Sunday, April 27, 2008

Biohazard: The Alien Force (1995)

Making the most of a low budget is what separates the decent schlockmeister from the hundreds of pitiful straight-to-video/DVD dreck that exists out there.

Biohazard: The Alien Force comes straight from the Fred Olen Ray (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers)/Jim Wynorski (Dinosaur Island) school of film making (in fact, the two directors produce this flick, and it's based on an Olen Ray script): Put everything you have on the screen, and throw in some softcore T&A and a few explosions to keep people from nodding off. It's been a pretty successful ethos for those two directors, but director Steve Latshaw has some difficulty keeping things moving in this film. It starts off with enough goofy action and rubber aliens to give some hope to the discriminating connoisseur of bad movies, but things slow considerably after the first half hour.

The plot revolves around Mike Reardon (Steve Zurk, looking (and acting) like a football player), the ex head of security for Triton Industries, a genetics company who are working on developing an invincible BIO-creature from the DNA of their employees. With the help of a reporter (Susan Fronsoe) and a former Triton researcher, Reardon has to track down the names from the DNA donor list before the creature (or Quint, the psychotic current head of security) catches up with them.

For the discriminating fan of awfulness, Biohazard has enough moments of hilarity to make it worth a watch. The actors are uniformly bland and/or awful and there are more than a few awkward moments and flubbed lines. Most of the budget was likely poured into the main creature's suit, and it looks slightly better than most Kamen Rider/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villains.

They manage to fit in a gratuitous sex scene or two, and things come to an explosive conclusion with the President of Triton (played by Christoper Mitchum, the son of the legendary Robert Mitchum.. who at least seems like he's having fun) gets taken down in his helicopter by a handgun wielding Mike Reardon. The helicopter explosion (which also manages to squash Quint) is just terrible looking, but after some of the effects already witnessed, it's par for the course.

The DVD is presented full frame, which is likely the original shooting ratio. The image quality is pretty shoddy with a lot of grain visible during the night scenes, and the audio is adequate but nothing more. The only extra is the film's trailer, which appropriately makes the thing look a lot more interesting than it actually is.

More slasher than sci-fi (in fact, despite the title there's nothing "alien" on display here), this is all well trodden territory. Best left to the late night cable TV showings it was always destined for. Delivers what you would expect, but doesn't rise above.

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