Friday 16 March 2012

Alien vs Hunter

You know it's bad when the poster is far, far better than the film.

I've seen a lot of bad movies, but Alien vs Hunter isn't so much bad as it is irritating to watch.  Also, it's really bad.  With a blatant disregard for continuity, the film tries to tell the story of a small group of hapless folk who get caught between a giant alien spider and the gun-toting tin man who's hunting it.  It succeeds for the most part, but the film so poorly made, it's hard to see the bigger picture.

"Well, it's made by The Asylum," you would say.  "What did you expect?"
"Not much," I'd admit.  "But I would, at the very least, expect the DOP to be able to frame a shot."

I'm not talking incompetency, like what I experienced watching Playback.  I mean the people who made AVH are incapable of filming and editing a movie.

"Uh, didn't you just watch a movie?  A movie they made?" you would ask.
"No, what I watched had the shape and form of a movie, but had the look and feel of a failed experiment."

Leaving aside the fact that all The Asylum movies suffer from bad pacing and worse timing, AVH is so badly written as to make you wonder how the script was greenlit.  Take for instance the sequence in which Lee and friends go to Valentine's place.  Valentine has powerful communications equipment and it's Lee's hope they can use it to contact the military.  When they get there, no one makes mention of any satellites or radio transmitters. Rather, Val breaks out his telegraph to contact his...militia buddies?  Or there's the scene in which everyone leaves the house--unarmed--to watch the aliens skulk around the front yard.  Exactly nothing happens for a couple of minutes and then they all go back inside.  And let's not forget the time when Valentine decides he'd rather hunt the aliens than protect his daughter.  We're supposed to believe he's being noble but it's just another inexplicable turn in a long series of incomprehensible events.

I understand that AVH is a low-budget movie with low-budget goals and expectations, but there's just no excuse for writing this bad.  Also inexcusable is the film's total lack of regard for vectors and geography.  I mean, how does a guy standing perpendicular to his quarry manage to shoot him in the back?  As for the film's weird claustrophobic look and feel, it's the result of shooting everything in badly-framed medium shots and close-ups with improper and ill-timed cut-ins and -aways.

It only takes one person to write a bad script, but a lot of people came together to fail at AVH.  I simply cannot, for the life of me, understand how this film was made.  Who read the script and thought, "Yes! This is just the AVP rip-off I've been looking for, with none of the compelling action or characters seen in those other films!"?  Who watched the dailies and said to themselves, "Sweet Jesus, this is just the look I'm looking for, with everyone's heads all cut off above the eyebrows!"?  And who was it that watched the final cut and declared, "Goddamn! This is exactly the kind of movie I was hoping for, with all the stilted dialogue, awkward editing, and stalled plots that only The Asylum can deliver!"?

"That's rather harsh," you'd say.
"Yeah, but so was watching this film."


Chris Hewson said...

Have you seen the other Asylum 'vs' movie, Vampires vs Zombies?

DM said...

Unfortunately, yes. I believe I described it akin to getting a lobotomy.

Anonymous said...

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