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Alien Trespass
DVD disk
Feb 3, 2010 By: Jason Adams
Alien Trespass order
Director:
R.W. Goodwin

Actors:
Eric McCormack
Robert Patrick
Jenni Baird

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When an alien craft crash lands on 1950s Earth, a man-eating monster called The Ghota escapes and begins to liquefy the hapless townspeople. The only people who can stop him: an alien named Urp and a local waitress who believes he really is from outer space.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Any time somebody sets out to make a “cult classic” on purpose, it never turns out well. (I think something about the definition of “cult” precludes the fact that it’s done intentionally.) ALIEN TRESPASS is no different.

Presented as “lost” film from 1957, ALIEN TRESPASS is a loving homage to the sci-fi classics of the 1950s, especially Cold War paranoia-inspired tales like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, but with sly nods to everything from KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE to MEN IN BLACK. It’s obvious that director R.W. Goodwin (“The X-Files”) is a huge fan of those movies, as evidenced by this loving recreation, which is accurate down to the tiniest detail—from the rubber suited alien to the model spaceships.

However faithful it may be, what ALIEN TRESPASS lacks is too crucial an element to ignore in the name of nostalgia: entertainment. The film plays its story incredibly straight without much, if any, complications or tongue in cheek humor and the result is a surprisingly boring movie. The characters are all glaring 1950s archetypes, from the amorous teenagers to the small town cops to the diner waitress, and none of them are that interesting. The first time the alien liquefied a human it was worth a chuckle for the effect, but repeating that same kill over and over again for another 80 minutes was a chore to sit through. I’d wager the reason the 1950s movies Goodwin admires so much didn’t have overly complicated narratives or big budget effects was out of necessity, not artistic vision. Cinema and audiences have both evolved too much since then (whether or not you view that as a good thing), which is why ALIEN TRESPASS felt lacking.

In some ways, the movie is almost like GRINDHOUSE for 50s sci-fi movies, complete with a saturated palette and an old-school news reel about the movie. ALIEN TRESPASS should’ve been a movie inspired by those old films, instead of a retro-carbon copy. For a better idea of how this could’ve been handled, see MARS ATTACKS.
THE EXTRAS
Almost all the bonus features play on the fact that ALIEN TRESPASS is a “lost” movie, which got tiresome after the 3rd featurette.

Introduction: This fake intro explains how the movie was “found” after 50 years and boasts a tongue in cheek sense of humor that the actual movie seriously needed.

Watch The Skies (8:21): A fake behind the scenes featurette pretending that the cast (Eric McCormack, Robert Patrick) are actually the children and grandchildren of the stars from the “lost” ALIEN TRESPASS.

Watch The Person (10:33): A “1950s” interview with Eric McCormick (pretending to be his own grandfather). Again, cute but repetitive.

Live News Update (1:53): A fake modern news report about a construction crew digging up an old print of the movie

Interviews and Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you’re a huge fan of 1950s sci-fi like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, you may get some nostalgic enjoyment out of ALIEN TRESPASS. But don’t expect a fresh or even entertaining take on the genre.

Extra Tidbit: Director R.W. Goodwin was an executive producer on The X-Files, so he definitely has his sci-fi cred.
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