Alien Space Avenger (1989)

H5pLc8 As if to prove there’s endless variations on the “evil aliens come to earth and are tracked by good aliens” theme, along comes “Alien Space Avenger”. I mean, okay, it’s still quite like “The Hidden” (which came out two years before) but you’re never going to mistake one for the other. #

 

A Star Wars-style scroll tells us about four alien space terrorists who’ve escaped from prison, and the Agent who’s trying to get them back – then their pod crashes on Earth, circa 1939. Four drinking-and-driving teenagers run across their crashed ship, and the tiny green aliens leap into the human bodies and take them over. Cue some fun and games in the 30s (including rather hilarious scenes at a movie theatre showing “Flash Gordon” and a party for veterans of WW1) before they decide to throw the agent off the scent by hiding out in their pod. Whoops, they ended up there for 50 years! Or maybe it was deliberate! Who knows! Anyway, picking somewhere they can blend in, they move to New York, and they either must have gone guerilla-style or New York was still so sleazy at the time that no-one cared, because they really film in Central Park and in Manhattan’s red light district. By chance, a down-on-his-luck comic artist, who’s the current writer / artist of “Space Avenger” (the comic the teenagers were reading in 1939), sees the four of them, in 1930s clothes, and decides to spin them into his storyline. But they think he’s got some secret knowledge so decide to go after him, plus there’s the artist’s unhappy sort-of-ex-girlfriend and the Agent is still around too… alien-space-avenger This feels quite Troma-y, with its broad comedy and gleeful lack of good taste (the aliens take great delight in murdering pretty much everyone they come into contact with, when they get body parts blown off they grow back in gross gooey fashion, and so on) and this is proved, sort-of, when you read the credits. The director Richard Haines was the credited co-director for “Class of Nuke Em High” (Troma head honcho Lloyd Kaufman fired him some time into production); and the chief alien Rex (Robert Prichard) was also in that movie. This is about as high-concept as a movie about 1930s aliens in the “present day” can be. The aliens seem to be in charge, but the humans’ personality keeps bleeding through, so despite them all being space terrorists, there’s a clumsy drunk, a psycho, a nymphomaniac and nervous housewife. This conflict keeps the laughs coming, and it’s done surprisingly well. The timeline’s all to cock, of course – the artist witnesses stuff, draws it in his comic then it manages to be on newsstands within hours? ALIE1988_1 Although no-one would ever call this a classic, it’s a heck of a lot of fun. My favourite was Angela Nicholas, as nympho Peggy; she was beautiful and funny, but her career would sort of stall before she became a soft-core “erotica” star around the turn of the millennium, a world she’s still involved in. If you like Troma but wish they’d stop trying so hard to offend all the time, then this could be the movie for you. Rating: thumbs up

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One thought on “Alien Space Avenger (1989)

  1. Pingback: Sci-Fighters (1996) |

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