Starting with a bang, Alien Raiders is an effective science fiction movie using the classics of the genre as inspiration. It’s a testament to what you can do on a limited budget especially when it comes to practical effects. Moreover, they don’t look cheap and awkward, a common occurrence with these productions. It just had to be a supermarket… Dawn of the Dead, The Mist, Zombieland, Bait, Splinter, and many other horror movies choose the iconic American Supermarket as the place where shit goes down.
Alien Raiders did the same thing and did not fuck it up. Using elements from Predator, Alien, and The Thing, they created a potent blend of suspense, action, and horror. They’ve also added a lot of authentic elements, spicing things up. I mean, the very premise of the movie is fucking great. The action kicks off within the first five minutes which is a huge plus. And once it starts going, it doesn’t stop ’till the end. Recently, we talked about a movie with a similar theme titled Altered, so if you’re looking to watch something after this, check it out.
Buck Lake, Arizona, Hastings Supermarket, 11.00 PM, and everything is the way it’s supposed to be. Underpaid workers and their customers are preparing for a closing time as the band of masked vigilantes break into the store, immediately killing several people. Chaos ensues and as the police sirens are getting closer, the situation escalates even more. The aliens come into the picture…
Because of the lack of money, everybody gave everything they’ve got for this movie. This made Alien Raiders feel like a much bigger movie with a strange setting. On the other hand, I think they’ve could’ve picked a different title as this one gives away the plot twist before the movie even started. One night in a small town, Arizona, I feel would be a much better title and not just because I came up with it a couple of seconds ago. It also brings home that small-town vibe that I just loved here. The way they casually approached this very intense situation eased the viewer into the story and helped with the immersion factor. Not to mention that the entire thing doesn’t feel pretentious.
The dynamic camera that sometimes drifted out into the much-hated “too wobbly” category and decent acting cemented the best thing about Alien Raiders: Atmosphere. It is really tense because you got so much going on and the shit just keeps piling up. But in quite an orderly fashion, so you know that by the end everything will be neatly resolved. In a somewhat cliched fashion but what can you do, it’s that type of movie. I can’t wait to see what director Ben Rock has next for us. It would seem that his latest project WRZ: White Racist Zombies has unfortunately hit a couple of snags. Hopefully, it will grace the big screen in the coming years because it has one hell of a story to tell.
Director: Ben Rock
Writer: Julia Fair, David Simkins
Cast: Carlos Bernard, Mathew St. Patrick, Rockmond Dunbar, Courtney Ford, Jeffrey Licon, Samantha Streets
Fun Stuff: None of the products in the supermarket have real names although many familiar-looking items appear. For instance, “Sealtest Ice Cream” is spelled “Seeltest.”