Evil Aliens (2005)
By: Devon B. on June 5, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Kaleidoscope (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.78:1 (Non-anamorphic). English DD 5.1. 89 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Jake West
Starring: Emily Booth, Chris Adamson, Jennifer Evans, Jodie Shaw, Peter O'Connor, Jamie Honeybourne
Screenplay: Jake West
Country: UK
As we all know, aliens are always visiting Earth to mutilate cattle and to anally probe anyone they can get their glowing phalanges on. To plant itself firmly in reality, Evil Aliens opens with a representation of the all too familiar problem of being abducted and then getting the rectal examination. It's no gentle medical experiment in this film, it's a very messy job, and not just because of the area being examined.

Sphincter exploration aside, Evil Aliens is the moving story of a dodgy television team struggling for ratings. When they receive a claim that a woman has been impregnated by aliens in Wales, the crew head out to investigate. They meet the woman and her brothers, rustic Welshmen that literally spit at the English language. The crew decide that the alien impregnation is probably a fake, so decide to create their own evidence. When that is foiled, they opt for a cheesy recreation, but then the real aliens turn up. They're described as 'Predator-looking' on the sleeve, but I think they're more Hoover-looking, looking like people with vacuum cleaner parts on their heads. Needless to say, before the end credits roll, several terrestrials and extraterrestrials have been sliced, diced, mangled, or blowed up real good.

Filling his film with references and echoes of horror films past, director/writer/editor Jake West has created a very fun splatstick movie. Evil Aliens is only his second feature film, Razor Blade Smile being the first, which gets its own in-joke reference. West hasn't been sitting 'round with his thumb up his ass between the two though, he's been honing his craft by working on docos, many of which appear as featurettes on DVDs.

Evil Aliens is brimming with influences from the likes of Peter Jackson, but that is not to say Evil Aliens isn't unique. It often blends its influences well, like the scene that's like a cross between the peep in Psycho and the bedspring scene from Delicatessen, presenting these elements in a fresh light. The film has some real treats, like a small appearance from everyone's favourite senile computer head, Norman Lovett, or a sly nod to GWAR. The film often employs a frantic style, but West is a good editor, so Evil Aliens never gets confusing, and it's always nice when clarity isn't sacrificed for style.

At times things do get a bit ridiculous. For example, the characters decide to abandon a vehicle and set out on foot simply because the windscreen is covered in blood and the windscreen wipers are broken. Given that the film is clearly a comedy, I'm going to give West the benefit of the doubt and just assume this is more comedy. While things like that seem a bit odd, there are moments of absolute brilliance, like the inventive use of a haemorrhoid cushion.

The CG, can at times, be dodgy, but a lot of it is okay, and it's rarely bad enough to be distracting. Most of the bad FX are related to spacecraft, but one effect that is really unconvincing are some deadly, flying spheres. You'd think given that West spent so much time with Phantasm mastermind Don Coscarelli making docos, he might've gotten some pointers on how to effectively bring dangerous orbs to the screen. Guess not.

But the main thing about any splatstick is not flying balls, rather the gore FX, so I suppose I should mention those. Despite the rectal opening, things are pretty blood free for the first third or so of the movie. When the gore does kick in, there is some nifty stuff, with almost all of the grue being splatstick. Despite comparisons to Peter Jackson's Braindead on Evil Aliens' official website, there is one scene featuring the chainsawing of an alien that is VERY similar in direction to the one in Bad Taste, so I guess West watched that one, too.

Evil Aliens is obviously low budget. I actually think a fair comparison there would be Undead. So, think Undead in Wales with no zombies, and you're nearly there. Except Evil Aliens is a better crafted film, so that's not an entirely accurate comparison. Honestly, the film I felt it shared the most with in terms of tone was that other UK bloody comedy, Dog Soldiers. They both feature dead cow throwing, so they must be very similar indeed.
Video
Evil Aliens is presented at 1.78:1 and is NOT 16:9 enhanced. Don't be fooled by the little yellow box on the back of the sleeve that says it is, it isn't! The film looks like it was shot on high end video. The images are still very clear, but it still has a bit of a video look, particularly in the early office scenes.
Audio
The audio is presented in a 5.1 surround track. The track is well mixed, with strong jolting sounds where necessary. The dialogue remains clear throughout, and the volume is at an appropriate level.
Extra Features
Trailers for The Magician, Dark Warrior, Mysterious Skin, and Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber.
The Verdict
Packed with in-jokes, fun dialogue, and homages, Evil Aliens is a real joy. It may get silly in places, particularly the retched wrap up, but overall it's so much fun that all of its shortcomings are forgiven. Plus, it features that always hilarious splatstick staple: Beating someone with a severed limb. I love that. Unfortunately, despite being the DVD premiere, this R4 disc lacks any real extras, and isn't even 16:9. Evil Aliens is a film that cries out for special features, and I know I'm game for an upgrade. This DVD is a good way to see the film, but I hope we might be getting some better options for expanding the DVD collection shortly.
Movie Score
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