“In the Year 2022 we made contact . . . too bad.”
— When copywriters know it’s all crap and just give up
So, what do you get when you cross Ridley Scott’s Alien with Robert Aldrich’s 1967 war classic The Dirty Dozen? Oh, and what the hell, a little pinch from Escape from New York can’t hurt. Oh, and let’s pinch Hal (and fem and porn ’em up a bit) from 2001: A Space Odyssey while we are at it. And since we can’t afford to pay twelve actors, we’ll get a dirty quartet. And the budget can swing a Lando Calrissian for a bargain and a song.
Saddle up, boys! Let’s make a movie! Yee-haw!
Commander Skyler (a sadly slumming Billy Dee Williams) offers four convicts (lead by the deserves-better-than-this Maxwell Caulfield) doing life at Earth’s New Alcatraz Maximum Security Prison the chance to have their sentences commuted for a “routine space salvage” mission. Of course, it’s all on a “need to know,” natch, and what they don’t know is that Captain Dorman (Jeff Conway, really hitting rock bottom) of the U.S.S. Holly became addicted to a virtual reality program run by the ship’s computer and he killed everyone on board.
Oh, and, in the grand tradition of Space Mutiny (yes, this movie also has a wealth of “rail kills”), Jeff’s space freighter interiors’ shoot-out was shot in the back of a wholesale warehouse (when you see the concrete floors and floor-to-ceiling metal shelves, you’ll see what we mean). Eh, why not. Let’s shoot inside a factory, too, since all of those pipes and valves look like the ship’s “engineering section.” Yeah, just tack up those corrugated metal sheets over there . . . and wire up some tube lights over there . . . hot glue some scrap metal and nobby-thingys over there. . . . Dude, where’s all of those leftover sets from Roger Corman’s Battle Beyond the Stars when you need ’em? I mean, what the hell, Rog? You lent them out to Fred Olen Ray to make Star Slammer in 1994. (Oh, guess what . . . Alien Intruder was, in fact, shot inside an old Oscar Mayer meat processing plant in Los Angeles. So, there you go!)
Anyhoo, Commander Skyler, his four convicts, and their “Mother,” aka, a Postironic “Model 4” Android, hop on board the U.S.S. Presley and head off into deep space for the “dreaded G-Sector” . . . and, what the hell? We’re in the Wild, Wild West, then a reenactment of Casablanca, and then an old ’50s biker flick? Huh? Maxwell Caulfield is running in a pair of Speedos, riding a surf board, and taking soft-porn showers with a beach bunny? And why is ex-model-turned-actress Tracy Scoggins in all of these scenes, smoking? (Oh, and if the western scenes look familiar, that’s because it’s the same sets from CBS-TV’s Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman on the Paramount Ranch back lot.)
Oh, I get it . . . to help the crew cope with the stress of long space flights, they bed down in virtual reality simulators to live out their fantasies. Of course, the computer’s VR-self is Ariel, a seductress in the form of . . . yep, Tracy Scoggins (of the ABC-TV prime time soaps Dynasty and The Colbys; Captain Elizabeth Lochley during the final season of Babylon 5 in 1998). And, before you know it, the crew is at each other’s throats for her skin-tight, red-dressed affections. Oh, I get it . . . Ariel is actually an “alien organism-cum-virus” that exists in the “dreaded G-Sector” and reprograms any invading ship’s computer to kill everyone on board.
What the frack is this feldergarb? No, we can’t blame this on Battlestar Galactica or Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (both which actually look better than this space romp, if you can believe that). No, we’re blaming this on Star Trek: The Next Generation, courtesy of that show’s Holodeck tomfoolery. But, you know what? As bad as it all is, Alien Intruder has a Space Mutiny-like fan base (and if you’ve seen that space ditty, you know what we mean); it’s fun to watch because the actors, while down on their luck, are giving it their everything. One fan, who runs the You Tube page bmoviereviews, went as far as to isolate several choice action sequences and dialog vignettes:
Billy Dee Williams Gets Smoked
DJ Bites It
Entering the G-Sector
“Hey, screw you, Mancuzo!”
“I’ll Fry Your Cortex”
“Quit Yer Bitch’n Get In Yer Pod”
And it’s all courtesy of PM Entertainment, who brought us Anna Nicole Smith in all of her action hero bad-assness in Skyscraper (1996). If you need a heavy fix of movies starring Wings Hauser, Erik Estrada, Dan Haggerty, Traci Lords, Lorenzo Lamas, Sam Jones, and even more films starring Maxwell Caulfield, as well as William Forsythe, Micheal Ironside, and Jeff Fahey — basically all of the actors we love here at B&S About Movies — then look no further than the defunct PM Entertainment imprint (1989 – 2002). You can read up on the studio at their extensive Wikipage.
Now, if those clips and the trailer don’t do it for ya, you can free-stream Alien Intruder in its entirety on You Tube. And when you have a chance to see an alien Tracy Scoggins take a bubble bath, how can you not?
About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.