THE BLACKOUT (2009) and was left wondering why exactly the filmmakers opted to place the events of the film during the holidays. After all, it wasn’t integral to the action or any of the character motivations. Instead, it just seemed to be there. Well, I think I figured out why they set it on Christmas Eve – the filmmakers watched ALIEN RAIDERS (2008), another sci-fi flick set during the Yuletide season for no apparent reason.
Back in the 2000s, it seemed like every DVD company was creating some kind of horror imprint label. Lionsgate teamed up with the After Dark Horrorfest people to release a bunch of stuff on DVD; Sam Raimi’s pockets swallowed the souls/cash of viewers with his Ghost House Underground label; and the Weinsteins, naturally, jumped in with their Dimension Extreme (oooooh!) sub-label. Not wanting to be left out in the cold, Warner Bros. set up the subsidiary label Raw Feed in order to release horror themed direct-to-video titles. First up was their redneck-are-bad title REST STOP (2006) and over the next two years they released 7 more titles. The final one to date was the ridiculously titled (more on that in a bit) ALIEN RAIDERS (2008).
just horrible. Not only does it reek of some generic SyFy Channel movie and something slapped on by a Raw Feed exec, but it completely gives away the film’s mystery. It would be like if FROM DUSK TIL DAWN (1995) was called VAMPIRE STRIPPERS or THE SIXTH SENSE (1999) called CONVERSATIONS WITH A DEAD GUY. The film apparently shot under the title SUPERMARKET and toyed with the idea of being called INHUMAN at one point. Any of those are all bad, so it appears it was in a hard sell situation from the get go. Of course, I would have just called it THE HIDDEN. Haha. The other obvious problem is director Ben Rock’s inability to go all the way. This is obviously a low budget effort, but I’m sure fans would have appreciated more in the gooey alien department. How do you make an alien-in-human film and not have a nod to the chestburster? Also, Rock barely captures the film’s prosthetic work thanks to a deadly combination of dark cinematography and dreaded shaky cam.
How the main monster looks in publicity shots:
How the main monster looks in the film:
Finally, there is the head scratching decision to set this during the Christmas season. There is no real reason it is done so (only one character moans about the holidays) and ultimately the filmmakers wasted some of their budget on Xmas decorations for no reason whatsoever. Hell, have someone pick up one of those big ass candy canes you have laying around at the very least. In the end, ALIEN RAIDERS would get a recommendation from me. It earns credit for trying something new and being mostly serious in its effort. Unfortunately, it is still called ALIEN RAIDERS.