New Line Cinema, 1983
Submitted by D-ManTHE CHARACTERS
Sam - Devoted husband and father, who is suddenly abducted by aliens, and returns 3 years later a changed man...literally. Ends up converting his son, and taking him back to his new home after showing his true colors.
Rachel - Sam's wife and Tony's mum, who is torn between the returning Sam, and the new man in her life. Becomes the unwilling recipient of a phallic alien larva.
Tony - Sam and Rachael's young son, who witnessed the abduction firsthand, but can't get anyone to believe him. He bonds with his returning father in a whole new way, and does all kinds of weird stuff, before leaving for his new home.
Joe - Rachael's second man, and a somewhat accomplished photographer who just can't seem to get Tony to accept him as a father figure. Dies from one hell of a nasty migraine, courtesy of alien Sam.
Annalise - Bond Girl Maryam D'abo, in her first role! The obligatory French help in the British household, who also enjoys cavorting naked with her boyfriend when no one's around. Gets turned into a yucky egg-making machine.
Woman in Cottage - Exists for the sole purpose of being the victim of the infamous birth scene, still among the nastiest moments in B-movie history. LESSONS LEARNED
Snake eggs are an integral part of the alien diet.
Aliens look a lot like guys in rubber who can spider-walk backwards.
Children with magic powers will employ midget clowns to do their bidding.
Converting a human to an alien is pretty much the same as making a new vampire.
Alien larvae look a lot like extra large versions of E.T’s penis.STUFF TO WATCH FOR
3 mins – Apparently, these creatures have the power to turn daytime into nighttime instantly
5 mins – OK, we hear Joe talking, but we don’t actually see his face for what seems like forever…what the hell is up with that?…
6 mins – Gah! OK, now I see why.
8 mins – Who needs CG, when you have a rubbery costume, and a halfway decent contortionist to slap it on?
14 mins – I never knew oral sex could be done with one partner passed out. Hats off to ya, freaky alien.
19 mins – Dear god…I think Tom Arnold’s mom went through the same thing.
25 mins – Gratuitous sex scenes…gotta love ‘em!
36 mins – Why would you do that to your poor kid’s pet, Sam? You damn glutton.
39 mins – This must be where Michael Jackson learned some of his moves…
43 mins – RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A SNAKE!
48 mins – Ok…everything from here on gets extremely effed up. It would require a longer list than I’d like to fill out the rest of this film’s bizarre moments. NOTABLE QUOTES
Tony: (When asked where the blood found on him came from) Don’t know…just felt something sticky.
Joe: Look British, think yiddish.
Tony: Why did they take you?
Sam: I was lucky…they could have taken anyone.
Joe: (After having a bottle thrown at him) You crazy lunatic…you’re outta your f**kING MIND!!!THE PLOT
I have never in my life seen anything quite like XTRO. Some may know it as the film with the scene where a woman gives birth to a full-grown man, and indeed that is this nasty little work’s defining moment. However, there are other things to be said about this weird movie, which was one of the first outings by New Line Cinema by the way.
The plot is very basic, yet extremely confusing at the same time. Little Tony and his Dad are out playing fetch with the dog one day in their pretty English countryside home, until suddenly a bright light comes over the home and everything goes dark. It seems that aliens have come for Tony’s dad, without giving any kind of an explanation as to why they’re taking him.
Fast-forward 3 years later, and Tony is still having nightmares about the incident. His mother, however, seems to think that his dad just up and left them both (Funny…you think if he simply vanished without a trace, she’d at least would have filed a missing person report after a while.) The two now live with an American, Jewish-y photographer named Joe, and a French Au-pair named Annalise (Maryam D’abo, who would later go on to star in “The Living Daylights”)
Everyone’s trying to go about their lives the best way they can, until one night when a glowing spacecraft suddenly crashes in the countryside…the weird random creature that comes out of it takes some time to kill a motorist who has the nerve to bump it, before heading to a cottage where a young woman lives.
Things immediately start getting nasty when the creature invades the woman’s home, corners her, and makes her pass out somehow as he attaches a phallic looking limb to her mouth, pumping in…god, I don’t even want to know.
