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Alien Beach

Party Massacre

     "Dude! Why aren't you dead yet?!"

--- Stoner Jeff, commenting on horror movie clichťs   

 

     

Reviews:

Gonzoid Cinema

 

 

Buzzkillers!

"Uhm, honey? This isn't exactly what I meant when I asked for some head!"

 

Watch it!

AMAZON

DVD

 
Sights &
Sounds:
Alien Beach
Party Massacre
(1996)
 McCarter
 Multimedia

The Trailer: N/A

Newspaper Ads: N/A

Flickr Poster Archive: N/A

 

Our spit and duct-tape powered space opera begins aboard the ship of a benevolent race of pale, human-like aliens currently trying to escape the pursuing clutches of a belligerent, pig-like alien race. Why? The pasties have stolen the "Death Sphere" -- the pig-alien's new secret weapon, and if a certain sequence of buttons is pushed, the weapon activates, disintegrating whatever it touches. We then have a slow pan to this Death Sphere, and the collective audience says, "Huh? That thing looks just like a volleyball." Uh-oh...

E'yup: hang on, we're on a runaway collision course with wackiness! Whoooooooooo...

When the humanoids are intercepted by the porcine E.T.'s, their ship sustains heavy damage by blaster fire, and as the pilots try to maintain control, we're introduced to Nagillig, the ship's sanitation engineer, klutz, and carcinogenic comedy relief. (And we cross our fingers, hoping that this guy is not our hero -- but don't hold your breath.) Inevitably, Nagillig (George Willis) accidentally activates the Death Sphere and kills one of the pilots. (And if you also notice, Nagillig spelled backwards is Gilligan, so expect other, similar disasters to follow.) Down one pilot and too heavily damaged to escape, the ship has to make an emergency landing. They find a suitable planet but canít penetrate the ozone layer until they find a hole in it. Ordered to launch the Death Sphere out of the torpedo tube so the other aliens canít get it, el Klutzo manages to launch it just before the ship crashes in the hills outside of Hollywood. The pursuing ship, helmed by Lord Odem, tracks them to Earth, where he plans to take care of the matter personally.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Dr. Bateman (John Eineigl) monitors all this extraterrestrial activity, and as we watch Bateman, who claims to have been observing these aliens for years, it becomes quite clear that he is a few tacos short of a full platter as he tries to calculate the location of the alien crash site. (Don't forget to carry the two, dude.) At the point of impact in question, since Nagillig appears to be the only survivor fully intact, the pilot, whose been severed in half, orders him to find the Death Sphere before Lord Odem gets his paws [...hooves?] on it. Finding the Death Sphere Detector a few feet away in the pants pocket of the pilot's dismembered legs, Nagillig sets off on his task.

Elsewhere, weíre introduced to our cannon fodder as they head to a birthday beach party. First up is Bud (Perry Martin), a baseball player and a royal prick (-- not necessarily in that order), who strikes out while trying to score with Babs (Stacy Havener). Together, they pick up Robin (Kourtney Kaye), the brainy virgin, and the pharmaceutically enhanced Glue (Eric Zumbrunnen) and head to the ocean. (Glue's real name is Elmer, and his hairdo resembles Cousin It from The Addams Family.) At the beach we meet Tina (Steph Eubanks), birthday girl and uber-bitch, who sends the resident stoner surfers, Jeff and Al (Mark Fite and Max Fisk), into town for supplies. Tina also tells them to pick up her cousin whoís just flown in from New Jersey. When asked for a description of this mook, it sounds a lot like Nagillig (-- so we all know where this is heading).

Unknown to the revelers, however, is that they're being secretly watched by the vile Lord Odem and his second in command, Number-Two -- we'll call him Deuce, since Dropping a Deuce would be to obvious. Watching the Earthlings play some sand volleyball, the aliens canít believe these primitives would treat the Death Sphere so roughly. Then, when someone's volley goes long, the ball disappears into the trees. As Bud goes to retrieve it, coincidently, near the exact same spot, Nagillig happens to find the real Death Sphere. Thinking heís trying to steal their ball, Neanderthal Bud roughs him up, but Jeff and Al save him from any permanent damage, figuring he must be Tinaís cousin from Jersey. Of course, the volleyball game then continues with the Death Sphere, and while it bounces around, itís inadvertently triggered again and disintegrates a sunbather -- but no one except Nagillig seems to notice.

Later, Jeff has some premium weed to smoke and invites Al and Glue to come with him up to the old Wilby place to smoke it. Glue, in turn, manages to also invite Bud, Babs, Robin and Nagillig along, and they also pick up Roxy, Charles and Linda (Lisa Frankiel, Eric Jacobsen and Judi Alley) along the way. (Why? For a bigger body count. Thatís why!) Glue also brings the Death Sphere along. (Why? Itís important to the plot. Thatís why! Sorry. Didn't mean to go Ebert on all of you.) On the way to the old house, where several urban legends abound about the old man who used to live there, the group runs into Bateman, whose been out, running around in circles, trying to find the aliens. Warning everyone that itís dangerous to be in the area, Bateman is ignored and laughed off -- except for Jeff, who wants to know what heís been smoking. As the others press on, Bateman, feeling itís his civic duty to protect them, tags along, too.

