Before I get any further, I should point out that even my VHS tape does not share the same title as the cover art. This movie is alternately known as Alien Predators, Alien Predator (as my VHS copy proudly boasts), The Falling, and Mutant 2. Even more confusingly, the promotional art has absolutely nothing in common.
Once again, Japan (or possibly China --- who am I kidding? It's Japan!) has the best cover art.
With cover art that consistent, you can rest assured that this is a film of singular vision. The premise involves two American guys and a girl road tripping through Spain. One of the guys (Dennis Christopher) looks like he's trying to imitate Mike Dirnt, the other (Martin Hewitt) looks like a C-level version of the guy in Road House who "used to fuck guys like you in prison," and the girl in the baggy 80s outfits (Lynn-Holly Johnson) was actually a Bond girl earlier in her career. The two guys are friends, but the girl is apparently hitching a ride with them; they helped pay her way, with the understanding that she would do the cooking and cleaning in their RV. Well, she's "comically" terrible at those two things, and it's clear that both guys have other ideas for how she can contribute to their trip...wink, wink, nudge, nudge --- in specific orifices. As they trek through a suspiciously deserted Spanish countryside, they meet zero Spaniards.
|Not in this movie. Sorry.|
The "B" plot involves the failed Skylab space station that crashed to Earth in the late 70s. Does this mean that the film is based in fact? Um, I suppose that depends on your definition of "fact." Skylab crashed in Australia, but the makers of Alien Predators apparently knows something we don't: a large chunk of it landed in Spain --- completely un-charred, mind you --- and apparently spawned an underground NASA labratory (in Spain?) that held super-secret experiments on something that survived from the Skylab crash. Why Spain? If NASA has dibs over the Spanish space program on space wreckage, why wouldn't they just gather the crap and take it to the US instead of building a lab on the crash site? Don't worry, those questions aren't even brought up, much less answered. Apparently, something went wrong at the Spanish NASA (SNASA?) lab, and this happened:
What an awful movie. Sure, the cast is pretty terrible, but what do you expect when a second-rung Bond girl is the biggest name in the cast? Oh, and if you think it might be worthwhile to watch this just to catch a naked Bond girl, don't waste your time. This is a horror movie without horror or nudity; and it barely qualifies as a "movie." The direction is just wretched. Deran Sarafian took a fairly idiotic story and managed to make it almost incomprehensible through his direction. "What's going on?" is a fair question at any given time in Alien Predators, and at some times it is the only thing you can say. For instance, when two NASA guys opt to have an important conversation in their space suits, Sarafian opts to zoom in and cut back and forth on the actors' eyes --- although not necessarily on the actor that is supposed to be speaking at the moment.
Without a doubt my favorite "what is going on?" moment came when one of the characters had to drive through town to get something. The other characters act worried, because there could be one, two, or maybe even three other people in this deserted town that have been infected by the Falling Alien Predator(s) Mutant 2. But it's okay; this character is "Hollywood's number one driver." Wait...what? What?!? I think this is supposed to imply that he is either a dune buggy racer in California or that he's a stunt driver, but this is the first time it (or California in general) is brought up in the story. It's certainly not the last time, though; the "Hollywood's number one driver" phrase is mentioned at least three more times in the last fifteen minutes of the movie.
This is probably the best scene in the entire film. My favorite moments were the two (!) times he lost the car trailing him by making a right turn, although the other characters seeing him give a thumbs up in the dark was pretty sweet, too. This might be the most entertaining car chase that never gets above 35 mph ever. And am I the only one who finds it odd that an Alien Predator-possessed person is spending his time, hanging out in a crappy car on the off chance that someone will drive or walk past? Maybe I'm just thinking too hard. Do you recognize the car crash sound effect? I'm pretty sure it was used in every 80s cartoon. Now, you might assume that I picked this clip to ridicule, but it is absolutely the most action-packed in the movie.
How bad is this movie? It's pretty godawful. Do you like horror movies? Do you like movies with alien creatures? Well, then this movie doesn't have much to offer you. There are only two decent special effects, no horror, and we only get one good glimpse of the evil creature --- and it is defeated by using windshield wipers. If, however, you enjoy movies with Lovecraftian themes...you'll still be sorely disappointed in Alien Predators. I will admit that a lot of its incompetence made for funny moments for me, as a viewer, but this is just a really bad movie.
Lefty Gold rating of