Terminal Invasion (2002 TV Movie)
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"Terminal Invasion" has a good concept, where the viewer shall guess who are the aliens among humans, but there are many flaws in the story. But considering the extremely low-budget of this movie, with few locations, special effects and unknown cast (with the exception of Bruce Campbell), the result is an entertaining B-movie. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Ataque Alienígena" ("Alien Attack")
The movie is basically borrows most of its originality from John Carpenter's the Thing but it really doesn't do that bad of a job of it. One redeeming quality of the movie was that the director, who directed the original Friday the 13th by the way, doesn't show the "creature" very much, which a lot of directors of todays big-budget horror movies could really learn something from.
Overall, this movie is a lot better then most of Sci-Fi's premiere movies and nearly all made-for-tv movies. Fans of Bruce Campbell should really enjoy this movie, as some of his humor of previous appearances play through in his character in this one.
Overall : 7/10
I thing I have a pretty good idea what Sean Cunningham (Friday the 13th) and Lewis Abernathy had in mind when they constructed Terminal Invasion. It has a fairly strong does of The Thing to it. An alien life form has found its way into a small airport (In one of the north western States, it doesn't say). Bruce Campbell is a prisoner, who escapes the custody of his escort there, and holds everyone at gun point. Unfortunately until the storm outside clears, he ain't gonna be able to fly outta this one, and it's a seventeen mile walk to the nearest town. He finds himself stuck with a dozen angry/confused/nervous (but quirky) folk. and some of them as he is about to find out may not be human.
Sean Cunningham is certainly not a name that I'd expect to see in the director's chair of something like this. Perhaps he needed a break from Hollywood and investing is all the crappy sequels to his classic. To say the film is played for laughs may be a slight overstatement. It is not a comedy but it has it's funnier bits. In one sequence the gang, use the luggage x-ray to determine who is alien and who is not. If nothing else I'll probably remember Terminal invasion for two things Bruce Campbell, and that scene.
To tell you the truth, I got a small kick out of the whole thing. It's not much of a movie, but it's good amateurish fun. If you catch it on the sci-fi channel, you may as well watch for a bit.
For a TV movie, I thought it was actually pretty good. Granted, at some points the storyline has some holes, but really, I didn't enjoy the movie any less because of them.
If you're a fan of alien movies or a fan of Bruce Campbell, you should check this one out.
***** MILD SPOILERS *****
Alas TERMINAL INVASION is one of the lesser movies to use this plot . It contains a ludicurous scene near the beginning where a convicted murderer called Jack is being transported to prison via a snowbound airfield uses the toilet at the airfield terminal . So far so good , but then a priest suddenly enters the toilet , kills the two guards with Jack and proclaims he`s an alien who is leading an invasion infiltration force against Earth because " We don`t like you " . I just couldn`t take this scene seriously , but then I couldn`t take the entire film seriously because it`s clumsily handled . The characters are bland stereotypes who either take an alien invasion in their stride or are totally cynical to the threat when ever the script demands it . Despite being very similar to THE THING in many ways there`s a nagging suspicion I felt that the original draft didn`t contain an alien invasion plot and was more akin to something like D-TOX with the baddies being escaped criminals or foreign terrorists .
Regardless of what happened between initial script stage and final shooting TERMINAL INVASION is a very silly totally unbelievable sci fi TVM
Fans of Bruce Campbell seem to want desperately to review this film at least quasi-positively. That's entirely understandable. What horror fan doesn't have a soft spot for Bruce? If you are a die-hard fan of Bruce (no pun intended!?) then you may want to see this. But if you aren't: STAY WELL AWAY! This is a woeful movie! The acting (mostly) and script (entirely) are desperately bad. The premise, as far as B-grade made-for-TV movies go, is OK, I suppose. But the whole thing is executed so lamely! Aside from the writing, the worst thing is the 'look' of the film. TV movies do sometimes have a 'cheap' look like this but this is one of the worst I've seen. And the CGI effects are particularly crappy. CGI blood? A good old squib left over from Friday the 13th would have been much wiser.
Other than the presence of poor Bruce, this movie has absolutely nothing to commend it. Evil Dead, Bubba Ho-Tep it ain't! Don't let the Bruce-o-philes fool you: Terminal Invasion is bad enough to watch Oprah instead.
The suspense of the movie is good, but most of the story is predictable. The thing that drives me nuts is when so many of the characters are acting just plain stupid.
The idea of stumbling into an invasion is an appealing plot. The story is intriguing with a touch of "First Wave" and "The Thing", but there were times I almost had enough. I hung in until the end, but I wouldn't bother watching this a second time.
Jack runs out and holds up the people and the film goes from there. The directing was very well done, and the acting is pretty good to. Besides, it stars BRUCE CAMPBELL! I mean come on! How can you go wrong?
I say, if you liked the Thing and really want to see a good movie, see Terminal Invasion. My only question is...WHERES THE SEQUEL!?!?
In a script that draws comparison with John Carpenter's (far superior) The Thing, a group of people, trapped inside a remote airport terminal during a severe blizzard, discover a malign alien presence intent on enslaving mankind. But with the extra-terrestrial creatures in human guise, paranoia and panic soon sets in.