When they reach the house, not realizing that the aliens have followed them, Odem leaves it to the Deuce to retrieve the Death Sphere and returns to the ship. Inside, as Jeff, Al and Glue light up, Bateman lectures them on the detrimental effects of marihuana use. Intrigued, Nagillig watches them, while the others go exploring ... Once they're alone, Bud strikes out again and Babs storms off -- right into the Deuce. Harpooning her with his gauntlet, he then reels the girl in to be skewered on his Death Glove. As his old girlfriend meets a gruesome demise, Bud has already moved on to Roxy, and when the Deuce catches them en flagrante felatio, he dispatches them both. (How? See illustration in the sidebar.) Taking Roxy's dismembered head, the Deuce bounces it down the stairs, where it lands at Glueís feet, causing all the stoners to freak out and run outside to apparent safety until Bateman rallies them to go back and rescue the others. Once back inside, however, the Deuce uses some kind of Cosmic Doodad -- we'll call it the Death Cattle-Prod -- to electrify all the doors and windows, trapping them. Upstairs, the rescue party finds a dismembered arm, and then round up Charles and Linda -- who lost that arm. Using Glueís alcohol to sterilize the wound, in the movieís most disturbing scene, Bateman tries to cauterize the stump but accidentally sets Linda on fire, and thanks to the alcohol, she goes off like Roman Candle. (I think this was supposed to be funny, but it wasnít funny at all.)

Moving on, they stumble over everyone else's bodies but canít find Robin anywhere. When Charles tries to escape, he is electrocuted and disintegrates by a door knob. With the Deuce lurking nearby, the few survivors hide in a convenient closet, where Nagillig discovers an even more convenient secret passage that leads down into the basement. 

And I guess this is as good a time as any to say that Glue still has the volleyball. Wait a second? Elmer? Glue?... Now I get it.

But the Deuce is already down there waiting for them, and though Bateman loses his right hand, the Earthlings manage to fight their way into a side room, where Robin is waiting, safe and sound, and lock the alien out. While the others brace the door shut, Jeff finds a surfboard. (Why? Hold that thought for a second...) Then Bateman gets a harpoon through the gut when the Deuce shoots through the door, skewering him. When Jeff and Al manage to pry him loose, amazingly, despite all of his trauma, Bateman appears to be A-OK. Deducing that the aliens must be after something, Jeff thinks itís the drugs but Bateman believes it has to be the volleyball, pointing out that it has no markings or inflation hole when the others don't believe him. This discovery comes too late, however, as the door finally gives, and when the Deuce rampages inside, Bateman loses his left arm and Jeff is impaled on the surfboard. (That's why he found the surfboard.)

Death by surfboard? Killer. Totally righteous way to go, Bro!

When all seems lost, Robin comes to the rescue! As she grapples with the Deuce, he's obviously burned wherever she touches him. Bateman, still OK despite the loss of two of his four appendages (-- and if youíre thinking five, get youíre head out of the gutter!), makes another quantum deduction that it must be her sunscreen. Armed with that knowledge, they hunt down and dispose of and flush the Deuce with an SPF-50 bath.

 Death by suntan lotion! Totally bogus, dude. Bummer.

Believing that there has to be more than one alien, the few survivors decide to head back to the beach. With the Death Sphere in tow, they all pile into Bateman's van, but when he crawls into the driverís seat, only then does he realize he can no longer drive due to his massive injuries. After Robin steps up again, they make it back to the party just as Lord Odem starts disintegrating people with his ray gun, demanding that the Death Sphere be returned to him. Unfortunately, Robin used all her sunscreen on the Deuce, so they fall back on Plan B .. Playing Hot Potato with the Death Sphere, they keep it away from Odem, and with each hit and volley, the sphere activates -- and guess who intercepts it right before it goes off?

After the alien is vanquished in a flash of green light, Robin expresses her love to Bateman by revealing she saved all of his severed appendages. And while The Insect Surfers crank up a tune, Nagillig joins the others as they dance up a storm. All seems totally righteous and happy until a football bounces into view -- a football that begins to ominously glow...

The End

Make no mistake about it, Alien Beach Party Massacre is a terrible film. In fact, one could say it kind of sucks. However, every time I was ready to write it off as utter crap and a complete waste of time, the film, somehow, managed to keep cracking me up. Basically, the film reminds me of a Kids In the Hall sketch if it was directed by our friends at Troma Studios. So basically take that premise, then remove 90% of the talent and you'll have a pretty good idea how good this film is.

