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Monday, July 3, 2017

Alienator (Scream Factory) Blu-ray + Screenshots

Fred Olen Ray is a filmmaker that makes all kinds of films. Lately he has been making Steven Seagal films that are sequels to films that came out in the 90's. Still, the man is not above making garbage and Alienator fits that bill. I found the film to be really, really boring with some of the blandest and most annoying characters that feel like they got lost on their way to a really bad slasher film.





THE FEATURES ⭐⭐⭐



Commentary with Director Fred Olen Ray (found in the setup menu)

Vintage Behind the Scenes Footage (45m 11s, SD, 1.33:1)

Note before the footage: The following footage was captured on a VHS camcorder during the filming of Alienator. Special thanks to Ralph Langer for shooting it.

When I saw this feature on the back of the box, I figured it would be a few minutes worth of footage and that would be that. I was very surprised to see that the running time was forty-five minutes. The footage shot is of two scenes: the hunters arguing in the forest and the hunters talking to the sheriff. We see both of these scenes as they are shot and we see everything that goes into making two scenes that don't last very long in the film. While these two scenes only took the aforementioned forty-five minutes to shoot, there is plenty of stuff that happens that we don't see, and we are the better for it. Do we really want to watch as the crew moves all of the equipment to another location? Of course not. I do wish that we got to see more scenes being shot, but I am thankful for the footage that we do have. Some may find this stuff boring, I found it to be interesting.

Theatrical Trailer (1m 44s, SD, 1.66:1)

THE PACKAGING ⭐⭐⭐


The front cover is the film's original theatrical poster, just without the poster credits at the bottom. It features the titular Alienator staring straight at us. The title of the film is above her and the first tag line (underneath the title) reads: "An android hunter from outer space is about to create hell on earth. (Yes that font is read on the cover.) We have the two name actors above the title. Below our Alienator is another tag line, which reads "In deep space, the deadliest animal is still woman"


While the cover is not reversible, there is artwork on the opposite side. It spans the entire length of the front and back covers and features a shot of the prison escapee Kol shooting a gun at something off screen.


The back cover features that second tag line from the front cover again. We also get some stills from the film as well as a list of the special features. The poster credits are here as well and we also get the technical specs.


The disc art is the same as the front cover without all the tag lines and names of actors.

The disc is REGION A (locked)

THE PICTURE ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2


Scream Factory have done a fine job with Alienator. The transfer is actually really good for tiny film like this that you would think would get lost in the shuffle. It doesn't look that this is a new transfer, but the film doesn't need one. Colors, when they are present, are really nice and the black levels aren't bad either. There is a thin layer of grain and it doesn't looks like a digital "enhancements" have been applied. Detail is good especially in close ups. This isn't a transfer that will grab awards, but it is a nice looking one nonetheless.

THE SOUND ⭐⭐⭐


We have a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track here and it sounds good. Dialogue is crisp and clean and we can here every foley effect clear as well. I don't think that this track could be any better.

THE FILM ⭐ 1/2


Kol is an evil guy about to be executed on a distant spaceship. He manages to escape on a shuttle and make his way to some woods in America. The commander of the spaceship decides to send out The Alienator to execute Kol at all costs. Kol meets up with some teens and Ward Armstrong and together they all try not to get killed by the pursuing Woman of Death - The Alienator.
I honestly don't really know what to make Alienator. The film is not bad enough to be considered a "good bad film", but it isn't campy enough to be considered a cult classic. The film falls into another category all together: a bad film with good intentions.

I have talked about bad films that are made with heart. The Alien Dead comes to mind, but Alienator is a film that has good intentions. The filmmakers knew that they were making crap. You can tell by the way that the film looks and feels. The score sound like it was done on a Casio keyboard. The filmmakers new they were making a bad film, so they continued on course and tried to make the film funny, to offset the lack of almost anything else.

The Alienator character is an decent idea, but for most of the film, she just shows up and starts shooting at the other characters. There is one scenes where The Alienator is repairing her foot after she stepped into a hole with pointy sticks in it. While she is doing this, a deer comes up to her. Of course, her first reaction is to kill it, but she scans it and finds it to be "non-lethal". She then pets the deer and a smile comes across her face. This is a nice little moment in an otherwise crappy film.

Alienator is a bad film. There are no two ways around that. Besides the moment with the deer, the film doesn't really do anything different than the ten or twenty other films out there that are like this one. Sure, the filmmakers did all they could to punch up an otherwise dead script, but the intentions that the filmmakers have just can't save this film.

OVERALL: ⭐⭐


I thought that I would like Alienator more than I did. I was hoping for something more than what we got. The characters are bland and annoying and there is very little in the way of gore or much violence now that I think of it. There are a few gore shots here and there, but most of them are at the beginning and the end of the film. The rest of the film is just a bunch of morons running through the forest while a lady terminator follows after them. There is not very much here.

The blu-ray from Scream Factory is miles better than the film. The A/V quality is really good and the special features aren't too bad themselves. I can not really recommend this film to anyone, not even those looking for a bad film to make fun of.

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