Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

And so it continues, my self-imposed sentence to watch every Sci-Fi Original Movie ever made. I guess this would be akin to self-flagellation if I was a Catholic or something, but the thing about this pain is that it hurts so good. Today’s film is ‘Alien Lockdown’, about a monster that has these soldiers locked in a location with no way out, a monster that tends to crawl on top of walls while dripping slime, and has like a quartered mouth opening with fangs and stuff while hopping around like bunny rabbit. Looks like a can’t miss proposition to me.

There is an opening sequence in this movie, a sequence that takes place before the actual film gets underway, that details something or another about a stone that descended from space. In the history of worthless opening sequences in movies, this one just might be the most worthless ever as it adds absolutely nothing to the movie. Mind you I saw the R-rated DVD version of this movie and not the TV broadcast version and I don’t think this sequence was shown on the TV version. It looked nice and all, showing us the origin of the green rock I guess that was supposed to have spawned the chaos we are about to experience, but you could seriously get rid of it and it wouldn’t be remotely missed.

With that out of the way we are eventually introduced to hardcore mercenary Col. Talon as played by actress Michelle Goh. Try not to be distracted by Col. Talon’s lips in this movie because they are full, bright red, and they tend to glisten and will continue to glisten even in the most dire of circumstances. Kudos to Revlon Technology. Anyway, Col. Talon has been contracted by General Anslow (Martin Kove) to assemble a team and go to some glacier in Colorado where the government has a secret installation doing some suspect genetical type stuff. Basically, they’ve hired nutjob physiologist Dr. Woodman (John Savage) to splice together everything bad about every creature on the planet Earth so we can make a weapon out of it. The doc managed to pull this terrible idea off, with the help of the green rock, but since he’s insane and all, he also set the thing free to eat the staff of this installation, and now Col. Talon and her crew has sixteen hours to go kill this thing. It’s her last gig she says. Oh you silly girl.

So our crew arrives in Colorado, where it’s thirty below zero, they find the doc and his assistant Charlie the Code Breaker (James Marshall) holed up in a locked room and they set about the business of killing the predator /alien that hops like a bunny rabbit. They are not very good at this. Partially because this thing is indestructible, and partially because they suck at alien / predator killing. The one odd thing about this creature, other than the fact it likes to hop like a bunny rabbit, is that it won’t kill the doc that created it. Strange.

And so it goes. Our crew walks in the dark, gets picked off, walks in the dark some more, gets picked off some more, and then finally walk around in the dark just a little bit more until there is basically nobody left except the chick with the glistening lips, the whackjob and the code breaker. Don’t know why the code breaker isn’t dead yet. Oh, and don’t be terribly surprised if the General shows up for absolutely no reason other than he’s somewhat responsible for this creature and you know how these movies work.

So there’s mood lighting, and then there’s darkness. For my weak eyes, ‘Alien Lockdown’ directed by Tim Cox, existed in almost complete darkness for me. I get that this is a lower budgeted feature and that liberties must be taken to hide limitations. Such as attempting to make that abandoned hospital, or whatever location in Bulgaria they shot this thing, and have it look like a souped up science fiction research station in Colorado. But I really wouldn’t have been all that upset if someone had flicked on a light switch or two so I could see what the heck was going on. I don’t know how our heroes were able to run from the monster considering it was pitch black and they couldn’t have possibly known where they were going… but then with Col. Talon’s glistening lips to guide them like Rudolph… maybe that’s how they figured it out.

The movie itself isn’t so bad I guess, at least as far as super derivative Alien / Predator clones go. I mean it’s not a good movie or anything close to a good movie, but I think you probably know this already so we work our way up from there. Things we would’ve liked to have seen in a movie of this ilk, such as tension and dread were strangely absent throughout most of the movie, though it did possess one pretty good jump scare in it, the atmosphere in the movie is debatable, because where I saw darkness and was hoping someone would light a candle, you might get caught up in the thrill of the low light environments and the excitement of our heroes running from nothing that I could see. I could hear the monster, because it did make a lot of noise, just couldn’t see it. The performances were about as perfunctory as they come in a film like this with nothing standing out in particular, or at least no one who could draw us away from Michelle Goh’s amazing lips, but John Dixon’s musical score was very impressive. In fact it seemed slightly too impressive, almost majestic for a movie shot in the dark about some soldiers being picked off by an Alien / Predator which made it kind of not fit.

Regardless, the monster, a guy in a rubber suit and not CGI, looked nice when we did get to see it, the herky camera in the dark did adequately substitute for genuine action a little bit and Michelle Goh’s lips made up somewhat for the fact that the movie was awfully predictable in addition to being painfully derivative. On our sliding Sci-Fi scale we’d give this a solid C, which is a D- for a regular movie, but we aren’t measuring these against regular movies.

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