The plot (-- oh, lord the plot,) gives the film a steep hill to climb. As it is for most of these types of films, the plot is nothing but a succession of the lamest excuses possible to gather a group of people together to get slaughtered. Here, itís so threadbare that you can barely see it. Yet it's so absurd and fairly original that you have to give the writer and director, Andy Gizzarelli, a little credit. Yes, the movie starts slow and shows little promise, but as it went along I started to warm up to it. And a few scenes even made me actually laugh out loud when it was trying to be funny. But between those fits of laugher, though, were extended groaning sessions and Iíd start to hate the film again. But then Jeff, Al or Glue would say something absurdly inappropriate, or Bateman would get another appendage lopped off (-- with no detrimental side-effects), and Iíd find myself laughing again -- especially when Robin would pick up the dismembered appendage and offer to carry it around as a sign of affection.

But there's the rub. The biggest flaw this film commits is that sometimes it tries to be too clever. When it manages to ingeniously buck a few horror clichťs, it then makes the mistake of pausing to take a bow for that very same cleverness.

A case in point is the character of Al. He isnít important to the plot and is only around so Jeff has someone to say "Dude!" to. Youíd expect that Al would be the first one to go, and as he survives deeper and deeper into the massacre, Jeff points this out, saying Alís basically a Red-Shirted Ensign doomed to beam down with Kirk and Spock, then asks, "Dude? Why arenít you dead yet?" Ten seconds later it is Jeff who is impaled and Al who makes it to the end. (See! Arenít we clever!)

The acting on display is about 50/50. The stoner surfers are good but everyone else is terrible. Bateman has the 1950ís sci-fi hero/scientist posturing down, but his shtick gets old as he says the same thing over and over and over. Actorís fault? or the scripts? (Who knows, but I have a pretty good idea.) The F/X are also about 50/50. The spaceship sequences are adequate, but they fail miserably when they try to combine the CGI effects with a live-action footage. The gore effects are good, but the advanced alienís weapons of mass destruction include an electrified doorknob, a gauntlet adorned with lethal pizza cutters, and a spear gun. Holy-snikeys, Ro-Man had better equipment than this! Still, other props are ingenious; namely the torpedo launcher, whose origins as a pinball machine are easily identified, and the use of sunscreen to kill off the aliens is truly inspired.

Despite all the complaints (-- uh-oh, here it comes,) you can light the torches, bring on the pitchforks, and run me out of town, but I, without any shame or remorse, proclaim that I kinda liked Alien Beach Party Massacre. I've seen worse premises executed better than a film whose plot motivator is a lethal weapon mistaken for a volleyball (-- but not that many.) The film does an admirable job of juggling three genres, Sci-Fi, Slasher and Beach Party -- with the Beach Party updated for the pothead and slacker generation. It starts slow, but picks it up, then meanders around, then comes to a screeching halt in the "Haunted House", but then picks up again for the slam bang conclusion.

Those of you who have seen it may scoff, and there's not that many of you, either, as the film barely has a listing on the IMDB. And there's a pretty good reason as to why Alien Beach Party Massacre has had such a small audience. After I originally published this review, I received the following e-mail:

Thanks for your not too brutal review of Alien Beach Party Massacre.  It's nice to know there is at least one person out there who feels the same way I do about the movie. It sucks, but I love it. I am a special-effects artist in Hollywood (the model spaceships and explosion kind, not the computer kind). A couple of the films are listed on IMDB. Yet I hide a dark secret.

I did miniature-effects and special-effects makeup for
Alien Beach Party Massacre
.  I also played Nagilig, and the obnoxious rival scientist "Burns". I body doubled for Surfer Jeff, Surfer Alan, Alien executioner #2 on the days that they didn't show up, and played baseball player Bud in the over the shoulder shot for the blowjob/decapitation scene. I ran casting (and take full responsibility for it), recruited the Insect Surfers for the soundtrack, secured our limited distribution, and built the spaceship set in my living room, where it lived for six months in case we needed re-shoots.

Stumbling onto your review brought back many memories, mostly good, and it has inspired me to write an article about our five year space odyssey. I think if people knew what we went through, they might hate the movie even less, and more importantly, learn from our mistakes. I'm even thinking about  making  a DVD describing all of the crazy shit that happened on the film, if I can get the director on board

We're still looking for a distributor, after our last one didn't pay us.  In fact all of those professional looking copies in the video stores are technically pirates.

I would appreciate any info you could provide me. Thanks.

--  George Willis

As far as I know, Alien Beach Party Massacre still hasn't had a legitimate release, which is too bad because there is an audience out there for it. Yeah, it's crap. I know its crap. You know its crap. And I even think the filmmakers knew it was crap. The beginning stinks, the middle stinks, and the ending ainít so hot either. But the parts between the beginning and the middle and between the middle and the end were just absurd enough to win me over.  

Alien Beach Party Massacre (1996) McCarter Multimedia / EP: Mike Parente / D: Andy Gizzarelli / W: Andy Gizzarelli / C: Christoph Chassťe / S: John Eineigl, Stacey Havener, Kourtney Kaye, Perry Martin, Eric Zumbrunnen

Originally Posted: 01/21/01 :: Rehashed: 11/15/09

Knuckled-out by Chad Plambeck: misspeller of words, butcher of all things grammatical, and king of the run on sentence. Copy and paste at your own legal risk. Questions? Comments? Shoot us an e-mail.
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