There are lots of really great low-budget sci-fi flicks ... but there certainly are exception as well.
by Martin Hafer
Four super-soldiers, the Eternals, land on a weird planet and are there to fight alien creatures and then somehow activate a machine that will restore the Earth to its old glory. Apparently, the planet is a mess and these four are our last hope.
I love how far we’ve come with computer generated graphics. Long ago, a great looking sci-fi film meant a huge budget for effects…and there was really no way around this. However, with the quality of computers and software increasing, it’s amazing the sort of sci-fi that is being produced on shoestring budgets. Moon is probably the very best of the recent low-budget sci-fi, but Europa Report and Hunter Prey (with a budget under a half million dollars) are also really good looking and entertaining films you really ought to see. Because of this, I was excited to see Alien Reign of Man and I know that it potentially could be a great film even without a big-name cast and fancy effects. Sadly, this did not turn out to be the case….and the problem, surprisingly, wasn’t so much the CGI but the script. A fundamental problem with Alien Reign of Man is the constant use of exposition to tell the story…which is just sloppy and took me out of the experience. Instead of telling the viewer that the Earth is on its last legs and the Four Eternals are our last hope in a prologue, the film literally has various characters start explaining this to each other…after much of the action has taken place. Plus, people do not talk this way to each other…ever. Or, perhaps the film could have slowly explained all this but instead significant portions of the dialog are spent having characters explaining to each other what is going on and why! As a result, the film is, dare I say it, rather boring.
By the way, I am constantly on the lookout for good low-budget sci-fi and I would love to hear from you with your suggestions.
Martin's Grade: D