Like a present you’ve always longed for only to realise you never wanted it, Alien Vs Ninja is here…
A friend once offered to introduce me to his other friends called Jasper and Clarence. I politely declined and this was because of branding, my own internal response to how these individuals were offered to me as products of acquaintance. In the supermarket of humanity, I saw the labels marked “men with upper class silly names” and decided to opt to keep my buddy basket free for later purchases.Movies are a lot like that too. They have a brand or create an expectation through their first impression that decides you to go with them or to say hello then wave goodbye in one gesture. This is why we have franchises so that we get the same product pooped out of the Hollywood Dream Factory every two to three years for our unimaginative selves. This is also why we go to see simple films that capture the whole deal in an entertainingly crafted title.
In the case of movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Strip Nude for Your Killer and the like the short summary given by the title is paid off on handsomely. For a film called Alien Vs Ninja, the expectation is clearly way too high and the actual experience of watching it is an uninterminable sensation which led me to wander off into hallucination much as you read about those people locked in solitary confinement for years or those enduring torture of unimaginable obscenity.You see, to borrow a construction from Harry Hill, I like Alien monsters but I also like Ninja assassins. Unfortunately, the single way to find out which is best is 81 minutes of soul sucking mediocrity passed in the company of technical incompetence and the absence of a laugh or any thrilling action. Within 15 minutes, I had already started worrying the corners of my sofa and soon began a descent into a powerful reverie which far better met my need for entertainment than the rubberised bullshit in front of my open eyes.
I dreamt of Toshiro Mifune,Tatsuya Nakadai and Shintaro Katsu facing off against HR Giger’s original creation. I dreamt of Zatoichi slicing and dicing a monster he couldn’t fear because he couldn’t see it, I dreamt of Nakadai’s character from Sword of Doom psychopathically locked in an impossible battle and I imagined Mifune’s antihero slyly out-thinking this unstoppable force. All of this sprung from an admittedly liberal take on the title of the film on review.Sadly, my attention returned to my open eyes as the stupid score woke me from my internal journey and the pathetic man in a rubber suit augmented by bad CGI fought it out in a wholly predictable climax with our lovely pouting adolescent hero. At the end of my experience I was grateful for the title and the ideas it gave me, but I felt an impossible need to rinse my eyes and re-fill my soul with something far far better.
Thinking now, perhaps you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, a film by its title or a stranger by their name. My reaction to branding isn’t always right, and perhaps I owe Jasper and Clarence an apology, but in the case of Alien Vs Ninja it was a lot more enjoyable than the film…
I noticed a great deal of interlacing when taking the captures for this review but I am unable to confirm whether this is due to the transfer being a poor standards conversion. The image is quite murky and the film seems to have been shot on video which adds nothing to the contrast and the class of the visuals. Colours are far from vibrant or impressive and this transfer looks quite ugly bar decent levels of sharpness and a lack of edge enhancement.Soundwise the 5.1 and stereo mixes have decent bitrates, 448 and 224kbps respectively, although the loudness and thump of the score soon drowns out any sense of atmosphere or dimension around the channels. My beefs with the sound are largely the fault of the film-makers though and the stupid dialogue is well translated in the removable English subs as well.
There are no extras
You don’t need to buy this affordably priced film in order to enjoy the title. Simply wander off into delirium whilst repeating Alien Vs Ninja over and over, and you too can have all the fun this film has to offer.
It’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for…
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