miércoles, 24 de febrero de 2010
The Alien Factor
When I first started this blog in 2009, one of the first films I reviewed was a documentary on the life of backyard filmmaker Don Dohler from Baltimore, a guy who made no-budget monster movies until his death from cancer. That documentary meant a lot to me, since I was a big fan of Dohler and his flicks, especially his earlier ones. I decided to finally give him his dues and review my favorite movie of his, the underappreciated classic known as The Alien Factor. Our story involves a trio of aliens, two bad and one good, who crash-land on a small town and cause havoc wherever they go. It’s up to the police department, and a mysterious scientist, to help them stop the evil aliens and get to the bottom of what’s going on. That’s the whole movie in a nutshell, ladies and gents, and it’s more than enough. The script is an obvious tribute to the 50’s monster movies that Dohler loved so much, with your law-abiding heroes and police officer heroes, supporting characters from all over the town and of course, the aliens themselves. The three aliens are different but they’re very interesting. The first one, the good one, is just a guy wearing some kind of monster suit and jeans. It looks pretty cool. The second one is the giant, a dude wearing another cool monster suit but with legs so long it’s obvious he’s wearing some stilts. Every time I see him I giggle, although I also worry since it looks like he’s about to fall at any minute. The third one is stop-motion, a creature that looks like the gecko from the Geico commercials, only full of steroids. Now, to be fair, the movie isn’t a perfect one. The acting is atrocious for the most part, and Tom Griffith makes the most unconvincing hero in film history (although he got worse in the ‘sequel’, NightBeast). Also, the effects aren’t that convincing, particularly the stop-motion one which looks like a dissolve effect. Still, they look great, and this movie has more heart and energy than any big budget science fiction piece of shit any day. I’ll take this movie over 2001 A Space Odyssey and Transformers any day of the week. All hail Don Dohler!