Monday, July 20, 2009

Horror Movie Review: Alien Raiders

Alien Raiders

Starring: Carlos Bernard, Matthew St. Patrick, Rockmond Dunbar, Courtney Ford, Jeffrey Licon, and Samantha Streets

Directed by: Ben Rock

Written by: Julia Fair and David Simkins

Production Companies: Flame Ventures and Raw Feed

Release Date: September 21, 2008

Aliens invade's been done many times. So has alien invaders quietly taking over by replacing humans, and aliens using humans as host. Toss in a fairly dull title like Alien Raiders, and to tell you the truth, I wasn't expecting much. But then like many of our cinematic alien invaders, it's foolish to take appearances for granted.

Benny and Whitney are working the closing shift at Hastings Supermarket. The announcement that the store is closing has been made, the few straggling customers are trying to finish, when we hear, almost unnoticably, a slight sound...people being shot with silencered guns.

The quiet entrance of the armed men characterizes the subtlties of this film.

One of the man, Spooky, grabs people by the head and then says either "no" or "s/he's one". If he says you are one, you get killed on the spot. As events proceed, Spooky gets killed and the local police show up moving the captors and hostages to the back. Without Spooky, they invaders have to cut off pinkies to find the one for whom they are looking...the king.

The use of the pinky removal helps convey the desperation the armed men feel. It's not a simple blood test, or psych's the removal of a pinky to see if it will regrow.

Naturally we have an alien in the supermarket for our heroes to fight, but we never get a clear look at the mutated human. He's kept in shadows and seen from the back, enough to let us know that he's changed, but keeping the whole truth from us, thus letting or imaginations run with how the alien/human hybrid appears.

The acting was good on all accounts, and the events understandable. You are never left thinking, "Now, why would s/he do that?" The mistakes made by the characters are understandable.

One interesting cinamatography choice was intersplicing camcorder footage with the events. One character, Logan, played by Tom Kiesche, carried a camcorder to record the events. Apparently, Tom decided it'd be cool to use a working recorder rather than a prop, and director Ben Rock decided to use some of those shots. Wonderful choice by both men.

It's an unassuming movie in many respects, but a fabulous watch. It doesn't explain everything and makes you think, but then that's better than fancy effects anyday.

Related Videos

The Killing Jar

Carlos Bernard, who played Aaron Ritter, also starred in The Killing Jar. Michael Sanford and his wife move to his old town so he can take over the family business. However, gruesome murders of children start to happen. Meanwhile, Michael starts to become slowly insane, after he may have witnessed one of the murders and reports it to the police. Is he the murderer, or is it something of his past?

Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror

Jeffrey Licon, who plays Benny, also appeared in Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror. A hip hop horror anthology of three tales of terror told by the Hound of Hell (Snoop Dogg) that revolve around the residents of an inner-city neighborhood whose actions determine where they will go in the afterlife.


Julia Fair also co-wrote Believers. Two doctors responding to an emergency call find themselves kidnapped by a religious sect whose great obsession is to stop the end of the world by committing suicide and killing people.

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