Evil Aliens, 2005.
Directed by Jake West.
Starring Emily Booth, Chris Adamson and Sam Butler.
A television crew must try to survive a bloody alien encounter on a remote Welsh island.
Jake West’s Evil Aliens begins with a man having a large pointy thing rammed up his arse by an alien. It would have been nice to use this as a metaphor for how it feels to watch the film, but unfortunately, I can’t. What a corker of a low-budget, British film.
The aliens in question have come to an island in North Wales – conveniently (or not) reachable by people only at low tide – in order to impregnate a farmer’s daughter. To research and re-enact the event comes a TV crew from “Weird Worlde”, headed by appropriately named cynical presenter Michelle Fox (Emily Booth) and guided by major geek and alien enthusiast Gavin Gorman (Jamie Honeybourne).
The guts of the film is a jolly blood-soaked romp through the Welsh countryside with nods to Star Trek, Day of the Dead, Watchmen, Mortal Kombat, and much more along the way as the crew are joined by the resident farmers to both evade and destroy the dangerous alien invaders. And when The Wurzels begin singing during a particularly funny spell of alien-mowing, well, you know you’re in for a treat, as comedy, horror and sci-fi hold hands and dance merrily down a blood-soaked path.
The film does follow the standard rules of the horror genre up to an extent. Sex symbolises death, sacrifices are made by those whose soul requires redemption, and there is always a survivor (just maybe not who you think). The characters are the standard fair – the sexy one, the clever one, the brave one, the coward, the idiot. But they are stock characters for a reason; they allow the story to start quickly and allow the film to entertain, which at the end of the day is what it was made to do.
The humour, gore and quirky moments more than make up for some over-cheesy acting and at times predictable script. The film only gets going from the mid-point, and as such suffers somewhat from a slow moving first act. The tension is not racked up to the max, which leaves us waiting for the action to kick in, rather than fear for the protagonist. It is not helped by a lack of any substantial subplot, meaning the main premise of a group of people chasing after aliens is very much stretched to its limit. And thematically, a subplot would have helped the film really speak to us about the issues of truth and identity which crop up from time to time throughout.
With a budget of around £1,000,000, Evil Aliens shows that impressive special effects are attainable at this low budget and are no longer the preserve of the Hollywood elite. Some of the prosthetics are also worth a mention, especially the quite astounding transformation of human into alien.
This fun, action packed, killer of a film was made in 2005, yet still the UK Film Funding bodies continue to give out copious amounts of money to flog the old Rom Com horse. Time to wake up and smell to guts? After all, this genre is where all the imagination of upcoming superstar film-makers has been seen to gestate before. Peter Jackson, anyone?