Xtro (1982) Poster

(1982)

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B-grade sci fi schlock classic!
Infofreak20 June 2002
I had been warned off watching 'Xtro' for years having been assured by everyone who had ever heard about it that it was cheap, awful and nasty trash. Suddenly I found myself with the inexplicable urge to watch it. "MUST see Xtro! MUST see Xtro!" became my mantra. Then finally I managed to find a copy. I held my breath as I fed it into my video player. I expected it to be bad. Real bad. Ted V. Mikels bad. Even Donald G. Jackson bad. (and that my friends is quite possibly as bad as it gets!) But even worse, with lots of added gore. However I was most surprised to find that 'Xtro' wasn't all that bad at all. Crappy acting, no budget, and the "special effects" aren't special or actually all that effective, but despite all that I was hooked from the word go, and satisfied when it ended. This is a superior sci fi video nasty. It's stupid yes, but it knows it is, and it delivers the goods. The plot itself is simple: man abducted by aliens returns years later to reunite with his son, but that in no way conveys just how freakin' STRANGE this movie is! Plus it contains nudity from Maryam D'Abo (the loveliest of the lovely D'Abo sisters), an unforgettably bizarre birth screen, a demented clown, and plenty of gore. It even features obscure 80s synth-poppers Tik and Tok! Beat that for sheer oddness! So forget the anti-'Xtro' brigade and give it a look. Fans of weird sci fi and horror movies will absolutely love this one! Highly recommended to b-movie buffs.
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6/10
Talk about a trip-out!
mylimbo25 October 2008
Like director Harry Bromley Davenport mentions on the (very amusing and upfront short) interview that comes with the double pairing DVD of the first two films, it's a mess. Simple as that. It's an incoherent slab of twisted ideas and episodic plots, some quite random (a dwarf in a clown costume springs out of nowhere) in quite a bewildering British low-budget Sci-fi / horror production. No wonder why this is considered a cult favourite. Trashy and nasty junk indeed, but unusually compelling because you just don't know how it's going to go about things. Instead of a clear-cut narrative (as it does have a unique spin on the various materials within), the header is to mainly shock, baffle and weird out. It effectively does that with few creative visuals, bloody make-up FX and crass special effects. Achieved from the eerie imagery and Davenport's elastically wallowing synthesizer (sounding quite second-rate, but uncannily otherworldly) score is a thick dose of atmosphere. Even the film's colouring is drearily painted. Davenport's direction is eccentrically boundless and this helps it move quickly without outstaying its welcome, (even if has that slow-burn style to it). The cast are more than decent. Bernice Stegers provides a strong show-in and lifts it up with her presence. Philip Sayer is capably empathetic and the lovely French actress Maryam D'Abo makes her acting debut. A curiously surreal and sombre uneven (purposely I guess?) b-grade fright feature that from the get-go, leaves you pretty much in the dark.
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9/10
Surreal,bloody and bizarre.
HumanoidOfFlesh29 August 2004
A man is kidnapped by aliens and returns some years later in the form of four legged crablike monster.He rapes a woman and a fully grown human explodes from her womb the next day."Xtro" is a rather unpleasant low-budget horror gem that is definitely not for the squeamish.The film offers plenty of strange atmosphere and lots of cheap but effective special effects.The gore is suitably nasty and the birth scene is truly disgusting and memorable.The cast is generally decent and the finale is extremely grotesque.Later Bond girl Maryam D'Abo plays the nanny and has a wonderful nude scene.Overall,"Xtro" is much better than two crappy sequels that followed.Give it a look.9 out of 10.
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6/10
Xtremely Weird British Video Nasty
Witchfinder General 66622 February 2010
"Xtro" (1983) is a very weird little slice of Sci-Fi Horror and one of the few British films that landed on the UK film censors' infamous 'Video Nasty' list. The film is incredibly bizarre and quite bloody, and while it isn't a must-see it is warmly recommended to fans of cult-cinema and weird stuff.

While playing with his son, Sam Phillips (Philip Sayer) is abducted by an alien force. Several years thereafter he returns (in a somewhat bizarre manner), and isn't quite the same anymore... This may not really be a proper plot description of "Xtro", but the film really is way too bizarre in order to properly describe it without spoiling it. "Xtro" is weird from start to finish, and that is exactly what makes it interesting. "Xtro" has an undeniable Trash-feeling, which also only makes it more valuable for my fellow cult-cinema fans. The film landed on the Video Nasty list due to its gore. The gory scenes are intense and includes one particularly nauseating 'birth'-sequence. "Xtro" is still probably one of the less explicit films on this list, which generally shows that film-censors lack both intelligence and art-appreciation. The storyline actually quite interesting, though sometimes a bit too confused. It gets quite goofy at times, but then it has its genuinely ingenious moments.

