[Movie Review] Alien Opponent (2010)
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Starring: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Jeremy London, Adrienne LaValley, Ashley Bates
Written by: John Doolan
Directed by: Colin Theys
Alien Opponent is a movie that doesn’t aspire to be anything other than schlocky B-movie fun and for a good chunk of the movie it is. But then it starts to drag…and drag…and draaaaaaaaaaaaaag…quickly wearing out your patience and giving you ample time to point out its flaws.
Meghan (Ashley Bates) is young, hot, and in what seems to be a loveless marriage with the much older Tom (Kevin Shea) who spends most of his nights drinking. Unfulfilled, she frequently uses the dim-witten Bradan (Cuyle Carvin) for his body and to get the pleasure she can’t get out of her drunkard husband. When Tom goes crazy after catching them in the act, Meghan’s domineering mother Rita (Hilma Falkowski) comes out of nowhere and murders him with the sharp side of a hammer. With a dead body on their hands, they try to formulate a plan when out of nowhere, a mysterious spaceship crash lands in the middle of the junkyard where the body is located. With a hot-tempered alien now in the vacinity, Rita uses this otherworldly occurrence to issue a 100,000 dollar reward for anyone who can successfully kill the alien and bring Tom’s body to them so they can claim the insurance money. Word of this reward quickly spreads and brings about a whole host of characters, including a vulgar priest (Roddy Piper) and a calm and always partially drunk drifter (Jeremy London).
As you can tell, Alien Opponent is not a serious movie and it wears its B-movie trappings right on its sleeve. For the first 30 or so minutes, it works completely on that level; the plot is so ridiculous that it’s almost endearing in how it progresses, and the jokes are successful in their execution. A sideplot that is set up to drive part of the movie gets dispatched in a Deep Blue Sea-style that is bothfunny and ballsy at the same time. The gore is also plentiful but playful, as the alien begins to dispatch its hunters in some creative and fun ways (including a mechanical shark that burrows underground for reasons that make absolutely no sense whatsoever). It’s over the top but not too over the top, which is either good or bad depending on your perspective.
Everything seems to be going so well, until Alien Opponent abruptly grinds to a halt. Simply put the movie begins to drag in a most obscene way as it attempts to drag a paper thin plot to 90 minutes. While there are a couple of interesting and fun characters (Piper’s Father Melluzo being the standout, especially his first scene where he delivers a profanity-laden sermon), there is ultimately no one to latch onto as the ones that end up surviving are the ones you don’t care about whatsoever. And although I can forgive the movie not making much sense considering what its intentions are, there are just some logic holes that are too big to overcome (namely, why did the FBI not show up considering they advertised the bounty on television and it’s a goddamn alien from another world). I know it’s stupid to care about things like this in a B-movie but I couldn’t help it.
By the end of Alien Opponent, you’ll be glad that it’s finally over. Despite a strong beginning filled with choice laughs, fun deaths, and the right amount of B-movie ridiculousness (the introduction and quick and bloody deaths of many characters, which is both fun as hell and frustrating at the same time), the movie begins to sputter about halfway through and continues sputtering until the end. There’s just not enough here to justify it being feature-length. But as agonizing and slow as Alien Opponent ended up getting, it’s still the sort of bad movie that I could find myself watching again without much protest. Despite its massive shortcomings, there’s still enough entertainment to be had to make you not completely regret the experiences. Just set your expectations really, really low.