Saturday, July 16, 2016

Rare TV Flix: Project ALF (1996)

Someone demanded this...apparently.  Today's Film is Project ALF, a 1996 TV Movie that wraps up the TV Show.  You all remember ALF, right?  I didn't watch it, since a sarcastic Puppet was too much for young me to handle.  I had to make due with Barbarians fighting Robot Wizards with a Sorceress and an Ape Man instead.  So who's to blame for this thing?  Well, it boils down to NBC being dicks.  They refused to fund and/or air the 2nd half of the ALF Season 4 Finale, leaving people to get mad until they could watch Twin Peaks (and later get mad at its own Season Finale).  That left it up to ABC to take care of it...five years later.  No rush, guys- it is only ALF.  This leads us to this TV Movie that...kind of addresses the issues from the Cliffhanger.  In it, ALF is now living on a Military Base and being studied, although he turns it to his advantage over time.  To give us conflict, we have an evil-ish General who wants him dead.  They dragged Martin Sheen into this!  To be fair, he was in the Spawn Film not much later, so maybe it wasn't *that* hard to get him.  Are you ready to remember the 90s?  Too late- read on...
So ALF ended with the titular Alien surrounded by Soldiers and his own people's ship too far away.  After 6 years, you get...

* ALF living on the base.
* The original Family off in Iceland (never shown).
* A Government Committee deciding his fate.
We get a bunch of short Vignettes of ALF being interviewed by Government Officials, one of whom he tricks into shocking himself to death!

To push things further, he freaks out every successive person by talking/joking about the guy's grisly death!
As it turns out, the evil General (Sheen) wants to kill ALF because his Mom claims that she saw Aliens, was called crazy and later killed herself.  What a fun Film for the whole Family!
When our 2 Heroes (a will-they-won't-they pair) find out, they take ALF off-base, which he apparently doesn't like.  What an alien dick.
Only one man can help them- a Scientist (Miguel Ferrer) who was drummed out of NASA.  His plan?
Betray them, of course, since EVERYONE wants to kill ALF.

Mind you, you are trusting the guy who played 'Weather Wizard' in both Animation AND Live-Action, so...
ALF is saved from being sold to the highest bidder by...the Military?

He's then saved again by...someone else in the Military.  In return for, well, existing, he gets what he wants and...that's it.  No more ALF.  The End.
The 1990s- good times?  This is...alright, but nothing more.  If you like ALF, this will probably make you happy.  The big problem, however, is the big disconnect between the Show and the Movie.  Why not have the original Cast there?  You couldn't have built up ALF making it back home with them, even if it was in a new Town?  Did they turn you down?  Was the man who voiced ALF just that cheap?  So, to sum the point up, this will only please fans of ALF if they can accept that pretty much everything else is different.  Good stuff- Sheen having fun with this silly role and a bit referencing The Eagles Song 'Take It Easy.'  To note, I didn't watch ALF as a kid, so I'm pretty much approaching this like any person just watching the TV Movie would (only 20 years later).  Want to know how '90s this thing is?  The last line of the Film is 'Judge Ito.'  No, really.  This has a few good moments, but is mostly just the worst kind of thing- a bad Comedy.  On the plus side, it gave an out-of-work '80s Robot one last gig...
Next up, a TV Movie from the 1970s...again.  This time, David Warner and fake Indians are on deck.  Stay tuned...

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