Thursday, July 30, 2009

What I Think Of: Alien from L.A. (1988)

Keeping with the Aliens motive...okay, I'll just stop right here. The only thing in common would be the title, because as you can see from the poster, the title, and the star of the movie, this is going to be a gem. What a gem it is too, and I don't mean in a good way. This movie was watched via MST3K, like all bad movies should be watched, and it does not disappoint. Essentially, Kathy Ireland plays a nerd-ish teenager with an archaeologist father who goes missing. It's up to Wanda to find her father from the mysterious underground civilization, as well as shed her nerd-ish looks and transform into Kathy Ireland. First of all, there's no need to say that the acting is terrible because #1, it's Kathy Ireland, #2, I just mentioned it's an MST3K movie, and #3, it's Kathy Ireland. This movie has no real redeeming qualities whatsoever, except the laughs you get from watching it via Crow, Tom Servo, and Mike Nelson. I'd like to say the production value of the movie isn't all that half bad, but it's just hard to think of anything good about the movie itself. So lets move on to the director, Albert Pyun.

To read this man's directorial filmography is like reading down a check list of pure shame. However, three or four gems of his just seemed to catch my eye. Apparently, Albert Pyun directed the sequel to one of the host of the Podcast's favorite movies of all time, Kickboxer. Yes, Kickboxer 2: The Road Back and Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor were both directed by this man, who was amazingly enough not good, or bad, enough to direct Kickboxer 3: The Art Of War. Pyun also directed the 1989 Van Damme movie Cyborg, as well as the 1990 Captain America movie, which is really all that needs to be said about the quality of his work. Needless to say, Alien from L.A. is no exception to this man's "vision" and should be avoided if possible, unless you want a good laugh from an awful, awful movie.



Albert said...

Hi Greg,

I tried posting but got an error message. Hopefully this one sticks. Enjoyed your review. Think you are spot on as I failed in my attempt to make a very dark Afterschool special tv movie. As with Radioactive Dreams, I had been striving to create a subversive fantasy fairy tale with a satirical point of view. The studio's creative affairs department mandated changes to the original draft and I don't think it ever mixed with what I wanted to do.

The next film I did was Cyborg, yet another attempt to create a dream nightmare fantasy world but I left that film during editing and it got taken over by Van Damme and the studio who wanted a more typical Van Damage sort of action film.

I followed that with Captain America...ugh. I might post my director's cut of CA which is very different from the film that the studio released. Another film I left over creative differences.

Hope you give my latest attempt, Tales of an Ancient Empire a shot. Its a loose follow to my 1982 film The Sword and the Sorcerer. I am in post on it now. Also, my most recent release, Road to Hell might interested you as well as it's my most accomplished attempt at a revisionist fantasy.

Anyway, enjoyed the review and keep up the good work.


Cinema Cafe Podcast said...

Hi Albert,

Wow. I must say, I was shocked that you would read my review in the first place, let alone comment on it. That does indeed suck to hear about all the creative differences you've had to deal with over the years. Heh, I don't know if this will make you feel better or not, but Josh, the host of the Podcast, was a big fan of Cyborg. Why...I don't know. Could be his Van Damme love.

I must say, I really do hope you post the Director's Cut of Captain America. I'm definitely curious about that, and would absolutely watch it if you ever did post it. I would've never imagined that there was one.

Since you were nice enough to reply to my scathing review, I will indeed check out Tales of an Ancient Empire, as well as The Sword & The Sorcerer as well. I'll see about checking out Road to Hell as well, when I get the chance.

I'm glad you enjoyed the review. Thanks a lot.


Albert said...

H Greg,

I'll look forward (gulp) to your reflections on Tales and Sword. And I don't feel your review of Alien was scathing in the least. It was honest and accurate and very helpful to me in knowing where it went askew.

There's really no point in making films at my age unless you are striving to improve how you reach an audience.