Alien Trespass, Blu-ray (2009)

by | Aug 18, 2009 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Alien Trespass, Blu-ray (2009)

Starring: Eric McCormack, Jenni Baird, Dan Lauria, Robert Patrick
Studio: Rangeland/Image Entertainment RKW6276BD [Release date: Aug. 11, 09]
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 color 1080p
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DD 5.1, DD 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Extras: “Watch the Skies,” “Breaking News,” “Live News Update” featurettes; Interviews with R.W. Goodwin & Eric McCormack, 2 Theatrical trailers
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: *****

This is a very well done homage to the threatening aliens/flying saucer sci-fi movies of the 1950s, similar in plot to It Came From Outer Space. Just as some fans of Westerns love the earliest Tom Mix and other Westerns and musicals fans venerate Busby Berkeley-style early movie musicals, most sci-fans will go ape over this one. Even those not that much attracted to sci-fi will find it a kick, since it so perfectly captures the 50s period in costumes, settings, and social interactions, and has its tongue firmly in cheek from beginning to end.

The ruse of presenting itself as a real 1950s film which was never released back then due to a contract disagreement with the lead actor is maintained even in the extras on the disc. There are interviews carried out by a cigarette-smoking stand-in for Edward R. Murrow with the purported grandson of the film’s original producer and the grandson of the star of the film.  They tell the story of how the film was completely destroyed at the time, but two construction workers in LA digging for a new building found a safe with the film in it and now it was finally being revealed to the world. There is even an interview with two present-day studio execs, one of whom argues whether the film could be a hoax because it looks so up-to-date in technical visual quality. He’s right! The exaggerated color balance of Technicolor movies of the period is perfectly rendered, and the Blu-ray transfer is excellent thruout.

The setting is the desert town of Mohave, with all the expected characters of the local police chief and staff, the local waitress, the teenagers, the redneck drunkard, and the pipe-smoking astronomer and his sexy wife. The spaceship crashes during a meteor shower due to a rogue alien, the Ghota, gumming up its works.  It is piloted by a Michael Rennie-type (from The Day the Earth Stood Still) in a silver outfit that isn’t as slick as Michael Rennie’s but is perfect for this version. The pilot takes over the body of the astronomer, providing a few laughs as he attempts to deal with Earth-style human life. He must escape the ineffective local police in order to destroy the Ghota, who can multiply and eventually destroy everyone on earth.  The Ghota eats/absorbs people, and eventually arrives at the local movie theater since it has the largest concentration of humans.  The movie the teenagers are watching is The Blob, which has a scene where the Blob threatens everyone in the movie theater. The same occurs with the Ghota, leading to the “thrilling climax” of the movie. The clips of The Blob shown even include a scene with Steve McQueen (it was his first film).  Great fun all around.

– John Sunier

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