Wednesday, January 5, 2011

High Planes Invaders (2009)

Hey kids! Gather your friends and family, because it's time for yet for another piece of B-Movie Schlock from the folks at RHI Entertainment and Viviendi. Granted, guys like Genius Entertainment used to release some of these (under the "Maneater" series), but I don't know what happened to them, so now Viviendi releases some of the stuff RHI makes. Or something like that. Now onto the show, with "High Planes Invaders."

In a small town in 1892, train robber Sam Danville (James Marster, who I'm sure some readers may recognize) has been arrested by the Annie Oakley like Rose Hilridge (Sanny Van Heteren) and is about to meet the end of a rope. Well, some big alien creatures addicted to uranium come crashing in, canceling this execution and wiping out most of the population. Now the survivors must band together to stop them. Can Sam get back together with his ex-love Abigail (Cindy Sampson)? Will Rose get him in the end? Why are these aliens there? How can these insect like creatures make a huge spaceship?

Trying to be a mix of "Starship Troopers" and "Assault on Precinct 13" with average Western elements, "High Planes Invaders" could have been a lot worse, though that's not saying a lot. Marster does a fine job as a Gloomy Gus type ridden with guilt, some of the more humorous moments work, and thankfully, director Kristoffer Tabori never reaches over his budgetary limits. However, the film never takes full advantage of it's potential. Sure, it's a made for TV movie, but the idea of mixing a western with a campy Science Fiction film is really appealing. Yet, it just ends up feeling kind of there, rarely if ever doing anything that interesting.

Another liability I feel the movies has is Sanny Van Heteren as Rose. The character is clearly meant to be a tough, booze swilling anti-hero, but Heteren plays the character far too broadly, making the character more of a caricture, and an annoying one at that. Most of the scenes involving her just made me roll my eyes and wish they'd just knock her off already.

"High Planes Invaders" isn't really an offensive movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it's nothing particularly noteworthy. It's just kinda there. Best viewed if it's on TV, but don't expect much.

Rating: 4.5/10

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