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observation notes: Invasion of the Pod People

How do you scold your favorite child? Probably not publicly, as I'm about to do. But some things...

They should have known better. It isn't The Asylum's fault, necessarily, that the concept of this film, at this point in the history of cinema, is trite and rehashed to fucking death. They were just doing their jobs, the fine folks at The Asylum, they were just giving us what we want, a low budget, boob-and-blow-up-heavy version of a Hollywood blockbuster, in this case Invasion, starring the spirit that inhabits Nicole Kidman's body and the last guy to ever play James Bond. Not the first time this film's been straight-up remade, Invasion was the fourth incarnation, behind Kevin McCarthy in the 1956 version, Donald Sutherland in the Philip Kaufman-directed 1978 version, and the lovely Gabrielle Anwar starring for Abel Ferrara in 1993's abbreviated Body Snatchers. Not to mention the dozens of times it's basic premise - alien seeds come to Earth by one means or another, then slowly begin to infiltrate the citizenry, passing as the people they've killed or, the bodies they've snatched - has been pilfered.

A sidenote here to say I'm somewhat surprised The Asylum passed up an opportunity to use the word "snatch" or any of its derivations in the title. Especially as the film's pretty much lesbian sci-fi erotica.

Set among the world of D-list talent representation, our first introduction to lead actress Erica Roby (Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers, Halloween Night, The Hitchhiker) is her being getting taken (invaded) from behind by some middle-aged dude against a big picture window. This is how they start the movie, figuring perhaps since the rest of it's not going to be that entertaining, they'd better throw in the promise of nudity right at the get-go with some, well, nudity. There are a few scenes between Miss Roby and this geezer, as well as Miss Roby and another miss, but all share the same sense of posed awkwardness and sheer lack of sensuality. She says it herself, in referencing her affair with the old guy, "It's weird." It really is Erica, and I wish there wasn't so much of it. Did you hear that? Did you hear what you just made me do? You made me openly wish for a lack of nudity and sexual situations in a film. Me. That's just fucking ridiculous.

The main nexus for the pod persons' invasion seems to be Miss Roby and associates' office, which in an attempt to look industrial-modern looks like the inside of a steam ship, an actual, working steam ship. It is here that the hot-lesbian boss brings each of her underlings ginger root plants that will inevitably impregnate, devour and replace them all. The lovely and sassy Danae Nason - the film's brightest spot - describes it best, and by "best" I mean the best she can: "It's one of those trendy, new things, it's Chinese or Japanese or some feng shui bullshit." Nicely said. The fact that the original giver of of this gift, this alien seed, was a porn star the agency was trying to sign, leaves a bad taste in my mouth, much like alien seed (note the lack of "must" after "seed." Eyes up people.).

At some point in the film the cops come to Miss Roby, or she goes to them, somehow she becomes the got-to for info on the invasion. I went to the bathroom for a few minutes, made another drink, missed some stuff, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter.

Jesus. Okay. This review is becoming as big a clusterfuck as the movie was. There's just so much insane shit going on at once here, it's hard to explain it coherently, because this shit just isn't coherent. I love you, Asylum, god know I do, but this shit was too much. The acting wasn't great, saved only, as I mentioned, by sultry snarkstress Nason; Miss Roby's character was too doe-eyed, too fresh-off-the-bus-and-fucking-anything-that's-nice-to-her, and Miss Roby's portrayal of her was one-note and phoned-in, as if she couldn't be bothered. I know she's alumnae, but still. And the production values lacked a little as well, especially the sound. But despite all this, it was still a better film than Invasion. There was the ample nudity - which though it may have been a bit too much and non sequitur for me, I realize it's a plus for others - and the, uh, the, well, umm...nope, pretty much the nudity is all this one's got going for it. And there really is a lot of it. At one point a lesbian orgy factors into the invasion, don't really get that one, but who cares, right? I should have put that in the post heading: "Lesbian Orgy Factors Into Invasion." More of a CHUD headline, really though.

There were however a couple of quotes that elicited a genuine laugh from me:

"She's a porn star."
"Well she's a porn star who's sucking the right cock!"


"Are you familiar with guns at all?"
"Maybe you should think about a shotgun."

But the quote I most identified with came the morning after Miss Roby's first lesbian encounter, with her boss no less: "What did I do last night?"

I asked the same question this morning, unable to look my DVD player in the eyes.

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