Posted by: Peter Hall
Directed by Ben Rock, 2008
Written by Julia Fair, David Simkins
I suppose I could listen to the audio commentary that director Ben Rock posted online not too long ago and find an answer, but I wonder if the original script for ALIEN RAIDERS bore the same title. Even if it was intentional, a moniker as generic as that does no justice in selling on accuracy. A title like ALIEN RAIDERS implies a low budget, low talent premiere on The Most Dangerous Night of Television. Ben Rock’s film may be low budget and I’ve no doubt that the Sauron eye of the Sci-Fi channel has this indie in its acquisition sights, but ALIEN RAIDERS is a head above its namesake.
Watching it I was reminded of another recent indie buzzer (coincidentally purchased post production for a Saturday night premiere on the Sci-Fi channel), SPLINTER (review). Fortunately the memory ends only in contrast. Where SPLINTER’s ambitions were skewered by an inability to deliver on the grandiose, ALIEN RAIDERS finds inventive ways to disguise shortcomings, transforming obstacles into merits. This is what indie horror is about.
Set entirely in and around a supermarket, Julia Fair and David Simkins’ script somersaults into an armed group who have taken siege of said market with the intent of rooting out an ambiguous parasite that has found host in at least one of the small town denizens. A hostage scenario ensues, cops are called, experiments are carried out, fingers are chopped off in the name of alien investigation. All the while the unlucky few left in the store have no inkling as to the true breadth of the situation. Neither does the audience, but mere minutes in Ben Rock convinces all involved should stick around to find out.