Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You're Not Trespassing. Come On In and Sit a Spell!

The fine folks at Image Entertainment sent me over some DVDs the other day and amongst the pack was a delightful gem of a movie ALIEN TRESPASS.

Filmed as an homage to the fabulous scifi films of the fifties - a "lost film" - AT manages to walk the fine line between parody and homage and deliver some credible performances, great production value and an engaging little story that mixes in Thing from Another World, It Conquered the World, The Blob, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Brain from Planet Arous and moments of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The DVD extras are passable - though I would have liked to have heard a commentary from the director beyond the short profile piece.

Alien Trespass invades our planet’s digital world August 11 on Blu-ray and DVD. Image Entertainment is releasing the Rangeland Production which stars Eric McCormack (Will and Grace, Trust Me), Jenni Baird, Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) and Robert J. Patrick (The Unit, The Sopranos); Jody Thompson co-stars (and boy is she hawt!).

Quite frankly the only real problem I had with the whole package was the substandard DVD package design. The key art gives you no clue to the fun that's in store for you when you watch the movie. It should look more like this. They do have original artwork here, but didn't have the confidence to use it for the DVD release.



David Anaxagoras said...

Holy Cow, that cover art is a travesty! I skipped right over this title precisely because it looked, from the cover, like another generic Syfy Channel movie, or maybe even USA.

Maybe they think it's better to sell more copies to a mainstream audience who will be disappointed than to sell fewer copies to would-be fans.

I would debate the wisdom of that, but the numbers probably aren't on my side.

Cunningham said...

It's one of those key art jobs that is decided by committee.

"We have to have the star(s) on the cover... big enough so they can be seen...and the title has to be bold so we can get people to pick up the movie based on seeing the word "Alien"... oh, and throw a scene from the movie in the bottom"

While I'm not a huge fan of the original key art - it has more to say about the fun waiting inside than this does. There's just so much reference material out there for this stuff they could have created something that worked all of those elements into the mix.

I agree it doesn't look like a SyFy movie (or maybe it does because it downpedals the scifi), and that's because someone somewhere just didn't care.

David Anaxagoras said...

Don't they even consider who their audience is? Don't they know who they are selling to?

This really isn't the kind of movie driven by "star power". None of those faces mean anything to me (Robert Patrick is unrecognizable, if he's not made of liquid metal, I don't care).

Or maybe they did consider their target audience, and it ain't me.

Anyway, I love posts like this, Bill, I learn a lot from your illuminations.

Cunningham said...

Thanks, Dave. I appreciate your taking an interest.

This could be its own blog post and probably will, but for some time the distributors have been operating in the 20th century and holding onto media values and concepts that simply don't apply anymore. "Well, it's worked before hasn't it? Do it again!"

Instead of being innovative they've taken the approach of "let's just hold on to what we have, and see if things turn back our way."

It's really kind of sad, when you see this movie because you KNOW this movie could be a perennial with genre movie fans. I could easily see it on TCM as well as ABC Family.

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