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ALIEN PREDATOR (1987)
Article 3716 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-2-2011
Posting Date: 10-17-2011
Directed by Deran Serafian
Featuring Dennis Christopher, Martin Hewitt, Lynn-Holly Johnson
Country: USA / Spain
What it is: Alien invasion flick

SkyLab crashes in Spain near a small town in Spain called Duarte.  Five years later, three young Americans become stranded in the town and discover, with the help of a NASA scientist, that the residents have been infected with an alien virus that makes them psychotic before dying horribly.   Can they find an antidote and escape before the whole of Europe is infected?

I saw this movie (which I'd describe roughly as a cross between ALIEN and THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN) many years ago, and all I could really remember was a crude gross-out moment and an attempt to come up with a variation on ALIEN's gut-busting alien effects.  I thought it was bad then, though I don't think I could really pinpoint back then what I didn't like about it.  Watching it now, I realize it was a whole combination of things.  Most of the horror focuses on gross-out sights and sounds, the tepid love triangle subplot adds nothing to the movie (as they usually don't), the attempts at humor are ineffectual, the pop-culture references (including several to "The Twilight Zone") are witless and pointless, the acting is sometimes downright awful (especially an angry soliloquy in which the female character announces her disgust with being treated like a "floozy"), and not an iota of real suspense is generated, at least partially because many of the scenes are so darkly lit that you can't see well. The movie had been made three years earlier, but was reportedly left on the shelf after its original distribution company was dissolved.  The movie also apparently had a troubled production history which ultimately caused its producer to retire from filmmaking.

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