49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Moderately scaled indie film, but really quite excellent. Just pretend the title doesn't exist. Tape over it with your own, more clever title. But it's a very tight script; the "robbers" from the beginning have a sordid history that unviels throughout the film, but you're only told what you need to know to enjoy the movie and wonder about these people. The action is tastefully full of gore, but rarely does the movie hold too long on the squishiness. And there's no UFO, ignore the cover, but there are aliens.
Anyway, it's a solid 85 minute romp, and I'm really glad I saw it. It plays on some cliches, flips over others. Tis a good time.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Larry G. Boyle
- Published on Amazon.com
Wow! Finally! I have found a new sci-fi/horror that isn't lousy. And let me tell you, with all the junk coming out lately, it wasn't easy. I took a chance on this one and was rewarded with a film that manages to combine just about everything in the genre and explain it all at the same time. The film is fast paced, the special effects are good and you don't have someone telling you what has happened. You pick it up in bits and pieces and put them together. A bunch of robbers hit a supermarket and start picking off customers by having one of the robbers touch them. They happen to come in just as the detective of the local police department is leaving. The robbers don't want money and turn out not to be robbers after all. They are a group of self-made commandos looking for someone (or thing) in particular. That's it. I can't go any further without spoiling the film. It's an Independent Film with a good cast and comes at a great price. Get it - You'll enjoy it.
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Don't be put off by the terrible title and stupid DVD cover, "Alien Raiders" is a taut well-done thriller, but the less you know about it the better, so your best bet is to not read anything else on this page and just watch it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I have to agree with other reviewers. Alien Raiders is a lame title that hardly lends itself to what this movie is about. Now that we have that out of the way what about the movie itself? It's a different take on the alien invasion genre, and that's what makes this movie so unique and entertaining. Its not a perfect film, but it can't be denied that this movie will make you get into whats going on and keep you held through the conclusion. This is the kind of film making that you don't see so much from a direct to video production. It's worth checking out if you are into sci-fi thrillers with a taste of horror.
Alien Raiders is about a group of normal people who have become alien hunters. They narrow down their search to a small town grocery store and go in like psychopaths taking hostages. From here the story unfolds. The aliens they hunt take over human bodies, so figuring out which ones are humans and which are aliens can be tricky without help. That's essentially where the story gets you to. You have a set of hostages and the hunters have to figure out which ones are the aliens. The themes have that paranoid feel of movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Thing. The approach they take on this theme is what sets it apart. From the beginning of the film you don't know what's going on. As the story progresses you start to know a little more. The plot continues to feed you tiny nuggets of background story and plot progression. In the end you have one parts thriller, one part mystery, and one part horror film with all the speculation and wondering about who and what that makes this kind of film good.
The movie may not keep you at the edge of your seat, but it does keep you interested. I don't think Alien Raiders was made to be an intense thriller. More like an intellectual thriller that relishes keeping you interested in the little details. I do have to say that as the movie comes to it's conclusion that sense of mystery and thrill gets replaced with your standard monster fight and ultimately a disappointing and utterly predictable ending. I wasn't impressed with how they chose to wrap up the plot, but I did enjoy the ride.
This being a direct to video production the film budget isn't all that big, but they do a lot with the resources. You forget it's low budget (until the ending) because the story gets interesting and the way it's shot and the way the script flows will grab your attention. Make up effects and such are serviceable and actually work better than if they would have tried it with computer animated effects. The cast is diverse, which helps with the whole, "who could be the alien?" feel.
This DVD is not a bad package. The video is good and the sound is really dynamic during the scenes where that counts. The packaging is a little misleading as you don't get to see any spaceships or groups of crawly creatures anywhere om the film (I guess that fits the whole theme of having a title that doesn't represent the movie as well). The extras have some pretty neat items as well.
Hidden Terror: The Making of Alien Raiders - Your basic making of documentary. It's not one of those marketing fluff featurettes as it does have some real meat in the bone with explanations on the movie's origins and the methodology they went with in making it.
Blood, Sweat, and Fears: The special effects of Alien Raiders - A second documentary focusing on makeup and gore techniques. It is brief with not a lot of content.
