Useless Humans Beams Up to VOD!

14 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date:
June 14

Quiver Distribution
Available on iTunes and other VOD platforms

Useless humans wastes no time letting viewers know we’re the thick of an alien incursion. This movie follows not only Brian Skaggs’ (Josh Zuckerman from ˆ) journey from zero to hero, but also those of his friends–Zackery (Joey Kern), Louis (Rushi Kota) and Jessie (Davida Williams)–too. Toss them into a cabin in the woods scenario for good measure, and just don’t expect the Evil Dead to appear here!

It’s sad to watch all the self pity going on for a guy turning 30. Skaggs is terrific at showing being the best he can be when he makes the effort. Even his friends are in that rut, and when they realize they’re the ones to save the Earth instead of a team of Navy SEALS, we get to see them shine. It’s hard not to root for them. In this film, we have “secret agents” Wendy (Maya Kazan) and Chum (Edy Ganem); they aren’t like Mulder and Scully in a movie that has a few moments inspired from Men in Black. There were even times I’m reminded of Hot Tub Time Machine.

As a direct to home video movie, I didn’t expect a lot of effects shots. The fact they wear some of their gear like a Predator does not say they are here to destroy the planet. In fact, they are here to assist, but things like language barrier and trying to understand them ranks this film right up there with works like Shaun of the Dead.

This film marks Stephen Ohl’s first feature length directorial debut, and he is terrific at giving fans a bit of everything. The pathos we see surrounding these misfits define how the plot must move. Between him and the writing team of Travis Betz, George Caine. Kevin Hamedani and Ryan Scaringe, they probably didn’t have much of a character bio for the supporting cast. I loved Kaan and Ganem more and they may have had a lot of room to make their chemistry and humour really stand out.

Though this work tries to come full circle, the epilogue was rushed. I can see how it’s supposed to tie into the prologue when Skaggs was speaking about how much he cares for the Earth, climate change et al. This theme was not consistent throughout the film and was a missed opportunity since it wasn’t always addressed. Not all aliens come to Earth with a nefarious agenda. It’s a shame these nerds didn’t have Google Translate available to them to figure out why these space invaders were here.

3½ UFOS out of 5

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