Alien Species
Director: Peter Maris

aka, ALIEN SPECIES. 1996
Director: Dave Payne

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Alien Species Another amateur sci-fi alien invasion film with a cast of nobodies comes to us under the generic banner of Alien Species (1996), a new low in bad & pointless movies from director Peter Maris. This one was intended to ride the coattails of Independence Day that same year, a film which was itself barely worth watching but at least the saucer FX were purdier.

Space aliens are coming fast. The saucer FX are silly, but enjoyable for fans of bad movies. Spaceships leave the mother-saucers in great numbers. Their first kidnap victim is a cow. It's hard to say if this was intended to evoke laughter or not, since the film's mainly fairly earnest.

Sometimes it seems like these sorts of quickie direct to video imitations of big budget films actually exist so that racists can own versions without black actors or Jews in them. The original starred Will Smith & Vivica Fox & Jeff Goldblum & suchlike. The rip-off's whole cast has something of a white trash air about them, including the young couple kidnapped after the cow. I assume the couple were supposed to evoke threat to the white middle class but only evoked trailer trash.

And when a spaceship expends three deathray bolts just to destroy one hillbilly cabin, the only plausible explanation would be that the world can only be taken over if the aliens can first get rid of the hillbillies.

Another ship starts blowing up automobiles for no observable reason, except that junker cars are cheap to blow up if you're making a crappy movie.

Two convicts are being transported to another facility. The two redneck deputies stop the transport vehicle at the site of a crashed car, where they pick up two young women & old man who'd been stranded for two hours. They're investigators of extraterrestrial sightings. As they're all riding merrily along, suddenly the prison transport truck gets dive-bombed by a spaceship & tips over into a puddle.

At the half hour mark nothing interesting has hapened. Other than "aliens are here!' no story has begun to take shape. But having committed to the picture this long, it seemed a good idea to stick it out at least until we get to see who's driving the space ships & why they needed the cow.

The first alien seen turns out to be an ordinary type of grey dwarf we've seen before. They possess green-light blaster ray guns. Bigger more ghoulish rubber-suit aliens turn up, establishing their headquarters in a cave.

It turns into a chintzy War of the Worlds with spaceships blasting the city via pisspoor special FX. But with a magic laptop & one tiny alien gizmo, a small band of nurds without leaving the director's apartment (in his mother's basement no doubt) learn how to defeat the aliens one ship at a time. These momentary pretences of scienciness make the movie even dumber.

It takes 128 minutes for the film to finally come to an end in a perfunctory manner with no particular climax or resolution. So the only thing this film can boast is lots of scenes of unconvincing alien ships zipping about in the sky.

Alien TerminatorDon't confuse Peter Maris's Alien Species for Dave Payne's Troma cheapy Alien Terminator which in the UK was called Alien Species also from 1996. Though if you do confuse them, eh, six of one, half a dozen of the other.

This one's one of those "little birdy" monster movies. Which is to say, like a little birdy, it goes cheap, cheap, cheap. Very unsciency science-guys are five miles under ground in a military/industrial lab, which could double for a the filmmaker's junior high school. They're part of a study to see what people will do to each other if forced into long periods of isolation.

The craziest of the scientist has apparently rigged up a meth lab because he is a total meth-head. The lab is luckilly provided with advanced equipment for the craziest of the scientists to perform gene-manipulation experiments on a wee mouse, the mouse soon grows to the enormous size.

For most of the rest of the film they play cat & mouse with the mouse which gets to be the cat, running or sauntering through hallways & peering into dark corners, with the mouse's head poking out from somewhere at long intervals. At no time does anything happen that could pass for entertaining.

If unutterable cheapness is your thang, both of these films provide ample opportunity for poking fun on Bad Movie Night with some chums. The only time you'll shut your traps & watch the screen attentively is the nudie bit in the shower. You know the film theory: when a gal can't act, give her a bar of soap & get 'er wet.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

[ Film Home ] - [ Film Reviews Index ]
[ Where to Send DVDs for Review ] - [ Paghat's Giftshop ]