Stream to Scream: “ALIEN OPPONENT”Fearful Features,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
As many fright fans already know, FANGORIA offers a great selection of gruesome movies, old and new, for free at our Hulu channel. To give you a better idea of what’s available, FANGORIA is taking in-depth looks at some of the channel’s terrifying titles with Stream to Scream. Today: Colin Theys’ campy horror-comedy “ALIEN OPPONENT.”
To say that Colin Theys’ excursion into sci-fi horror absurdity, ALIEN OPPONENT, is over-the-top, that would be giving the film the benefit of knowing where the top was. From moment one, all sense of nuance or subtlety is nowhere to be found, and the film’s brand of crass and expletive-driven comedy hits (and in some cases, misses) right out of the gate. But in its reluctance to take even one iota of itself seriously, ALIEN OPPONENT becomes an exercise in bad taste and bloody SFX that makes its bumpy ride well worth the travel.
So what exactly is ALIEN OPPONENT? In essence, the film follows a murderous get-rich-quick insurance scam gone wrong, and the need to for body to redeem their claim is hindered by the arrival of an extraterrestrial threat. Soon enough, with the lure of a massive cash prize, the community rallies together to retrieve the body, pitting themselves against the many deadly tricks in the alien’s playbook. Of course, blood is spilled, limbs are dismembered and the increasingly dumb ideas to combat the alien opponent backfire.
If you’re looking for smart filmmaking, incredible cinematography, clever humor and deep characters, ALIEN OPPONENT has none of that to be seen. But ALIEN OPPONENT does have some outright insanity on display, with a Troma-esque mean streak and enough playful death scenes to fill four movies. And the film does have some SFX on display, both on a practical and digital level, which makes the on-screen splatter all the more impressive, especially on what must have been a miniscule budget.
Even though the characters are more accurately caricatures, there are some fun performances to be had throughout ALIEN OPPONENT. Of course, the tour-de-force performance would go to a very committed Roddy Piper; the THEY LIVE thespian offers the most dimension of any actor on the cast and seems to be having a lot of fun as a weapon-toting reverend. Jeremy London also offers an interesting spin on the perverse and desperate anti-hero, offering a strong alternative to the actor’s previous leading man roles. And Adrienne LaValley plays a stripper-turns-mercenary, and her enthusiasm for the wicked role translates into infectious charisma beyond that of just her beauty.
Overall, if schlock and splatter is your forte, ALIEN OPPONENT should make it on your streaming wishlist as soon as possible. Driven by strong effects and a kitchen-sink mentality, ALIEN OPPONENT has at least enough ideas and goodwill to make a cohesive horror comedy. And even if the comedy of ALIEN OPPONENT isn’t necessarily your bag, any horror fan can appreciate the unpredictable chaos on display in a case of the means justifying the questionably tasteful. Besides, who doesn’t want to see Roddy Piper going through an extraterrestrial ringer?