It is worth mentioning that this is the first film featuring the sexy Maryam d'Abo, who is best known for her Bondgirl role in "The Living Daylights" (1987). She plays a French au-pair-girl here. The performances are generally pretty good, especially for a film that has seems somewhat trashy and cheap. The gore- and make-up effects vary between brutally nauseating and cheesy, depending on the particular sequence. Overall, "Xtro" is recommendable to my fellow fans of bizarre Horror, though I wouldn't say you've missed a lot if you decide to skip it.
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6/10
A lot better than it's rating suggests!
Snake-6666 September 2003
After being abducted by aliens three years earlier Sam (Phillip Sayer) returns to earth and reunites himself with his wife Rachel (Bernice Stegers) and son Tony (Simon Nash). While Sam was away Rachel moved on with her life and started seeing Joe (Danny Brainin) and after the arrival of Sam at the couples flat Joe begins to suspect that Sam is not all that he appears to be.

‘Xtro' is not a bad little sci-fi horror movie in my opinion. While it suffers from bad, wooden acting and a sometimes incoherent plot the film is generally well thought out and capably directed by Harry Bromley Davenport. The biggest complaint I have with the movie was the lack of character development with regards to the alien. While some creatures or villains are scarier when the viewer is unaware of its origins I feel this particular life form would have benefited from at least a slight background story which was sadly lacking. However, though the plot can be sometimes a little confusing, most of the story eventually comes across well despite leaving a few unanswered questions and being slow in places. As I previously mentioned the film was fairly well directed and this really comes through in a few scenes which generally have an extremely trippy and unnerving effect.

The effects in ‘Xtro' are quite surprisingly of very good quality especially considering the budget for this flick. Though one or two of the make-up effects looked rather out-of-place from the rest most of the effects were well produced and made ‘Xtro' a rather gory movie which should keep gore fans happy. This movie found its way onto the infamous Video Nasty list and though it probably should not have been put there one can almost understand why as it features a couple of particularly brutal scenes involving women. Having said that there are far more vile movies out there and it would seem ‘Xtro' was just a poor victim of media propaganda.

‘Xtro' is certainly worth a look in my opinion for sci-fi/horror fans. Complete with a delightfully erratic and haunting 80's soundtrack the movie is fairly entertaining despite its shortcomings. ‘Xtro' is probably not for those who expect a lot of action but instead a good movie for people who like slow-paced movies with various plot aspects to think about. My rating for ‘Xtro' – 7/10.
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10/10
Classic 80's alien movie
Rautus18 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
X-Tro is an alien movie that has mixture of something else too, a killer clown movie, a killer toys movie and a romantic dram between the main characters, the Mother falling for her husband Sam again while going out with another man because she thought he left them. Some of the scenes are very gruesome like the alien rape scene where a women gives birth to a full grown Sam and the bit where he eats his son's pet snake's eggs.

The killer clown was something different in a alien movie and so was a full size action man doll going after one of the people in the flats and a small tank going after a guy then a black panther. That was something new.

The film starts with Sam and Tony playing fetch with their pet dog when suddenly a huge white light appears and abducts Sam, 3 years later and Tony is still having nightmares about it but his mother and new boyfriend think it's all in his head since his dad walked out on them. Meanwhile in the countryside the huge white light flies by and drops Sam off but instead of being human he's some kind of four legged Alien.

The Alien soon finds a cottage that belongs to a young women, he finds a way inside and attacks her then a tentacle like thing comes out of his body and attachés to her mouth, she wakes up to find her dog eating the body of the Alien. She goes into the kitchen and suddenly her stomach bulges out and then gives birth to a full grown Sam. He then takes the clothes off someone he killed earlier on and goes to London where he soon meets his son and explains to his ex-wife that he didn't know where he was for those 3 years.

Her boyfriend thinks he making this all up so he can live with her and Tony again, after seeing Sam eating his pet snake's eggs Tony runs off but Sam catches up with him and tells him everything that happened to him for those 3 years, he then gives him some of his alien power. Tony soon understands that he can bring things to life like toys or make something appear from nowhere. He uses this power to kill anyone that gets in their way, they cocoon the young French girl which makes her an egg layer so they can have more aliens. I'm not going to say anymore because it will spoil the movie.

