Alien RaidersJanuary 3, 2008
It's the end of yet another night at Hastings Supermarket, an idyllic family grocery store in Buck Lake…
Release Year: 2008
Rating: 5.7/10 (4,847 voted)
Stars: Carlos Bernard, Mathew St. Patrick, Rockmond Dunbar
It's the end of yet another night at Hastings Supermarket, an idyllic family grocery store in Buck Lake, Arizona. But the normal monotony of rounding up shopping carts and settling out the cash drawers is broken at 11:07pm, just before closing when a group of masked and armed-to-the-teeth militants invades the store, immediately killing several of the employees and shoppers and holding the rest hostage. Though the hostage-takers at first appear to be robbers or terrorists, they reveal themselves to be a cadre of rogue scientists that has discovered and tracked an alien infestation to THIS STORE on THIS NIGHT, and they are determined to find out which of the survivors are extraterrestrials and end the invasion at any cost.
Writers: Julia Fair, David Simkins
Mathew St. Patrick
(as Jeff Licon)
Joseph Steven Yang
(as Tom Kietsche)
Release Date: 3 Jan 2008
Filming Locations: Inglewood, California, USA
Did You Know?
None of the products in the supermarket have real names although many familiar-looking items appear. For instance, "Sealtest Ice Cream" is spelled "Seeltest."
Now THIS is what low-budget film-making should be like!
I basically went into "Alien Raiders" knowing two things: It was for
Raw Feed (The makers of the classics "Rest Stop" and . "Rest Stop 2:
The Revenge of George Michael") and it had a horrible title. Seriously,
visions of Sci-Fi Channel Original Movies danced through my head, and
not the good kind with Bruce Campbell either. Already I was thinking
about just missing it. Get some rest. Save up my energy for some other
movies. It's day four, after all.
But my friend already had tickets for both of us, so I figured at the
very least if it was boring I could just catch a nap.
the nap never happened. Alien Raiders rises up above its horrible
title and executes a tense and exciting low-budget action/sci-fi tale.
Proof of this is the fact that out of all the movies I saw (Zack and
Miri, which was great; Feast 2 which was… all right; couple more…
can't think straight right now), this is the only one I'm bothering to
write a review for. I think it's because since it's a straight-to-DVD
movie, it probably won't get it's fair share of publicity. So allow me
to put on my publicity gloves (And matching pants)…. ahem…
The movie is about a small supermarket in Arizona that, one night while
closing up, is over- run by a group of armed terrorists. The men claim
that they have to "check" the remaining people, mentioning that "the
king" is there and they have to find him/her/it. Now obviously the
title ruins any hope for keeping the movie's twist secret SPOILERthere
are aliens that are in need of raidingSPOILER, but this movie still
does a pretty good job at keeping the viewer engaged and wondering what
the hell is going on, without ever confusing them.
The thing I liked the most about the movie was how it ended up being a
few different kind of movies in one. It's a mystery when the cops are
trying to unravel the reason for the hostage situation, it's an action
film (The opening shoot-out is pretty friggin' intense), it's a sci-fi
movie (Aliens being raided), and it's even got a dash of monster movie
in there for good measure. The atmosphere of the movie is pretty tense
throughout. And the pacing was great as well. The movie's just under 90
minutes and no part of it really lags.
Acting-wise, TV fans are gonna' be pretty happy. The main character is
played by Carlos Bernard, who we all know and love as Tony "F'ing"
Almeda on "24". The character he's playing here isn't that much
different from Tony, but it fits the character who, as the movie
progresses, goes from being a quiet and almost creepy presence, to
being a very sympathetic character. Also good was Rockmond Dunbar
(C-Note from the first two seasons of "Prison Break" and one of the hit
men in "Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang") as the heavy of the group… The guy
who is all business and no non-sense… You know the asshole. He could
have easily been a one-note character, but is given a few instances to
add a little flavor to his performances that help flesh the character
out a little. There's another character that I don't really want to
give anything away, but he dies pretty early on and that kind of bummed
me out. I would have liked to seen more of him. The rest of the cast
did a great job as well, with only a few weak points here and there.
I got to hand it to first-time feature director Ben Rock. The dude took
a really tiny budget (I've heard it was anywhere from $1.5-3 million)
and turned out one of the slicker movies I've seen. He and his
cinematographer's use of lighting and different styles of shooting
really makes this movie rise above their financial limitations.
Although, it is a shame that, towards the end, they have to resort to
some old tricks (Stuttery-looking action scenes, anyone?). But at least
it looks better than "Automaton Transfusion", which looks like it was
shot by a hyperactive kid with a camera strapped to his head while he
tried to stand still.
Overall this movie was a pleasant surprise. I'd have to give it at
least an 8 out of 10. I heard this is going straight to DVD, so I
definitely say give it a shot when it comes out. Hope you use this