Thursday, March 30, 2006
Film Review: Alien Autopsy
Alien Autopsy (12a)
Dir. Jonny Campbell
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
The truth might be out there, but believe me you can’t be sure… trust no one…
In fact let me tell you a tale… Back it was, sometime about July 1947, seems like those darned yanks got a bit flustered over an Unidentified Flying Object that crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico. The cover story put out was that a weather balloon had come down, but if that was true – how come there were persistent rumours about an ‘autopsy’ carried out on ‘alien life forms’ carried away from the scene. When eye witnesses came forward and swore they had seen strange life forms being carried away on stretchers by US servicemen, the rumours fermented, becoming embedded in American folk lore and fuelling an industry which Roswell capitalises on to this day. The truth has never been determined, that is until 1995, which is where the story for this film begins.
Enter the picture Ant and Dec, loveable cheeky young kings of Brit TV – here they are Ray Santilli (Declan Donolly) and Gary Shoefield (Anthony McPartlin) - the 2 main players of the whole 1995 ‘Alien Autopsy Fake Film’ phenomenon. But could it possibly have been based in fact? Cue up Harvey (Harry Dean Stanton) a retired military cameraman whose story goes that one night in 1947, he was hauled out of bed and driven to a military base. No questions asked, no explanation given, he was ordered to film the scene before him, an autopsy on an unidentified being. Eight prints were made of the film. Four of them and the original were sent to Washington, three went to the Air Force Intelligence. Harvey was left in charge of the final print with instructions that it would be collected. A week later the Air Force split from the Army and lost its jurisdiction to the newly formed CIA; contact numbers changed and Harvey was forgotten about. Needless to say no one ever returned to collect the final print.
Ray buys the print from Harvey using $30,000 ‘borrowed’ from dodgy mental drug dealer Laszlo Voros (played by Gotz Otto). Armed with the footage Ray sets off to change the world, but the film has started to eat itself and now the genuine footage of an alien autopsy is gone. With no way to pay back the cash, Ray hatches a mad plan - assemble a crack team - Preston the butcher (Andrew Greenough), Edgar the under-taker (Lee Oakes), Maurice the mannequin manufacturer (John Cater) and wanna-be film maker Melik the kebab shop owner (Omid Dalili) and his girlfriend Jasmine (Morwenna Banks)– to re-make the alien autopsy, scene for scene, prop for prop, alien for alien. Using Rays’ sisters sitting room as a make-shift studio. Sausages stand in as intestines, haggis for brains and Edgar for President Truman… What could go wrong?
But is it any good?
In a word ‘yes’ – Alien Autopsy is packed with genuinely good-natured mirth. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll… never look at sausages in quite the same way again. The quality cast go about the daftness like their lives depend on it and it pays off big time!
Nichole Hiltz pops up as a babe of the piece, Jimmy Carr does a nice little cameo and Bill Pullman adds some Hollywood credentials along with the awesome Harry Dean Stanton.
This is possibly the perfect Friday night cinematic treat for sci fi lovers everywhere, I urge you to get in touch with your inner nerdy UFO spotter and seek the truth at your local cinema… They come in peace, I think Neil Smith over at the BBC called this one wrong, you won’t regret going AA.
Darkmatt Rating: ööö (Daft encounters of a sublime kind)
Dissect an alien for yourself (or bowl brains in a ten pin bowling game, watch the trailer and more) at the film’s excellent website: http://alienautopsy.frankiandjonny.com/
"Nicole Hiltz... hot STUFF - in Stuff magazine but also in Alien Autopsy!"
Read my interview with A&D here: Matt Adcock meets Ant and Dec
Darkmatters: H O ME
Posted by Matt Adcock at 10:49 pm