Alien Species (1996)

So back in the mists of time, I found a movie called “Alien Species” from 1995, at the time I couldnt find ANY trivia for it really other than Troma being the distributor (but not creator) of the film AND the fact that less than 12 months after this movie got put out, in a COMPLETELY different part of the country ANOTHER film would come out ALSO called “Alien Species” At the time the idea that two movies could hit the market so close together with SUCH a small budget (the combined budgets of both of these films wouldnt even pay for the catering on a mid sized budget production) AND given they were both, kind of from the same stable…well it fascinated me to say the least. For a time I debated whether to cover them both back to back for comedic effect, indeed. what better way to follow up “Alien Species”, than with “Alien Species”? but I had trouble finding the ’96 version of Alien species and ultimately, while I had at least ONE version of the two films in my hands, it just made sense to cover the one I had and if I found the other one, then more power to me.

Anyway skip forward a year or two and I picked up Mill Creeks “Nightmare Worlds” set, and LO and behold! THIS movie was on it. I knew as soon as I saw it listed I needed to get it covered and originally this WAS going to be in my 10th Season of reviews in November, but given i’d already covered so many low budget SOV films at that point, It didnt feel like a fluid and natural situation and crowbar this into the season as well, it would have made the season lopsided and a bit too heavy on low budget, SOV sci fi and horror films. SO! I wrote the script and then shelved it (Swamp Women took the place of this in the November Schedules) and it sat on my dock ready to be implemented for the best part of 5 months until FINALLY it fit in in a comfy little spot in Season 11!

I think the review more than speaks for itself, I cant say I was a huge fan of this one, but; with it sort of being the “Part 1” of what was supposed to be a much bigger franchise, I feel maybe with a bit more development and a sequel or two, this could have been something a bit better. as it stands it feels like someones handed me a third of a rubicks cube and told me to “solve it” and im kind of just staring at it wondering what on earth that would involve

This poster looks like something “Ab-So-Lutely” productions would come up with. WAY to busy and just plain odd.

Ozone (1993)

I honestly relished the opportunity to cover more J.R Bookwalter, really genuinely relished it. after spending damn near a month covering his early works and the infamous “SOV Six Pack” I felt like this was very much the “Spiderman Far From Home” to the six packs “Avengers Endgame” And honestly? I absolutely was NOT dissapointed.

It really felt like, after the six pack, Bookwalter had burnt out and REALLY wanted to recenter, refocus, reprioritise and give his absolute ALL to whatever he made next. and when I tell you that I think this is arguably one of (if not THE) best film J.R has made, and I would be MORE than happy to say its one of (if not THE) best SOV film ever produced. I am not saying that lightly. this films exceptional in its field, really honestly exceptional. And each day your not sat in front of this for the first time is a sadder day my friend. so hop to it!

There are more Bookwalter films out there to cover, and believe me; when they get a bluray release, you better believe i’ll be right there DAY ONE to buy and cover them. I dont know if he’s going to re-release all his films, but i’ll cover as many as I can get my hands on!

I also have to seriously commend the rebranding and remastering of the official bluray for this set, given the materials wernt exactly grade A1, JR’s weaved nothing short of witchcraft into this release to get it looking as good as it does. im seriously impressed.

Humanoids From Atlantis (1992)

Well! It’s the end of the line! and we crash out in a ball of flames so spectacular that it damn near made J.R quit the industry all together and led to several actors never working again. HUZZAH!

Seriously; this films an absolute train wreck, no ifs or buts about it. it’s a FUN movie. dont get me wrong I enjoyed the absolute crap out of the sheer BALLS of this production. But i’d be lying if I said that it was a desperatly flawed production that literally could have been so much more. Having watched the table read for the script that ultimately got thrown out for this film. I’d be lying if I said I didnt want to see that version moreso than this one. But…im glad we at least got the opportunity to see what might have been via the wonderful work that J.R and Makeflix have done to bring this set to life.

It’s miraculous that that this film exists quite honestly given EVERYTHING that went on behind the scenes and given the amount of stress that was ultimately put on J.R I totally understand why he stepped back from directing for a time after this. but being able to see it years later. while it IS bad, no doubt about it. I can at least appreciate it for what it stands for. this was a film that was made from nothing. it’s goofy, cheesy and those title cards and credits will be the death of me. but it got MADE. J.R got it over the line and it got into Video stores. thats amazing. so I hope despite my negative criticism of the film in the review below. that you still at least keep that in mind.

Since these reviews went live Makeflix have also announced that all of these movies in the SOV six pack will be recieving solo releases in the near future. while I dont have an exact ETA, my advice has always and will continue to always be. Keep an eye on Makeflix. they’ve got some great stuff in the pipeline.

This cover is TERRIBLY misleading. I love it.

Maximum Impact (1992)

Given that Maximum impact was recorded in the same block as Chick Boxer its not surprising to hear that the film suffered similar issues to Chick Boxer. now it’s not a technical disaster like Chick Boxer is, but it DOES suffer from the issue of it being recorded around christmas time. So even though the “Professional” film makers had all piled into this project to get the job done. they were still having to deal with the uphill battle of having to contend attention wise with chirstmas and everything that came with it.

That not only mean dealing with actors who were too busy shopping to remember their lines, but they also had to deal with crew who had the same issue and plummeting tempratures across the board. it really was a terrible time to decide to make 2 movies back to back. But…these guys did it. It means that, no matter how bland or just…not quite there this film is. they still managed to power through and deliver an end product thats actually not that bad. looking back on the set i’d say that Chick Boxer was the definite low point of the set in terms of production quality. but if we plotted a graph it would show a “V” shape almost. and Maximum impact would be on the other side of that sharp dip. the films that came after this. in their own way are entertaining (if not technically lacking) but this movie? I can at least applaud it that its TRYING to be good. J.R and crew hadnt thrown in the towel, they wanted to make this work and despite its GLARING flaws. I think I have to applaud a film that tries over one that doesnt every time.

This one also has the honour of having the modern artwork look the closest to it’s original artwork. I think it looks good…even if it doesnt really tell you anything about the film itself.