Alien Trespass

Alien Trespass opens with some 1950’s newsreel footage, including some talking about a movie that was made but never released, and in fact destroyed. You are given the impression that you are about to see this long lost film. But something seems off, including at least some of the people in the footage looking a little too familiar.

Instead what we have here is a spoof, or maybe a tribute, to the science fiction movies of the 1950’s. A space ship crashes in the Mojave Desert and people think it was a meteor, especially since the Perseid meteor shower is in full swing. Astronomer Ted Lewis (Eric McCormack) is one of the first to the scene of the crash…

I could say more, but I would summarize the movie as frequently funny, but pretty lightweight. I didn’t see this last year’s remake of 1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, but from the reviews of that remake, it occurred to me while watching this movie that it is probably better. Note that I am in no way saying this is better than the 1951 film, but probably better than the 2008 remake. At least this one is intentionally funny. I would give it a strong 2.5 stars out of 4 stars.

Oh, and one more thing, the waitress (Tammy, played by Jenni Baird, who I am surprised to learn is Australian) proves that blonds are not always dumb. Or at least not as dumb as others around them.

I saw the movie at the Camera Cinema Club in Campbell, CA on 2/15/2009. The director/producer R.W. Goodwin was at the screening to answer questions afterwards (there are likely to be some mild to medium spoilers below):

  • Goodwin was an executive producer on many episodes of “The X-Files,” and directed the season finales for the first five seasons
  • His partner came up with the idea–both are big fans of 1950’s science fiction
  • They tried to make an escapist movie–there was nothing to worry about in the 1950’s (except instant nuclear annihilation, he joked)
  • He had the actors watch many of the 1950’s films–mostly the best ones, but they did imitate some of the bad ones too (e.g., the light dims well after a candle is blown out)
  • He told everyone that they were in 1957, and to make the best film they could have then–but they did use green screen instead of true rear projection
  • The monster (called a ghota) was rubber and not CGI, and was described by the director as a 7′ high penis with an eye–they added a tentacle on the forehead to diminish that effect a little
  • The first three stories in the newsreel were real
  • The exteriors was shot in British Columbia, including the desert
  • The score was written by someone who had studied the music of 1950’s science fiction, and the Theremin player (Rob Schwimmer) is probably the world’s best (according to Goodwin anyway)
  • The movie opens April 3 in 24 markets
  • They had more fun making this than should be legal
  • Robert Patrick is actually very funny
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