(2007) dir. Colin Stause, Greg Strause
The two top monsters of the 1980’s, the Alien (1979) and the Predator (1987), were long fantasized about battling it out. Apparently, they first found their battleground in comic books and later in AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004). I remember the discussions as well that eventually found their filmic conception in Freddy vs. Jason (2003), the meeting of Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and its sequels against Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th (1980) and its spawn. The dawning of a new era in this millennium, in which such filmic fantasies are realized.
And then sequelized.
I did see the “original” AVP: Alien vs. Predator back when I wasn’t updating the film diary. It was pretty misbegotten, as I recall, set in an isolated polar outpost. The new one takes place in middle America, smalltownville. It’s funny, but I remember as a kid, sitting with friends, thinking about what would happen if the Alien, made it to Earth (not in real life but you know)? Here we go. It’s a disaster. Everyone gets killed. Who knew?
The original two Alien films, Alien, and Aliens (1986) were both very influential and excellent in their time. The original Predator film wasn’t up to their snuff, but it was probably the best Arnold Schwarzenegger B-movie of the 1980’s next to his iconic The Terminator (1984). Couldn’t he come by and fight the aliens and predators? Arnold made a lot of B-movies before he broke through in comedy, but Predator for some reason, maybe its mixture of humor and outsized masculinity, just plain kicked ass. At least I have always thought so. It’s been some time since I saw most of these films.
That said, AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem, the most current of these films, isn’t as terrible as it might be. I think it’s actually an improvement on its predecessor, and it certainly leaves the doors open for more sequels. Directed by “The Brothers Strause” as it says on the film, two guys whose background seems to be special effects, there are characteristics that have promise (though largely squandered) and some nice cinematography. But let’s face it, when you have aliens popping out of chests every five minutes, it loses some of its effect. The original “alien popping out of the chest” scene in Alien was totally shocking and has become a short-hand, cultural reference. What was once originary and jaw-dropping, is now commonplace.
The real evolutionary thing in this film is the “Predalien” as its called, the alien that pops out of a Predator’s stomach as the end of the prior film. It was probably the most fun for the designers. Oddly, I was reminded of an Alien mixed with Whoopi Goldberg. Still, it’s the big bad-ass of the film, impregnating at a faster rate by pumping babies into people’s throats for multiple births in the stomach explosions. Which actually adds to the film’s other most creepy point: the maternity ward turned into an “alien” maternity ward. There is something creepy and interesting about it.
I certainly don’t recommend this film to anyone who bears no interest in this franchise. But it’s far from the worst thing I’ve seen. It’s worst points are the squandered backstories of the humans (who cares anyways, right? They’re just there for impregnation and decapitation). They even have a Sigourney Weaver wannabe gal in there, tough ass broad in a wife-beater-style t-shirt.
I doubt we’ve seen the last of these fellows.