Bruce Campbell, not the greatest of actors put possessing a strong screen presence, hams it up the only way he can, bringing a welcome familiarity to his role of Jack; this is basically Ash from Army of Darkness, minus his boom-stick! The rest of the cast give credible performances; a commendable feat given the cheesy lines they are forced to deliver.
The special effects are sparse, but effective; once out of their human form, the aliens are a creepy bunch of ugly critters, and there is even a tiny smattering of gore to keep horror fans happy.
Despite 'Terminal Invasion' being a made for TV offering, it is great to see Sean S. Cunningham directing again after a long hiatusthis is, after all, the man who gave us Jason Vorheesand I look forward to 'Trapped Ashes', a horror anthology which will contain segments from four different directors (Cunningham directs the second segment) plus non-segment portions by Joe Dante. The film has been described as 'extremely twisted'. Sounds promising.
This film was actually entertaining, of course its nothing you would go and tell everyone about but for me it was a good movie, the acting wasn't perfect I won't argue there but it was above par compared to films in the same standard, the storyline although sometime uneventful had its moments by having a few clever plot twists here and there.
I would recommend this film to people that at times might feel like they want to watch a movie but don't know which one, its not a big budget effects feast but it'll pass the time, try it out even if you're not a genre fan.
I bought this because of Bruce. And to be honest, he is, as is usual, the highpoint of this film which has the qualities of a day time soap.
The average X files episode used to sweep this kind of stuff in 45 minutes and there is a high degree of stretch to the story. The acting is pretty poor as well with some fairly desperate stereotyping.
As a cable production Cunningham (Director) probably had little to work with budget wise but this looks and feels cheap from the opening scene.
To sum up the plot, two police officers are transporting a murder (Bruce "Evil Dead" Campbell) through a snow storm when they lose control of their car and crash. Taking refuge from the snow they hole up in a nearly abandoned charter airport terminal with a group of others who have been stranded by the snow as well. After a laughable first contact with an apparent alien, it becomes clear that Campbell and the survivors (the charter pilot, a bickering married couple, an Army enlisted man, a janitor, a jumpy business man, and a painfully stereotypical token black guy) must learn to trust each other in order to figure out who is human and who is not.
The acting (with the obvious exception of Bruce Campbell) was horrible, the dialog was lame, the special effects were some of the cheapest I've ever seen, and the constant use of blur effects to make it look stylish and cool only make it look like the director of photography was drunk during filming.
Bruce Campbell gave a performance worthy of his own reputation with his trademark smirk and one-liners like "Don't worry about who I've killed in the past, worry about who I'll kill in the future" and "I took the fancy boy's pants and they were stuffed with cash!". Loyal Campbell fans will not be disappointed.
However the weak plot, bad effects and writing full of incredibly stupid mistakes (why doesn't the Sgt in the Army have a nameplate on his uniform?) all come together to add up to an overall pitiful excuse for a movie.
But when turning to the Sci-Fi channel for your primary source of entertainment on a Saturday night, you can't be picky.
For dedicated Bruce Campbell fans and people who enjoy watching really lousy movies, this is fun to watch. For anyone who doesn't like Bruce Campbell (all 2 of you out there) don't bother with this.
People are stranded on an airport that is filled with aliens. Yes, we've seen movies like this a million times and it is what you would suspect. Nothing more, nothing less. OK, I found Bruce a bit like a whining wimp and some of the characters were very annoying and the monsters looked ridiculous. However, I found it interesting how they would get out of this trouble and the twist at the end was also welcome. The reason why the aliens invaded is well explained at the end Here is the reason why they invaded, that is explained at the very end (minor PLOT SPOILER ahead) They invaded the airport as a test before a bigger invasion. Their reason for invading earth is because they found humans had the strongest spirit and would therefore make the best slave labor (why these high-tech aliens would use human labour instead of high-tech machinery could be questioned?;) PLOTSPOILER END They do not invade us "because they hate us and want us dead" as the alien says in one of the first scenes and people here complain about this as "a stupid plot". You get what you expect and if this sounds something that you would like, go ahead and rent it, but do not expect anything groundbreaking.
Of course, I didn't expect much from a TV movie, but the plot was about as impossibly shallow as possible, and all the "surprises" were ridiculous and for the most part predictable.
The cast is not surprisingly completely at a loss to handle the incredibly dense script, despite the inability of most of them to act. Bruce Campbell would normally shine in such a role, but even he seems to be simply trudging through the movie from start to finish.
The most welcome part of the film: the ending, because it's over and there's no more watching involved! Avoid this one unless you're really into watching punishingly bad alien movies.
Usually I'm not a big fan of these cheapie productions which have nothing new to say. However, there's a lightness of touch about TERMINAL INVASION that makes it a fun watch, and most of the fun comes in the casting of Bruce Campbell as the murderous convict who you just know will end up being the movie's hero. Campbell is huge fun in the part, not particularly flamboyant or holding the attention here, but delivering liners and machismo a-plenty and full of the charisma that his fans know and love.
The rest of the cast is average and of TV movie standard. The CGI effects are quite horrid and thankfully only used sparingly. However, TERMINAL INVASION does have a fast pace and plenty of low rent action, so as a sci-fi flick it's never boring. I suppose you could argue that the story of THE THING is so strong that it stands up to being repeatedly copied by inferior movies and makes even them halfway watchable due to the suspense inherent in the premise.