Tape #9: Sterling Explains Alien - This is an interesting extra. It's done like those tapes found in the film and holds some neat details on the alien creatures. It goes through the origins of the creature as well as a sort of retrospective from the film. It's done like a scientific analysis which adds a little authenticity if not an exciting extra.
Tape #12: Spooky's Job - Goes into more details on the character Spooky and his ability to sense the aliens. If you had questions during the film about this guy this 'tape' does a lot to explain things.
Whitney Cam - A little Facebook/MySpace looking video of the character Whitney and her day to day musings of her normal life. Doesn't lend all that much to the whole package, but a little interesting nonetheless.
Alien Raiders is a neat concept that is well executed up until the final conflict of the film. While I hate that the film went for the cliched' and often traveled road in the end the majority of the content of the film makes up for it. Most sci-fi fans should find something to latch onto in this film, but it's mostly for those interested in body snatcher type films.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Alien Raiders (2008) is a tense, gripping, darkly atmospheric, science fiction thriller, where the action gets off to a fast start. Violence suddenly erupts in a supermarket in Buck Lake, Arizona, when a group wearing masks, and armed with guns, enter the store looking for someone, or something. As the story unfolds, the reasons for what is happening are revealed gradually, as the story unfolds. Spoilers are ahead, so proceed at your own discretion.
Carlos Bernard (24) is Aaron Ritter, the leader of the group that is seeking to identify and exterminate, any carriers infected by an alien creature. Infected humans appear to be normal, so the group uses a 'spotter' who has the ability to detect the alien's presence. Anyone detected is shot immediately, however when the spotter is killed, the group is forced to resort to other means to indentify who may by infected.
With the police outside, the group releases those found 'alien free', and barricade themselves inside the mid-sized market. Six customers and store staff remain to be tested for alien infestation. The police are led by former hostage negotiator Seth Steadman (Mathew St. Patrick), who's stepdaughter Whitney (Samantha Streets) is one the hostages. Ritter is an ex-employee of Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL). JPL employees, including Ritter's wife, were among the first victims of the alien, brought to Earth by an extra-terrestrial source.
Ritter's group includes Sherry Sterling (Courtney Ford), who conducts tests and analyzes tissues, while Kane (Rockman Dunbar) and Logan (Tom Kiesche) keep watch over the prisoners. The test is grisly, but it produces results, as an alien is uncovered, and violently tries to escape. The prisoners make an attempt at freedom, but another alien makes an unexpected appearance, and hell begins to break loose in the market. Steadman enters the market with a replacement spotter (Bonita Friedericy), hoping to rescue his daughter. In dealing with the alien, Ritter and Sterling both do what they have to do, while the inept police mostly stand around watching.
At a certain level, Alien Raiders works as a fairly effective and suspenseful thriller. The writing is solid, and the alien backstory seems to hold up, although the creature bears some resemblance to the Alien facesitter, and bursts out of the chest in similar manner. The acting by most of the cast is pretty good, particularly by Joel McCrary as the store manager, and Bonita Friedericy. Ritter is kind of reminiscent of Tony Almeida from 24, wielding a gun, and giving commands in a low whisper. Courtney Ford is very cool customer, with some striking eyes.
Under a little critical scrutiny however, cracks in the film do appear. The scale way off. The market is not that big, but there seems to be an unrealistic number of back of the house spaces, featured in the film. The store is so small, yet it takes so long for people to move from place to place. In this confined space, the alien is somehow able to remain hidden, pop out, and then instantly disappear. The lights are turned off so the police can't see what is happening inside, but if they were turned back on, it would be much easier to hunt down the alien. While Ritter and his group start out ruthlessly slaughtering carriers, they later become a little too complacent about dealing with potential aliens, and this lack of vigilance ends up costing them.
Still, if you don't dwell too much on its faults, director Ben Rock's film is a fun time, sort of reminiscent of John Carpenter's The Thing (1982). In the mostly dark settings, the special effects are quite effective, and a nice set of extra features adds to the flavor of the whole package, with in-character clips featuring Sterling and Whitney. Fans of the alien creature genre, might want to check this Raw Feed production.