| Alien Raiders
Sometimes that which you see is only the beginning. And sometimes it
takes a team of heavily armed sociopaths holding you hostage in a
grocery store to see the world for what it really is.
That's the basic concept of Alien Raiders, our review target this
go-round. And it's a downright doozy too, kids.
In Alien Raiders, that team of heavily armed sociopaths is touring the country looking for...something. It's not
exactly clear just what it is that they're looking for, but it'll
steadily become clearer that what they're hunting is a race of aliens
that inhabit human bodies. They seize a grocery store, believing their
quarry to be contained inside, and discovering that they're quite
right. The things they want ARE in the grocery store, and they're not
happy that they've been discovered.
I have to hand it to Alien Raiders for bringing a whole lot of intrigue
into their proceedings. They reveal things just a little bit at a
time, doing a pretty good job of tension building, something that's
entirely too rare these days. The entirety of the story won't be
revealed via exposition until almost the very end, and that's not
something that's often done either.
Speaking of which, the ending features a pretty big surprise that's
downright out of nowhere. Seriously, it's really something else and
demands to be seen. It's good stuff.
The special features include English and Spanish language tracks,
English, French and Spanish subtitles, a making of featurette, a
special effects featurette, a couple of small featurettes giving
background on the various story bits like what exactly Spooky's job is,
a bit of fun called the Whitney Cam and trailers for Alien Raiders,
Believers, Otis, Rest Stop, Rest Stop 2 and Sublime.
All in all, I'm pretty well pleased with Alien Raiders. It's a great
blend of science fiction and action with a few good thrills thrown in
to keep things moving along. It's hard not to be pleased with a movie
that does its job pretty well, and keeps its viewers happy. For anyone
out there who's into anything I just listed, this one will be a welcome
addition to your must-watch list.
Directed by Corbin Bernsen
Written by Kenny Yakkel
Starring Bill Moseley, Corbin Bernsen, Patricia Tallman, Larry Drake
Produced by Corbin Bernsen, Chris Aronoff
First off, for those of you expecting a zombie movie, you will be
somewhat disappointed, but only somewhat. See, Dead Air isn't really a
zombie movie so much as it is one of those 28 Days Later-esque "rage
And this is directly related to the plot--in Dead Air, a handful of
what I'm guessing is Arab terrorists as I don't recall any specific
mention of just where they were from, set off a biological weapon at a
college basketball game. In fact, it sounds like several of these were
set off all over the United States, at large gatherings. The
biological weapon in question works about like a kind of super-rabies,
or even, yes, a "rage virus", turning people into snarling subhumanoids
who want nothing so much as you, dead.
Thus, it's left to the uninfected to try and survive this catastrophe,
including a handful of folks working the late shift at a radio station,
to not only survive but also try and get word out by keeping their
call-in show on the air during the crisis.
This isn't just an excellence in journalism sort of movie, folks, this
is a good old fashioned flesh ripping dystopia romp that'll make you
want to run out and buy a gun lest your neighbors end up just like
these guys. There's plenty of action here and loads of fun besides.
Bill Moseley has always been good in whatever he should happen to land
in--he may well have been one of the only good points about both House
of 1000 Corpses and Repo: The Genetic Opera, and he'll go on to be one
of the many high points about this.
Okay, sure, it can be a little formulaic in that it's yet another movie
about Arab / Muslim / whatever terrorists, kind of like Die Hard meets
28 Days Later, but it's still pretty entertaining and there will be
some great and worthwhile twists going on here to keep things running
nice and smoothly. Once you get past a couple of plot elements that
really aren't worth anyone's time or effort, you'll find a pretty solid
film lurking underneath. And yes, most of the cast is actually kind of
unnecessary, as the solid core of Moseley, Moscow and Tallman are
pretty much keeping things running all by themselves here, but those
three are so good that you hardly notice that everyone else is pretty
much just along for the ride.
The ending is actually a pretty big surprise, though not necessarily a
well explained one. I'll let you catch that for yourself.
The special features includie a commentary track, a trailer for Dead
Air, a behind the shot featurette explaining some of the better shots,
and a featurette called "fly on the wall" where you'll get to watch
Patricia Tallman and Bill Moseley talk shop between takes.
All in all, Dead Air is a pretty sweet little package--maybe not as
good as it could have been, but still plenty of fun to go around.