Damnaliens DVD Review by Steve Sawicki
Note: order the films from Amazon by following the hyperlinks to buy  junk food for the aliens and keep them away from the dog.)

Recent Releases    /    Classics    /    SFTV    /     Anime

November doesnít really have much going for it unless you like turkey.  It follows the major US holiday of Halloween. Itís cold.  Itís windy.  Itís full of turkeys.  Itís the start of holiday decorations and shopping.  Itís one of the longer months to spell.  It celebrates the death of big birds.  The food of the month is mostly odd colored stuff--purple, orange and brown.  It presents us with one of the major ironies of our country (USA).  Without the Indians, the Pilgrims would not have survived.  By surviving, the Pilgrims brought on the genocide of the Indians.  We have to hear the word Tryptophan a gazillion times.  Frankly the month is symbolized by the perfect animal, the turkey.  And, speaking of such, letís take a look at whatís lurking out there.

Recent Releases - Just in time for T-Day, it's the Great Bird of the Galaxy!

Sometimes you sit in your blind and wait and wait and wait and nary a gobbler comes passing through.  Other times youíve barely had time for your butt to get wet when the big bird presents itself. Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Watch Kirk emote the Enterprise across the galaxy.  Watch Spock raise his eyebrow.  Watch Mr. Scott build an entire interociter from just pocket lint and a rubber band.  Watch Mr. Sulu eye Uhura.  Buy this now and you get the directorís restored version where he puts back in the 35 minutes of space footage thought to be too boring.  Yikes, another 35 minutes of boring space footage??  This on top of two hours of boring other footage in what is little more than a rip off of one of the television episodes?  And they thought we wouldnít notice?  Load the photon torpedoes weíre being hailed by space turkeys. (Not everyone agrees with Steve; For a balanced diet of critique and review, warp yourself over to Bob Eggleton's review of the Star Trek - The Director's Edition. - editor)

Itís a known fact that turkeys replicate.  Thatís right, replicate.  If they mated then genetics would come into play and make better turkeys.  And Iím not talking about bigger butterballs.  An excellent case in point is Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th, which attempts to spoof not only every recent horror flick but every recent flick combined.  This total lack of focus and utter reliance on sex jokes drives the few redeeming qualities the film had right from your frontal lobes.

And before you go thinking that all turkeys are tom turkeys let me present to you-- Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.  If you discount the lousy writing, the crappy directing, the neglible acting and plot holes so big you could fly turkeys through them youíve got a pretty good film here.  Sick with the game and leave this bird alone, it spent too much time out in the sun.

Wait, Lara Croft, Ronald Ashcroft, I see a connection.  That would explain why The Astounding She-Monster, shares so many of the apparent values and production qualities.  Actually itís the other way around since this flick came out in 1958.  Not a bad watch purely for old timeís sake, like when youíre with your buds talking about how good the turkey was two years ago.

You can always tell a real turkey by how little time it spends in view of the public.  Turkeys are shy, retiring creatures and avoid people like the plague.  Planet Of The Apes, the remade one,  is an excellent example of this.  So bad it lasted but days in the theaters and minutes in the second run houses it now comes to roost on your DVD player.  Donít let it roost very long.

Classics - or should we say...leftovers?

So, whatís a droog to do after loading up on all that tryptophan?  Steal a car?  Look for rival gangs to beat up?  Break into a few houses and contemplate stuffing the occupants?  How about all of the above, but only if youíre Alex or one of his friends from A Clockwork Orange. A classic masterpiece which, while a bit slow and dated now, still shows you how movies should be made.  Not a feather in sight.

Heís alien and heís come to Earth to...well, weíre not really sure.  The guvment wants to kill him, science wants to study him and the ladies they just swoon at his gaze.  The Cosmic Man, pretty much fills the bill if youíre looking for really old turkey.  This one was moldy the day it got released so fair warning if you try to watch it now.

Turkeys are big birds that look kind of neat and taste really bland.  Willow, shares these characteristics.  Visually stunning, with great locations and some fine special effects, but all wrapped around a story that is not only old hat but nothing special to begin with.

SFTV - Dinners, reheated in your atomic powered microwave.

Must everything turn to turkey?   Must all turkey turn to poison?    Must all poison be bad for you?  Unfortunately a resounding yes to all of the above.  Check out the pre-turkey episodes of  Farscape.  "Durka Returns" and "A Human Reaction" are the episodes presented here.  Excellent stuff, but be warned, thereís a turkey lurking in the not to far future.

At some point there are just too many of these things flying by and you just have to sit back in amazement.  The X-Files is a great example of that.  This is the complete fourth season.  Like you need more X-files.  Like the first three years, never mind the first three episodes, didnít pretty much play out the storylines.  There is the occasional interesting episode tucked in here amongst the dark and white meat, sort of like finding the giblets.  Will Scully?  Will Muldar?  Will the smoking man?  Who the hell cares?

Plan 9 From Outer Space, or, how to not make movies.  This one contains all the things you should never, ever do when making a film.  The biggest turkey of the bunch.

Just to show that even science fiction writers love turkey, Project Moon Base, which was co-written by Robert Heinlein rears itís ugly head.  Two space babes get stranded on the lunar surface.  Will they survive??  Jesus, what were you thinking, Bob?

Anime - Even Giant Robots can't talk with their mouths full.

I hate to say it but of the 740 or so DVDs released in November, there wasnít a single Anime one worth looking at.  Actually there were incredibly few to look at period.  Guess those giant mumblers know itís best to hide when the big birds come out to play.