Starring Taylor Locke, Carly Pope, Barna Moricz, Markus Parilo, Gerry Quigley, Gloria Slade, George Ilie, Ovidiu Bucurenciu, Marcel Cobzariu, Marius Florea Vizante, Marioara Sterian, Mircea Constantinescu, Ion Haiduc
Directed by George Erschbamer
Expectations: Looking forward to it.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
As a kid did you ever wish for a movie that combined your love of westerns with your love of E.T.? If so, Aliens in the Wild, Wild West is the movie you’ve been hunting for! You may have happened upon it 20 years too late, but you’re only as old as you feel! So dust off those childhood fantasies and throw those suicidal thoughts away for the next 90 minutes, cuz we’re going back to the
wild west wild, wild west!
Tom Johnson (Taylor Locke) is a kid obsessed with video. He carries a camera everywhere he goes, even strapping one to the front of his moped as he drives home from school. His sister Sara (Carly Pope) is the classic rebellious teenage girl, dating a dangerous rocker dude that her father firmly disapproves of. After a rather heated argument when Sara is brought home by a couple of cops (all videotaped with MTV VJ-style commentary by Tom), the head of the family decides that there’s only one thing to do in a situation like this. Unwavering discipline? Family counseling? A stiff drink on the rocks? Nope! Family vacation! Who wants to bet they’ll have a hair-raising adventure that ultimately brings them all closer together?
This is kind of the Moonbeam trademark story — ’90s kids taken back in time — and Aliens in the Wild, Wild West doesn’t do a lot to distinguish itself as one worth caring about. Even the “wild, wild west” setting is pretty tame, but I’ll admit that it sounds better in a title than the “mild, mild west” (and you get the name recognition from Will Smith’s 1999 film Wild Wild West, too). But the film seems to acknowledge its lack of an engaging setting by adding the final ingredient to its B-Movie stew: aliens. Soon after the kids arrive in 1880, a very representative example of low-budget, ’90s CG comes along in the form of a flying saucer, delivering to us the film’s hairy aliens. I could try and relate more of this moment but the western hero of the story, Johnny Coyle (Barna Moricz), said it best when he said, “Wasn’t no shootin’ star, it was a wagon wheel or somethin’, but big! Tom calls it a U. F… uhhh, O.”
The acting from nearly the entire cast is questionable, but some of that is definitely the fault of the shoddy dubbing that plagues the half of the cast that are Romanian natives. This is to be expected in a Full Moon film of this vintage, though, and while there are some really bad instances here, I’ve definitely seen worse (and funnier) bits of dubbing in other Full Moon films. Retro Puppet Master, anyone?
Aliens in the Wild, Wild West isn’t a film that will rock your world, but if your kids enjoy B-Movie westerns and REALLY SURPRISED aliens then definitely give it a spin. It’s a little too long in the tooth, but it had more than enough clichéd western fun to satisfy this Full Moon fan.
Next up in my journey through every Full Moon film, I’ll be checking out Skull Heads from 2009! See ya then!