|Tags: alien raiders, aliens, Ben Rock, Carlos Bernard, parasite, Rockmond Dunbar|
Cast:Rockmond Dunbar, Carlos Bernard, Courtney Ford, Mathew St. Patrick, Bonita Friedericy, Samantha Streets, Tom Kiesche, Joseph Steven Yang, Haley Pullos, Bryan Krasner, Philip Newby
Originally titled Supermarket and Inhuman, before settling on Alien Raiders, this is the latest installment in the Raw Feed straight-to-DVD horror line from Warner Bros.. Most of the films from the banner have been mediocre at best, but they finally got some things right with this surprisingly entertaining sci-fi horror flick. Naturally it's not the most original, obviously taking notes from John Carpenter's The Thing (one of my fav. flicks), but despite the tired formula, they added a few interesting twists, which kept some story elements fresh and entertaining.
The story in this film pretty much takes place entirely in a supermarket, where a group of employees are closing up before a gang of armed men bust in and hold everyone hostage. At first it seems like this may be a simple robbery and hostage situation, but we soon learn that the crew have ulterior motives for this situation. Using a strange man named "Spooky" they inspect each member in the store to determine if they're "infected". If they are, they die, simple as that; but before they can inspect everyone, Spooky is shot dead by a cop, who was hiding in the store.
Now the crew must gather up the remaining people and initiate "Plan B," which is a much slower and painful approach at finding out who's infected with this alien parasite. To make matters more complicated, the police have surrounded the supermarket, giving them even less time in discover which one of these hostages is "The King." What I found most interesting about the flick is that they don't give us answers right away. We're given bits and pieces of information as time goes on until about an hour into it, when we've pretty much learned everything that we've needed to know.
Much like other movies with a similar theme, the film mostly just plays on the paranoia on who's infected, but the pacing is kept pretty steady, never really offering any dull moments. Also to keep things moving along, we're constantly reminded of a looming danger with one of the infected corpses, who eventually turns into some sort of berserk hard-to-kill zombie drone. The cover art is a bit misleading, showing a huge spacecraft seemingly beaming up some giant worm-like creatures. I kept expect to see something like that in the movie, but it never happened, so don't let that fool you like it did me.
While watching the movie I noticed a few actors from some of my fav. shows like Carlos Bernard (24), Rockmond Dunbar (Prison Break) and Mathew St. Patrick (Six Feet Under). Whether it was a coincidence or not, they were all pretty much playing the same roles as they did in their respective shows. We're given some pretty good practical effects and decent gore in parts, but not as much as I was hoping. We're also given very little creature action, which was another disappointment. However, my biggest complaint would definitely have to lie within the final moments of the film, when we're given a predictable and cheesy outcome. Still, the movie managed to keep my interest from the beginning and I had fun watching it.
Alien Raiders was a surprisingly entertaining and above-average sci-fi horror flick. Though the story borrows from other genre efforts, the pacing and situations were kept tight and interesting, never offering a dull moment for me. Worth a check if you go in expecting nothing more than a fun little sci-fi horror romp with a little creature action thrown in.
|Posted on May 18, 2009 - 3:40pm | FrighT MasteR|