Invasion of the Pod People (2007)

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Our great work is to catalogue and review all the films of The Asylum, and sometimes that involves leaving the budgets and moderately famous actors behind and delving back in time, to days when owning a good camera or some lights were mere pipe dreams for our friends. It feels strange to say such a thing about 2007.

This is a mockbuster for a Nicole Kidman / Daniel Craig film called “The Invasion”, which must have sank without a trace because I’d honestly never heard of it – I just assumed they were doing famous sci-fi stories. If you’ve seen any of the previous versions of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” or read the books which follow a similar plotline, you won’t need me to fill you in on too much.

The flavour of this film is the fashion world. Melissa has some unspecified job at a fashion agency, which appears to have its offices in an attic, stuffed full of huge metal pipes. She wakes up to see thousands of meteors falling but then the rest of humanity just sort of goes about its day. Despite one news report referring to many deaths, no-one seems bothered and their lives seem entirely unaffected. Ah well. Anyway, Melissa is trying to secure the services of world-famous but super-unpleasant model Taylor (Shaley Scott, “Transmorphers” alumnus), and begins to smell a rat when Taylor suddenly changes her personality and signs with them; all tied into the new “trendy” plants people are receiving as gifts, which look like nothing more than a large chunk of ginger shoved in a pot.

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A fortunate / unfortunate side effect of having your body replaced by an alien (who keeps all your memories, for some reason) is you become a lesbian. There’s what amounts to an orgy scene about halfway through, surprisingly rude for the normally chaste Asylum. Melissa, despite having a boyfriend she’s desperately trying to keep at the beginning, happily goes along with this and has sex with her female boss, after watching the models writhe around on the sofa together for a few minutes. I suppose they used that scene to sell it overseas? Who knows.

There’s a whisper of a good idea here. At the beginning of the film, all the women are in problematic relationships with men, and being killed and replaced by an alien “liberates” them. But then men start getting pod-personed too, and if there was ever an interesting idea buried in here that wasn’t a coincidence, it presumably got taken out a few rewrites ago.

They also got lucky with their casting. ISCFC favourite Sarah Lieving shows once again she’s too good for this sort of thing, same for Danae Nason as Melissa’s work colleague. Melissa herself, Erica Roby, is not that great, but she’s now working in reality TV and is probably quite happy to have left stuff like this behind.

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Sadly, the casting is the last bright spark, and now onto the traditional Asylum-bashing. There are too many stupid people in this – stop being so trusting! Oh, and the ending doesn’t really make any sense, if you think about it for more than the filmmakers did (10 seconds or so). The sound in this film is absolutely hideous – whatever mic they used picked up sound from everywhere, so you’ll have a quiet office scene with the clank of industrial machinery loudly accompanying them, or a scene in a park where the nearby road is almost louder than the dialogue. Like most early-ish Asylum films, it’s unbearably slow too, and looks like it was shot on VHS tape.

This is definitely more “Transmorphers” than it is “Sharknado”. I would guess the Asylum would rather forget this period and move on to the relatively star-studded, fun films of the last few years. Bear in mind I said “relatively”. I’ve not lost my mind yet.

Rating: thumbs down

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