If you love classic 80's sci-fi horror or alien movies then X-Tro is something that shouldn't be missed. 10/10
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9/10
A splendidly sick and surreal early 80's sci-fi/horror stunner
Woodyanders25 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
One of the more arrestingly off-beat "ALIEN" sci-fi/horror variants to materialize in the early to mid 80's, this compellingly uneasy combination of drearily conventional domestic drama and totally off-the-wall sci-fi/horror weirdness starts out fairly mundane, but eventually erupts into all-out credibility-be-damned jaw-dropping surrealism as its oddball plot unfolds. A man who was abducted by aliens returns home after a long absence and makes a faltering attempt at regaining his previous ordinary life with horrifically disastrous consequences for both himself and his family. Acting, direction and narrative coherence take a back seat to an alarming succession of increasingly daft, shocking and gloriously grotesque graphic set pieces: a luckless lady who's been brutally raped by a hideous extraterrestrial crab-like beast gives painful, life-taking birth to a fully grown man (nasty!) in a truly gag-inducing scene, a half-human, half-alien guy causes a pay phone to melt after he touches it, comely French au pair girl and future James Bond movie starlet Maryam ("The Living Daylights") d'Abo gets wrapped up in a cocoon that's located directly above the bathroom shower so she can be used as an incubator for alien eggs (luckily the luscious Maryam gets to do two eye-popping and much-appreciated gratuitous nude scenes prior to meeting this ghastly fate), d'Abo's libidinous boyfriend winds up being mauled by a panther after being chased around the house by a dangerous animated toy tank (yes, you read that correctly), and, in perhaps the film's single most stupendously strange sequence, a GI Joe doll gets blown up to normal man size so it can come to life and take out a snoopy old lady neighbor (I'm honestly not making this crazy stuff up). Amid all this magnificently messed-up lunacy the movie's "you can't go back home" subtext somehow manages to acquire a certain cock-eyed poignancy that's in equal degrees oddly affecting and genuinely unnerving. Alas, this terrifically twisted and authentically outré treat was followed by a couple of dire, scarcely related by-the-numbers sequels which sadly lack the original's startlingly unpredictable free-form approach to telling a story.
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8/10
Awesome, Life Changing
red98008614727 May 2007
OK, OK, so Xtro is no Alien, Close Encounters of the third Kind, or being anywhere near those films in quality, but it is an amazing early 80's alien flick chock full of really bizarre stuff that you will probably never see anywhere else. The first time I saw this I was quite young and it just totally freaked me out. I am a proud owner of a copy of Xtro and I must say, I no longer find it freaky, but it is still shockingly bizarre. Just watched it last night with friends. We laughed, cried, needed a drink afterward, and so will you. Who even knew the Brits had this kind of weirdness in them? See it immediately, then have that drink.
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8/10
Delightfully disturbing
siderite11 October 2009
I remember when I was a child I got hold of this weird VHS movie called XTRO that gave me so many delightful feelings of horror, fascination and a lasting crush on Maryam D'Abo. I was pretty much certain that my memories of it were warped and that if I watch it now it will all seem silly, but boy was I wrong.

The film itself finds strength in what other movies count as weaknesses: an unknown cast, low budget, plastic monster effects. I am convinced, though, that any remake with regular actors and computer CGI would not result in the same weird feeling, giving it almost complete realism. The only thing that I would have improved is the sound to image synchronization, which made it obvious that most sounds were added later in the studio.

The best part of the movie is the script. Both back in my childhood and now, it evoked feelings of kinship with the alien. And weirdly so, as it is one of the most nasty creatures in horror. The most intriguing aspect is the schizoid nature of the monster, part human part alien, torn between its merciless nature and the love for his human child.

