Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Instant Asylum: Invasion of the Pod People

How do you fail at making Exploitation?  Today's film is a 2007 'effort' by The Asylum to cash in on the big-budget film The Invasion.  In case you didn't know, that film was was Remake of the 1993 film, which itself is a Remake of the 1973 film...which is itself a Remake of a 1956 film.  The difference is that those two films were good, while the 2007 ones are not.  While it's fun to talk about the mainstream version being cut and re-cut by the Wachowski Brothers to add more action, I'd rather talk about this abomination.  Rather than discussing the plot in my own words, I'll read you the short summary provided by Netflix- "Melissa (Erica Roby) has noticed some changes in her female friends and co-workers lately. Namely, they've been disrobing and engaging in lesbian lovemaking. Once she traces this trend to a mysterious interstellar plant, Missy makes a troubling discovery. Those lesbians weren't her friends at all -- they were alien clones!"  Prepare for disappointment as I try to stop the...
We begin with a blatant theft of the opening from the 2007 film...only made cheaper.  Considering how little this film explains the titular creatures, this intro seems super-pointless!
Asteroids strike the Earth?  It's a shame that you can't actually afford to show that.  Instead, here is this shot of a local fire (which may actually be in Monster)...
This is the real villain of this movie.  Just stop and consider that for a moment before you move on.  I'll wait.
Instead of actual visual effects, you get a bunch of these weird shots of people *apparently* emerging from the pods.  The DVD cover has a naked woman emerging from one, but you knew that we would never see that here.
This guy warns our heroine about the threat of the clones.  Naturally, he does so by showing up at her house and threatening her with a gun.  After he's had his say, he kills himself...just so we can be 'shocked' to see 'him' later.
Sarah Lieving is a very important character here.  She's so important that she has one Scene before being turned into a Pod Person in the next one.  Thank you, pointless cameo.
Remember the whole 'lesbian' plot that is mentioned in the synopsis.  Well, it's all built around this one, three-minute scene.  I hope you weren't going to see the movie just for this (for many reasons)...
On the plus side, Sarah Lieving gets killed!  Yea- I hate her for...reasons that seem more petty as time goes on (Editor's Note: Still not sorry in 2014 though).
After a lot of confusion, betrayal and...mostly talking about things, our secondary heroine makes her escape...only to get caught.  

I bet you didn't expect the film to end focused on someone other than the lead, did you?   The End.
Eat me, movie!  The plot of this film is slow, tedious and...well, slow.  The original film worked because it dug deep into the hysteria of the time (The Red Menace) and presented real characters.  The 1973 version worked due to its strong writing, scientific focus and a great cast.  This movie fails because its characters are one-dimensional, the pacing is terrible and there is no real pay-off.  It's like making a movie about Godzilla, only you make it a plot point that Godzilla turned into a person and was planning to rob a bank.  I can excuse a lack of CG in the original two films, since it pretty much didn't exist.  In this film, there is no excuse for at least a couple of effects to make the tedium better.  On the plus side, I didn't hate Sarah Lieving here.  She had about six minutes on screen and died, so maybe that's what she should stick to.  I'm just kidding, Sarah...mostly.  This film is really not that interesting, unless you're a fan of these movies or watch them ironically (like me).  I'll leave you with this image of a newly-spawned Pod Person...with a band-aid on their elbow.  Oops.
Next up, Instant Asylum wraps up with a werewolf movie.  The real monster of the film, of course, is Sarah Lieving...god dammit.  Stay tuned...

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