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Considering the Extremely Low-Budget, Works Reasonably Well on DVD
Claudio Carvalho15 October 2012
The serial-killer Hud Masters (Paul Sloan) and his partner Logan (Colleen Porch) have been recruited by a governmental agency to hunt down aliens that can survive for a period inhabiting human bodies. Logan reports their murders to her boss Frank Russo (Nick Vallelonga), a family man married with Stacy Russo (Susse Budde) with a daughter, who has a team to remove the bodies and any evidence.

When an alien switch bodies to escape from Hud, Lt. Murcer (Anthony John), Lt. Clark (Bobby Ray Shafer) and the coroner Santo (Katrina Law) are forced to return the bodies and Hud, who had been captured by the detectives, to Frank that explains that one hundred aliens from an evolved race had moved to Earth since their planet is doomed. Now Hud has to chase the dangerous Leader (Hayley DuMond), who has adapted to the atmosphere of our planet and wants to breed.

"Choker" is definitely not a good or an unforgettable sci-fi movie. However, considering the extremely low-budget, it works reasonably well on DVD. The storyline is a rip-off of "The Hidden" and the writer / director Nick Vallelonga is too fat for a skilled agent. One question: if the aliens die in the delivery of their offspring, how could Hud and the Leader be brothers? My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Comando: Exterminador" ("Commando: Extermination")
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"Choker" delivers something with nothing
rocketmanshoes18 February 2005
Considering what the film makers and cast of "Choker" had to work with as far as budget, time and resources, the film is a triumph of creativity and indie spirit.

Script delivers a fine twisty road to a fun, pulpy resolution and the cast dials in excellent performances in some just-this-side-of-stereotypical roles. The triple-threat of Colleen Porch, Paul Sloan and (especially) Hayley DuMond are a joy to watch on screen.

Technically, flick suffers from occasionally rushed-feeling or under-lit or under-choreographed sequences, but again, considered these folks had 12 days to shoot the film, they did a wonderful job! Overall the film feels more thriller than horror and is quite enjoyable.
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Derivative Sci-Fi Thriller Has Enough Redeeming Features To Be Tolerable
zardoz-1327 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Don't believe the artwork on the DVD case for writer & director Nick Vallelonga's science fiction chiller "Disturbance" a.k.a. "Choker" about an alien with gnarly fingers gripping an M-16 assault rifle. The $35-thousand dollar budget of this straight-to-video DVD release couldn't accommodate this other worldly nail-biter about aliens invading Earth as a last desperate measure for survival, as was the case in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Essentially, this "X-Files" type actioneer has friendly aliens from a dying planet contacting an ultra-secret government agency about a splinter group of their own—nearly one hundred of them—that have come to Earth to live among us. The friendly aliens help us out by sending one of their own to inhabit the body of executed serial murderer Hud Masters (hard-bodied Paul Sloan of "The Scorpion King") and he makes it his mission to track down the renegade aliens. These renegades thought that they could sustain themselves in a human body, but the diseases that they bring with them break down human bodies. Consequently, to maintain their masquerade, the aliens have to jump from one human body to another like the alien in "The Hidden." Every time that these aliens swap bodies, they drool up a load of green slime and hurl. The aliens struggle to maintain a low profile, so they appropriate the bodies of the scum of the earth, for example, hookers, johns, pimps, drug dealers, addicts, in other words, the dregs of society.

Writer & director Nick Vallelonga displays a modicum of flair with this formulaic subject matter. First, he launches the story with an invigorating fight between our crew-cut, muscle-bound serial slayer Masters and a buff looking babe Kat (Kimberly Estrada of "Million Dollar Baby") in the rear of an apartment parking complex. They knock heads until he perforates her with an automatic pistol, and she starts spewing up green slime. Indeed, this run-of-the-mill thriller would have been extremely gory were it not for the green slime. Second, he waits until he has the plot in gear to reveal the hard facts about the unbelievable things that we wind up caught up in throughout the opening hour of "Disturbance." Indeed, enough of these savage killings attract the attention of LAPD's finest. Det. Lt. Murcer (Anthony John Denison of NBC-TV's "Crime Story") and his knuckle-fisted, wise-cracking partner Lt. Clark (Robert R. Schafer of "Psycho Cop") want answers that their own CSI technician Santo (Katrina Law of "Stiletto") cannot provide because she has never seen such phenomenon. Meanwhile, Frank Russo (portly Nick Vallelonga of "The Godfather") receives a call from his field agent-in-charge-of-the-mission, Logan (Colleen Porch of "Demon Hunter"), that he's needed because Hud is experiencing problems. Before Russo can to Logan, Hud chokes Logan to death. By this time, the LAPD has arrested Hud and Clark has done his best to beat the guy to a pulp. Russo shows up and spills the beans in an extended expository dialogue scene about Hud and the aliens. Russo uses his governmental authority to bail out Hud after the LAPD, and they resume their pursue the big cheese alien (Hayley DuMond of "Raptor Island") who now has targeted Russo's wife and child. The ending is pretty typical for a horror movie but at least Vallelonga eschews any kind of a happy ending.