Bottom line: there were three XTRO movies, with stories completely unrelated to each other, but only this one is worth watching. It continues to blow me away even now, despite (or maybe because) of its quirky production values and very original script. Actually, that is the only reason I didn't rate it a 9. If you love horror or SF, you should see it.
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7/10
Cheerful 'Video Nasty'
The_Void25 June 2006
It's easy to pass Xtro off as a piece of trash; as that's essentially what it is, but those who are well versed in Sci-Fi horror will surely see it's positive elements shining through. It would seem that just about every idea director Harry Bromley Davenport ever had has ended up in this film, and so what we end up with is a disjointed and silly; albeit continually shocking and inventive little movie, which blends over the top images of extreme gore with the corruption of a family unit. The film was a part of the DPP's 'Video Nasty' list back in the eighties, which has ended up meaning that the film has an unfavourable reputation, which it doesn't really deserve; both because the cheesy gore effects can't really be taken seriously, and because the film is too cheerful to be reputed as a shocker. The plot is actually quite good, as it follows a young boy who witnesses his father being taken by aliens. Naturally, nobody believes him; although his story becomes somewhat more plausible three years later when his father reappears and disrupts the mother and her new man with his presence, and murderous new powers.

The film features several memorable scenes, the best of which sees a woman giving birth to a fully grown man! The special effects clearly didn't cost much, but that's not a problem as they fit the film and the director does well in ensuring that the effects are consistent in their style, and that they always fit the tone of the movie. The film was produced in Britain, and take obvious influence from Ridley Scott's masterpiece, 'Alien' as well as a whole range of other Sci-Fi films. The plot is well used in conjunction with the idea of a malevolent alien coming to Earth and killing people, and by keeping the focus on the disrupted family unit; director Harry Bromley Davenport manages to elevate the film above the normal level of B-grade schlock. The film isn't strong on atmosphere, although the poor production values do give it a gritty feel that bodes well with the plot. The acting is typically terrible, with only Bernice Stegers ('Macabre') providing any kind of standout. Overall, this film will no doubt be too silly and inconstant for some; but if you like your films to be weird and high on imagination; you can't go wrong with Xtro!
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7/10
A twisted sci-fi horror film.
Joseph P. Ulibas27 January 2005
Xtro (1983) scared me when I was a kid. The very idea of a kid's being tormented by aliens freaked me out big time. The special effects were graphic and sticky from what I remembered. I wish this movie was available to rent because the only copy I could find to watch is the very first one that was released during the early 80's. I am surprised that this film isn't widely recognized as one of the nastiest and bloody horror films of it's time period. Two scenes tripped me out big time, one involving the father and the other with the poor kid and his G.I. Joe doll.

Priceless stuff. I would recommended a viewing of this strange film if you could find a decent copy.
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6/10
Cheap and vulgar but fun to watch
Maciste_Brother29 March 2005
XTRO is one low budget flick. So low it's almost breathtaking that they actually finished it and released it to theaters.

The film itself is somewhat vulgar and unpleasant (the low budget quality doesn't help...) but even with the unpleasant aspects of it all, the film is fun to watch because it's so wonky and bizarre that it's impossible to stop looking at it. And the cheap synth music, coupled with the UFO storyline and the odd looking alien all give the film a unique otherworldly feel to it that's more effective than 99% of big budgeted films made in Hollywood. If early David Cronenberg had directed an alien movie, it probably would have looked something like XTRO.

But even all of its good aspects don't hide the fact that the film doesn't make much sense and the acting and dialogue are, for the most part, bad. But if you're a fan of films about UFOs like me, make sure to check this film out.
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3/10
Was It Made By Film Students ? .....
Theo Robertson8 December 2002
.... because it doesn`t look like it was made by professional film makers . XTRO has a really cheap and cheerless no budget production feel to it and is usual in these type of productions the make up and FX are totally unconvincing while the cast look like they`re ashamed to be in a film like this . Even so there`s no excuse for such bland performances especially Philip Sayers who looks like he`s impersonating a block of wood rather than a man who`s been abducted by aliens .

What I really disliked about this film is the very underdeveloped script . There`s no real explanation or logic as to why things happen . Take for example the scene where a character drives to a cottage then warns his companion to " Stay here " and enters the cottage with trepidation. There is absolutely no way the character would know he`d be in any danger by entering the cottage so why is he so nervous ? I think I can speculate as to why the panther appears though ( And unless you`ve seen the film the next couple of sentences will make no sense - just like the film itself ) The toy tank is supposed to be a version of the second world war German panther tank hence a panther appears . Only the toy tank is actually based on the tiger tank mark two aka King tiger , which means instead of a panther appearing in the flat a king tiger should have . It just shows you how bad XTRO is when the director tries to bring subtle irony to a senseless script and manages to screw that up .

