Movie Review: Alien Trespass
By Betsy Sharkey, Special to the Chicago Tribune
There is a sweet sincerity to "Alien Trespass," a sometimes too-reverential homage to the sci-fi B-movies of the 1950s, channeling our nuclear annihilation worries through an even greater prism of fear - the outer reaches of the universe and the frightening beings that might exist there.
It was a time when filmmakers had to create other worlds and other beings without the help of all of the complex technology that would soon revolutionize the possibilities for special effects in movies. Being true to that earlier papier-mache and wire hanger time, "Trespass" conjures up a simple silver saucer of a spaceship and a space marshal named Urp, played by Eric McCormack, who does double duty as astronomer Ted.
A shout-out has to go to production designer Ian Thomas and costume designer Jenni Gullett, who take great care in their re-creation of 1957 with what was probably a 1957 movie budget.
In fact, there is attention to detail throughout this film, and it's clear that director R.W. Goodwin and screenwriter Steven Fisher love those old sci-fi movies - maybe a little too much.
While "Alien Trespass" stays true to the era and the genre, it forgets that its mission in this galaxy is not merely to pay tribute, but to entertain.
MPAA rating: PG (for sci-fi action and brief historical smoking).
Running time: 1:24.
Starring: Eric McCormack (Ted/Urp); Jody Thompson (Lana); Jenni Baird (Tammy); Dan Lauria (Chief Dawson); Robert Patrick (Vernon).
Directed by R.W. Goodwin; written by Steven Fisher; produced by Goodwin and James Swift. A Roadside Attractions release.