Top of the Food Chain

Review Date:
Director: John Paizs
Writer: Phil Bedard, Larry LaLalonde
Producers: Suzanne L. Berger
Campbell Scott
Fiona Loewi
Tom Everett Scott
A world famous atomic scientist visits a small town during the 1950s, just in time to witness the beginning of various strange disappearances and murders. With the town’s crazy sheriff, the only cute girl and her dumbass brother in tow, the doctor begins to suspect the invasion of aliens, as more and more bodies begin to pile up.
This is the movie that MARS ATTACKS! should have been!

You will either really like this movie or not “get” this movie at all. Now am I insulting those who won’t enjoy this movie? Not at all, in fact, I could see why some people wouldn’t like it, but that’s the whole point of its existence. It’s basically only made for those people who like cheesy B-movies, enjoy the goofiness of some of those over-the-top 50s flicks, appreciate the purposely bad dialogue (as opposed to those who think it’s “stupid”) and essentially know enough about the genre to truly “give it up” to all involved with this creation. This movie is funny, it’s original, it’s engaging, it has gore, it has pseudo-romance, clever dialogue, and most importantly and unlike those films that it’s satirizing, it actually has some great actors impersonating bad ones. One actor who truly made this film stand out was Campbell Scott, playing an admirable scientist who is always spouting such insightful lines as “that interference in the transmission is definitely being caused by…oh, some sort of interference to be sure”. This is the man who actually believes that “with our government in place, no harm will come to us”. Campbell plays his straight man perfectly, delivering every cheezy line with grand bravado and utter confidence. I’d watch this movie again just to see him work the script over so well. Whatta man!

But parody aside, this film still managed to hold my attention and entertain me fully with its albeit flimsy story line, goofball characters and fun dialogue. In fact, that’s probably what I liked most about it. Its story was simple, but fun to watch. Unlike many of the movies coming out nowadays, this film actually kept my interest the whole way through, didn’t go past one hour and thirty minutes, and even managed to slip in some pretty gross scenes and even a couple of decent special effects. What can I say…this was a perfect remake/parody of a bunch of bad, sci-fi horror flicks that seemed to achieve most its goals. Okay, so the film started off a little slow, and a few of its jokes were really over the top (such as a couple of scenes which featured characters singing that simply didn’t work for me). But all in all, the movie took a little bit from the INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, a piece of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, plenty of those 50s sci-fi flicks and a lot of obvious loving care for the genre, and created a fun, contemporary cinematic soufflé. So if you like screaming close-ups, enjoyed the kitchiness of those ol’ sci-fi/monster movies, want to see Campbell Scott pull off a hilarious straight man doctor and have been waiting for something original to come down the pikes for years, well wait no longer, cause this movie is it!

And if you really want to have some fun, gather up your friends, drinks some beers, get a cheap buzz going, bring along a sack full o’ nachos and catch the midnight show, cause that’s what this movie is all about.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

Top of the Food Chain