Evil Aliens on DVD

Monday, 27 April 2015 08:17 Written by 

Evil Aliens - out on DVDDirector Jake West describes "Evil Aliens" as a 'splatstick' movie, reminiscent of the early, low budget works of Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, where humour and horror intersected with buckets of gore. West ("The ABCs of Death", "Doghouse") opts for aliens rather than zombies or dark spirits, and sets them on the cast and crew of a cable TV show about extraterrestrial encounters, who finally and fatally witness the real deal.

Emily Booth (also of "Doghouse" but more well known as an actual TV presenter) stars as the struggling TV series' cleavage-revealing host Michelle Fox, aka Foxy. She is offered an ultimatum by her boss (Red Dwarf's Norman Lovett, in a cameo): make your next episode a smash hit or lose your job. She tracks down an alien abduction survivor with a suspect pregnancy, on an island with a mystical stone circle, and drags along some actors and Gavin Gorman, a nerdy E T expert from BURC, the British Ufo Research Committee (Jamie Honeybourne - "GamerZ") to help make the show.

My initial perceptions at the beginning of this film were that it was dire. The acting is often terrible, the CGI effects are poorly composited and lit, and some of the action, especially the more 'sexy' scenes are downright embarrassing.

Fortunately, as the story progresses, I became quite enamoured with West's ambition, and started to see what his original vision for the flick was about. He does actually succeed on some levels, not least the impressively squidgy and explosive gore, of which there is a massive amount, and some of the comedy is quite amusing.

Even the characters, including those that begin as quite annoying do start to appeal, chief among them being Chris Adamson's Llyr, one of the three backwards farmer brothers, his with a keen bow arm. The brothers believe in a Paganistic occult world, and have an undisguised hatred for the English. There’s even just a hint of “The Wicker Man” in terms of the attitudes of the local population. Adamson (Lock, Stock, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest") was a guest at Cult TV's 2000 weekender in Torquay.

The alien design is a shameless rehash of the Predator, crossed with traditional grey aliens. They have the dreadlocks, the vicious-looking weaponry and similar masks, but fortunately for the human characters in the film they are a lot less deadly, and are susceptible to arrows, cricket bats (note this film was shot BEFORE “Shaun of the Dead” but came out afterwards) and hand-held cultivators (to name but a small selection of the weapons on show).

The plot includes elements ripped from "Predator 2", "The Evil Dead", "Sean of the Dead" and countless low-rent SyFy channel movies of the week. Generally this means that you can see the twists and turns coming a mile off, but once in a while the film does surprise you, not least by doing something you do not expect on the budgetary restrictions they evidently had to deal with! The pace is break-neck too, with action all the way.

With this also being an extra-terrestrial pastiche, alien anal probes and implants in nostrils, amongst other clichés, are taken to their extremes – not for the faint-hearted! The film was a long time in post-production, with the CGI taking a year to complete – with over 150 different shots needed, there were just two people working on these effects, one of them being Jake West himself!

If you set your expectations fairly low and watch this movie with some mates and a crate of beer, I would suggest that if you can make it past the first half-hour, you will stay the course, and not regret doing so. Watch out for the killer combine harvester scene in particular – you will never listen to a certain song by The Wurzels in the same way again!

DVD extras include:

  • Crew and cast interviews (36 minutes). Auteur Jack West notes that “Evil Aliens” is homage to “The Evil Dead”, and that he was originally going to have the aliens as zombies, before a glut of such movies came along to force the change. Also giving their views are Emily Booth (Michelle Fox), Jennifer Evans (alien-inseminated Cat Williams), Chris Adamson (brother Llyr Williams – we also find out he played one of the alien surgeons), Jamie Honeybourne (expert Gavin Gorman), Sam Butler (cameraman Ricky Anderson), Jodie Shaw (sexy reconstruction actress Candy Vixen - who gets the starring role on the DVD cover), Nick Smithers (camp reconstruction actor Bruce Barton), Mildred Von Heildegard (Alien Queen, who also was an alien prosthetics artist and was cast in the role due to her contortionist skills!) and Eden Ford (Angelo Jones).
  • Extended, Deleted, Unused & Unfinished scenes/moments (20 minutes)
  • Bloopers & Outtakes (7 minutes)
  • A Guided Tour of Life Creations (the monster and alien makers (4 minutes)
  • Trailer

Not a bad effort for a budget release like this. The interviews are snappy and amiable, and although hand-held camera work in the Life Creations visit is shaky, it's plain to see that the model and physical effects people who worked on the film have some real talent.

“Evil Aliens” (2005) is out now on DVD, courtesy of Fabulous Films Ltd. The main feature has a running time of 89 minutes approx, carries an ‘18’ certificate and retails for £9.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

Additional reporting by Alex J Geairns

 

Last modified on Monday, 27 April 2015 08:22

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