Shitty Movie Sundays: Alien Warfare

I love that movies like Alien Warfare are still being made. It’s a true action bottom feeder. With the rise of streaming, I had been concerned that the ready availability of good content would leave shitty movies like this without an audience. But, I shouldn’t have underestimated capitalism. Good movies cost more for streaming services to license, and the proliferation of streaming services means that there’s a good chance the movie one wants to watch is on a service to which they do not subscribe. And on top of that, all these streaming services are desperate for content, to make them stand out from each other. All this means there is still a market for cheap schlock. The rights holders’ overprotectiveness and over-monetization of their good properties means the shitty movie lives on.

New this year, Alien Warfare was directed by Jeremiah Jones from a screenplay by Ben Bailey, Dave Baker, and Nathan Zoebl. Alien Warfare is the first feature-length film from all four of them. It stars David Meadows and Clayton Snyder as brothers Chris and Mike. Not only are the pair brothers, they are on the same Navy SEALs team. There’s some personal strife between them that the filmmakers used for character development, and to stretch the running time, but it’s not necessary to recount it. It’s just a collection of tropes that any viewer would already be familiar with, and barely matters to the plot.

As for that plot, from the title one might guess that this flick is about a war between humankind and aliens. One would be wrong. The internet is silent on this film’s budget, but it’s clear that Jones and company didn’t have much to work with. The cast is small, there’s only one location to speak of, it’s a confined environment, and the CGI is only somewhat better than what audiences get from Asylum flicks. There’s no way this film could live up to its title. But, there are Navy SEALs and aliens, so that’s a start.

Somewhere in Eastern Europe, every person at a secret research facility has disappeared. One minute they can all be seen on security feeds, the next they are all gone. Chris and his team, including Mike, Thorpe (Scott C. Roe), and corpsman Jonesy (Daniel Washington), are tasked with infiltrating the facility and ascertaining the situation. No one knows what they will find, so the team goes in as if it’s a combat op.

Inside the facility, the team find one survivor, a research scientist named Isabella (Larissa Andrade). She tells them what happened.

A mysterious object, possibly of alien origin, crashed nearby and the scientists at the facility went out and brought it back. When they were tinkering with it, they triggered some form of electric pulse that turned every person in the facility into a little pile of ashes. Isabella survived because she happened to be working inside of a Faraday cage when the pulse issued forth.

It turns out that the object is indeed alien in origin, because a group of four aliens shows up to get it.

This is when the flick picks up. The aliens are humanoid, and covered head to toe in black body armor. The armor is precious — a real hallmark of shitty filmmaking. They look like they are made from foam core, and whoever put the things together used a liberal application of glue. The whole kit and caboodle looks like it was then covered with black spray paint. These are among the cheapest alien costumes I’ve ever seen, and did nothing but make me like this film even more.

So, there are four Navy SEALs and four aliens, all battling over a mysterious object that can wipe out an entire building of people in seconds. How does it end? I’m not gonna say. But I will comment on the action.

Many, many bullets are fired. But because of the small cast, not a lot bad happens. This is an action flick that had to husband its resources, and that included making sure the cast didn’t get any thinner. The action itself feels unrehearsed, and is something of a disappointment, considering Meadows used to be a SEAL in real life. He should have been instrumental in making his fellow cast members believable, but that just didn’t happen. The action scenes are slow, clumsy, and unbelievable. Some of this had to be to accommodate the cast members playing the aliens. It doesn’t look like their costumes were very easy to move around in, so they spend a lot of time just standing and looking around. That’s action-packed, man.

The acting was pretty poor, as well. Casting Meadows could have seemed like a no-brainer, but not only did he not contribute to the believability of the SEALs, his acting was the weakest of a weak bunch. Andrade gave the most believable performance, which is impressive, as there is a 12-year gap in her resume before this year.

Alien Warfare is not a great shitty watch. It will not land in the Index up amongst the nobility. Despite how low-rent this film is, and despite the many shortcuts and generally flawed filmmaking, it has its moments. It’s a middling shitty movie, taking over the #147 spot from Starship Troopers 3. I watched it so you don’t have to.

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