Friday, April 7, 2017

Starship Invasions - 1977

11 years before he scored a favorite for me by directing The Brain, Ed Hunt was directing this sci fi almost comedy film, which when I first saw the trailer for it, I thought was a Star Wars ripoff like so many others.  It's not really, and I rescind my earlier assumption that it was.  It's actually, like I said, an almost comedy about aliens screwing things up on Earth.

Robert Vaughn plays Allen Duncan, a ufologist and believer in aliens.  Well, let's actually say he's a scientist and finds aliens to be fascinating, but is on the fence about whether he believes in them or not.  He gets a call from a grizzled old farmhand who claims to have been abducted by them.  He then goes on national TV and informs the world he believes that the Earth is being visited by aliens.  That's when the calls start coming in to him from all sorts who claim similar experiences.

Aliens are real in this, in fact, there's many different kinds.  The main evil alien is played by horror regular Christopher Lee.
Lee, who has never looked more dignified.

Christopher Lee plays the alien Ramses, who leads a group of telepathic tights-clad aliens in a mission to take over Earth because their planet is dying.  He is the one that's been abducting Earthlings, including the farmhand mentioned earlier.  They go to a secret alien hideout at the bottom of the ocean, where other alien races (the good guys) maintain a presence on Earth.  It's explicitly said that Earth is protected by the good guys, so pretty soon Ramses and his aliens start to bring the fight to the good aliens.

This movie wasn't what I thought it'd be about.  It's actually kind of cool to have two alien species warring over Earth, it reminds me a bit of the plot behind The Day Time Ended.  I was expecting it to be more human focused I guess.  Humans are involved, soon enough.  The good aliens need help fighting the baddies and they abduct Allen Duncan and his mathematician friend.  Meanwhile, the bad aliens (these alien races coulda had names, I don't fuckin remember) have a ship in orbit around Earth that's shooting a ray at Earth that makes people kill themselves.

It's a really cool sequence when the humans are killing themselves, and it's also a cool idea to have the aliens fighting each other all over outer space.  Idea sounds better than execution, however, and I'm not gonna curb stomp this movie, but something about it just wasn't all that interesting.  It's got the actors, it's got the ideas, but somehow it all felt very low-key, slightly bland, and like nothing was really happening in the flick itself.  Hard to describe I guess, maybe it was just me.

I'll give a middle of the road 2.5, and I'm a bit less excited to see Ed Hunt's other movies.  It's kinda cool though that he got to work some real actors at least once in his pretty short career.  

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