Saturday, August 06, 2011

Alien Armageddon and Crash Landings: A Movie Review

*full disclosure: a screener of this film was provided by Phase 4 Films.

Director/writer: Neil Johnson.

Cast: Katharine McEwan, Don Scribner, Rochelle Vallese and DeeDee Bigelow.

Here is another entry into the alien invasion film genre with Alien Armageddon. This film follows Neil Johnson's previous film titled Nephilim (2007). This title recently had a World Premiere through video-on-demand August 1st. Phase 4 Films released this title and this reviewer wishes they had not. Perhaps the low production values did not deliver the film's message adequately. However, one message is clear to this film reviewer: Alien Armageddon is a really poorly executed film. This film is one half prison drama and one half sci-fi melodrama. Neither of these genres really create much enthusiasm over here at 28DLA. So, in the end, Alien Armageddon introduces a new alien species with some weak acting, poorly dressed sets and an Anglo-Norman plotline that has been done better, elsewhere.

The Nephilim invade Earth, which they have populated before. Much like the French (Normans) and their conquest of England (Anglo), these two related tribes do battle for resources. Here, the aliens are well dressed, but many of their sets look very much like empty office space. The sets are something you would likely see at a corporate head office after hours. Some of the green screens are well done with sci-fi artistry, while some of the acting is less than what you would see on the SyFy Network.

It does not help that much of the film, a good half, is set in one area. Here, three characters defecate, vomit and choke out human flesh. The aliens have a feeding program that involves cannibalism. Yes, this is the truth; you cannot make this stuff up (well, somebody did). From here, events take place outside, but the low production values make the action scenes comical and the melodrama laughable. The only good side here is the use of CGI to show the alien invasion early.

You really have to give Phase 4 Films some regard for taking some chances on these low budget productions. However, some of the films released by this Canadian distribution company are more miss than hit. Such is the case with Alien Armageddon, while Brotherhood (2010), Sweet Karma (2009) and Dead Man Running (2009) have all been good. Overall, most will be disappointed with this sci-fi drama, outside of the first five action packed minutes.

Writing/story/plotline: 6 (Johnson has an interesting mythos involving an alien race seeding Earth, but the story does not take off).
Acting/believability: 5.75 (some of the acting is really poor, characters are not believable, Katharine McEwan is one of the saving graces).

Overall: 5.85 out of 10 (this film is not recommended).

*available on various cable providers.

**going on 28DLA's list for worst films in 2011.

Alien Armageddon at Phase 4 Films:

Alien Armageddon Film Details

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