Starring: Tonia Renee, Bret Kennedy, Ozzie Devrish
Also known as: The Dark Lurking (US)
“What hell have you unleashed down here?” (random shouty bloke, Alien Undead)
Well, this is just bloody silly. In a research facility one mile below the Earth’s surface (aren’t they all in this sort of film?), a team of scientists is working on a batch of genetically mutated humans spliced with the DNA of the devil. Naturally, things go a bit awry and a group of eight survivors try to escape the facility before the newly angry devil-mutants now roaming the corridors manage to get hold of them.
This being a low-budget Australian horror film, these eight people conveniently fit nicely into their own stereotypical roles. There’s the loudmouth smartass woman who just sits there and says “yeah, reeeeeal smart idea, let’s just get ourselves killed” without actually contributing any ideas herself, there’s the effeminate wimpy guy who’s terrified of everything, there’s the tough guy, there’s the old scientist lady who plays dumb but really knows what’s going on and of course there’s the ethnic minority chap, who in this is just another Australian putting on an atrocious South American accent of some sort.
And then there’s Lena, the heroine apparent of this piece. We first see her waking up naked in an all-white room in a scene completely stolen wholesale from the start of the first Resident Evil movie, and throughout the film it becomes clear that while she has no idea who she is and how she got there, these answers are going to reveal a rather dodgy secret.
Given its “people with guns fighting mutants underground” plot it’s not surprising that Alien Undead is packed to the brim with clichés. What makes it entertaining though is that these clichés are exaggerated to a ridiculous degree. The “tough guy” has a voice that’s so low and raspy it just has to have been dubbed on in post-production, and when confronted by a bunch of mutants he always lets out a loud scream while firing seemingly hundreds of shots from his small handgun (without ever reloading, naturally). The “annoying” woman is unbearable and the scared chap camps it up so much he may as well be played by Louis Spence.
As as for the action… well, here’s a little game for you. Watch the following two-minute scene from the film (it’s called The Dark Lurking in the US, in case you’re curious about the title) and see if you can count how many bullets are fired in this short sequence. I have the feeling you may lose count about halfway in:
After watching that, I’m sure you’ll agree that Alien Undead was robbed when it was narrowly pipped to the post by The King’s Speech as Best Picture at the 2011 Academy Awards. Sarcasm aside, this is a film that just goes mental and doesn’t give a shit and for that I have to admit I was a little impressed.
By no means is this a fantastic film, or even a very good one. Is it well-made? Not at all. Is the acting of a greater standard than what you might see from someone dressed as a pirate at Legoland? Not really. But is it fun with a group of people playing “count the shit lines”? Certainly.
WHERE CAN I FIND IT?
Alien Undead is a DVD-only release, so if you live in the UK click here to buy it, and if you live in the US you can get it under its American title of The Dark Lurking by clicking here.
If you enjoyed this review and would like to read more, here’s a complete list of reviews on That Was A Bit Mental.