Saturday, July 05, 2008

Alien Species

There isn't much background I can dig up about this 1996 flick. But give the filmmakers' credit for ripping off two sf film franchises in the title.
Aliens attack the Earth by sending cheaply-rendered CGI UFOs down to kill a cow.
No, really.
The aliens have presumably crossed a gazillion miles of space to Earth in huge motherships, and they first thing they do is send down a small scout ship to blow-up a cow. Eventually, they get a little more adventurous and start blowing up people.
Meanwhile two somewhat dim-witted deputies are transporting two somewhat dim-witted prisoners to jail in a van when they stumble upon three victims of a car accident, and decide to transport the civilians to the next town. The aliens graduate from kidnapping people, to blowing up cars and force the prisoner van off the road. So the guards, prisoners and civilians start hiking, but end up taking refuge in an ancient Indian burial ground.
While the aliens continue to randomly blow up cars and people both hither and yon, one of the deputies decides to relieve himself and goes into a cave where the aliens are doing something. I don't know what, they just appear to be hangin' out and chillin'. But they start chasing the group, and picking them off one by one. Most of the action takes place either in caves or in the dark, which saves money because you don't need any lights to shine on the hokey alien costumes. That the aliens are actually taking humans and cocooning them for future use should come as no surprise.
Fortunately, one of the prisoners has a heart of gold, and he saves the two women civilians. I guess the other prisoners and the deputies weren't cute enough.
This film clocks in at 92 minutes, but I've never known 92 minutes to last so long. This is barely passable schlock, even down to the bad song over the end credits, but it is schlock. The biggest name actor here is Charles Napier -- he's there in the poster. He's a solid journeyman actor who's been in many films, including The Blues Brothers, but his biggest claim to fame just might be his role of a space hippie in the original Star Trek episode "The Way to Eden." Heading out to Eden, yay Brother.
The credits advise that the audience should watch for Alien Species 2 coming soon. Thankfully, it has never arrived. But let's all be extra vigilant, just in case.

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