27 December 2008

Xtro 2: The Second Encounter

Canada – 1990
Director – Harry Bromley Davenport
New Line Home Video, 1991, VHS

Xtro 2 is preceded by trailers for Eve of Destruction starring tap-dancer Gregory Hines as a tough guy fighting a homicidal cybernetic hot chick, and also for Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare which looks about as bubble gum juvenile as you can imagine. In retrospect it makes sense that the caliber of movies advertised in the preceding trailers would give a clue as to the subsequent feature.

Some martial music brings us through the credits and into a laboratory where Dr. Sommersfield escorts a guy in a suit into a giant computer control room where the Dr. immediately professes that all operations are controlled by the main computer, a remark which guarantees some future unstoppable computer dilemma. While the Dr. and the Suit verbally catfight, the woman character commences a particle accelerator inter-dimensional transportation experiment. Suited up in their H.G. Wells model science gear the subjects are zapped into smoke and a few minutes later are communicating from the “other side”. Sadly though, contact is brief and after a couple of screams only one of the team survives.

Fire up the dumbenator!

In fact from here on out it’s clear that what happened was that they transport themselves through a dumbening event in which they returned with a severely challenged version of Aliens, (and Predator if you believe the shameless declaration from the box cover). Summoning the Hero Shepherd from his self imposed exile, the main characters, including a team of stoner mercenaries have a meeting and decide to take action. The alien however makes the first move, bursting forth from Survivors chest in the form of a savage hand-puppet, it quickly grows, issuing alien like screams from alien like lips, and begins catching people and eating them into gooey scraps.

Try holding it like that when you're firing live ammo and see how bad you get burned pal.

Another meeting, and just as they’re about to take action again, the scheduled computer problems begin, first, sealing them into the building, which I predict, will be followed by some kind of imminent mechanical death. Sure enough before I can even finish that thought. The Mercenary boss unzips his trousers and flops his giant polished penis extension onto the screen but in his debut fight scene is greased to make way for that misunderstood Hero (Jan Michael Vincent who doesn't hesitate to put the largew caliber compenasater to work himself) who exchanges stony glares, and squealing noises with the alien amid a storm of aberrant gunfire. Time and again the alien catalyzes the bickering shitheads into firing wildly and somehow feeding it another member of the team, the last part being far and away the most appealing part of each exchange.

Only appearing to get killed seems to be this monsters modus operandi, and trusting appearances it would seem, its opponent’s primary weakness. If it hadn’t been for the splattery alien generated messes which pepper this soap opera caliber gem, (in particular the computer nerd falling down an elevator shaft) I would have been wishing I could have transported myself back in time 92 minutes.

1 comment:

régis said...

I saw Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare in the theater and it FUCKING RULED!

3-D Krueger.