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DVD Review

DVD cover

Evil Aliens


Starring: Emily Booth, Christopher Adamson and Norman Lovett
Distributor: Fabulous Films / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: 18
Release Date: 27 April 2015

The female presenter (played by Emily Booth of the Horror Channel) of a tacky UFO investigation TV show is sent by her boss to an island off North Wales to investigate the reports of a young woman being attacked and impregnated by an alien lifeform. Along with her camera man and sound man, she takes along two talentless actors (a tall, effeminate man, frightened of his own skin, and a Barbie-like model who is the girlfriend of her boss) to re-enact what supposedly happened at an ancient stone circle. Here they meet an uber-geek, the founder of a UFO society, who is also at the stones looking for proof of a visitation. No one really believes the pregnant girl’s story until a UFO lands on the stones and they learn just how violent the occupants can be. The girl’s three scary brothers seem able enough, but this turns out to be a larger scale problem than they could ever envisage...

Now, how would I describe Evil Aliens? I suppose a dark comedy, science fiction, horror gore-fest would be most succinct. This is another example of a writer/director project, this time at the hands of Jake West. The film had a strange effect on me, although admittedly I wasn’t expecting too much in the first instance, because most fag packet writer/directors are doomed to failure and are forced to commit to one or the other. Not everyone can be John Carpenter or Guillermo del Toro. My first impression was that it was a little silly, rather than funny, and the dialogue somewhat ‘talky’ and annoying – even if it was realistic in the circumstances. However, once the real action got going I found myself increasingly warming to the characters and situations. Certain aspects of the film reminded me of Inbred, another dark comedy which grew on me, and another example of classic Britishness in style.

I was impressed by the way the characters became very natural, individual and distinct as the tension was cranked-up. Some of them are forced to adapt and change to survive, and the leaders who emerge are not always the ones you would expect. Having sympathy for the characters is not something you expect to do in this type of film. It is, after all, extremely gory, and could be seen to be in bad taste if not for the fact the plot and situations have their tongues very firmly in cheek throughout. However, the two best characters in evidence are the strangest and most violent of the island’s three brothers, and the Barbie-like model/actress who walks into the farmhouse in pink and high heels but later turns into a gun-toting action heroine. The two become a sort of unlikely partnership.

The make-up and prosthetics work is very good, and the visual effects on the whole well worth the year it took to realise them for the screen. There are a couple of areas where it doesn’t quite work: one being the flying debris from an explosion, the other being fire (which, to be fair, special effects have never been able to make look entirely real, no matter how much money is thrown at them). The action sequences are what make this movie work so well. There are a number of darkly comical sequences when I was caught between pulling a face and laughing out loud. Straight music is used to good effect in some of these. When the three brothers first arm themselves and go out into the night to confront some of the aliens, it is to the background sound of a Spaghetti Western. The best sequence though – and guaranteed to make anyone laugh with appreciation – is when the TV presenter’s camera man drives a combine harvester across a corn field scattering and shredding scores of aliens before him, to the tune of The Wurzels’ ‘I’ve Got a Brand New Combine Harvester!’

Just a word about Norman Lovett (comedian and TV’s original Holly in Red Dwarf); he is woefully underused here, having only one scene but one in which his talent and charisma shines through. There are some nice extras on the disc, which include: Interviews with cast and crew; Extended, Deleted, Extended and Unused Scenes; Bloopers & Outtakes; and A Guided Tour of Life Creations (the make-up, model and prosthetics company). This is a home-grown gem which, once through the clichéd first fifteen minutes, any fan of horror is sure to enjoy.


Ty Power

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