D: David Giancola / 96m
Cast: Lenise Sorén, Gladise Jimenez, Anna Nicole Smith, Joanie Laurer, Kevin McGuire, Patrick Burleigh, Dennis Lemoine, Woody Keppel, Michael J. Valentine
This low-budget mash-up of Charlie’s Angels and Men in Black deserves some kind of award for the most movie references shoved – sometimes unwillingly – into one movie. From random shots to one-liners to visual effects to footage lifted from other movies, Illegal Aliens proves to be a surprisingly enjoyable experience; it even raises a smile with its fart jokes.
Three aliens – Cameron (Sorén), Drew (Jimenez) and Lucy (Smith) – are sent to Earth to protect it from potential invasion by other aliens. They set up shop in Hollywood as stunt coordinators (did I mention how far-fetched this movie was?), and for three years all is quiet until a renegade alien (Laurer) lands on Earth and takes over the body of a mob boss’s wife. The alien, Rex, takes over as mob boss and uses the mob to help her (yes, Rex is a she, even in alien form) steal various items which, together, will allow her to build a megagravitron, a device that will pull the Moon into the Earth and destroy all life. Backed by holographic know-it-all Syntax (McGuire), our three heroines vow to stop Rex’s plan and save the Earth.
That Illegal Aliens is cheesy, cheap and chock-full of over-acting, often woeful special effects and too many “Jeez, they didn’t!” moments, is actually to miss the point. This movie is deliberately cheesy and cheap etc. What else can you say about a movie that has a Main Villian Monologue Timer appear on screen when Rex explains her motivation for what she’s doing? (And yes, that is how ‘villain’ is spelt onscreen.) And how else do you explain the occasional breaking of the fourth wall, particularly at the movie’s end? And yet, for the most part, it works. If you take the movie for what it is, and not try to make too much out of it, then it’s actually a rewarding experience. But you also have to have a liking for this kind of movie already. If you go into this one blind, then all you’ll see is a silly spoof that makes too much of Lucy being brainless, Laurer adding a maniacal laugh at the end of almost every sentence, and underling Ray (Lemoine) being shot several times over and yet still going strong at the movie’s end.
As for the acting, Sorén and Jimenez do well in spoofing the Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith roles from the original Charlie’s Angels, while Smith – in what was her last movie – does the ditzy klutz role (worryingly) to perfection; she’s like a child that’s too distracted to learn things properly. Laurer, better known as WWE wrestler Chyna, is surprisingly good as Rex, downplaying her physicality and using her voice and facial expressions to good effect, and channelling her inner Vincent D’Onofrio. Giancola keeps it all moving at a good pace, and and the action sequences, again, are better than expected – especially the one lifted from Red Heat (1987). The humour is broad, there is a fair amount of slapstick, and the whole thing is done with a knowing wink to the audience: look out for the guard who won’t fight Jimenez because his shift has just ended.
NOTE: This was a troubled shoot, with Smith proving unreliable within the first few days of filming; at the time she had personal issues surrounding her marriage. If you’re interested in finding out more about the movie’s production and what was going on behind the scenes then watch Addicted to Fame (2012).
Rating: 6/10 – a silly sci-fi spoof that hits the mark more often than it (perhaps) has a right to do; one for the fans and anyone who likes frat humour.
Originally posted on thedullwoodexperiment website.