ALIENWEEN

PrintE-mail Written by Martin Unsworth

The glorious period of film madness that we enjoyed/endured (depending on your point of view) is always ripe for both pastiche and homage, which is just what this Italian sci-fi/horror/comedy does so wonderfully.

It’s Halloween night and a group of friends has decided to have a private drug-fuelled party with a couple of prostitutes rather than hang out with their girlfriends. After all, they haven’t seen each other for ages and they’ll understand, won’t they? Well, the answer to that is soon answered when they also arrive at the house as one particularly image-obsessed lady manages to track her philandering fella down to the deserted house they’ve commandeered. It just so happens there has been a meteor storm that night and an alien has begun stickily taking over the bodies anyone who comes into contact with it.

It’s easy to see where the influences for Alienweed are. One of the production companies is named Empire Video after all, and there’s a definite air of Charles Band goodness in the approach for this wild, if slightly haphazard, romp. The effects are throwbacks to the likes of Terrorvision and Troll, but there are nods to The Evil Dead and Demons and the gross-out humour is more akin to Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste and Brain Dead as well as fantastic later-day Paul Naschy shocker Mucha Sangre than the satirical and lighter films of the ‘80s.

There’s a lot to enjoy here despite the slapdash nature of the story at times. As well as some over the top effects (mostly physical, just like in the good old days), there’s an attempt at some heart with a subplot about the reason two friends became estranged. Bizarrely, there are cutaways to a rock DJ who is continually being abused by his listeners while his frustrated producer tries to make sense of what’s going on in the outside world (and in one of the best moments, interviews a ‘top rapper’ whose cursing while ranting about ‘keeping it real, yo’ prompts his mother to ring and chastise him. Little moments like that - plus a large dollop of irony to mix in with the gloop - make this well worth seeking out. Had Alienween been made in the US, it would already be a massive cult hit along the lines of Night of the Creeps, but such is the blinkered nature of the distributors. Discover it for yourself and have a blast.

ALIENWEEN / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: FEDERICO SFASCIA / STARRING: GUGLIELMO FAVILLA, FEDERICA BERTOLANI, ALEX LUCCHESI, FRANCESCA DETTI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (US)

 


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