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Friday, July 13, 2012

Alien Warrior


Alien Warrior
1986
Ed Hunt

Where do you even start with a movie like ‘Alien Warrior?’ It’s virtually impossible to classify. Is it a science-fiction film? Is it an action film? How about a religious film? It is all of these things plus a few more and at the same time it is none of these films at all. It reminds me of one of my favorite films, ‘The Visitor,’ with a science-fiction story that used Space Jesus and the Space Devil as players in a larger cosmic game. Whereas ‘The Visitor’ manages to mine it for some considerable eeriness, ‘Alien Warrior’ comes up more like a comedic fever dream.

Buddy (Brett Baxter Clark) is from another dimension. He’s here to fight “The Great Evil.” He’s also empathic so causing other people pain hurts him as well. That’s a shame because he can learn kung-fu by just watching some dudes practice.  Actually he has a number of super powers including curing would be rapists by getting them to read books, building a super car out of junk, and bringing gangs together by slow-motion punching a sign. In the midst of saving a community center run by a woman named Lora (Pamela Saunders), Buddy has pissed-off a drug kingpin, Mr. One (Reggie De Morton) who’s introduced to us in his tighty-whities while firing a machine gun.  There’s going to be big show down, so what chance could a guy who is Jesus’ hunkier older brother with kung-fu super powers possibly have against a guy with a gun?

Some would call ‘Alien Warrior’ an incoherent mess. They would be correct. It is, however, a very entertaining incoherent mess. Mixing some fairly graphic violence, nudity and drug use with a hamfisted Christian message and then to throw some bizarre super hero antics on top of it all creates a never ending stream of impossible to believe moments. To have your main character building a sports car out of scrap metal and then not even ten minutes later have us believe that every gang member in the area was going to converge on one spot for $500 takes a certain amount of insane confidence that this movie manages by the metric ton. 

The acting is a mess, Buddy is as wooden as they come and only Mr. One comes across as over the top and cartoony enough to match the utter lunacy around him. The action sequences are passable and what little special effects they are get the job the done.  Tonally the movie is all over the place, going from gritty action to a Breakin’ 2-esque “Let’s save the community center” vibe in a matter of moments and then skidding right back into some violence and mayhem.

Aside from its initial VHS release there hasn’t been a cleaned up version of ‘Alien Warrior’ released yet, although hope springs eternal. The director, Ed Hunt has directed ‘The Brain’ (1988) which I love for all the right reasons and ‘Starship Invasions’ (1977) which I love for all the wrong ones. Throw ‘Alien Warrior’ into his body of work and you’ve got a cult director who’s just begging to be discovered by the public.

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