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Alien Predator (1987)
Alien Predator is a mess. Ostensibly an alien film (obviously, given the title), there are no aliens in sight until almost the very end, when a cheesy lump with fangs attacks a windshield. There are also no predators of note, although the aliens that are mentioned every so often are supposed to be threatening. On the other hand, the threat seems more similar to a virus, and the people and animals who are attacked all look like there is something uniquely wrong with them. For instance, a cow that is "attacked" seems to develop really bad hives and boils, while a Spanish waitress (Alien Predator inexplicably takes place in Spain - the only reason I can think of for this is that the labor must have been cheap there) turns into a ridiculously funny, bad 80's hair band lead singer who also happens to be a zombie. Another instantiation of the alien predator takes the form of a mute pervert wearing the mask from Alice, Sweet Alice and standing in the grocery store.
The plot, as convoluted as it is, goes something like this: While Skylab was in orbit, it was performing experiments on biological organisms found on the moon on an Apollo mission. Apparently, the organisms came out of their dormancy. Skylab fell out of orbit, crashing in Spain. Later, three incredibly goofy Californian teens are driving an RV trailing a dune buggy across Europe-they drive through the wrong area of Spain at just the wrong time. They meet the ridiculous waitress. They meet other ridiculous people. Then one day when the goofy teenaged girl is on her way back from grocery shopping for pickled pigs eyes, the worst actor you have ever seen (playing a NASA scientist) kidnaps her in her dune buggy and takes her to a cheap hotel, where he tries to conduct an emergency operation by himself. He explains that the aliens invade their hosts and "feast on their DNA like a buffet, taking whatever traits they need." Supposedly this turns them into psychotic killers. Based on the film, however, they are psychotic killers who like to stay out of sight, because given a small town wherein everyone is supposed to be "infected," you only see two residents throughout this movie.
This is just the start of the plot description. There's romance, horror, action, SciFi, an inexplicable plot development per scene, etc. Some of the dialogue obviously tries to be funny in a cutesy way. None of it is really funny. Lots of the dialogue, and the NASA scientist's performance, and lots of plot developments and backstory are supposed to be serious but they are hilarious.
There are also a few scenes that are scary and even more scenes that are stylistic, believe it or not. And there are some great gore scenes, most notably the cow carcass being attacked by wild dogs in the opener. These suggest that Alien Predator could have actually been a good good movie, rather than a good bad movie. Apparently they didn't have enough money to enable making it a good good movie, though. They didn't even have enough to ask for a rewrite of the script so that it makes some sense.
This is the first movie since I've started reviewing movies recently that I wish I had taken notes for - I wanted to remember all the inane things that were occurring and I knew that once I got to the point of writing this, most of them would escape me. For instance, during a car chase, the protagonist goes in circles in a public square in an attempt to lose his pursuer. There's an ominous Mad Max looking vehicle that occasionally pops up to try to run people down and crush them-even though it appears to go 20 mph at top speed. In another "brilliant" scene, the "hero" loses his flashlight. When he finds it, he turns it on in a vertical position, with the light under his chin, pointing to the top of his head. This frightens him. There were tons of items like this that I could have listed had I taken notes. Maybe I will when I watch this again.
Recommendation: Alien Predator is prime fodder for MST3K, but it's funnier if you watch it without because no one with a brain needs MST3K to point out the absurdities here. Like the difference between imagining the visuals for a book as opposed to seeing them imaged for you in a movie, MST3K is more likely to limit your enjoyment of the ridiculousness. Don't miss Alien Predator if you enjoy watching bad movies.