I`m led to believe that XTRO was banned on video in the 1980s which makes it one of the very few British " Video nasties " , perhaps the only British film to receive that accolade , but there`s nothing here to churn your stomach . Churning your brain is another matter entirely
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8/10
eXTRaOrdinary Sci-Fi fodder...
Coventry12 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Nasty, cheap and very UN-British "Alien"-rip off from the UK, oddly compelling and containing a handful of powerful and memorable sh(l)ock-sequences. The film certainly doesn't cut back on the gory and grim images, making it look a lot more like typical drive-in junk instead of an English horror achievement. The title means absolutely nothing but presumably refers to the malicious alien-race that abducts family men from their homes, only to send them back three years later as infiltrating and telekinetically gifted monsters. This is what happens to poor Sam Phillips during a vacation with his wife and son. He disappears, nobody believes the little boy who saw his daddy getting sucked into a gigantic spaceship and mommy starts a new life with another man. But three years later, a hideously crawling alien impregnates a lonely housewife and – the morning after – she (very) painfully gives birth to a fully-grown Sam-clone. The evil alien in human shape returns to his old "home" and manages to inflict his monstrous powers onto his son. "XTRO" is a strange mix of genuinely gross material and over-the-top cheesy scenes. The previously mentioned birth-sequence, for example, is pretty disgusting but only minutes later we're treated to a murder committed by a life-sized G.I. Joe doll! Both scenes are the complete opposite in tone, yet they (and several other downright bizarre stuff) strangely match together in this wonderfully oddball Sci-Fi romp. "Xtro" also even managed to scare me, since it features a midget-clown (!) that appears in little Tony's room out of the blue. Perhaps it's just my personal phobia towards dwarfs (no offense to little people), but his little painted and grinning face looked seriously eerie. It freaked me out! There are no other terms to summarize this film than just plain & simply GOOFY and ODD! You'll never again see so many twisted story lines blend with surreal elements, kitschy comedy, gratuitous nudity (oh yes! We love you Maryam d'Abo!!!) and gruesome make-up effects. And, even though overall inept and rather dumb, it's simply impossible to give a low rating to this exceptional horror gem! If you're into eccentric cinema, you must…MUST check this baby out!
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9/10
Great Trashy Sci-Fi/Horror from Britain
epeteet15 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
As a huge fan of trashy 80's horror I simply loved this movie. It's got it all: Slimy creature effects, gore, nudity! What more could you want? All that plus there's even some pretty creepy moments to boot! With all the weird stuff in this movie (the trippy 80's synth soundtrack, the creepy dwarf clown, the killer robot toy soldier, etc.) I don't see how anybody could label this as an ALIEN rip off. About the only thing they have in common is that they are both Sci-Fi movies that involve aliens from outer space.

The plot isn't bad either but since I don't usually watch movies for plot I won't get into that. Even if this movie would have majorly sucked (which it totally didn't) it would have all been worth it just for the wonderfully disgusting scene where a chick gives birth to a full grown man! Bottom line if you dig nasty low budget 80's special effects then definitely check this out!
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8/10
Excellent!
dominion7625111 September 2006
I found out about Xtro sometime in 2005 while researching horror/sci-fi flicks on the web. It was touted as one of the original "British Video Nasties". Any movie that was banned HAS to be good, right? I was intrigued. My favorite movies were made during the early 80's and this style of movie making is my favorite (original ideas, budgets that aren't in the millions of dollars, unknown actors, and creative special effects that work). I was unable to find a copy of the film at any video stores to rent so I had to put it in the back of mind. As luck would have it, I stumbled into a copy at a second-hand store in July of 2006 for $4. It was an ex-rental tape with no cover, but in good condition. I was super psyched to see if it lived up to my expectations. Well, Xtro delivered… big-time. Great story, totally gory special effects and decent acting/film-making makes this flick a classic. The "birthing" scene has to be seen to be believed! I can't imagine how shocking this movie must have been in 1982! While elements of the flick were obviously inspired by the film Alien, the plot is unique enough to not be a blatant rip-off. Why can't movies be made like this any more? Do all movies really have to cost 20 million plus and be mostly CGI? Xtro has the feel of other great genre classics from that time like Evil Dead, Basket Case, Phantasm, Ms. 45, etc. This is the type of movie that probably inspired lots of people to become filmmakers. The movie was successful enough to spawn two un-related sequels which are watchable, but nowhere close to the original. If you enjoy the modern big-budget CGI movies (that I like to call Nintendo movies), stay away from this one. If you are into cool older B-movies with character, or sci-fi in general, you will love it.
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8/10
Impressive trash from the stoned
Andrei Pavlov14 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Watching this movie as a kid was quite an experience (harmful and terrific of course). Then there were years of trying to find this film on VHS or DVD. Right from the start it did not look like a common run-of-the-mill horror trash. Though it is trash all right.

