The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Alien Tracker (2003)

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I've said it before and I'll say it again, Adrian Paul, like Kevin Sorbo, would be first ballot inductees if there ever was a Syndicated Action TV Show Hall of Fame. Unfortunately there isn't one, and each of them are trying to carve out a spot in their post syndicated TV acting careers in the world of DTV. Unlike Lorenzo Lamas, though, who has successfully made the transition, Sorbo and Paul are still trying to make their case.

Alien Tracker is either a pilot, or a group of episodes put together to make a pilot, of a show that ran at one time in Canada under the name of Tracker. Adrian Paul plays an alien sent to Earth to catch a bunch of bad aliens, led by Geraint Wyn Davies (of Forever Knight fame). These aliens can take human bodies and have special powers that seem work whenever it's convenient to the plot. Paul is shacked up in an apartment above a woman who owns a bar in Chicago. The woman has taken Paul in after he made her car work when it broke down in rural Iowa. The movie ends with a To Be Continued... and not a silly one like in Baller Blockin'.

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This was straight up dumb. Even for syndicated or Canadian television, it was dumb. Even for bad sci-fi, it was dumb. It just smacks of laziness on the parts of the writers when characters have arbitrary special powers that they can use or not use whenever it's convenient. I also understand that I'm watching DTV sci-fi, so I shouldn't expect top notch screenwriting, but this is worse than an episode of Lost. Is it too hard to just come up with a set of special powers and that's it, you either got 'em or you don't?

Adrian Paul must've been desperate to do this. After an amazing show like Highlander: The Series, what was he thinking when his agent sent him this script? And it wasn't good Adrian Paul either. As much as possible, in Highlander, he was believable as a 400 year old warrior from the Highlands of Scotland. In this sack-of-asscrack he can't decide if he's as smart as a human or completely oblivious to how humans live. Maybe it's the bad writing again, but none of it worked for me.

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I'm a big fan of Geraint Wyn Davies, especially from Forever Knight. He may be this film's only saving grace, but he's not in it much to be a factor. What the film would do is show a little Davies, making you think "Oh, this should get good now", then pull him away, so you think "I guess not." Recently he did a turn on Fox's 24. Hopefully he'll get more roles on mainstream US television.

The WWE's Chyna is in this at the very beginning as a baddie. She gets taken out by Paul. I have to assume she was cast as a way to give the film another name to put on the cover, but her appearance is beyond superfluous. She's not a great actress, which is cool if you're a wrestler, but notsomuch when you want to be in a movie. I'm not sure if she left the WWE because she thought she would make it as an actor, a la The Rock, or if the WWE didn't want her because they've taken their female wrestling division in a new direction, with an emphasis on femininity. Either way, I think as far as this film goes, she doesn't work. Of course, it could be the writing again.

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Imdb doesn't list this as available to buy on amazon, but I found it easily on Netflix. Not that it matters, because this is atrocious. If you're a big time Adrian Paul fan, re-watch some of the better story arcs on your Highlander: The Series DVD instead of wasting an hour-and-a-half of your life on this. Ditto if it pops on the Sci-Fi Channel.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0481932/

2 comments:

  1. Just recently watched this and it is at least as bad (if not worse) than you are saying. There is nothing worth while in this "movie."

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  2. Movie in quotes is the key. Why people try this whole make a movie out of a few episodes of a TV series thing is beyond me, but I guess it works because some people buy it.

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