Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Go see "Alien Raiders"

My friend Ben Rock moved out to Los Angeles a decade ago, on the strength of his involvement in "The Blair Witch Project." As production designer, he created all those creepy totems and other disturbing objects seen in the movie. He's worked steadily since, directing stuff for television mostly. But, as the saying goes in Hollywood, his real goal was to direct feature films.

He finally got his chance, as "Alien Raiders" was released on DVD yesterday. It's a straight-to-video flick, as it was always meant to be, although Ben saw to it that it got seen in a few horror film festivals. It was made for Warners, the largest studio in Hollywood with a lot of influence -- it was their decision to stop releasing their films on HD DVD that essentially sealed the victory for Blu-ray in the hi-def format wars.

Hopefully, "Alien Raiders" will do well and Ben will be asked to do another movie. Head to your local video store to rent it, or buy it here, among other places:

I've seen the movie, and it's really very good. Yes, the title is silly, as Ben himself will tell you. It was changed several times during production. The basic set-up is that a crew of soldiers invade a late-night grocery stores while searching for some boogums from outer space. It's less a gory shoot-em-up -- although there is plenty of that -- than a tense thriller. The acting is a real step above what you normally see in this sort of thing, and of course, Ben is a skilled director.

Check it out.

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