This movie is often misjudged as an "Alien" clone. But it is much more than that: a killer clown-midget, a deadly toy tank, a murderous toy soldier that kills old ladies (a "Terminator" clone?), a grotesque scene of birth (a "Warlock" clone?). And then there is an altered human breathing in domestic gas and eating snake eggs, an extraterrestrial whose shriek makes one's ears bleed, a black panther that suddenly appears in the house to kill people on sight… The only actual things that remind us of "Alien" are some sort of hatching eggs that contain a killing substance inside and the way of penetration of the "extraterrestrial" demon into human body (via mouth). There was also some sort of acid.

Version one of the movie ends up with the grisly death of a female character (if you like happy endings - this version is not for you). Version two ends with a very strange encounter with some kind of cloned (?) or hatched (?) children. It is not very happy either, though.

The movie has one clear advantage - it is a pure example of some weird disoriented horror suspense. Is it possible to feel at ease when the woman loses her only child in that abominable extraterrestrial way? Still, is it possible after that grim scene to expect the main female character's deadly finale in the very end when the message seemed to have been totally over-the-top already? The message of the movie might be this: aliens are not friendly, they are not caring angels, but they have devilish power to alter a man into a dark being. Creatures from the outer space (or from a parallel world) can be babysitters for your kids but soon the kids will be not yours any more.

Maybe, some scenes could be better (the design of the title in the beginning, the outlook of the soldier, the creature effects at the end, etc.), some scenes could be deleted (the sex scene maybe?) but all in all it looks and feels like a real tough horror movie. The plot is not weak and the details are not funny. The director does not explain this and that (Mr Harry Davenport mentioned himself that they were all stoned when making it). The enigmatic years of the abducted man, spent not in this world, remain enigmatic. Yes, the director could show us some planet with one-eye creatures or whatever, but we have our own imagination to work instead. Maybe it was not another planet at all, but a parallel world or hell? How come the little flat clown turns into a real midget, a toy soldier - into an outrageous action man with the size of a human being? And where does that killing panther come from? These are rhetorical questions. Even the director, who jumps like a panther onto the discussion board for this flick now and then, will be of no help. The common sense must get broken. This film breaks it all right.

To give it an 8 out of 10 should be fair enough. Thanks for attention.
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4/10
Decent horror flick with a few good effects
deb-16215 September 2005
I remember seeing this movie along time ago possibly at a old mid-west drive-in before they all started closing.Back then a lot of drive-ins went low budget b-flicks compared to these days.They made a mistake.Anyway I remember the opening few minutes being pretty scary and especially a part in the movie when car going down road meets the alien.i think I also read along time ago that this movie got some kind of sci-fi award when it came out but I don't remember the details.I remember most that the first half of money was scary and somewhat disturbing then it went downhill from there.A lot of movies are like that though in Hollywood today.The effects involving the alien abduction were realistic and very disturbing. If you enjoy these type of movies you can't put Xtro in the complete bomb or turkey file.It had some good horror moments.
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8/10
Xtro! Xtro! Read all about it...
BA_Harrison19 December 2010
A young boy, Tony (Simon Nash), watches helplessly as his father Sam (Philip Sayer) is abducted by aliens; three years later, Sam, genetically altered to survive on another planet, returns to Earth to find his son and take him to his new home. Convinced that Sam simply did a runner for the past three years, his wife Rachel (Bernice Stegers) and her new boyfriend Joe (Danny Brainin) aren't exactly happy to see him back on the scene—even more so when he begins to turn nasty and imbues his boy with other-worldly powers...

Xtro is commonly believed to be one of the DPP Video Nasties, but although overzealous jackbooted police officers with nothing better to do than persecute movie fans did indeed seize copies of this delightfully trashy sci-fi/horror during the 80s, it was never actually added to any official government list. Surprising really, since it's actually nastier at times than many of the titles that did qualify as unsuitable viewing for the general public (but then logic never was the DPP's strong point).

