Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alien Origin (2012)

People who dismiss The Asylum for only making fast, cheap and bad productions only to cash in on blockbusters is totally missing the point. Not only are they spending a lot of energy defending and supporting huge business corporations who already have all the money in the world, they're also dismisses new exploitation. They're ignoring that this is what the Italians, Indonesians and Indians (three examples of many) always has done. Enzo G. Castellari's The Great White is just an old-school The Asylum movie to cash in on Jaws and Bruno Mattei did more or less exact copies of Aliens (two times!), Predator and other big movies just because he wanted to make money. I might be a socialistic-commie atheist homosexueal left-winger, but I would never whine over a small company ripping of a huge company to make a quick. Actually, I support it!

Alien Origin is not really a mockbuster though. It takes some inspiration from The River, Predator, VERY little from Prometheus, but is still an original production.

A journalist and her crew joins the military in Belize when they're going into the jungle to place surveillance cameras to catch drug smugglers. No long after they enter the wilderness they find a boat in the middle of the jungle and soon they understand that something is out there, watching them. After a few days they find a Maya temple and learns that two archaeologists have disappeared after entering a cave and they set to try to find them. And then shit hits the fan, as usual in this kind of movie!

Alien Origin is a hit-and-miss found footage film, it has a lot of good stuff and I absolutely adore the locations! I think it's shot in Belize and it boosts the production value enormously. There's gorgeous jungles, temple, cool cave and proper military equipment. To spice things up there's also two instances where they find other peoples video footage, so what we have here is more or less three found footage concepts in one movie - but the other two is of course not as long and detailed as the main footage, but even more interesting...

The actress leading the show, Chelsea Vincent, is also sympathetic and makes a believable performance. The militaries is a bit stiff and shy and I'm not sure if this is because not being experienced actors or if that's a part of their performance. But in the end it fits the show and works fine with the more open and enthusiastic Chelsea Vincent.

I need to complain also. I feel that they could have done so much more with the concept. More details and facts around the findings they make, more clear and imaginative use of the teachings of Erich Von Däniken, Ancient Aliens, the Maya culture and their legends. It's all there, but it feels like the filmmakers could have done some more research, made a couple of extra props or visited yet another temple ruin. The last half hour is too much running around shooting in darkness. I wish we could have seen more of the cool cave and the ruins. They should have gone the mystery route instead of the action route.

But you know, I like it anyway. I love the concept of found footage, of fake documentary stuff. It makes my imagination run wild and it's like a vacation from all the serious documentaries I watch, who has more realistic endings and a more boring view at the subjects. Alien Origin and the other gives this kind of mystery to me. I know it's fake, but it triggers my dreams and... yeah, hopes of adventures. 


Anonymous said...

"they're also dismisses new exploitation."

Yeah, but I think must filmnerds are somewhat conservative when it comes to new some cases it seems to be nostalgia.

Syfy channel is another cool outlet making cheap exploitation, unfortunately way to PG for my taste....the Asylum makes only R-rated productions, Ninja?

"And then shit hits the fan, as usual in this kind of movie!"

Sounds like a thrilling ride.

"But you know, I like it anyway. I love the concept of found footage, of fake documentary stuff."

When are you heading in that direction yourself ninja..?


Ninja Dixon said...

I actually think The Asylum mostly do PG13 stuff, or less. A few of their movies is gorier and nastier, but they produce a lot for the SyFy Channel nowadays so I guess they need to obey them.

Anyway, I like it anyway. Good, simple entertainment. But hardly original.

Anonymous said...

Ninja: So they produce PG13 stuff for SyFy...?

I understand....this film sounded like an entertaining film.


forestofthedead said...

I loved this movie. It felt like I was there I got so into it.
Action, horror, found footage. Great combination!

Thank you for reviewing this.