar skills–a consistency of tone and a crack sense of timing in the staging of the big laughs or big scares being the most significant–and if a filmmaker is lacking in them, you almost inevitably wind up with a film that is neither funny nor scary. Over the years, a few filmmakers have managed to pull off the trick of blending the two genres, including Sam Raimi (“The Evil Dead”), Peter Jackson (“Braindead”) and Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead”), but most recent attempts (such as “Undead” or the upcoming “Severance”) have been flameouts in which the scare scenes inspire laughter and the comedy scenes inspire only vague depression. Falling solidly into the latter category is “Evil Aliens,” a dumb British import that wants to give viewer a taste of gory goofiness but only offers them a bunch of bad actors stumbling through their comedic paces while covered in gallons of fake blood.

In case you were worried that a film titled “Evil Aliens” might somehow be too subtle for the average viewer, writer-director Jake West quickly puts those fears aside with an opening sequence in which a copulating Welsh couple is abducted by aliens and taken to their ship–he suffers the mother of all anal probes while she is impregnated and sent back to Earth. A week later, her story is noticed by Michelle Fox (Emily Booth), a cynical tabloid-TV tart whose show on extra-terrestrial phenomenon is in dire need of a boost similar to the one provided by her ever-present Wonderbra. With a crew of walking cliches–a studly cameraman, a whiny sound guy, a flamboyantly gay actor, a slutty actress and a nerdy UFO expert–in tow, Michelle sets off for the remote island where the extremely pregnant victim lives in order to interview her and shoot a recreation of her account. Without going into too much detail (much like the film), it turns out that the aliens are real and fairly hostile and our heroes wind up getting picked off in exceptionally messy ways while trying to escape.

Although I am certain that some apologists will want to assure me that the chintzy, cheesy nature of the film is somehow part of its charm, the fact is that “Evil Aliens” is a crude and stupid exercise in horror comedy that is never particularly frightening or amusing. The horror elements are either depressingly routine (virtually 3/4ths of the characters wind up getting their heads popped off or their limbs ripped away in a singularly unconvincing manner) or too tasteless for their own good (the gay guy winds up being impaled by a giant crucifix that enters through his hinder and exits through his mouth). As for the jokes, West has exactly two notions of how to score laughs and proceeds to pound them into the ground. The first is to make a limp reference to another, better genre favorite (besides the usual Raimi/Jackson/George Romero lifts, there are also shout-outs to the likes of “Jaws,” “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” and “Watchmen”) in the hopes that the fanboys will be amused because they recognize them. The second is to conclude a scene by splattering the screen with one unpleasant fluid or another–besides the expected blood and vomit, we are also treated to showers of spit, snot, pus and semen to boot.

“Evil Aliens” is made with a certain cheerfulness and I will admit that the crowd that I saw it with seemed to be at least relatively amused by the proceedings. That said, the film isn’t very funny, it certainly isn’t scary and it lacks the headlong energy that Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi brought to their early genre exercises. Those films announced the arrival of born filmmakers who transcended their low budgets and expectations with a lot of talent, wit and style. “Evil Aliens,” on the other hand, plays like one of those silly backyard movies that people make with their pals and a borrowed camcorder–this is swell if you are one of those pals but somewhat less so if you aren’t.

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originally posted: 10/02/06 13:51:42
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2005 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival For more in the 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Seattle Film Festival For more in the 2006 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantasia Film Festival For more in the 2006 Fantasia Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/27/07 ALBERTO GREAT! 4 stars
8/19/06 marla Halperin awesome 5 stars
8/14/06 Andy Funny and entertaining. 5 stars
9/13/05 Mike Hilarious and disgusting. Definately a crowd-pleaser 5 stars
9/13/05 David Conay Great film, very Funny 5 stars
9/13/05 Llyr Williams see it! this rocks! 5 stars
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  08-Sep-2006 (NR)



Directed by
  Jake West

Written by
  Jake West

  Chris Adamson
  Emily Booth
  Sam Butler
  Tree Carr
  Tim Clark
  Glenn Collier

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