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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.
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.
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
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.
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!
Priceless stuff. I would recommended a viewing of this strange film if you could find a decent copy.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!