Aliens crashland near a small desert town, strewing odd bluish-glowing rocks throughout the area. Townfolk notice something is amiss when temperatures begin to soar, water disappears, power...
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Aliens crashland near a small desert town, strewing odd bluish-glowing rocks throughout the area. Townfolk notice something is amiss when temperatures begin to soar, water disappears, power goes down and people seem not to be themselves. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It Came From Outer Space and Stayed For a Lot Longer Than It Needed To
This is a pretty pointless remake. Starting with the opening title shots of the original was a real mistake as it reminds the viewer of what a great little period piece chiller that was. The new version that follows is an exercise in redundancy.
Brian Kerwin plays a 'city boy' photographer who returns to a semi-abandoned desert town populated by a scattering of underdeveloped clichéd stock characters: the lollipop sucking Daby-Doll Lolita, the 'ornery old coot prospector, the crippled vet and his Asian wife, etc...
Kerwin's character witnesses the crashing of 'something' into a hillside and shortly after strange things start to happen as pieces of weird blue rock are scattered around. The temperature starts to rise, all the water in the area vanishes, people start to act weirdly, things explode. Kerwin's character gets in and out of his car more often than is humanly possible in one movie. The film develops no sense of place, no character development, no humour, no tension. Everything that made the Jack Arnold's original a creepy little Cold-war paranoia classic has been abandoned. It just runs through its minimal hoops and then just ends.
The special effects aren't very special - the interior of the ship looks like bits of cling film wrapped round some ropes which were then dangled in front of the camera to frame some of the most uninspired and clumsy wire-work ever put onto the screen. The script is repetitive - everyone says everything at least twice, Kerwin gets to say "let's get out of here" at least three times during the movie, twice in one scene. Loads of things are left unexplained at the end - why do the aliens need all the heat and water for example? - not that anyone watching would care; if the film makers didn't care why should we?
The acting is adequate - better than the script, which at times, has an under-rehearsed improvisational quality, deserves. Though often the actors look like they just want to get the thing over with as quickly as possible - a notable example of this is when Elizabeth Peña registers the briefest, token moment of "frustrated despair hands to face gesture" before following sulking son Stevie outside to watch him do "angry sulky teenager smashing something off a table" gesture.
Continuity errors include the (GB) sticker on the back of Kerwin's jeep appearing and disappearing, a double action of the gas in the exploding car, a towns-person being in two places simultaneously - once in the Alien Stevie's POV shot then immediately afterwards in a reaction shot, Elizabeth Peña appearing to shut a car door twice... you can tell I was gripped can't you? The movie commits that greatest of errors. It's boring.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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