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Alien Trespass

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California astronomer Ted Lewis (McCormack) tracks a fiery object to its crash site, where he discovers an alien spacecraft. A giant, one-eyed slug with tentacles has already escaped, and soon begins reducing the local population to slimy puddles. Ted’s body is taken over by a benevolent alien called Urp, and he begins talking about himself in the third person. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds, but that’s the point.

The Details

Alien Trespass
Three stars
Eric McCormack, Jenni Baird, Robert Patrick.
Directed by R. W. Goodwin.
Rated PG.
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Alien Trespass
Rotten Tomatoes: Alien Trespass
IMDb: Alien Trespass

If audiences in 1957 (when the film is set) could have seen Alien Trespass, they likely wouldn’t have differentiated it from the numerous ’50s sci-fi movies it recalls (most notably It Came From Outer Space, The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Blob). Instead of aiming for the lampooning antics of Mars Attacks!, veteran X-Files director Goodwin opts to play it straight-faced. Everything from the costumes and performances to the special effects, script and sets (there are two beds in Ted’s bedroom) would fit right in five decades ago. Pitching it from a modern perspective, however, lets us all in on the joke.

The result is more fun than funny, although there are plenty of laughs to be had. Among the actors, McCormack and Dan Lauria (as a cranky old cop) are particular standouts. If the rest of the cast is solid but unspectacular, well, that’s what you get for replacing David Duchovny with Robert Patrick.

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  • An astonishingly tone-deaf portrait of smug, patronizing privilege—a film that, despite being thoroughly English, exemplifies the concept of the ugly American.

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