Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New on Video: All-Too-Familiar Aliens in Extraterrestrial

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 5:32 PM


Sibling pairs are all the rage in director's chair(s) these days, but I automatically distrust those teams that use badass-sounding adjectives rather than their actual surnames. For example, Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of American Mary, bill themselves as the Twisted Twins, and they are in fact twin sisters, so they have that going for them.

On the other hand, the Vicious Brothers, directors of Extraterrestrial — which Shout! Factory is releasing on Blu-ray on May 12 — are not brothers. They're a couple of guys named Stuart Ortiz and Colin Minihan, which I'm sure we all agree is less evocative-sounding than the Vicious Brothers. But does their work live up to their name?

Enh. Extraterrestrial is a serviceable enough genre flick, as a group of young people travel to a cabin in the woods, only to have to deal with an invasion of gray, big-eyed aliens (you know the type) who arrive in a flying saucer (again, you know the type). It's pretty much the VHS-era throwback that it sounds like, with (of course) much higher production values. And because they're boys, there's of course a graphic anal-probe scene, because that's the kind of things boys find endlessly hilarious.


The making-of featurette opens with two quotes from each of them, which reveals the kind of schizoid tendencies that are common to indie horror filmmaking. One of them (Colin, I think? As you'll notice from above, they stick to the "Vicious Brothers" thing as much as they can) says, "We were aiming for a certain prestige and quality with this film that I don't even think most modern horror films aim for." This immediately followed by the other, who says, "This is the film that if we were both 16 years old and we saw this movie, we would be so stoked." Whether the film achieved its aimed-for prestige and quality is debatable, but there no question that it's a film for 16-year-old boys.

To me, the most interesting thing about Extraterrestrial is the lack of a definitive directorial credit. I'd always thought the Directors Guild of America was strict about these things; George Lucas had a famous row with them regarding the placement of Irving Kershner's credit in The Empire Strikes Back that resulted in Lucas quitting the Guild. Consequently, the DGA created the now-discontinued Alan Smithee pseudonym so there'd still be a name listed when the original director doesn't want his or hers on it, but Extraterrestrial skips the issue entirely. The IMDB specifies that Colin was the solo director, but the credits of the film as well as the packaging give the Vicious Brothers "film by," writing, editing, and "created by" props, but apparently nobody actually directed the damn movie. But then again, I wouldn't want to take credit for it, either.


Let's talk briefly about that Blu-ray cover art up at the top of this post, shall we? Now, the original poster was decent:


But for a film which actually has a fair number of strong images to its credits, how the marketing department landed on what appears to be Seven of Nine being threatened by Freddy Krueger in a James Cameron film for the video art is a mystery to me. Maybe a screaming girl being threatened by pointy things has been proven to move more units? Yeah, probably.

  • Pin It

Tags: ,

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"