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Case Number 02940: Small Claims Court

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People From Space

Elite Entertainment // 1999 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron // May 30th, 2003

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All Rise...

The Charge

They're out there…way out there!

The Case

An insurance selling dope and his sexually unhappy housefrau invite a dull surfer type and his dimwit flower child bride to be over to spend a fun filled Saturday of seething. Eventually, after exhausting the extensive one-horse town cultural calendar, the mismatched mates head out to Beavertail Lake, by way of Beavertail Pond, to look for a lost UFO that crashed there two years before. If they find the alien automobile, they will get a $100,000 reward. Well, before you can say "I kicked that f***ing map to the curb," our queer quadrangle gets lost and very, very loud! Screaming ensues and, as usual with the earsplitting raising of voices, nothing is solved. Everyone sleeps in pup tents and discusses their financial security. Along the path to ET's SUV we run into a forest filled with sex toys, a trail that induces wet day dreams, and an accordion playing putz named the Twig Man. More going astray occurs and eventually the extraterrestrial treasure trolls run into the Phantom Tollbooth, which is really a pay phone. Everyone returns home, and life goes on as it did before, filled with on-camera interviews and interpersonal dysfunction. By the way—we never do meet any People from Space. Idiots from independent filmmaking, most definitely.

Now here's a real winning combination for certified motion picture entertainment. Take four nondescript, horribly untalented and unappealing actors, create characters for them that instantly become the most infuriating cast of cretins in the history of cinema, crib only the foul language flaying from the otherwise flabby Blair Witch Project, and mix it with a completely unnecessary sexual undercurrent. Put it all together and what have you got? An open sore of a film entitled People from Space. Like the liquid that leeches out of a lanced boil, this contaminated movie oozes across your television screen and befouls everything and anything around it. So bereft of imagination that it relies on tired double entendres and lame sex jokes to try and add levity to the loathsomeness, this so-called piece of cinematic excrement has no real reason to exist—like the career of Paige Davis. Devised by director/star/lord high torturer Marc Berlin as one of those now seemingly less rare experiments in inept improvisation, we are dragged through a thicket with tick infested droning on about their apparent lack of human characteristics and personalities. Nothing is the least bit cohesive. Why are these bickering bastards friends, since they obviously can't stand each other? Why hunt for a moldering two-year old UFO? Since when did a measly $100K, split four ways, mean that real people living in the material world could give up their day job? (So someone can retire on $25K?…Now that's a movie!) And why would an extraterrestrial life form, no matter how desperate for a little late night probing, contact these miscreant members of the race of man to satisfy their jones to jab? Pity?

People from Space vomits up lots of these unanswerable common sense questions. It spits in the face of convention as it poos all over your supposedly pleasurable theatrical experience. It introduces ancillary characters that don't pay off and tosses out sight gags that truly touch your peristaltic reflexes. For a movie that attempts to spoof Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez' pathetic first person pissing match, it generates half the thrills and none of the laughs. Still, there is plenty to leave one queasy and cranky during a viewing of this offbeat bit of butt cheese. Of special note is the first on camera appearance of Spring Hill, an actress who looks like a distorted sugar glider with the dramatic range of a rabid mountain goat. Her character motivation apparently is to drive anyone watching her "act" to self-conflagration. She has one sequence in particular, where she goes bug fudge in the woods and collects flowers, all the while drawing little lipstick hearts on her hunchbacked body that has to be seen to be incorporated into your suicide note. But this doesn't mean that she is the sole thespian threat in the film. Head honcho Marc Berlin plays his character of "Bob" like a combination of Woodsy Owl and a chicken sexer. He is such an overbearing worrywart that you want to drown him in a vat of Compound W. The fact that he is a complete imbecile means nothing to the merry band of brain dead distractions that blindly follow him like Jim Jones to the Kool-Aid dispenser. This nonsensical road to nowhere is so God-awful fecal that to try and make sense of its orgasm antics and dildo tree decorations is to endeavor the unattainable: to look into the mind of someone who actually thought People from Space was clever, funny, and commercial and sync up with their psychosis. It would be easier to understand Jeffrey Dahmer's palate.

So it's no wonder then that Elite presents the filmmaker front and center in an attempt to address his mess on this DVD presentation. The Marc Berlin version of the bona fide explanation behind the meaning of this miserable movie is here in all its bonus commentary track turds. Along with the actress-accident that played his wounded wife in the film, Berlin's comments are as deadly dull as the faux farce he created. We do learn some of the reasons for why this movie sucks bull finch barf. It was based on some idea a friend had during a Sunday afternoon drive. There was only a ten-page outline—no other script. Berlin basically refused to offer direction to his performers. And aside from focusing on his actress' physical attributes and calling this crap "crazy" every four or five minutes, our intrepid cinematic visionary basically admits that this is a $7000 home movie he can't believe he even made. After having to suffer through it twice, this reviewer flatly agrees. On the sound and vision side, this disc is nothing special. The image transfer is a compressed mess, filled with fog-inducing pixels when none are required by the film. Even in a widescreen presentation, the 1.85:1 print is a direct to digital camera catastrophe. The Dolby Digital Mono is equally unimpressive, since its single channel chafing makes the finale's supposedly humorous homage to 2001 sound like 4000 cats being shaved by tainted castrati. There is a still gallery, which serves no purpose other than to prove that, in both still and 24 frames per second, this movie still blows. And, thankfully, that is all.

While it was nothing more than an Internet con expanded to eighty-five hype mandating minutes, The Blair Witch Project at least offered some cinematic accomplishment, if only to showcase a truly huge female ass. Even with a Visa card and a line of credit from a Cancun tax shelter, People from Space still couldn't purchase a hint on how to be a movie. Pointless meandering in a wooded area may have, at one time, seemed like a ticket to Tinseltown respect and royalties. But People from Space can't see the lameness for the trees. It deserves to stand in Rustin Parr's basement corner and await its "punishment" for a very long time.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 10

Perp Profile

Studio: Elite Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Bad
• Comedy
• Independent
• Science Fiction

Distinguishing Marks

• Audio Commentary by Director/Star Marc Berlin and Co-Star Cindy Klayman
• Still Gallery

Accomplices

• IMDb
• Official Site








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