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The Strange Things Boutique




DVD. Left Films.

Alien UndeadStarting life as The Dark Lurking, the newly-retitled Alien Undead is a decidedly mixed bag, playing very much like a live-action version of a shoot ‘em up video game, with all the plot and acting skills you would expect from such a project. But it has a decent look for a low budget movie with high ambitions, and if all you want to see are people firing big guns at slimy monsters, you might find it entertaining.

The film lifts its story and look from several sources, most notably Resident Evil, Doom and Aliens, as a rag-tag band of soldiers, scientists and a mystery woman (who we first see waking up alone in a white room…. Hmm, very original) battle against an army of mutant zombies in an underground research lab. There’s a ridiculous plot twist when it turns out that the cause of all this mayhem is – wait for it – DNA extracted from the fossilised remains of Satan, and our mystery woman turns out to be the result of a cloning experiment with said DNA, making her a potentially evil time-bomb.

For much of the running time, plot development takes a back seat to the cast running around firing guns at the impressively gloopy-looking mutants, but things do grind to a halt for a while so that the story can be set out. This is a bad move, as every actor here is astonishingly bad. The soldiers are all played by actors who have clearly watched a lot of action films and thought that the gravel-voiced machismo of one-note action movie stars is something to emulate – only to make those stars look subtle in comparison. Meanwhile, the supporting cast are the Giant Redwoods of wooden acting. Admittedly, no one is helped by the dialogue, which is nothing more than a succession of genre clichés, and the characters themselves, who are similarly one-dimensional. This is one of those ‘military=good / science = bad’ films that leave sensible people feeling a little revolted.

Alien UndeadHowever, for such a low budget movie, it’s impressively put together, with excellent monsters and gore effects, impressive sets and fairly relentless action. You won’t much care who lives or dies, but watching the action scenes makes for decent eye-candy. Have this on as background entertainment while you are doing something else and you’ll probably find it an amusing distraction; sit and pay attention, and you might find yourself quickly becoming bored. In the end, I imagine writer / director Greg Connors would be more at home making games than movies

The DVD comes complete with an entertaining ‘making of’ and a short film from the same director that shows more imagination, but many of the same faults.






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