Friday, February 12, 2016

Popcorn & Coffee: The Alien Files

Rated R; $9.98; 364 mins; Amazon

No, this title isn't related to The X-Files revival, but instead it is an newly released Mill Creek Entertainment DVD, featuring four science fiction flicks - Night Skies, Alien Hunter, Ghosts of Mars and The Day The World Ended.

Directed by Roy Knyrim, Night Skies was released in 2007, and starred A. J. Cook, Jason Connery, George Stults, Ashley Peldon, Joseph Sikora and Gwendoline Yeo. The plot involves a group of friend driving an RV to Las Vegas, NV. After a wrong turn and a slight accident, the group end up in the middle of nowhere, where they encounter the strange "Phoenix Lights" in the sky.

Alien Hunter is an underrated 2003 science-fiction thriller from director Ron Kraus. The film centers on Julien Rome (played by James Spader), a Cryptologist who is sent to Antarctic to investigate a strange alien-looking vehicle that mysteriously appeared in the snow. The vehicle is sending out some sort of signal. By the time he decrypts the signal, which gives the warning "Do not open!", it's already too late. I saw the film on television several years ago and it isn't a bad low-budget film.

Back in 2001, Cinemax aired a series of movies called Creature Features, which remade old creature films. The Day The World Ended was one those films, which is a remake of the 1955 film of the same name. Directed by Terence Gross, the remake stars Nastassja Kinski, Randy Quaid and Bobby Edner. The plot involves a young boy that believes he's part alien just as a series a strange murders occur all over town. Honestly, this is a horrible movie with bad acting and dumb special effects.

The only interesting title on this single-disc set is the 2001 horror-action flick, Ghost of Mars. Directed by the legendary John Carpenter, the film stars Ice Cube, Natasha Henstridge and a younger-looking Jason Statham. Set in the 22nd century, police officers are sent to a mining outpost on Mars to transport a prisoner, Desolation Williams. Unfortunately, things go wrong when Mars' ghosts are released from the planet and take over the bodies of the miners.

This is the weirdest movie directed by John Carpenter, and it didn't do very well when it was originally released. Actually, the script was written for a third Snake Plissken film, but the character was rewritten as Desolation Williams (played by Ice Cube).

Final Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about this release. I didn't like Night Skies or The Day The World Ended. However, I did like watching (well, rewatching since I've already seen these before) Ghosts of Mars and Alien Hunter. No, they're not the greatest films in the world, but they are fun to watch. Considering there are four movies shoved onto one DVD, the picture quality is decent for the most part. Overall, The Alien Files should appeal to most science-fiction fans.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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