Shout! Factory // 2010 // 91 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 23rd, 2012
Unidentified fighting object.
Don't let the generic title fool you: Alien Opponent is a lot worse than generic. Generic would represent a 200 percent increase in quality over what the creative minds behind this turd serve up. And yes, I am talking about a movie with Roddy Piper fighting an alien robot. How much more damning can you get?
The plot: An alien crash lands in a rural junkyard owned by rednecks. The overly aggressive and mentally challenged owners put out a public invitation: big money to anyone who can take down this unwanted interstellar trespasser. Not surprisingly, the challenge brings all manner of weirdos and lowlifes to the junkyard. What ensues is a battle royale between a passive-aggressive alien life form (who has no qualms about using his space tech when provoked) and the local yokels.
That's about it. Alien Opponent wants to be a cool, quirky B-movie-spectacular, but it's essentially a bunch of irritating characters running circles around the interior of a junkyard. What truly deep-sixes the film is a) its static setting, and b) moronic characters. I understand the budget constraints, but watching all the action take place in one location conjures up memories of our middle school filmmaking adventures in my backyard. And it's not like the people who engage in the action are any great shakes either. Piper works hard to infuse his priest character with eccentricity, but it comes across as contrived and makes me pine for They Live, a true B-movie gem. The only other recognizable face is Jeremy London (Mallrats), playing some skeezy con artist. I've forgotten about him already.
The one high point is Ben Chester's creature design; a practical costumed baddie who spends his time clad in a space suit. And there is gore -- computer-powered spurts, green screen amputation, and a hammer lodged in the head (okay, that one was pretty cool) -- but aside from a couple nifty practical and in-camera effects, the rest is CGI-generated bloodletting; a horror movie trend that appears to be inexorable.
The DVD specs: standard definition 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 surround, commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a photo gallery.
Guilty. Someone call INS.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Deleted Scenes
* Photo Gallery
* View the Trailer