Saturday, February 6, 2010

Alien Blood (1999)

Alien Blood

Written & Directed by Jon Sorensen


This is the second in my Netflix Challenge series of reviews.  Today's offering was suggested by the Wonderfully Wacky WIEC of When is Evil Cool?  And I haven't quite forgiven him for it yet.  To find out what, pray tell, the Netflix Challenge is, or to suggest a flick yourself, click right over.....here! (EDIT: Sorry folks, the Netflix Challenge is closed for the foreseeable future)


Helene and Monique, extraterrestrials visiting Earth in human form, are on the run from an elite group of government operatives, presumably the Men in Black, who for some reason wrap their faces in white bandages like a squadron of Claude Rains impersonators (possibly to hide the fact that there are only two or three actors playing all the roles; or, possibly, out of shame). Seeking refuge, these aliens (who, inexplicably, are fluent in French) stumble upon an old country manse that just so happens to be populated by a pack of vampires--or people who think they're vampires--or people who are pretending to be vampires for the sake of a costume party--it's never really made clear, as there is never any bloodsucking, and "Dracula" (whose first name is apparently James, by the way) is killed promptly by a bullet to the head. So, French aliens and quasi-vampires hang out in the house, waiting for midnight to roll around, when the mother ship is scheduled to return. Unfortunately, that's also around the time that the MiB decide to pop in again for a little game of shoot-em-up.


[NOTE: the above plot synopsis is strictly conjecture on my part. I did watch the movie, but that really didn't help me understand it.]

This mishmash of genres was one of the most excruciating 80 minutes of my life. They say it took only 15 days to shoot the film, but it felt like it took longer than that to watch it. Edited down properly, this movie probably wouldn't have been any longer than your average Superbowl commercial, but the director decided to pad it out to feature length by using long, meandering shots of the English countryside, and a ridiculous amount of slow motion footage. I mean, a little slow-mo here and there for effect is fine, but I don't need to see a candle burning in the darkness in slow motion; or a man juggling in slow motion; or a woman practicing tai chi in slow motion; and I certainly didn't need to see a child eating grapes in slow motion!


A lot of people seemed to really love the special effects used, and I guess the CGI was pretty good for a movie that was obviously shot on couch cushion funding. But some things are unforgivable, even in low budget pictures: during the "climax" of the movie, the same footage of a Man in Black being shot is shown over and over and over again, and we're supposed to believe that this is a whole batallion of them being taken out--which may have been more convincing if it wasn't shown back-to-back-to-back.


Other baffling aspects of this film include a noticeable lack of dialogue. The first word wasn't really spoken until ten or fifteen minutes in. But there's never any silence--oh, no. The whole thing is backed by music that the director probably got on a free CD the last time he bought relaxation candles and bath salts from a kiosk at his local shopping mall.

If this is some sort of an attempt at arthouse fare, I truly didn't "get it"; and I'd like to let the filmmaker in on a little secret:

Ingmar Bergman was never released by Troma.

1999
Not Rated
80 Minutes
Color
English
UK

--J/Metro

5 comments:

  1. Vote Now for Best Feb Blog, for info:
    http://olivemonkeys.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for being a blog...

    jeremy
    [2vs8]

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like monkies..

    Way to watch this one Johnny, the alien surprisingly doesnt look like dog shit!

    ReplyDelete
  3. gruesome waste of your time Jonny. sorry i even suggested it as it seems like it was a truly horrible movie. the important thing is you finished it. so you are waaay tougher than me.

    in the 80 minutes it took you to watch this movie Alien Blood here are 10 things you could have done in that time that would have been much more worthwhile..

    1. washed 50 rabid cats (one at a time of course)
    2. took a really long nap.
    3. shoveled mrs Dealy's driveway.
    4. made 40 2 minute eggs (again one at a time)
    5. watched 2 2/3's episodes of the show Small Wonder.
    6. made 80 pounds of Minute Rice.
    7. learned french.
    8. done the 7 minute abs workout 11 times in a row and took a three minute gatorade break.
    9. painted a wall in your house (any wall) and watched it dry.
    10. say "i'll be back in a minute" to the same person 80 times.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Carl: The alien may not look like shit, but the movie sure felt like it.

    wiec?: Don't be sorry. That's the whole point of the challenge. Although, now that you mention it, I could really go for 80 pounds of Minute Rice and 40 two-minute eggs. Screw Mrs. Dealy though. She can shovel her own damn driveway.

    --J/Metro

    ReplyDelete
  5. mrs dealy is elderly. have you no pity good sir?

    kidding. when i was a kid i shovelled her driveway and it took about 80 minutes. it was a long driveway.

    she gave me $2.oo and a prize out of a Frosted Flakes box. oh well.

    ReplyDelete

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