presents...
 

Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy

Evil Aliens | Boy Eats Girl

By Steve Anderson
February 1st , 2008

Evil AliensEvil Aliens
****
Directed by Jake West
Written by Jake West
Starring Emily Booth, Jamie Honeybourne, Samuel Butler, Jodie Shaw
Produced by Tim Dennison
Not Rated 89 minutes

Considering that "Evil Aliens" starts off with some guy banging some chick in the middle of what looks like a cheap Stonehenge, and said guy has the worst Austin Powers-soundalike accent I've ever heard, I'm not exactly holding out a lot of hope for "Evil Aliens."

When they follow that up with the...oh hell, I don't think even I can bring myself to type what just happened to this poor, poor bastard. Let's just say it involves anal probing. And the probe looks like a very large power drill.

Thankfully, every so often, I'm wrong about my initial impressions.

"Evil Aliens" sends out a group from a TV show in London to film recent alien activity on an island near the mainland. The show in question, "Weird Worlde," is about to go under, probably due to horrible production values and the fact that they have yet to actually capture an alien or similar beastie. So when they actually run into horrible, psychopathic, alien monsters, they're really poorly equipped to handle it.

Let me just say that if you're fond of the webcomic "Scary Go Round," then you're going to absolutely love "Evil Aliens". Because "Evil Aliens" is just as funny, just as freaky, and just as English as "Scary Go Round." Just to be very clear, "Evil Aliens" is very, very English. On a scale of one to ten where one is "Austin Powers" and ten is "Charles Dickens," "Evil Aliens" is about a forty-two. They will even reference "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" once or twice.

There will be plenty of action, laughs, and gore so over-the-top "gratuitous" almost seems inadequate to describe it. There will also be a couple of scenes that are such spectacles that they're actually in poor taste. But regardless, overall, "Evil Aliens" will be an absolute panic to watch.

Oh, and lesson to any aliens who may be studying my work--if you want easy kills, don't come around the country. We keep lots and lots of machines with blades and augers and assorted engine-driven whatnot attached just as a matter of course.

The ending is one of the funniest, most spectacular sequences of farm machinery mutilation I've ever seen. It may well be THE funniest sequence of farm machinery mutilation I've ever seen. Oh hell...it is. If for no other reason than I can't remember seeing any other one.

The special features include audio options, extended and deleted scenes, an outtake reel, a guided tour of "Life Creations," and a trailer for "Evil Aliens."

All in all, I'm actually somewhat impressed with "Evil Aliens." The constant infusions of humor are quite welcome, and even the sometimes gratuitous gore manages to work with the over-the-top nature of the whole work.

 

 

Boy Eats GirlBoy Eats Girl
***
Directed by Stephen Bradley
Written by Derek Landy
Starring Laurence Kinlan, Tadhg Murphy, Sara James, Samantha Mumba
Produced by Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe
Rated R 80 minutes

Okay, brace yourselves, folks...because sitting here in my hot little hand is a relative rarity, but one we've seen before with good effect. What I'm referring to so deliberately vaguely is nothing less than an Irish zombie movie. The Euro-horror market has been less than stellar these last couple years, with only a relative handful of titles reaching American shores. It's been gravely overshadowed by the Asian film market, which as we all know has been flooding the market with titles for like the last thousand years.

Anyway, this time we get Irish zombies, and the high school kids who must take them on and attempt to survive the incursion. One of them, you see, is going to die in a surprising accident, and his mother's going to use some assorted what looks like voudou to bring him back to life. With marginally predictable results.

Now, let's start with the problems this sucker's facing going in.

We're short on star power. Samantha Mumba is their big name and she was huge back in, what, 2004?

We're short on budget. The DVD menu is basically the box art with fog effects.

And we're clearly short on runtime. 80 minutes, kiddies...80 minutes. That's only slightly longer than an episode of "One Tree Hill" for crying out loud. When the WB can put up a dozen pieces of crap that are just barely outmassed by an actual feature film, you know it doesn't bode well.

Thankfully, however, despite a pedigree that makes it look like it should be put down promptly before it can breed and run a generation of horrible little bastard puppies all around the neighborhood, "Boy Eats Girl" manages to recover itself on the weight of sheer, blinding hilarity. There will be plenty--plenty!--of moments in which you will chuckle, chortle, or outright guffaw and be unable to restrain yourself. In short, this sucker's a funny Irish zombie movie.

Well, occasionally, anyway. There's really nothing funny about people getting eaten, and that will happen more than once around here. This is, after all, a zombie movie, and you can't have a zombie movie without the living getting lunched up.

And, as is usually the case with the more recent zombie films, there's one big problem. Too much buildup, not enough zombie apocalypse. For an eighty minute zombie movie, the fact that only the last twenty-five, thirty minutes or so actually has zombies in it is just downright inexcusable.

Which isn't to say it's bad, mind you...it just needs more zombies.

The ending is actually a step up from the opening, if for no other reason that it's where all the zombies are. And that gives it a lot of extra force that the opening didn't have. That and there's plenty of action going on, which also lends force.

The special features include audio options, English and Spanish subtitles, a making-of featurette, and trailers for "Werewolf: The Devil's Hound," "Skinwalkers," "Fido," "Invasion," "Night of the Living Dead 3D," and an advertisement for Fearnet.com.

All in all, there are vastly worse zombie movies than "Boy Eats Girl," but that's still not saying very much. It should at least prove halfway decent, however, and that in the end is worth more than you'd think.

Want to receive an expanded version of Reel Advice as an E-Newsletter?? Email to thevideostoreguy@columnist.com with "The Advisor" in the subject line.  Steve Andersen, much to his own chagrin, is a five-plus year veteran of the direct to video market. He has spent an alarming amount of time in video stores and seeks to provide the public with advance information on all the video releases that they may never have heard of...whether they want to hear of them or not. Steve appears in one way or another weekly, biweekly, or monthly on such fine entertainment-related ezines as Film Threat, Dream Forge, Reel Horror, Acid Logic, Chaotic Culture Magazine, Malicious Bitch webzine, and many others. Readers, agents, or editors can email Steve at thevideostoreguy@columnist.com




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