Tony Almeda is in this film, sans his soul patch! Isn’t that enough to warrant renting this film to begin with?
A group of “criminals” take a grocery store hostage, looking for “something” that they’ve traced to that location. Of course, as with every siege in cinematic history, stuff goes wrong, the cops show up, there is a hostage negotiator who develops a rapport with the lead crook, etc. etc. Still, sporting a pretty decent cast, including Tony Almeda (do you even care what his real name is?), Mathew St. Patrick (from War and Six Feet Under), and Rockmond Dunbar (C-Note from Prison Break), the acting is better than the acting in any film named Alien Raiders should be. Seriously, they couldn’t come up with a better name than that? I guess all the good titles with the words “alien” or “space” in them were already taken.
Nothing about the first half hour of Alien Raiders says that this is anything more than an extended version of a botched grocery store heist, other than the fact that one of the crooks seems to be psychic. Eventually, it turns into a kind of low budget The Thing in a supermarket. There are enough hints in the first half of the film before the big reveal happens to keep you interested so that, when it happens, it’s not a huge shock, and it makes sense.
From there, the tension builds until the main creature (“the king”) is ultimately revealed, and then it’s a hunt through the supermarket to kill it.
It’s just a little odd. They say that the only thing that’ll kill the creatures is extreme cold, but we repeatedly see some of the creatures dying by gunshot. I guess we’re not supposed to think about things like that, but…well, it kind of conflicts itself. In one scene, they riddle one of the creatures with bullets, yet it just walks off. Immediately after, one bullet kills another.
The movie ends on a bit of a cliffhanger (predictably), and I can say that, should a sequel be released, I’d definitely see it.
Is Alien Raiders theatrical quality? No, not even close. But, other than the profanity, it would make a hell of a Fox Movie of the Week, especially considering many of the actors come from Fox TV shows. Seeing this on a Monday night after 24, I’d be pretty impressed. As it is, it’s an above average DTV film, and actually probably the best film I’ve seen of the Warner Bros Raw Feed line.
I’d definitely say it’s worth a rent, but don’t buy it for more than $15 bucks.
Paul Awesomeness Score: 6