Alien Outpost

"Alien Outpost" is the result of a screenplay written by the film's visual effects supervisor (Jabbar Raisani, also the film's director) and its cinematographer (Blake Clifton), and it shows. This is most definitely not a writerly experience, evident from the listlessness of its conceit (It is yet another entry in a long line of found-footage efforts) to the mostly tactical dialogue the actors (all of them relatively unknown and, on the evidence here, untested) are forced to deliver. The only really surprising thing about it is the pervasive sense of superficial, hoo-rah patriotism that equates a Muslim insurgent force with the aliens against which our collective of soldiers must fight.

And that's really the extent of the narrative, although the details to fill it out do, indeed, exist. Headed by Spears (Rick Ravanello, whose job is quite literally either to shoot or to give rousing speeches), a crew of soldiers has arrived at Outpost 37, a legendary outpost that has been cordoned off by the military that remains from a massive invasion from equally massive aliens (whose invincibility only seems to exist when that dopey script says it should. They are also facing a mounting body count of their own men when the outpost is attacked, as well as an increasing number of Muslim insurgents who seem to be in league with the aliens (No explanation is given for how this possible).

All of the soldiers under Spears's command are interchangeable, so it's no use even taking inventory of their names, who plays them, or how professionally. The performances are neither good nor bad; rather, they fit the interchangeability of their characters. Visual effects range from amusing to competent, the aliens far less interesting creations than they should have been and the minimal practical work extending only to the occasional explosive device (The rest are CGI that has been rendered impossible to judge by the strange decision to have the camera's video quality malfunctioning slightly during the money shots). The only notable thing about the film, then, is the shot where the camera gets hit by an insurgent's bullet, breaking both the camera's screen and, to an even further extent than the found-footage conceit already accomplishes this, the fourth wall.

Film Information

Reiley McClendon (Andros), Darron Meyer (Hollis), Rick Ravanello (Spears), Joe Reegan (Omohundro), Sven Ruygrok (Frankie), Matthew Holmes (North), Michael Dube (Brick).

Directed by Jabbar Raisani and written by Raisani and Blake Clifton.

No MPAA rating.

90 minutes.

Released in select cities on January 30, 2015.

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