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May 28

Forgotten Films: Alien Raiders

Director:
Ben Rock

Writers:
Julia Fair (screenplay)
David Simkins (written by)

Actors:
Carlos Bernard, Mathew St. Patrick, Rockmond Dunbar, Courtney Ford, Jeffery Licon, Samantha Streets

Plot:
A team of guerilla commandos take a small town shopping market by force as they look for what they say is an alien threat. Things don’t go to plan (as they never do) and they are forced to take the shoppers hostage and barricade themselves in until they locate the evil and kill it.

Story:
Surprisingly it’s strong point, this is not saying it is world changing in anyway but there is a lot of care put into it’s setting, it’s background and lore which is a nice change in b grade films. The film flows reasonably well and past some shaky character and bad dialogue it holds up alright. This is actually, in someways, it’s downfall as it feels like a series pilot as opposed to a self contained film, the whole experience seems rushed as they try to cram too much story into a single 80 minute movie. To add insult to injury the end of the film comes so abruptly we are left with a sea of unanswered questions and no actual sense of finality.

Gore:
Pretty strong in this department, plenty of blood, both human and alien, and a few cringe worthy scenes with one that seems almost a throwback to John Carpenter’s The Thing. The effect work on the aliens deserve a mention as well.. truly grotesque.

Acting:
Not bad, not good, just average. No actor really irritated me to any major degree and the main actors did a reasonable job selling the set up, but I say that in context of it’s type of film (b grade horror). No award winning performances and I’m not sure if it was just the average nature of the film or not but Rockmond Dunbar (who went on to TV’s prison break) really stands out above the others doing a stellar job as the over aggressive tough guy.

Best Bits:
The first 15 minutes (minus the crappy handycam scenes that make no sense apart from a plot device) which has a good half of the films action in it and the final 10mins containing the showdown with the alien (minus the cliché final twist).

Verdict:
The film tries really hard at what it does so you don’t feel robbed at it’s average and text book finish. The effects are okay and the camera work is much better than I expected. The film has some fresh and interesting lore behind it that I would have loved to see expanded out. Alas, I dont believe there will be a sequel possiblity for this title.

Final words:
Worth a look for a fan of “bottom of the shelf” films.