At the same time, Tony’s mom goes to check on her boy, only to find he’s covered in blood. A doctor is immediately called over, but he can’t seem to find a cause…he can only decipher that the blood was not Tony’s, and according to the boy…”Daddy sent it”. How he knows this, I haven’t the slightest clue.
Anyway, the poor young woman wakes up hours later to find that the creature has died and dissolved, its remains being eaten by the dog. She stumbles along to make sense of the whole thing, before her belly suddenly starts getting very, very big. What follows is the stuff of B-movie legend, as Tony’s dear daddy pops out of the lady’s no-no zone, bloody and fully grown, the victim dying from the ordeal, of course.
Before you have time to wonder what the hell the point of the first monster was, Sam washes himself off, steals some clothes, and heads to the city to find his son. I guess the two now share some kind of telepathic link that nobody bothers to tell us about, because he locates him by the afternoon. Tony’s mum discovers them both, and she’s none too pleased about him returning as suddenly as he vanished. She asks where he’s been, and he says he can’t remember.
You know…if I had been abducted by aliens, and changed into one of them…I’m sure by now I’d have developed a higher intellect that would have allowed me to come up with a better explanation of where I’d been for the past three years, instead of simply faking amnesia. But let’s move on…
The film gets fairly dull at this point, as we’re treated to endless conversations between Sam, Rachael, and Joe about finding work and how to co-exist, while miss Annalise tries to keep our interest with sex scenes every so often.
Long story short, Tony discover’s his Dad’s new self after he finds him snacking on his pet snake’s eggs. Sam makes an attempt to comfort his son, explaining about how he was changed, before giving him a weird little love nip on the shoulder, apparently converting him to alien-kind as well.
Later on, as Sam and Joe bicker about who should stay and who should go, Tony discovers he now has powers, such as being able to bring inanimate objects to life. It’s an ability laden with all sorts of delicious possibilities, and he uses it to bring life to…a clown…a midget clown, no less. (I think this boy needs a little help in the imagination department).
He uses this power again to exact revenge on the old hag of a neighbor who killed his pet snake, this time bringing a G.I Joe-like action figure to life, and making him human sized. It’s an improvement over the clown, but not by much.
But the biggest “WTF” moment of XTRO, by far, is when Annalise’s boyfriend is attacked from out of nowhere by a black panther! I have no clue where this thing came from, or what it has to do with anything, but it does its job, leaving Tony and the midget clown to knock Annalise down. They carry her off, and turn her into some kind of freaky cocoon that lays squishy eggs in the bathtub.
Where are the alien brat’s parents now? Well, they go off together to the countryside in order to take part in some for-old-times-sake screwing. At the same time, Joe gets wise to Sam’s involvement in the deaths of two innocent bystanders, and tries to run out to warn Rachel, with Tony in tow.
But it’s too late, as Sam slowly begins to reveal his true self to his wife, his skin melting off to reveal a skeletal alien creature underneath. Joe arrives and attempts to fend him off, but alien Sam simply emits an ear-piercing shriek, strong enough to make Joe bleed from the ears until he dies. (Eat your heart out, Roger Daltrey.)
Rachel can only stand and watch, as alien Sam takes the hand of her son, who is also now slowly changing, and vanishes into the night sky forever. She then returns to her apartment, to find it now completely aglow in white, with a turned over fridge filled with goopy eggs. Instead of running away like a sane person would, she actually picks up one of the eggs and looks at it. Her fate is then well deserved, as an alien phallus, similar to the one that led to Sam’s rebirth, pops out of the egg and latches onto her mouth. THE END.
The director of XTRO makes no bones about what he was doing in making this film, according to an interview from the DVD. He mainly set out to “…do the most disgusting things that we could get away with. And if I’d had it my way, they would have been more disgusting.” He also called the film an “extraordinary mess” and “rubbish”.
Yes, XTRO has a lot of dull moments, and it’s clearly an exploitation film…but darn it, there’s just something about it that makes it worth watching at least a couple of times. It’s weird, it’s random, and it’s just yucky all around…but you just couldn’t make a film like this one today, and that’s probably what’s so oddly appealing about it.