Sunday, October 26, 2008


If you go to your local cheap salvage store, you’re sure to find boxed compilations of mediocre movies. They may be boxed together because they feature the same actor, or because they come out of the same studio, or because they cover the same genre. This was the case when I purchased ‘Space Fury’ a few weeks ago for $2, and found that the box also contained ‘Alien Intruder’. Both of them are from the early 90s, both are sci-fi, and both are worse than cholera.

To review ‘Alien Intruder’, it’s not necessary to go into what it was about. The story basically consisted of snippets of other films cobbled together, perhaps in the mistaken belief that if you put a lot of bits that worked in other films in your movie, your movie must work too. Suffice to say that some army guy arranges for a bunch of criminals to be released from jail to fly a spaceship into some sort of forbidden sector to rescue another vessel, only to discover that the other vessel is infested with Tracy Scoggins. Then everybody dies.

Most men look angry when they’re shooting someone, but this guy looks more startled than cross. Possibly it’s because someone has just jammed a carrot up his arse. Of course that’s merely conjecture on my part - it may just as easily have been a small cucumber.

In nakedly ripping off every movie from ‘Alien’ to ‘Easy Rider’ (including an absolutely horrific violation of ‘Casablanca’), ‘Alien Intruder’ falls into the trap of reminding the viewer just how much better all of these other films were. Whereas ‘Alien’ had a chilling sense of dread, ‘Alien Intruder’ merely has noisy action. Whereas Easy Rider had scathing social commentary, ‘Alien Intruder’ has cheesy exploitation. And whereas ‘Casablanca’ had tortured characters, fine actors, a clever script and a couple of memorable tunes, ‘Alien Intruder’ has a hatred of all that is good and holy.

Honestly, they should have known that if you remind your audience of much better movies, they are far less likely to tolerate the crap you’re showing them. Even the title instantly brought to mind 1984’s ‘Top Secret’ and the hilarious “anal intruder” scene… and now I’ve just spent half an hour laughing my head off watching snippets of that classic movie on YouTube.

When you’re making a film this bad, you tend to land a very particular type of desperate washed-up actor. On top of the feculent heap is Billy Dee Williams, who appears to be drunk a lot of the time, which would certainly explain how the producers convinced him to be involved.

We know how you feel, Billy Dee.

Then there’s Jeff Conaway, at that time best known for playing Kenickie in ‘Grease’… and yet still the most famous actor here other than Billy Dee. At least he managed to parlay his involvement into wrangling a role on that bastion of has-been sci-fi actors, ‘Babylon 5’. If only he could have taken Billy Dee with him.

Tracy Scoggins, who also graduated to ‘Babylon 5’ glory, is here playing some sort of alien who coalesces in men’s minds as the perfect woman. Unfortunately for the audience, she comes across as every man’s dream woman as played by every man’s dream woman’s mother. She was 40 when she made ‘Alien Intruder’, and rather outgunned by several younger and more nubile terrible actresses.

Billy Dee Williams was easily purchased with a bottle of cheap hooch and the promise of a snog with The Scog.

There were others, but in thinking about their performances I’ve already lost the will to live, so they can just sink back into the obscurity they so richly deserve.

Of course the actors are only a small part of the problem. Most of the time, when one experiences a very, very bad movie, one can tell that the people behind the scenes were idiots. In this case, however, the people who made it were not so much idiots as creeps. You know the kind: the spotty, skinny little creep you meet at a party who swears too much to show how hard he is, makes derogatory statements about any attractive women nearby, and displays a vigorous ignorance about pretty much everything. Basically the flotsam in the genetic pool.

These people shouldn’t have made a film. They lacked creativity, style or even resources. So why make it? Why not just use the little money they had to go to McDonalds and get a Happy Meal?

Until it’s proven otherwise, I’m going to assume that it was all just a pointlessly elaborate and convoluted ploy to briefly be in the same room as naked ladies.

A genuine, if extraordinarily gratuitous, scene from ‘Alien Intruder’.


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