I'm reviewing my third film from Synthetic Cinema, and once again, they've gone the route of campy horror comedy. I'm not going to waste time with a long intro, so here's a review of "Alien Opponent."
The plot deals with a space ship landing in a junkyard. Said junkyard is next to a trailer park. In said trailer park are a trio of aggressively stupid trio of rednecks who own it, and decide to make an open invitation. This invitation is simple: $100,000 for whoever can kill the alien that has landed. It's not that simple though, as the people out to do this (including Roddy Piper as a bad ass preacher and Jeremy London as a douche-really, he has not character beyond that) are mostly dim bulbs, and end up either getting killed by the passive aggressive alien (I kinda felt bad for the guy. He may have no qualms about killing, but he just wants to go home. If someone would actually settle down and you know, try to help, he'd probably leave them be) or end up killing each other.
Though it boasts the best production values from a Synthetic Cinema release yet, as well as some fun kills, "Alien Opponent" is mostly awful. This is a film that clearly wants to be a campy, fun B-Movie, yet none of it is funny and little of it is fun. Instead of entertainment, you get a bunch of trailer trash stereotypes getting killed off without any reason to care about them. There's even scenes that could offer moments like a war veteran remembering his daughter-only to get killed in a comedic manner-that might be darkly funny if it weren't so clumsy. The whole thing plays out like a Troma movie minus the over the top nature, bad taste or anything else that makes certain Troma movies notable. It's just a poorly written jumble meant to make you laugh, only to come off as desperate instead of inspired.
Going to the company's website, it seems that there next project (a Chiller original called "Dead Souls") ventures towards more serious waters, which is a good idea if you ask me. After seeing three of their films, I don't think that this whole wacky horror comedy thing is going to work out for them.