“[…] classic sci-fi that will delight fans with its painstaking recreation of an alien world […]”

Sunday, October 17, 2010 at 8:03 pm Comments (3)

Lost and found? Yes, I’d like to know what happened to my weekend. October’s halfway over and nobody even told me? I am very unhappy with this, you guys!

Mind you, I’m totally to blame. I’ve been trying to find a means of updating the Games I Own section so it’ll be easier to manage and less of a jumbled mess, but so far that just results in a lot of unproductive wasted time. Could I ask for help here?

My brother picked it up on a whim from Play.com and has been raving about it, so I sat down and watched Hunter Prey – a budget sci-fi flick made for the Sci-Fi Channel. In summary, a bunch of aliens (which get whittled down to only one guy in under twenty minutes) are chasing the last human in the galaxy, who is not at all pleased that these genocidal aliens have blown up Earth. That’s basically it for the whole ninety minutes.


It throws a curveball occasionally, but it never takes long for the basic cat-and-mouse game to resume. The most notable instance is when at one point a bounty hunter swoops down to take the human for himself. I was under the impression adding a third party to the scuffle would make things interesting. The dude gets shivved not even five minutes later by the alien, and aside from his ship getting used later on, the bounty hunter contributes just about nothing to the story. He did have a cute prickly goatee and some neat space goggles, but I’m not lying when I think he could’ve been dropped without much difference to the plot.

So, yeah, there’s very little plot, and most of the first act is taken up with the aliens bickering amongst each other before getting unceremoniously killed. On the bright side, it spends most of the running time doing beautiful panning shots of the fantastic desert location, which I am always a sucker for. I’ve referenced the movie dozens of times by now, but Beastmaster was a great film because it constantly wasted time on location footage.

During the final act the alien and the human get to interact more, and basically they both intend to wipe each other out – the human has a ship full of explosives he’s going to ram into the alien’s planet, and there’s some mild debate between them discussing “is this how you want the legacy of your race to be remembered?” The alien claims that the human should settle his score with the warriors, not his entire race, and plays the got-a-wife-and-kids card at one point to dissuade him… but then he retracts it and reiterate his point that his race is indeed a totally unapologetic genocidal race, and I got the implication the human had no beef with blowing the twelve hells out of their planet.

While I love me some escapism fiction, the thing I hate most about it is how a majority of stories make their villains belong to a non-human race and every member of that species is evil, violent, loathsome and generally despicable. From a storytelling perspective it’s nothing more than a cheap shortcut: “Don’t worry, I don’t need to justify why they’re bad guys, they’re inherently evil!” It’s said that the aliens’ reasons for enslaving/destroying other races is part of some religious crusade (subtle parallel, fellas!) and the alien repeatedly states that he doesn’t think these feelings – he knows. The human criticizes them for blindly following the elders’ laws and uses that as a good reason to exterminate them. To use an awkward analogy, some dogs are vicious baby eaters, but not all dogs are vicious baby eaters. Surely there’s a sensible, modern-man solution for expressing peace to a race that’s all about slaughtering everything else in existence and a way to pacify them so they can function in an ordinary, non-murdering society?

In the end the alien lets the human get away in his escort’s ship and allows him to track the coordinates to his home planet, and apparently has no real beef with the human blowing up his world. In an earlier conversation the alien admits that he does care for his people, though it’s implied he just doesn’t like the way things are run, and that suggest he allows the human to launch his attack so a new order can rise. Problem is, I got the impression that BAM KERPLOW, the human’s plan will result in the freakin’ wholesale destruction of the planet. It’s kind of hard to start a new way of running your government when your world’s been blow to shit.

I suppose this whole issue could’ve been solved if the movie had some proper story in the first two acts before cramming it all into the last part. Mind you, throughout all of the humans-vs-aliens discussions I couldn’t help but think to myself, “can’t we just settle this like gentlemen?” That’s why I don’t write war stories, see. If I tried to write a story set in World War II it would probably be summarised as “everyone sets aside their differences and gets together for a big picnic.”

This doodle’s been sitting around since the beginning of the year, nearly. It’s a crude rendition of Edmund the Bastard from The Continued Adventures of Space Aladdin (see December 23 2009 entry!); I had once attempted to draw all the major characters, but that obviously never fell through. I definitely want to pay tribute to the play in some form or another sometime!

I will say, those legs weird me out – are they just outrageously lopsided or is that coat making a poor attempt at covering them up? It’s rather sad when I can’t even make out the details of my own drawings.

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3 Responses to ““[…] classic sci-fi that will delight fans with its painstaking recreation of an alien world […]””

  • Wes says:

    “A budget sci-fi flick made for the Sci-Fi Channel” — that alone tells you that this movie DEFIES criticism and analysis. Should’ve just gone with Dinocroc and spent the next 90 minutes laughing at the title. ;)

  • MightyKombat says:

    Hey Wes don’t you mean SyFy now since their going for some faux-hip schtick whilst looking absolutely pretentious whilst doing so?

  • Ragey says:

    See, I haven’t had much experience with Sci-Fi Channel movies so far – the only other one I’ve seen was Vampire Bats, and the only point worth analysing in that was how awesome Lucy Lawless wielding a broom is.

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