ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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I Come in Peace (1990)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Craig R. Baxley

Starring:
Dolph Lundgren/Jack
Brian Benben/Laurence
Matthias Hues/Bad Alien
Betsy Brantley/Diane
PLOT-CRUNCH
An intergalactic alien drug dealer (Hues) comes to earth with a peculiar MO on the fritz. The duder causes human beings to overdose on smack and then sucks the endorphins out of their heads with the intention of selling the fix on his home planet. Yup, you heard me...that’s the plot and I’m sober as I write this. With Dolph Lundgren (playing Jack), spastic Brian Benben (playing Laurence) and a space cop with bad hair on his intergalactic tail, our “peaceful” alien friend has his hands full. LET THE FIREWORKS BEGIN!
THE LOWDOWN
"I Come in Peace" was like a glass of sweet fruit punch for me. It numbed my brain and gave me a pleasurable freeze high for an hour and half. Sure, it tasted like "The Hidden", "The Terminator", "The Peacemaker" and "Predator 2" at times, but I have to hand it to this silly rabbit for giving the alien invader one hell of an original motive; he’s a drug dealer here to harvest his narcotics through us! I haven’t heard that one before! Props to whoever came up with that idea during what was most likely a drunken binge.

The flick also didn’t take itself too seriously, which allowed me to enjoy it as a guilty pleasure. Taking into account the alien’s reasons for visiting earth; his ironic and often repeated line “I come in peace” said it all when it came to this film’s intended tone. Now sure the buddy cop quips between rule-breaker Jack (Lundgren) and tightly-wound FBI Agent Smith (Benben) were a bit tired. And yes, the poor dialogue, the predictable plot twists and the obligatory “love subplot” that wasted screen time were nothing to drop my drawers over. But those elements were not why this cheap trick should be viewed in the first place. It was all about the sugar coating here!

If a fly by your pants pace, polished visuals, endless glorious explosions, average car chases, groovy kills, lots of shoot 'em up scenes and a couple of mano-a-mano fight sequences crank your dial, you’re in for fun times at the Donut shop. If that’s NOT enough to tweak your noggin, try nifty gadgets that go from a way kool flying CD weapon, to a long metal tube that buries itself in its victims’ chests, to a big-ass spike that rams into folks’ skulls. Sounds like a quick snack worth the gas money yet? NO????? Well, did I mention the alien’s incredibly powerful hand gun? Well, it goes beyond phallic symbol status to blow up all kinds of shite in one burst. WOW! You’ve got to respect that on so many levels. I know…I know…it can’t hit the fleeing Lundgren for some reason, but hey, what can you do...if he dies, the movie is over…so roll with it!

On the downside, the low IQ way in which the film tackled its subject matter did lessen the impact of its darker and more ambitious ideas. At times, the flick also went overboard in the cartoonish vibe with “barf” yuppie drug lords named “The White Boys” stinking up the scenery, kooky characters pushing the limits of my tolerance level (one played by Michael J Pollard…again) and “drama” handled in the most childish of manners. I felt that with a more grounded and mature execution like, let’s say, "The Terminator", the flick could’ve been more than just a simple Saturday night stroke job. Maybe it could’ve been a Sci-Fi/Horror classic! WHO KNOWS?

Having said all that, I won’t be the a-hole who bitchslaps the movie for what it wasn’t. I’ll pat it on the back for what it was. If you’re looking for a drawn-out exploration of human relationships, then get the hell out of here! You've got no business being on this ride! If it’s a violent blow 'em up cheese sandwich you’re craving, then you’re at the right Deli. Dig in and don’t get any mayo on your shirt, you messy party fiends!
GORE
It's body count time! We get throat slits by flying CDs galore, a spike rammed in a couple of heads, lots of bullet wounds, an impaling and even one exploding head.
ACTING
Dolph Lundgren (Jack) did fine as the instinctual cop, he was actually at his best here acting-wise. He still needed diction lessons though. Brian Benben (Laurence) played off Lundgren real well, but annoyed me at times with his twerp shtick. Matthias Hues (Bad Alien) was one scary mofo and emanated lots of menace. Betsy Brantley (Diane) does what she has to do as the requisite love interest.
T & A
We get a stripper showing off her implanted Betty Boops and some hot mechanic chick showing nice cleavage via her bra. Male lovers get maxed-up Lundgren shirtless.
DIRECTING
The direction was tight and flashy with bluish lighting, groovy CD POV shots (think “the ball” in "Phantasm"), slick angles, creative scene transitions and action scenes that went from awesome to average.
SOUNDTRACK
The score is a synthesizer deal that was engaging half the time and semi-tacky the other. We also get “Maggie” by XYZ and a rap tune.
BOTTOM LINE
"I Come in Peace" might've been more than a dumb ditz on her knees, if handled differently, but as it is, it was still a swift, violent and pleasant stroll down Lundgren lane. Big guns, big explosions, big evil alien, big pecks, big talk, big tits and big guys kicking the shit out of each other. You want a Diet Coke with that? I’ll pass…I think I’m full until the sequel. Where’s my “I Come in Peace 2”???? COME ON!!!! I BE HUNGRY FOR MORE!
BULL'S EYE
This flick was hot in Houston, Texas.

Initially, Lundgren was approached for the role of the bad alien, but he wanted to play the cop instead. Matthias Hues took over the role and did all of his own stunts since he was too big to be doubled.

Craig R. Baxley also directed the fun Brian Bozworth biker flick “Stone Cold”.
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