An impressively dreadful micro-budget mess than pulls influences from all over the place without any idea what to do with them.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that everything about Alien Warfare is a joke. Alas, it isn’t, and so its earnest all-American seriousness turns what might have been a charming genre spoof into a profoundly embarrassing micro-budget mess.
The premise is a familiar one. A team of Navy SEALs — comprising Mike (Clayton Snyder), Chris (David Meadows), Jonesy (Daniel Washington) and Thorpe (Scott C. Roe) — head out to investigate a mysterious science facility staffed by Isabella (Larissa Andrade), whose job seems to be little more than looking very beautiful and occasionally spewing heavily-accented scientific terms as though they’re major revelations. “A Fibonacci sequence!”
The facility has stumbled on an angular black artifact that, unsurprisingly, turns out to be extra-terrestrial in origin. And that’s bad news since a strike team of alien visitants — Scott Hoffman, Kaitlin Hill, Taylor Vale, and Adam Weppler credited, somewhat hilariously, as Alien Leader, Stealth Alien, Tech Alien, and Bruiser Alien, respectively — have arrived to retrieve it.
The aliens are all clearly humans in spiky metal armor, which makes it all the funnier when the film’s script — credited to Ben Bailey, Dave Baker, and Nathan Zoebl — tries to justify their recognizable bipedal form in evolutionary terms. Their technology includes matte black ray guns without any detail, teleportation between rooms and I think entire worlds and a Predator-style first-person vision mode that highlights human beings as pulsing outlines of electrical energy.
Alien Warfare is the feature debut of Jeremiah Jones, which I suppose explains a lot. His style isn’t incompetent by any means, but I’d like to see him with a higher budget, a better cast — Daniel Washington’s Jonesy is the only stand-out, and even then only because he seems like the only person who is aware of the kind of film they’re in and isn’t entirely happy about it — and a better script. As things stand, Alien Warfare is a dreadful pastiche of significantly better films, without a single original idea or well-executed element to its credit.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.