Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Almost Human - Invasion of the Body Slashers

Almost Human
2013
Directed by Joe Begos
Written by Joe Begos

Starring Graham Skipper, Josh Ethier &
Vanessa Leigh 

Unrated - Approx 80 Min
Channel 83 Film
Ambrosino / Delmenico


Tagline:
- AN UNSPEAKABLE TERROR HAS COME HOME.

Alternate Titles:
Casi humanos (Being Human) Spain

Ανθρώπινο κτήνος (Human Beast)   Greece



"You let the take me.  You stood there and watched!"
                                                                                       -Mark


Anyone who knows me knows that I am at once terrified of aliens and also completely fascinated by them.  The same goes for alien flicks.  I'm sure I've recounted various stories about watching flicks like Fire in the Sky and Communion here before.....and I'm sure I will get around to reviewing those films as well.  With the Roswell UFO Crash Anniversary having just past (July 8th was the 67th anniversary of the crash), what better time to tell you about this hybrid film.  Part freaky abduction flick, part straight up slasher film, Almost Human was a pleasant surprise for me.
There's only so much "Play That Funky Music, Whiteboy" you can listen to, ya know?

Yeah...that's not okay.

The film starts out in full on "aliens abducting and stalking people" mode.  A guy named Seth rushes to his friend Marks house babbling about lights that took their friend, Rob.  He keeps repeating "They're coming" over and over and looking worriedly out the window.  Mark, not sure what to think of his incoherent friend grabs his rifle and is ready to go search for Rob when the aliens arrive.  The power cuts out.  An excruciating noise incapacitates Seth and Mark's girlfriend Jen.  Mark meanwhile seems to go into a trance and walks out the front door.  A brilliant beam of blue light hits him and he vanishes without a trace.

Alien Mark arrives in the woods....

Jen is trying to move on with her life

Fast forward two years and Seth isn't doing so well.  He's plagued by nightmares and he mental condition is deteriorated.  People are starting to see lights in the sky, just like they did two years ago and Seth's got a bad feeling.  He goes to the diner that Jen works at to warn her.  Naturally she doesn't believe him and has spent the past two years convincing herself that she is unsure of what she saw the night Mark vanished.  She's tried to move on and has a new man in her life now.

Unfortunately for Jen and everyone else, Seth is correct.  Something bad IS coming.  Mark is back.....only he's not the same.   He's not human and he's on a murderous mission.  When two hunters come across Mark's naked body in the woods, they are quickly killed and their clothes stolen.  Mark then makes his way to an out of the way gas station, killing a customer as well as the owner.  He stuffs both bodies in the truck and takes off towards town.
Yep.  He's dead.

Little bits like this news broadcast really add to the creepy vibe

The stalk and slash continues as Alien Mark reaches town and goes to his former house, which does not bode well for the present owners.  It is here that we finally learn what Alien Mark's plan is here, which I will leave for you to discover on your own.  I WILL say that it's not horribly original, but hey.....why mess with the tried and true, right?

Naked and goopy.  Either she's run into aliens or is the start of a bukkake video...

Almost Human is a pretty short film.  80 minutes including title and end credits.  The end credits themselves run at 8 minutes, which writer/director Joe Begos stated that this was to pad out the film to "feature length" for certain festival circuits.  If you sit through the credits, however (or fast forward through them like I did) you will be rewarded with an extra scene.

GORE:  They don't shy away from the red stuff here.  There are some nasty ax murders as well as rifle and shotgun wounds.  There's also some extraterrestrial grue on display here, so you bodily fluid freaks should be pretty happy!

T&A:  There are one pair of breasts on display here, though they're not exactly very titillating, being all covered in alien goop and such.  There is also some naked male butts on display....but again, covered in alien goop.

MONSTERS:  The aliens that do the abducting and such are never shown.  Even in the black and white flash backs  that show Mark aboard the UFO, you never actually see any aliens.  Alien Mark (as I came to call him) looks like a normal human, but he has a wicked space scream (kinda like the pod people in the '78 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and he's also got some sort of alien proboscis that comes out of his mouth which he uses for.....well....you'll see.

Seth is looking a little unhinged.

Final Thoughts:
Almost Human rides a fine line, which is not easy to do.  It handle's it's alien aspects as well as it's slasher components very well.  There is a terrific creepy vibe that the film is able to create in it's opening moments that manages to stay with the film throughout the running time.  Sure there are parts of it that are a bit wonky and silly, but it all adds to the charm of the whole thing.  This is a solid B-movie and you can't go wrong spending 80 minutes with it.

video


Final Rating
FOUR OUT OF FIVE PIZZA ROLLS

2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this one, too, Matt. This was an instance in which I wish the filmmaker had just a few more resources available to him. A solid - and ambitious - effort was hampered a bit by obvious budget constraints. I'm anxious to see what Begos does next. Love that illustrated retro poster.

    Did you get a new computer? How about joining me and Carl from The Info Zombie for the Movies At Dog Farm Virtual Drive-In on Sunday? I planned on Mighty Peking Man, but it seems obvious that turn out will be small enough we could conceivably pick something else if those participating so choose. Check the Dog Farm for details if you're interested.

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  2. I completely agree....I hope that someone out there will see what Begos can do and give the man a budget! As a matter of fact, I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel to this film with a bigger budget and more resources. The poster is absolutely amazing. I'm thinking of tracking down a full sized version and framing it.!

    No new computer yet....I happened across Victor Frankenstein's journal. I surmised that it's teachings may be transferable to a beat up old laptop and after much tinkering, mad science and one hell of a thunderstorm, I managed to breath life into the old girl during a spectacular thunder storm! She's not the beautiful young PC she once was, but her soul is still there and I think she'll hold on just a bit longer (I hope!) until finances clear up for a new one!

    Mighty Peking Man at the Virtual Drive-In? Sounds like a plan man! I will check out MatDF for info and I will double check my schedule!!!

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