Review #815: Starship Invasions.
Robert Vaughn (Professor Allan Duncan), Christopher Lee (Captain Rameses), Daniel Pilon (Anaxi), Tiiu Leek (Phi), Helen Shaver (Betty Duncan), Henry Ramer (Malcolm), Victoria Johnson (Gazeth), and Doreen Lipson (Dorothy) Directed by Ed Hunt.
Another year, another Canada Day to celebrate. I've done reviews dedicated to Canadian films before (#406 - Whispering City, #407 - Why Shoot the Teacher?, #408 - Goin' Down the Road, #409 - The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, #607 - Back to God's Country, #608 - Tomorrow Never Comes, and #722 - The Changeling), but this time I decided to pick one a bit different from the previous bunch - a sci-fi film (also known as Project Genocide in the UK, with War of the Aliens and Alien Encounter being the two titles of the movie before being renamed to the one seen above). It was filmed in Toronto about UFO's, with First Canadian Place (the tallest skyscraper in Canada) being featured in one scene. Believe it or not, this is a hokey kind of sci-fi film, with telepathic aliens, a suicide device used as a superweapon, and multiple shots of ships looking like hubcaps. It only makes sense for all the aliens to be telepathic, because without it they would have to speak with each other, instead of just being dubbed in the booth, so Lee is sadly relegated to just being silent, save for his voice from time to time. Vaughn certainly fits into the movie well enough, not being over-the-top or underplayed, even in a movie without much standout acting.
I have to admit, a group called the "Legion of the Winged Serpent" is pretty unique sounding, even if it's just a bunch of aliens in black garb, apparently descendants of transplanted humans, whatever that means. There is something strange about all these proceedings, maybe it's the random suicides (by the device, but still random), or the way the plot moves. At least it's not a simple invasion movie, though the merging of UFO accounts (such as the garb and robot design) really mesh weirdly with the Intergalactic League of Races and their pyramid in the ocean of the Earth. I find it funny they made a Galactic Treaty about not attacking Earth, when the Serpents just ignore it anyway. The movie runs quickly enough at around 90 minutes, and while it is a hokey kind of sci-fi film released on the heels of Star Wars, but there is a certain charm to the ridiculous nature of a movie that tries to mesh a bunch of aspects together to make for a movie best suited for being watched with a little bit of ribbing along the way.
Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.