Title: Alien Vs. Hunter
Director: Scott Harper
Writer: David Michael Latt
Distributed By: The Asylum
Starring: William Katt, Dedee Pfeffier, and Whitly Jourdan
Release Date: December 18th, 2007
Basically this is like Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem, but on a much smaller scale and the main character (Lee played by William Katt) being a timid journalist. ‘Nuff said.
Welcome back to ComicAttack’s Movie Monday. For this special series, we’re not going to be taking a look at the good film. We’re not even going to be looking at the bad films. Instead, we’re going to go to the bottom of the barrel (if it’s even in the barrel). Mockbusters. And the king of such a terrible exploitation, The Asylum.
Now, rather than being satirical and ripping the film apart for a farce, I’m going to try to be objective and give credit where credit is due. If there is any credit to be given, which is hard to find in this film.
For starters, this is a complete rip off of Aliens vs. Predator and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, released just days before AvP:R (one week to be exact) in a pathetic attempt to ride its coattail. Now, this wouldn’t be bad if it was actually a good rip off. After all, how many horror films have we seen that attempt to do the Halloween formula, or how many Hollywood films come out each year that are similar to each other (e.g. Deep Impact and Armageddon). Unfortunately, this is not a good rip off but rather a blatant and bad one.
Nope, nothing like Alien. Move along people, move along.
The most obvious problem is the near-nothing budget film attempting to compete with a big budget film. All of the things we take for granted in big budget and even small budget films are obviously lacking and glaring in this film. Now, perhaps it’s unfair to take cheap shots at an independent studio that simply doesn’t have the same capital of a Warner Bros. studio, but then again it’s also unfair that anyone would have to put up with these production values. It’s not just that it’s low budget, but they don’t even do a good job with the money they have. I get that most small films will never afford 35 mm, but the digital production in this film still feels sterile. Especially when the lighting gets weird, such as when somehow everything becomes blueish in one scene. And could they get a tripod or camera track rather than have slight shaking in every shot?
But it’s not just the picture that’s out of touch. The music is generic, such as the opening which is one of those bland hard rock tracks that somehow gets on every cable channel’s insurance ads. Not to mention the special effects, which look like they come out of Photoshop; and the gore is just your basic makeup 101 with some red syrup over it.
For morning shots, just add blue!
However, the worst part of the whole production value would have to be the sound mixing. I know that seems like an OCD thing to be picking on the sound mixing, but sound mixing is a bit like (comic book) lettering. When it’s done right, no one notices it. But when it’s done wrong, it’s glaringly obvious. And boy, is this one noticeable. Everything seems to drown out the voices, including the “music,” sound effects, and even leaves crunching on the ground. I had to crank up my speakers just to hear anything, and I could barely hear the characters even when they were shouting. As a rule, I don’t like to criticize talent, but what I will say is that I hope that Adolph Peterson (mixer) has improved his craft or moved on to something else.
Still, you can have a great film without production values. After all, isn’t that the spirit of anything independent? To make something great (or at least unique) out of nothing? A place where money isn’t as important as heart and soul? Unfortunately, the film doesn’t have that much heart and soul, or at the very least a good story.
As I said before, while it isn’t plagiarism, it’s not much of a stretch to say that the story set its sights on Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem. Alien ship crashes on planet Earth and the alien (looking like something out of a bad Japanese monster film) goes to make a hunting ground out of the land to hunt an alien who looks like a xenomorph with a spider body on it. Not only is the plot bland, but it also has a lot of holes in it. Not just necessary plot holes or a simple matter of suspending your belief, but questions such as, “why would they go in (insert location with killer aliens) without any guns?” or, “this is stupid, why am I even watching this?” keep popping in your head. And the story doesn’t exploit any of the good stuff. If you’re expecting great action, gore, or even some nudity, you can forget it. All you get is watching two hours of people wandering around and trying to find and kill the aliens.
Reject from Godzilla
Is the acting horrible, too? Well…it’s a question of whether it’s bad acting or mostly mediocre actors given terrible roles and lines. You can’t polish a turd and you also can’t deliver a bad line. I didn’t care for any of the characters. The depth to these characters was as shallow as a dried up creek, and I didn’t understand (thanks to sound editing) or care for anything they had to say. The only characters I had interest in were Lee (William Katt) and Hilary (Dedee Pfeffier). It pained me to see both of them in this film, especially William Katt. Still, I understand why they did it (xx,xxx grand for one to two weeks of work), and I’m glad that there was at least a familiar face that I could smile at. Still, even they couldn’t compete against a bad script and weak characters.
Typical facial reaction when seeing this film.
Now, is there anything of interest here? Anything that’s remotely redeemable?
Well, as stated before, I was glad to see William Katt. He was given the best character out of the bunch, but that’s not saying much. I thought the
Predator Hunter was kind of a cool B-film fun, but even a poor cosplayer could make better material for its costume. The best part was the set of the alien ship, which was actually fairly impressive, especially considering the budget. It was also smart that they used the fog machine in the stage. It makes it mysterious, while making the set look bigger than it actually was. Classy move there, The Asylum. Unfortunately, they didn’t use the set to create any kind of suspense or tension. So basically, anything good about it doesn’t redeem the film at all.
Out of all the films I’ve reviewed for ComicAttack.net, this may be the worst one yet. Before you go out to watch it, be warned. This isn’t a film that’s so bad it’s good. It’s so bad that it’s painful to watch. This film actually makes my opinion of Howard the Duck go from an F/D+ to a D-/C+. Let’s put it that way.