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Alien Abduction (2005)
Writer and director: Eric Forsberg

review by Christopher Geary

"Something big is about to happen..."
"An invasion?"
"Off the record; yes."

Here's another Z-grade slice of sci-fi horror lunacy from The Asylum stable, cursed with ambitions beyond its meagre resources (the 'no-budget' rundown warehouse décor and discount store props are woefully inadequate), yet blessed with a pseudo-campy X-Files plotline that's amusingly crass in extremis. However, genuinely funny moments are few and far between. Alien Abduction delivers little more than an appealingly awful parody of The Puppet Masters (1994), uneasily pulp fiction'd together with knowing references to a grab-bag of subgenre ideas. These include crib notes from all the RosWellsian (to coin a term) modern myths of extraterrestrial visitors, an abundance of gruesome 'alien autopsy' weirdness, and the briefly intriguing notion of digital-video documentary 'evidence' (filmed by slasher-victim campers in jeopardy) that's lifted wholesale from The Blair Witch Project (1999).

After a particularly violent close encounter with some monstrous aliens that attack her friends at an isolated campsite, abductee and heroine, Jean (Megan Lee Ethridge, a more than capable B-movie lead, enduring the frequent showers of slime and tolerating her obligatory topless scenes), is held prisoner at a secret government hospital. This extremely shabby establishment is apparently run by the US military, in the form of implausibly mini-skirted matriarch, Major Shakti (Claudia Katz, essaying her sketchy character's haughty demeanour with one permanently raised eyebrow), seemingly just for the benefit of mad scientists and needle-happy nurses who are more interested in simply tormenting captives, whether human or alien, than doing anything resembling scientific experiments or investigations. So, clearly, that nice Dr Booker (Robert James) is doomed from the very start.

Jean's agonised descent into a nightmare of drug abuse, torturous ECT, self-defensive murder, the gross unpleasantness of her only method of escape, and the attempted rescue of her three viciously lobotomised friends - that actually make up the bulk of the horror hospital's inmates - mitigate the staleness of this shocker's principal SF themes. With lashings of watery blood, and more than the anticipated quota of scrappy gore effects, Alien Abduction is not unimaginative, but it's certainly unoriginal. The twist ending is so hopefully 'astonishing' that it feels patently ridiculous at first, yet on second viewing, makes a warped kind of sense, and profits from an eerie surrealism belying all that's gone before it. Overall, this offers a satisfying fix of cheesy fun to diehard fans of so-bad-it's-good schlock.

The region-free DVD from The Asylum runs for 95 minutes and is rated (R) for violence/ gore, sexual content, and some language (it fails to specify whether the language was supposed to be good, bad, strong, or even proper English). The picture's widescreen aspect ratio is 16:9, soundtrack options are Dolby digital 5.1 surround or 2.0 stereo, there's a standard featurette (eight minutes) of behind-the-scenes and typical 'making-of' material, a rather blandly descriptive commentary by filmmaker Eric Forsberg, and a noisy Rick Walker (co-producer and cameo player), plus six trailers, including one for David Michael Latt's somewhat fascinating, though cheapo, version of War Of The Worlds, which stars C. Thomas Howell.
Alien Abduction

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