Megan Lee Ethridge
How would you like to take a twisted, maniacal, disturbing roller coaster ride?
Sure, of course you would. And if I told you this ride was as close as your nearest video store, you'd be even happier, right? Right!
Now, how would you feel if I told you that this roller coaster has no cars?
In fact, the whole theme park has no front gate. There's absolutely no way to get in.
Hey, now you're feeling a bit cheated.
Now you know, in fact, how I felt about The Asylum's "Alien Abduction," which you'll find on your store shelves April 26th.
So what we have here is the story of--wait for it--an ALIEN ABDUCTION.
Hence the title. Clever, huh?
But of course it's not just an alien abduction. No sir. If it were, Whitley Streiber would be pounding on the doors of The Asylum, demanding royalties because it's just way too similar to "Fire in the Sky" to be a coincidence.
To hear Whitley talk, sometimes, absolutely anyone who ever mentions aliens anywhere in the world throughout space and time in perpetuity is infringing his work.
But anyway, we've got an alien abduction, and its aftermath, which not surprisingly features Sleazy Government Activities, carried out by Sleazy Government Agents, in Hidden Government Facilities.
All snarky capitalized phrases are copyright The Video Store Guy, 2005. Steal THAT, Streiber!
And of course, you can't have Sleazy Government Activities without disturbing experimentation, and human rights abuses, and just plain old balls-out confusion, which is precisely what we're dealing with here.
The plot of "Alien Abduction" is nowhere near as obvious as its title, sadly. In fact, I can sum up "Alien Abduction" in just two words:
Disturbing. There's no doubt that this movie is disturbing. You've got big box speakers continuously playing "On Top Of Old Smokey." You've got people running through the woods, creatures with giant bioluminescent skulls, bizarre psychological testing, fisheye camera shots, weird background noises everywhere, and just a general feeling of something being gravely wrong pervading the entire atmosphere.
Confusing. The biggest problem with "Alien Abduction" is that it tried so incredibly hard to be disturbing and disjointed, much like a David Croenenburg movie (a back-of-the-box blurb strikes the comparison between "Alien Abduction" and "Jacob's Ladder," a comparison which is not without its merits.) that it forgot it needed to be coherent enough to be understood.
It did such a good job of being disturbing that it forgot it needed to make sense.
For crying out loud, the first five minutes of "Alien Abduction" watch like "The Blair Witch Project!" It's literally a camcorder running through the woods. I'm actually sitting here watching a camcorder run through the woods.
The ending, on the other hand, is easily one of the best I've ever seen. It comes full circle to the beginning, making what seemed a red herring at the time into a full-fledged plot point. If you're not paying attention, you might actually miss it.
The special features include audio options, cast and crew commentary, a behind the scenes featurette, and trailers for "Jolly Roger," "Death 4 Told," "Alien Abduction," "Ghost of the Needle," "Intermedio," and, get this...
..."H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds."
The joke is, I'm not kidding.
It's going to be released at almost the same time as the Spielberg version, and leaves me wondering just what the hell The Asylum was thinking.
This is either a masterstroke or the single worst idea since Rob Zombie making movies.
All in all, "Alien Abduction" is like the most fantastic video game you've ever seen, but the instructions are printed in some language you've never heard of. Half confusing and half terrifying, "Alien Abduction" manages to save itself from mediocrity with a killer ending.