By Karen Benardello

Cast: Brad Johnson, Carl Weathers, Erin Ross, Lilas Lane

Original Release Date: 2007

Scores: technical: 70; story: 50; acting: 55; overall: 58

Directed by: Robert Stadd

The Sci-Fi channel has horrified movie fans again-by releasing its original film Alien Siege on DVD this past November. The movie, which premiered on the channel back in February 2005, was picked, and is being marketed, as one of the network’s “essential” productions. But with the network’s track record of releasing movies with underdeveloped scripts, inexperienced actors, and terrible special effects and editing, it would be hard for many serious horror fans to think that this, or any other Sci-Fi original DVD, is worthy of being in their collection.

Alien Siege focuses on the Kulkus alien race coming to Earth after being infected by a lethal virus on its home planet. Kulkus scientists need human blood to develop an antidote, so all of the governments on Earth decide to sacrifice a combined eight million people. These people, who are selected by a lottery, are turned into liquid, which is sent back to the Kulkus’ planet.

Doctor and researcher Stephen Chase (played by Brad Johnson) is a father whose daughter, Heather (played by Erin Ross), is selected in the U.S. lottery. In an effort to save her, he joins a resistance force, which is made of people who disagree with the sacrifice and are trying to do whatever they can to stop it. Stephen tells Blair (Lilas Lane) and Alex (Michael Cory Davis), the group’s leaders, that he will give them his research if they rescue Heather.

Alien Siege is no exception to what many viewers of the channel’s original movies have come to expect from them: a second-rate script filled with plotholes that features underdevolped characters who are played by attractive actors, hired only to look pretty in front of the massive explosions.

It is no surprise that first-time director Robert Stadd, who was also one of the movie’s four screenwriters, hasn’t directed since, has instead focused on what he does best-being a visual effects producer and supervisor. (He has worked on such movies as The Mask, The Nutty Professor [Parts 1 and 2], Ali, and Miami Vice.) Since he mainly focused on the humans and Kulkus shooting, and throwing grenades at, each other, there were several plotholes in Alien Siege. Stadd should have realized that it was never explained why the governments agreed to the Kulkus’ plan, and why Blair and Alex decided to become the leaders of the resistance group, and therefore added something to explain their reasonings.

Also, Johnson and Ross didn’t have any chemistry together, even though it was revealed in passing that Heather’s mother died of cancer, and Stephen was raising Heather on his own. Even though they didn’t have many scenes together, when they did, they really didn’t look at, or interact with, each other that often. Johnson made Stephen seem like he was more interested in his research and blowing things up than saving his daughter from aliens.

Alien Siege is also like any other Sci-Fi channel, B-rate, “unoriginal” original movie, as it features relatively unknown actors. Johnson, for example, has made several made-for-TV and straight-to-video movies, including Safe Harbour, Supergator, and Alaska, while Ross has guest-starred on many TV shows, including “The King of Queens,” “American Dreams,” “Will & Grace,” and “Back to You.”

In an effort to get more people to buy the movie, Image Entertainment, the DVD’s distributor, added production stills as a bonus feature. But by the end of the movie, the audience will most likely feel so disconnected from the characters and the script that they won’t care about it enough to see how it was put together.

The main people who will most likely be interested in buying Alien Siege on DVD will be those who want to see the unedited special effects, as it was rated R for sci-fi violence, as well as those people interested in what Stadd has to say about making the movie (the director’s audio commentary is the only other bonus feature). Everyone else should just wait to watch it until it airs on TV again, or skip it altogether.

Alien Siege Movie Poster Sci-Fi Channel Exclusive

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