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|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E||
dir-scr Jake West|
with Emily Booth, Samuel Butler, Jamie Honeybourne, Jennifer Evans, Peter McNeil O'Connor, Jodie Shaw, Nick Smithers, Chris Thomas, Mark Hayes, Chris Adamson, Eden Ford, Norman Lovett
release UK 10.Mar.06, US 8.Sep.06
05/UK Falcon 1h29
Blood-soaked chaos: Thomas, Shaw and Butler (above); Booth with an alien
The freewheeling, relentless structure of this comedy horror movie eventually wins us over, despite a hyperactive, amateurish filmmaking style that stretches one joke far, far beyond its breaking point.
Responding to stories of an alien abduction, Michelle Fox (Booth) heads off to an isolated Welsh island with the crew of her tabloidy paranormal series Weird Worlde--sexy cameraman (Butler), sassy sound guy (O'Connor), nerdy UFO expert (Honeybourne) and clueless re-enactment actors (Shaw and Smithers). What they find is an impregnated girl (Evans) and three inbred farmers (Thomas, Hayes and Adamson). Just as they start to make up a more colourful story, the real aliens turn up. And they're not friendly.
Clearly hoping to create a Shaun of the Dead for the Close Encounters genre, writer-director West packs his film with references to everything from Phantasm and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Braindead, Evil Dead and Night of the Living Dead. These aliens are relentlessly grisly, and the film abounds with bodily explosions and dismemberments, all played to the hilt for gross-out laughs. Fortunately it is indeed funny, even if most of the humour is of the stupid-corny variety.
Although filmed on high definition video, the production design is fairly cheap and cheerful, like a TV comedy sketch that just goes on and on. And the one-gag structure makes the film feel much longer than it actually is. That said, most of the effects work is impressive, and West shows real inventiveness with his low budget, generating some real suspense along with the goofy mayhem. The cast dive into the chaos with gusto, and make the most of the snappy dialog and nutty grisliness.
Most of the film feels like a series of jokes with nowhere to go (the punchlines are painfully obvious), but every now and then there's a true spark of wit. This is the kind of movie best viewed late at night with a large, raucous audience. Because the main purpose for this film seems to be to kill off the aliens in increasingly excessive ways. It may be juvenile and clumsy, but it does keep us laughing.
|Mal Fisher, LA: "Jodie Shaw is the hottest chick I have ever seen on the screen. more, more, more." (28.Mar.06)|
© 2006 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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