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(Review originally written at 13 September 2010)

What's the deal about people always loving this no-budget, amateurish horror-flicks so much. Movies like "Undead", "Feast" and this one always get highly praised, like it's the most awesome movie ever made, while in fact they are nothing more than some sloppy, cheap made movies that are lacking at about every department. Sure, it's a real accomplishment from the film-makers, considering the resources they had at hands but this really doesn't make these any good movies to watch.

And that goes for this movie more than any different one really. This movie got literally made with no budget and just got shot by Peter Jackson and a couple of his friends, during their free time. It's the reason why it took them many years to finally complete this movie. But that can't really be seen back in the end result. It's a movie that got shot without a script, without a storyboard or without any regard for cinematography or anything of that sort. They just shot away and then very sloppily put things together during the editing process. The 'story' doesn't progress very naturally and the one moment it's being very slow, with needless dialog, then it turns into a zombie and then later on it becomes a shooter and even a science-fiction movie. No, this is far from a consistent or well done movie.

But of course this movie deserves some credit as well. Next to the fact that this movie was a real great accomplishment to finish, from Peter Jackson and his Kiwi friends but the movie also does some things very well. They obviously were some special-effects and make-up freaks, so this movie shows off plenty of times with its nice looking gore and also great looking alien costumes. But really, this was all that made this movie still a bit interesting to watch, for me.

The story or any of its characters are just never good enough to get you involved with anything that is happening in this movie. It doesn't help much that never gets explained or really developed and the movie can get all real crazy and all over the place. It's often made all the worse by some lame comedy attempts. This seems to be the only way these type of movies can get away with things; having some good humor. Unfortunately this movie really hasn't got any. It doesn't mean though that the movie is not quite pleasant and entertaining to watch at times. It helps to make the movie only slightly watchable though but it really doesn't make this a great must-see movie.

Obviously Peter Jackson's later work improved over the years, so we can only thank movie like this for that. In that regard this movie was perhaps not being a bad test-case for him and it's also a good thing that he never gave up. he just kept on making the movies that he liked, until he eventually got noticed more and more and therefor got better material to work with and more money to spend on it. I'll bet he is still proud of this movie and thankful for the entire experience.

Far too lacking, cheap looking and random to really regard and like this at all as a good movie.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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