In telling his bizarre tale, writer/director Harry Bromley Davenport misses no opportunity to disgust his audience with gloopy effects: as half-human/half extraterrestrial single father Sam goes about exercising his parental rights, we are treated to such lovely sights as a woman giving birth to a fully grown man (having been mouth raped by an alien), Sam 'feeding' on his son's shoulder, a pet snake mashed to a pulp by a grumpy old woman, Rachel's tasty French au pair Analise (played by future Bond babe Maryam D'abo) turned into an alien egg factory, and a man's throat slashed open by an evil dwarf clown armed with a razor edged yo-yo. As well as giving us all this messy gore, we should also be eternally grateful to Davenport for convincing the gorgeous Miss D'abo, in her first ever screen role, to get completely naked for the camera (she could *?@! the living daylights out of me any day of the week!).

While Xtro is undeniably a long way from perfect—by his own admission, Davenport's script is extremely messy, a disparate collection of twisted ideas clumsily forced together with little consideration for logic—it is this very randomness that makes it such a thoroughly enjoyable oddity and well deserving of its cult following.

7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
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10/10
Disturbing, disgusting and uncomfortable - just like a good horror film should be.
cropsy7224 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Created back in 1983 as a two-fingered response to the cute 'n' cuddly shenanigans of ET The Extra Terrestrial, the British-made Xtro (see what they did there?) is a mess of a movie that somehow works brilliantly. Delirious, ridiculous and outrageous, at times it really does feel like it's from another planet.

The plot of Xtro wouldn't go amiss on a daytime TV soap opera - errant father returns to family, has awkward reunion, doesn't get on with new boyfriend, wife is torn between the two men, etc. But then it goes and whacks you around the head with some truly inspired acts of disgusting shock-value.

For the most part, the acting is top notch stuff, especially from the now-deceased Philip Sayer as Sam and Bernice 'Macabre' Stegers as Rachel. Special mention must be made of Maryam D'Abo as Analise, the nanny. This was her first film, and it features some brief bedroom gymnastics from the Bond-girl-in-the-making.

Tik and Tok, two dancers who specialised in Robotics, that most dreaded of all early 80s dance crazes, were employed to portray the Action Man doll and the four-legged creature - the latter was achieved by having Tik stand on his hands and feet and 'walk' backwards like a crab. It only partly works in execution, but kudos to the filmmakers for using their imagination to avoid the dreaded man-in-a-suit syndrome.

It occurred to me while watching this disc that Xtro could be read as a child abuse allegory - Sam interferes with Tony at night, then swears him to secrecy - but then I realised that I was talking rubbish, and the story simply sets out to disgust and amaze, which it does in spades.

Yes, it's a cheap and cheerful monster mash concocted from the plots of other movies, but there's something genuinely alien about the whole film that fascinates and revolts in equal measure. Much of this strange atmosphere is down to the eerie score, which was composed by the director himself. A lot like the music heard in Inseminoid, it lends itself entirely to the not-of-this-earth feel of the film, and was once available on LP - anyone know where I can bag a copy?

By his own admission, director Harry Bromley-Davenport has admitted that Xtro is a bit of a mess. But nevertheless, it stands alone as a highly disturbing piece of sci-fi horror, and I honestly can't see why it hasn't been recognised more widely for its achievements.