Despite its low budget trappings, "Disturbance" has some gritty, get-up-and-go gumption to it, and it only malingers throughout its trim 91 minutes for Russo's expository scene in the police station. Vallelonga trots out several sexy babes for eye candy purposes and stages enough grueling fights so that this thoroughly average thriller has some solidarity to it that lesser efforts lack. Lenser Vladimir Van Maule does a marvelous job on a tight budget and the letterbox formatted cinematography is easy on the eye. During his colorful and insightful commentary, Vallelonga said that he wanted "Disturbance" to look like panes from a comic book and it does resemble a comic book in its palette of colors. The use of green, blue, and red is truly evocative and makes for appealing compositions, better than you'd expect from something like this with its borderline budget. Veteran composer Harry Manfredini of "Friday the 13th" movies rounds off the rough edges with a serviceable score. Although it isn't for anybody but people who love to slum for sci-fi thrillers off the beaten path, "Disturbance" is decent enough that you cannot really complain about time wasted. Sloan is convincing enough as the serial killer largely because he has some interesting memories as a kid growing up with an abusive father.
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filmetele20 September 2006
I saw the movie at a screening in Los Angeles about 4 months ago or so, at a film festival.

I discovered Choker through the movie's writer and director Nick Vallenlonga's IMDb page. I found out about him after seeing an earlier movie of his, Corporate Ladder which starred Tony Denison and Jon Pollito, who both used to be on Crime Story together.

Anyway, I got to see Choker and I was impressed by the actors performances. My favorite in the film was the alien "leader", Haley DuMond. She can really act and I see she is in Vallenlonga's upcoming film as well, nice. The rest of the cast were also very good: Tony Denison was great as usual. Robert Shafer provided some well timed humor. Colleen Porch was the "beauty" of the movie, and the lead, Paul Sloan, was intense.

This movie was fun and did what it what meant to do, entertain.

Choker is not a huge budget production so don't expect complex CGI or anything really fancy. The movie was somewhat serious at times, somewhat tongue in cheek sci-fi at times. If you want to watch this movie , watch it with the intent of having fun. What I got out of it was kind of a 50's B sci-fi flick set in present time.

DuMond and Denison were not at the screening I attended, unfortunately, but Shafer, Harry Manfredini (who composed all the Friday the 13ths), Paul Sloan and Vallenlonga were there.

It's coming out on DVD and I recommend checking it out. I for one am hoping that the DVD contains a simultaneous director's commentary feature. It would be interesting to hear how quickly a particuar scene was shot since Choker was filmed in a little over a week.
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They are among us
slomocherry18 February 2005
Choker is an interesting creature, much like the surprisingly sympathetic characters that are presented to us in the film itself.

Seeing the film projected in vivid HD on a big screen probably helped the illusion of being dunked into this "sci-fi/noir" world and being told that the film was conceived and developed over a six week period prior to a twelve day shoot definitely got a raised eyebrow from me.

The cast elevated this thing immensely. Even the director, who was at this screening, said that without his cast, the material could easily have been reduced to the mediocre. I must remark on this. Based on what I saw and knew of the film, I would have scored this film smack in the middle of a 1-10 scale. Having said that, and given the singular performance of actress Hayley DuMond (playing the lead villain), I must score this film at least one or two points higher - her performance does not deserve to be in a film ranked as a "5" and it elevates the film without question.

Solid performances from all, including leads Paul Sloan and Colleen Porch aside, I felt quite disappointed, not because I wasn't engaged...the story demands you keep paying attention - but because with minuscule budgets and no time, a project's true potential can be undermined. Some sequences were gorgeous, well acted and moving - others were muddy and looked rushed or dragged out. To be expected yes, but still a mark against.

I expected more horror, but got more of a thriller. Expected more gore; got more creepiness and social commentary. Kind of a cool surprise - I left with the feeling that I had still gotten a little bit of entertainment from a film that seemed to have been made on sheer determination on the part of a gung-ho cast and crew.

The film itself is not what I would technically ever call a great film, but the energy behind it seemed to want so badly to contradict that.
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Style to spare
loungekat200120 February 2005
Smart, stylish and imaginative - A fun story, sexy cast and even some moving performances combined to give you a twisty, pulpy ride through what seems to be an eternal dark night of alien hunting, fights, secret government agendas and human drama.

