Alien Apocalypse Review
Written by: TheFecalKid
Every Halloween I have a very strict ritual. I watch Friday the 13th II, a few random horror movies, and of course finish the night off with Evil Dead II. Last year I replaced Dawn of the Dead and Halloween with Sleepaway Camp and Cabin Fever, as it seemed like a good idea at the time. Where am I going with this, you are probably asking yourself. Well every year I change it up a little, hoping to find that new holiday - yes folks, it is a holiday - classic that will remain a Halloween staple for years to come. While this one didn't quite make that list, it seems regardless that I have found a hidden gem in the TV movie, Alien Apocalypse.
Dr. Ivan Hood (Bruce Campbell) has just returned to Earth after being cryogenically frozen in space for 40 years. He hopes to be one of the few doctors left on earth so that he can charge astronomical fees and gain the status of "The Great Healer". Unfortunately for him and his crew, the planet has been overrun by a large bug-like species of aliens who just happen to speak perfect English. Hood and his co-pilot Jenny (Renee O'Connor) are captured by the aliens, but are able to rally some of the other captives to help them escape. Of course nothing goes as planned, as Hood escapes but Jenny is taken captive yet again. Hood then goes on a mission to band with as many humans as possible to take on the alien threat, win back the girl of his dreams, and save all of mankind - all while spouting one liners and wearing a goofy space suit.
In this Army of Darkness meets Planet of the Apes - if you replace the apes with some CGI Big Bad Beetleborgs - mashup, there isn't a moment that doesn't just reek of Sci-Fi b-movie goodness. Director Josh Becker, who worked with Campbell years before his Evil Dead / Raimi days, knew just how to use Campbell to get the audience going. The man is funny no matter what, but given the right scenes and dialogue, he's hysterical. There's no shortage of laughter here, as the cult icon quickly dominates the movie with his charming and charismatic onscreen persona. The first words out of his mouth had me laughing, and it really didn't stop until the credits rolled. There's just something about that man that works in any situation in any movie. Sure he's a little past his AoD days, but that doesn't mean he can't still give audiences the Campbell we've all grown to love.
Of course a movie like this will have countless flaws. Aside from the leads, the acting is almost unbearable, as is the shoddy dubbing and camera work. If anyone is familiar with the old Xena and Hercules shows - of which Campbell made several appearances in - this film has exactly the same feel to it. A nice combination of action and humour, it's all the campiness you'd expect from a film entitled Alien Apocalypse. However, this is one of the few instances where all the bad elements add up to make something good.
I really can't recommend this movie enough. For you Campbell purists out there, you know exactly what you're getting yourself into by watching it. For the rest of you, who maybe stumbled upon it in the bargain bin, remember to take this movie with a grain of salt. Don't expect a realistic, $100 million blockbuster here folks. It's cheesy wigs, bad CGI, horrible dubbing and Bruce Campbell doing what he does best - kicking all kinds of ass and taking names. I for one had a blast watching it, and I wouldn't be surprised if in the following years this one becomes a cult classic.