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Alien Invasion Arizona

Directed by Dustin Rikert

Written by Soon Hee Newbold, Dustin Rikert

Starring Avery Clyde, Sam McConkey, James McBride, Tank

Produced by Soon Hee Newbold, Dustin Rikert

Rated R

87 minutes

**

“Alien Invasion Arizona” is one of those movies that I like to refer to as “Meatloaf Movies.” There’s not that much good to say about it, and yet, there’s not too much bad to say about it. It’s quick (eighty-seven minutes quick), the plotline is tasteless but not actively offensive, and it’ll at least leave you mildly satisfied.

And what’s in this meatloaf is the story of a prison transfer gone awry at the behest of one of the transferred prisoners, a Mafia cleaner named, of all things, Brando. Brando’s managed to also spring a few other death row buddies, and he and his newfound friends, along with the guards and the prison doctor, set off for the small mining town of Salena. Salena’s clearly seen better years, because when Brando and company walk in, Salena is empty.

As to why Salena is empty, well, that’ll have something to do with the detachment of Marines roaming the network of tunnels directly below Salena. That and the title—between the two of those you’ve got all the explanation you could need or want.

By now you’ve probably recognized this plot, or at least several pieces of it, as stuff that you’ve already seen several dozen times. And if you enjoyed all that stuff the first several dozen times you saw it, then you’ll have nary a problem with “Alien Invasion Arizona.”

If you didn’t, then you’ve probably already walked on by this retread and gone on to something different and challenging. Assuming you could find different and challenging…but I digress.

This is exactly why I call movies like this “meatloaf.” You’re familiar with the ingredients, you’re familiar with the whole they generate. It’s nothing great, no…but it’s not anything terrible, either. And you know in advance it won’t be anything great or terrible because you’ve already had it dozens of times before. Sure, maybe there’s some new twists or a slight streak of exciting new flavor added, but come right down to it it’s still the same thing you’ve been choking down for years upon before this one.

The ending is decent enough—there’s even a couple of nice ironic twists going on in there—but it’s just a bit on the cliche side.

The special features include Spanish subtitles, a stills gallery, audio options, and trailers for “Beneath Still Waters,” “Gamebox 1.0,” “Rancid,” “Diary of a Cannibal,” and “Alien Invasion Arizona.”

So, all in all, you’ve been here before. You know what to expect and you know in advance whether you’ll like it or not, pretty much. The only question left is whether or not you stick around for what you know is coming.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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