"Choker" thinks it's a much bigger film than it is, like a tiny dog that doesn't know how tiny it is or how tiny it should act. No one told these guys that little films can't be deep, can't have sprawling story lines, can't have tons of locations and set pieces or can't have accomplished actors. Applaud these guys for ignoring the obvious constraints of time and money and bringing home some good old entertainment.
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Choker (2005) - Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark
grrg6326 April 2015
I watched this old flick because Katrina Law (Spartacus, Arrow) was in it. It is the worst lit movie I have ever (sort of) seen. It is DARK. I don't mean psychologically, I mean they were too cheap, or too broke, to adequately light the scenes of the film. Or maybe they just didn't know what the hell they were doing. You can barely see what the hell is going on in the damn thing.

The plot is convoluted to the point of senselessness and the dialog and actions of the characters are often crotch-grabbingly ridiculous. One egregious example is how Katrina, playing a beautiful young medical examiner, while performing autopsies on corpses displaying disturbing symptoms of weird, unknown, possibly communicable disease, doesn't bother to wear a surgical mask.

I've watched a lot of bad movies/TV shows because they had good looking chicks in them and this does have that. Too bad its not better lit so you can see them more clearly.
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Sadly, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is no longer running.
tmbrunerj125 December 2013
Choker, apparently renamed as Disturbance at some point for reasons undisclosed, found its way to my collection as a result of the untimely closure of a video store. It sat in my collection, unwatched, for several years.

In a word, it is delightfully awful. The 8 rating is because we enjoy horrible movies and were devastated when MST 3000 ended its run. Choker/Disturbance would have been a classic MST3K excursion. Alas, it fell to my friend and me to play the part of Crow and Tom Servo asking all of the smart-ass questions and maintaining an inane running commentary ourselves. Though amateurs, it was extremely entertaining.

From the monochrome film noir scenes,replete with Hitchcock-esque silhouettes, the cop with a fedora ripped out of 1947, to the hookers without meth mouth, it was a stirring jaunt through the land of cinematic art gone terribly wrong. Unfortunately, the story was fairly coherent and there were no major continuity errors.

So if you too mourn the loss of MST3K, go ahead and get a copy or put it in your queue. Gather 'round the flat screen and have some fun with it just like in the old days.
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A Warning
Rich Wright13 January 2013
You see the box. You check out the actors in it. You sniff the disc. You KNOW it's going to be sh*t, but you can't help yourself... You have to give it a taste...

It's just as bad as you feared. You watch the fight sequences, that are beyond parody. You try to follow the story, but fail as you're not high on Class A drugs. The acting... What acting? As for the 'special' effects... They must have been done by 'special' needs people on a ZX Spectrum. No, too advanced. A pocket calculator perhaps? Who on Earth paid for this @:><{?!...

Then it hits you. We NEED films like this to put into perspective how hard it is to make a good movie. It makes you cherish even the mediocre flicks, when you stack movies like this up next to it. So rather than feel I've wasted my time on this crap, next time I sit through an underwhelming 90 minute production I can say: It wasn't great but... At least it wasn't B.E.I.N.G. Or Choker. Or Disturbance. Or whatever the heck they're calling it these days.

Cosmic logic at its finest.
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Another zero budget shot on a camcorder horror film piece of crap.
Paul Andrews26 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Choker is set in Los Angeles where Lieutenant Clark (Robert R. Shafer) & Detective Rourke (James Quattrochi) have several dead bodies on their crime solving hands, all the bodies are covered in a strange slime & Los Angeles pathologist Santo (Katrina Law) who isn't anywhere nearly as good as Quincy doesn't have a clue what is going on. Then they get orders from the 'top' & Frank Russo (writer, producer & director Nick Vallelonga) the mysterious boss of a 'Men In Black' style Government agency says that the bodies belonged to people who were taken over by hostile aliens who jump from body to body leaving a long trail of dead people behind them. Frank also claims that a good alien has taken over the body of convicted serial killer & rapist Hud Masters (Paul Sloan) to help track his evil kind down, amazingly Clark & Rourke don't believe a word of it...

