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Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Alien Probe: The Musical! (2009)

Director: Mark Copley
Stars: Brian McClure and Carmen Vreeman
This film was an official selection at the 6th annual International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival in Tempe in 2010. Here's an index to my reviews of 2010 films.

With a title like Alien Probe: The Musical!, the question really isn't what happens, it's how bad it's going to get. Well it's not as outrageous as you might expect, especially if, like me, you'd seen Cupcake: A Zombie Lesbian Musical the previous week. These musical shorts with suggestive titles are everywhere nowadays but this may be the least deliberately offensive of the bunch. This time the title is acutely misleading because this one is a musical that you could watch with your kids or your parents. In fact you could watch it with your parents' parents, because the punchline works perfectly well across generations. There are three songs, one from Neil A, an alien who parks his flying saucer on our planet and morphs from a bunch of bubbles into a human being, and two from Leslie, who explains that she's a Barbie still looking for a Ken, but only ends up with idiots. We witness the end of three dates, with Rene, Schecky and Darren, and none of them end well.

The last song is the only one that's suggestive, as we discover that this Barbie is something of a slut, and it's fun trying to work out which planets she's going to rhyme with next. 'If you're from Saturn, I'll be your slattern,' is about as rude as it gets, though you know which one she's going to end up on without even a hint. Brian McClure and Carmen Vreeman have decent, clear voices and the sound is good enough for us to understand everything. The effects are OK and the whole thing breezes along without a hitch, courtesy of writer/director Mark Copley. None of these names seem to have done much or anything else, so their work here is admirable. While some would always miss the alien battery operated machinery that the title might suggest, this is an inoffensive little gem. The only downside is that it perhaps relies too much on the punchline to be worthy of too many repeated viewings. At least it's a great punchline.

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