shapeshifter_2Shapeshifter (1999)
AKA Shifter

Starring Paul Nolan, Bill MacDonald, Catherine Blythe, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Theodor Danetti, Serban Celea, George Ilie, Andrei Finti, Marioara Sterian

Directed by Philippe Browning

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

What do spies, gypsies, asteroids and shapeshifting have in common? Before watching Shapeshifter I would have said, “Nothing,” but now I know the truth. These disparate elements are actually all tied together in the grand scheme of life. While you go about your business brushing your teeth or walking your dog, there are people out there doing the big work, playing hypnotic new age music on glass bowls. And if that made no sense to you, don’t worry. It is not our place as common mortals to understand the work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure our lives are safe.

Shapeshifter starts out much more reserved, though, leaving the fantasy elements on the back burner and out of sight for the first 30 minutes. The story opens with a seemingly unrelated scene involving a gypsy kid picking up a fallen asteroid, but our tale truly begins when we meet Alex. His parents have recently quit the spy business and are moving back to the United States to enjoy the rest of their lives — or so they thought! The night they arrive, evildoers come by way of van and kidnap Alex’s parents! Good thing Alex was in the attic playing with his parents’ spy gear.

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