Also known as B.E.I.N.G. here in the UK (the current DVD cover features a picture of an alien which never appears in the film itself) & retitled to Disturbance for it's US DVD release (the cover of which is even worse than the UK one showing an alien hand not in the film holding some sort of assault rifle again nowhere to be seen in the actual film) this low budget sci-fi horror film was written, produced & directed by Nick Vallelonga who also stars in it. Right, where to begin? First of the best way to describe Choker would be as Men in Black (1997) with it's secret Government agency set up to deal with alien threats meets The Hidden (1987) with it's body jumping aliens & you can also add a dash of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) with it's story about aliens trying to colonize planet Earth by taking over people's bodies. So there you have it in a nutshell really, Choker is just a huge rip-off of several much, much better films on a much, much lower budget. The narrative is very poor, the entire first half of the film is set up as a mystery which I presume was intended to draw the viewer in & keep them guessing but it's fairly clichéd & predictable stuff. There's also a real lack of any story during this period, it's all well & good keeping the audience in the dark but the makers of Chaoker take it to extreme lengths without even giving the main character's names, we don't know their motivations or reasons for things & a few little bits of information here & there would have been nice since by the time all the silly 'seen it all before' explanations come around I didn't really care as the film had already lost me. The first half just seems like random scenes edited together, for me there was just no hook or desire to keep watching. At almost 100 minutes it also goes on for too long & there's a terrible ending (if you were an alien trying to survive why would you go the only persons house who knew who you were & could kill you?) which ends everything on a low key note anyway.

Director Vallelonga does a reasonable job for the majority of the film & quite often the look of Choker betrays it's ultra low budget roots. Occasionally it actually looks quite good, there's one or two decent fights although the budget didn't stretch to special effects apart from some glow in the dark slime. Then again there are times when it does look every bit as cheap as it actually is, the ending in particular is very poorly lit. Unfortunately there's no gore to speak of & I can't even remember seeing a single drop of blood either. We never see the aliens (despite what the UK DVD box may indicate), they are merely depicted as stringy glow in the dark elastic. The story isn't great or overly original & the character's of Santo, Rourke & Clark suddenly disappear about halfway through never to be seen or heard from again.

According to the IMDb Choker had a budget of about $35,000 which is really, really low. It's no wonder they couldn't afford any special effects. Also according to the IMDb Choker was filmed in less than two weeks, why so long? To give some credit where it's due Choker actually looks quite nice from time to time & better than it's meagre budget might suggest. The acting isn't going to win any awards but I have seen worse I suppose.

Choker is a pretty awful sci-fi horror film rip-off of several other much better films, I really don't see what most viewers would get out of a film such as this. Not recommended at all.
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Not B.E.I.N.G. good
Great-Cthulhu28 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This comment MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS – hmm, but not much to spoil, on the other hand.

Now, I got my hands at B.E.I.N.G. (UK DVD title) when I bought a set of 80s Sci-Fi flicks … dunno if there are better movies in the box set, but hey, this movie surely lowered the expectations for the rest. After reading the other comments and the trivia here on the IMDb, I won't bash the movie for looking cheap or doing things rather rushed – looks like they had neither money nor time. Then again, one can criticize this:

(A) Lack of storytelling. The background story – being thin enough – is only explained for a certain degree, and everything happens quite fast. This must not be a flaw for a movie, but it doesn't improve this one. And than they do things like this: Missi Logan, the right hand of the main character is killed somewhat in the middle of the flick. Now, she did not have much to say earlier, but then, after you have all but forgotten about her miserable role they give you a ten minute flashback about "why she was the best there was, how the nebulous agency did hire her, etc.". This I found somewhat out of place, because like I said, she did not have any character while she still ran after Sloan's character – so why bother?

(B) Most actors are no good. Sorry, but only Paul Sloan, who I found good enough as somewhat clueless, driven killer and Hayley DuMond – who did a okay job as a cold, but nevertheless hot evil lady, did really act. The rest just kinda stumbled along. The cops where so stereotypical that it hurt, Nick Vallelonga did not much with a one-dimensional character and the girls, the girls. More or less all of the gals in this movie look like they started their career in porn movies – and "act" like that. Okay, they look hot, too – but their wooden acting skills make every wainscot go green with envy.

(C) Plot devices. They just do more or less all the bad things to do. Have some fights with wild gals in leather. Kill a kid. Let the bad cop beat the crap out of the main character. Have a martial arts fight with absolutely no style or anything else but, "oi, I know a real karate guy, why not invite him and let him do some tricks, so there are another five minutes wasted and the audience might actually think it's cool". Sorry, it's not. And then they do the usual "Bad Ending". In the older days all people did good endings. Then some did bad endings which added a nice dreadful touch to a movie. Now every blasted C-grade Horror does a bad ending and like with the good endings back then, you know it's coming, and hey here it comes, and hey, did it not add to anything but the terror – maybe they will do a sequel!

All in all, I thought this movie lacks too much of a movie to be called entertaining, but then again, maybe they tried hard. This not always means you are not going to fall flat on your face. B.E.I.N.G. falls not completely flat, but more or less so. Only for Sci-Fi hardcore fans or people who like flicks that look like you could do it yourself.
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