By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Available on VOD
Home Video & Soundtrack Release
Sept 7th (Amazon link)
Not every movie about UFOs deals with conspiracies. The sci-fi stoner comedy Escape From Area 51 momentarily plays with the storm Area 51 movement–which was what caught my attention–before dealing with the plot at hand. This movie’s story pairs well with Shae Sterling’s Alien Addiction for its low brow humour. I’m certain there is no family connection with David Sterling, the producer behind this work. It’s doubtful that director Eric Mittleman, who also co-wrote with Ted Chalmers, Carlos Perez and Robert Rhine, even knows of the New Zealand made film.
Curiosity seekers may well be hard pressed to find something to like about this work. It’s basically a T&A schlocky feature with a lot of sexual innuendo that will get fans of Donna D’Errico (Baywatch) giggling. She plays the alien who was locked up at the facility and when she makes the mistake of using her alien tech; it draws Sklarr’s attention (Chris Browning, Sons of Anarchy). He’s been scouring the galaxy because there was a War of the Worlds between their civilizations in the past… Well, maybe; I had to make this joke somehow.
Plus, metalheads get a taste of Frankie Sixx (daughter of Donna and Nikki Sixx) in her first acting gig. That’s the reason I was curious about this film. I wouldn’t necessarily warn people to steer clear, as it has a few good laugh-out-loud moments. I’m sure Mittleman intentionally wanted the stars to play the roles as simple as possible, so that the whole production has that quality of those early pulps, cheap special effects, gore, et al.
As a truth seeker of UFO lore, I appreciated the few sly references alien agendas often harp upon, namely in how some species want to either destroy the planet, or make it safe for all to live in. This film is a spoof of the genre at it played out in the 50s. Instead of actors in alien rubber suits, we have humanoids in tight fitting outfits and cheap budget effects. But as for social commentary, don’t expect any. Escape from Area 51 is best viewed with the brain turned off.