InAlienable
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InAlienable

Like so many people I have loved watching movies for most of my life but of late I have had a growing feeling of dismay that the beloved genres of horror and science fiction have been taken over by people without a spark of imagination or originality. I sit down to review a movie and I’m not certain if I’ve seen it before or not; always a bad sign. Still, every so often a little flick comes along that offers a glimmer of hope for the despondent fans. It is not even necessary that it be a great film; it just has to make a sincere effort to pull away from the lackluster pack in an attempt to be different. The latest example of this sort of pleasant surprise came on a shinny disc marked ‘InAlienable’. Actually, when I glanced at the synopsis and cast-crew list I had some misgivings about the production which faded by the time I got into the flick. There are more than a few problems with the movie but most of them are technical missteps that are to be expected when a film maker endeavors to go in a fairly new direction. This movie starts off leading the audience to think it was just another meteor crashes in the middle of nowhere but then take one little twist after another until you find the flick entering uncharted waters. I thought this was just one more in the growing line of cheap and fast flicks done for Saturday night viewing on the SyFy channel but this is one of the independent movies given a chance by Starz-Anchor Bay. While the SyFy offerings have an average budget of about $5 million but this flick was brought in for the low, low price of 1.5 million. That is barely sufficient to cover the cost of craft services on a big budget movie.

The director, Robert Dyke, previously helmed a couple of other small budget Sci-Fi flicks but a good portion of his career in movies was as a visual effects consultant on films like ‘Stardust’, ‘Evil Dead II’ and ‘Angles in the Outfield’. Typical of this kind of career path results in a director with an interesting visually oriented style and this helps reinforces that hypothesis. The movie has a look that is more detailed than apparent at first glance. Dyke is, however, still on a learning curve as a director. The pacing is uneven and at times jagged. Some scenes feel as if random frames were removed. I felt like I missed something even going back to make certain.

The screenplay was written by someone with a long history in the genre; Walter Koenig. Unless you have spent the last four decades in an underground bunker you will know that he played Mr. Chekov in the original ‘Star Trek’. He has enjoyed a long and noteworthy career for all these decades appearing in numerous other Sci-Fi shows and films. He also wrote several episodes foe the animated version of ‘Star Trek:TOS’. As noted the story keeps your interest by shift the plot fundamental direction the story begins with research scientist Eric Norris (Richard Hatch) who works for a think tank managed by Shilling (Koenig). The two men have a long and rather turbulent personal history with both men after the same woman. She wound up married to Eric subsequently dying in a car accident along with their only child, Eric has been depressed ever since and Shilling relishes in his constant digs to Eric. One of Eric’s co-workers, Amanda Mayfield (Courtney Peldon) has been interested in Eric for sometime but he has always rebuked her advances, one day Eric’s brother brings him a smooth stone that he retrieved from a recently fallen meteor. He claims that it had something slimy that seems to have disappeared. In fact there was a creature inside the object that enters Eric’s body. While he winds up pregnant complete with vomiting, dizziness and vast alterations in mood and personality. Shilling finds out and notifies the government but Amanda managers to spirit him away helping him to give birth in an abandoned barn. The government takes them into custody as research subjects and prisoners. A lawyer is notified whose reaction is to go public by letting evidence slip out to science fiction geeks through conventions and internet message boards. In short order the illegal captivity is brought to court where the central issue is whether an alien is protected under inalienable rights. What started out as yet another creature feature but migrates over to fairly smartly written satire of the genre. I am very sure that Koenig is more than acquainted with Sci-Fi conventions and web chatter. Several other Sci-Fi alumni make appearances to Hatch, of course, has starred in both the original and revised ‘Battlestar Galatica’; the government’s attorney was Marina Sirtis from ‘Star Trek: TNG’ and in a cameo as a report you’ll see Tim Russ from ‘Star Trek: Voyager’. Although there are a few mistakes made in the presentation the overall film was well crafted and pleasantly entertaining.

Posted 12/04/09

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