900 years ago a space alien
decimated a tribe of Indians before they were able to poison it to death.
Or at least they thought it was dead because when a research discovers
itís body the thing pops out of itís cocoon and starts ripping thru
the locals. It is up to the local sheriff, who also happens to
be a drunk to stop the thing before it kills them all. Maybe along
the way she can redeem herself in the eyes of the town. You see
she accidentally shot and killed a little girl, which we find out about
in several disjointed flashbacks that actually have nothing to do with
the movie. There to help her is a local rancher (toast), the comic
relief (toast the moment he utters his first bad joke), and the actress
want to be on her way to Hollywood (too pretty to die). Who lives
and who dies (whoops told you already)? Can the Alien be stopped?
Will the movie ever end?
Okay so maybe Iím being a
little rough on this After Dark Horrorfest movie. But somehow
the filmmakers managed to screw up a simple monster movie. First
of all the plot is simple and follows the formula. Early on the
creature causes an accident that cuts off the town, so that the survivors
are forced to hide or fight because they canít flee. But every
freaking car that they find always manages to run out of gas before
they get where they need to go! This is just one example of how
hackneyed the plot is. The movie even tries to be clever by casting
a woman in the role of the sheriff. Unfortunately they give her
a terrible back-story, which is revealed in flashbacks that only serve
to further slow down an already boring movie. But to be fair there
are movies that are just as guilty as Unearthed so there must be something
else wrong. I guess we can start with the dialogue, which is terrible.
The filmmakers cast Charles Q. Murphy as the comic relief. Not
only do I not find the actor funny, but none of his dialogue is funny
at all. When he finally gets killed I was relieved not to have
to watch him anymore. Additionally I just didnít buy Emmanuelle
Vaugier as the sheriff. She is completely miscast and canít
carry a movie like this.
How about we move onto the
effects. This is a monster movie so of course the effects are
critical. Lets just get this first part out of the way.
Most of the creatureís onscreen time is CGI and it looks awful.
The movement is awkward and instead of looking scary I laughed at it.
Well I laughed then I got angry, but more on that later. I can
understand having to use CGI for a creature if you are on a budget.
But why make it worse with CGI bats? They could have just been
written out rather than bringing even more attention to the CGI.
Now it isnít all bad. There are a few kill scenes that are done
the old fashioned way with the creature partially or completely hidden.
These scenes are far more effective than when the CGI critter is running
around on screen. There is some decent gore to be had, including
broken pane of glass holding someoneís weight!
So why did this movie make
me angry? This is the worst case of ripping off the creature from
the Alien franchise that Iíve ever seen. Iím not exaggerating
when I say that this is almost identical to that iconic monster from
that franchise, it looks damn near identical. I canít believe
that they didnít get their asses sued for this. Not only that
but the creature shoots little worm things that predigest their victims
with acid (not identical but close) and it detaches a face hugger looking
creature that chases the cast around (very similar). Do you think
it is a mistake that they tried to cast a female in the role of the
monster killer? Damn it there are even two scenes with the creature
that are clearly ripped off from the series. I can understand
and even respect filmmakers that try and cash in on a successful franchise
with there own similar genre films. But outright stealing is of
shots and creature appearance is wrong. The filmmakers should
be ashamed of themselves for making this movie and After Dark should
be embarrassed they included this in the Horrorfest. What is next
8 Asylum movies to die for?
This is at best a mediocre
monster movie. But with the similarities between this movie and
the Aliens franchise I just canít even rate it that high.
-John ďEl JuanĒ Shatzer