Alien Raiders DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 6.5
Video 7.0
Audio 7.0
Special Features 7.0
Total 6.5
Distributor: Warner
Running Time:
Classification: MA15+
Reviewer:
Kyle Sudukis

6.5


Alien Raiders

Let’s get one thing out of the way. Alien Raiders? What were they thinking when they named this film? Sure it’s a direct to DVD release, but calling a film Alien Raiders is like sticking a big “Do not watch me” sign onto a box and putting it in stores. Seeing the title brings to mind endless B-movies that are chucked on TV at god awful hours of the night. Watching it reveals that it is most certainly a B-movie, but that it most certainly does not deserve the title Alien Raiders. It is watchable for the most part, and makes the most of its limited budget.

The film begins with an armed hold up of a rural supermarket. A group of masked gunmen, led by Aaron Ritter (Carlos Bernard) enter the store and announce that a robbery is taking place. Panic ensues, as the shoppers try to protect themselves from the bad guys. However the gunmen never rob the safe, instead they walk around the store killing people at random. Then they round up the survivors and take them hostage before the local police arrive for a good old fashioned stand off. It is here that the siege film suddenly becomes something entirely different. The “robbers” are actually a crack team of scientists, who are chasing down an alien parasite that hides itself in people. They are here to dispatch what they believe to be the king alien, and must test each of the hostages to determine who is carrying the parasite.

After explaining the plot, another gripe must be made at the title of the film. If one watches Alien Raiders without knowing the title of the film, it actually makes it more interesting. The movie starts as a pretty straight heist film, and the masked gunmen seem like crazy cold blooded killers. It is not until about thirty minutes in, when the audience discovers they are watching a monster movie. It’s a pretty well done genre shift, kind of like From Dusk til Dawn, but instead of vampires it’s The Thing.

First time director Ben Rock makes the most of the limited budget by confining the action to one location and only showing glimpses of the alien in question. It helps make the threat of the alien seem more immediate, and heightens the tension. It also makes the final reveal of the alien all the more impressive.

Bernard leads the cast fairly well, yet doesn’t really stretch beyond his role as Tony Almeida in 24. The rest of the cast is serviceable as well, all filling out the stock character models of these sorts of films. The characters themselves are fleshed out in fleeting moments of exposition, which helps the pace and tension of the film, but gives the audience little reason to care for the characters themselves.

The special features contain a fairly short making of, which has all the usual cast and crew snippets about working on the film, and a feature about the special effects. The most notable special features are the “footage” obtained, which shows the characters from the film explaining the plot and back story of the situation. These are actually fairly well done, conducted as short documentary style interviews that were found after the events of the film. They are interesting to watch, especially if you enjoyed the film.

Alien Raiders is pretty much The Thing set in a supermarket. It is not nearly as good as Carpenters classic, but is a serviceable horror film. Despite an obligatory horror twist ending, the film is enjoyable to watch and the performances are not bad. The real challenge is convincing someone that a film called Alien Raiders is actually a worthwhile watch. But give it a chance and there is a half decent horror film waiting to be seen.






 
 



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