I remember reading a promotion for this film in the pages of the mighty comic, 2000AD, home to the likes of Judge Dredd. Somehow, I don't think the editors viewed the atrocities of Xtro before urging their young readership to rush out and see it!
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6/10
Pretty bizarre, interesting little horror flick
Phillemos6 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When I was 10 years old, my dad took me to see this movie in the theaters because I was beginning to take an interest in horror movies and he felt like I could handle R-rated movies. I saw the first 20 minutes and was scared so s---less, we had to go home. When I saw that SciFi Channel would be showing Xtro, I had to take advantage of the opportunity to finish what I started 23 years ago. Now that I've seen the movie in its entirety, I wish I had could have kept my 10-year-old wits about me in the theaters just a little bit longer, because the rest of the movie was interesting, but not the least bit scary. What I saw in the theaters was a father (Sam Phillips) getting abducted while out with his son (Tony), a spaceship landing three years later, a creepy creature emerging, promptly killing a man who nearly ran the creature over with his car, then going back and killing the man's girlfriend. Then the creature breaks into some woman's house and rapes her (this was when I left the theater), and shortly thereafter the woman gives birth to Sam. The rest of the movie is Sam rekindling a relationship with his Tony, his former wife Rachel and trying to stay out of the cross hairs of her new boyfriend (Joe), who seems to get a vibe from the start that something isn't right. Joe's right. Sam is slowly re-morphing into an alien. In the meantime, the more time Tony spends with Sam, the more Tony starts to act weird as well. Tony's apparently picking up some his of father's alien powers because his toys are coming to life and killing people who antagonize him. The movie reaches its climax as Rachel takes Sam back to the cottage where he was kidnapped and the s--- hits the fan. Weird stuff, but entertaining on a mindless level. This certainly isn't one of the best horror movies ever, but on sheer creativity alone I can appreciate the cult-ish status it seems to have attained. The movie takes chances and thought they don't always work, it helps Xtro avoid falling into the formulaic trap of most horror genre movies. The movie also has a pretty depressing ending, which I think works well for a lot of good horror movies. A few things didn't work for me: 1) The constant '80s synthesizer background music. It's perfect in small doses, because this movie does have the feel of a sort of PBS-style "all-about-the-mysteries-of-outer-space" extravaganza (maybe it's the British influence). But it was playing throughout the entire movie and they should have picked their spots. They didn't need to play it when Rachel and Sam are rekindling a romance. Also, and this maybe have something to do with me seeing the scary part of the movie as a kid, but the movie just felt somewhat disjointed. It completely switches gears after the alien rape scene and becomes more of an intellectual thriller. If I has started watching after the alien rape and didn't know better, I never would have made the connection that this was the same movie I was so scared of as a 10-year-old. I like what it ends up being, but I still would have liked to see a little more alien-running-amok. Overall, an interesting little movie, not a must-see but good push-the-envelope type flick. I give it 6 out of 10 stars.
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The Extra-Terrestrial
sol-7 July 2017
Abducted by aliens, a family man returns home to the delight of his doting son, but his time in space seems to have changed him in this gloriously uncanny horror movie. Underwhelming at first, the film stands up slightly better upon revision when viewed as more of a mood piece than a narrative. Largely shot in the dead of night with imaginative creature effects and a sound design that creatively fuses music and sound effects, the film simply drips with atmosphere. There are also several unsettling moments that impressively do not rely on effects, lighting or music, such as lead actor Philip Sayer swallowing snake eggs (just one of the many strange things he does upon returning). Creepy as it may be, 'Xtro' does not exactly spin an airtight narrative and as the boy's toys randomly come to life and as he turns homicidal, one gets the distinct feeling that the project exists as mainly an excuse for director Harry Bromley Davenport to experiment and be as creative as he can when it comes to shocks and horror. That said, the film does play with some very tangible themes and issues - most notably, the void a parent leaves when away for a long time and the uncertainty of whether someone is still the same after being away for so long. Indeed, were it not for all the deaths, the whole film could be read as a manifestation of the boy's anxieties after being separated from his father.
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7/10
The True Best Worst Film
TheExpatriate7003 January 2012
Xtro is one of the most interesting-and fun-bad movies ever made. It takes the concept of a dozen Alien rip-offs, combines it with E.T., and pours on the surreal imagery in order to make a genuinely unique movie. Although it is not very well known, it definitely earns director Harry David Davenport at least a minor place in sci-fi / horror history.

The plot follows a man who is abducted by aliens in front of his son, who is unable to convince anyone of what he saw. Three years later, the man returns, but something seems off. Perhaps it's the fact that he can't remember the past three years, perhaps it's the fact that he's just been born fully grown out of a woman who's been raped by an alien monster, but things just don't seem to add up.

What follows is one of the most bizarre horror movies ever made. Rather than follow the typical arc of an alien monster emerging, much of the plot emphasizes the transfer of the man's newly acquired powers to his son. In particular, the son gains the capacity to make his toys come to life. What ensues is a mixture of dwarf clowns, clockwork men, and bloody chaos all around. Alien knock-offs have never been this hallucinatory!

The film gains a disturbing edge from this hallucinatory imagery, along with heavy overtones of molestation in the transfer of powers to the child. Although Davenport, the director, claims this effect is unintentional, the film can be read as a metaphor for the impact of child abuse on a family. The film also benefit from decent special effects. Though they are hardly Oscar-quality, they are far better than those found in other Alien riffs, such as Contamination.

Don't come to this film expecting a coherent plot or award winning acting. Still, if you're looking for a night of gory, if stupid, fun, this is definitely worth checking out.
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