Stuff I Watch in October: AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)

alien vs. predator

Happy October and welcome! All 31 days this month, I will be reviewing all the films I watch in the month of October. They’re mostly a selection of horror or suspense films in my own library or films and shows that have been recommended to me.

Please enjoy and leave a comment!

And if you missed any of our past reflections, take a look:

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Psycho (1960)
The Haunting (1963)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
The Other (1972)
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Halloween (1978)
Alien (1979)
The Shining (1980)
Halloween II (1981)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Halloween III – Season of the Witch (1982)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Teen Wolf (1985)
Aliens (1986)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Predator (1987)
The Monster Squad (1987)
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
The Lost Boys (1987)
Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987)
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
They Live (1988)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Ghostbusters II (1989)
Predator 2 (1990)
The Addams Family (1991)
Alien 3 (1992)
Army of Darkness (1992)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Crow (1994)
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Scream (1996)
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Scream 2 (1997)
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
What Lies Beneath (2000)
Scream 3 (2000)
28 Days Later (2002)
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
The Ring (2002)
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Identity (2003)

Our next film is…

WATCHING: AVP: Alien vs Predator (2004)

alien vs. predator

DIRECTOR: Paul W.S. Anderson, the mind behind the absolutely brilliant Event Horizon and the highly underrated 1995 version of Mortal Kombat.

WHAT IS IT?: The long-awaited throwdown between the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise, based upon the popular Dark Horse comic book series.

THE PLOT: Every 100 years, the Predators lure humans to a secluded spot on Earth for the purpose of having them sacrifice their bodies so that they can hunt Alien Xenomorphs to their heart’s content. But, this time around, the latest expedition is led by Charles Weyland (of what will soon become Weyland-Yutani) and his team.

As Weyland’s crew begins to learn about what they’re facing, they quickly discover they’re way in over their heads, not only facing the elite killing machines that are the Xenomorphs, but also the technologically advanced Predators who are hunting both the Aliens and any surviving humans that get in their way.

WHAT DID CRITICS THINK?: The horror ‘zines ate it up but the rest of the critics weren’t so enthused and ripped it apart.

alien vs. predator

WHAT DID I THINK?: I hadn’t seen Alien vs Predator until tonight which is insanity because I’m a huge fan of both movie series.

I wasn’t expecting much…and I got an incredibly fun film which reminded me a bit of the old Japanese monster flicks and the old Universal monster flicks sort of thrown into one.

The movie does have its flaws. First, half the characters don’t really matter. With “Aliens”, even the least of the characters all had personalities. Here, we’re back to the fuck-all attitude “Alien 3” had where the majority of the characters are flat and boring and irrelevant and you know they’re gonna die fast because it’s technically an “Alien” film.

Second, while the Aliens look fantastic, the Predators look like they’re large people wearing rubber suits. Gone is their organic nature. You don’t believe they’re actual alien beings until one of them takes off a mask and gives you that ugly-faced money shot.

That said, that’s where my bitching stops.

The movie has a surprising amount of set-up for a simple story about humans finding themselves in the middle of an episode of WWE Alien Smackdown — and that’s to its credit. The film has fun giving you a silly backstory involving an ancient race of people who went extinct because the Predators blew them all up a thousand years ago. The temple setting is very cool and recalls some of Ridley Scott’s old magic from the original “Alien” film.

Directed by the underrated Paul W.S. Anderson (“Event Horizon”, “Soldier”, “Mortal Kombat”), once it gets rockin’, the film is a blast, delivering what you paid for: a title fight between two of the film world’s most badass movie villains based on the Dark Horse comic book you grew up reading. The fight sequences are fast-paced and well-edited and you might find yourself cheering when the two trade fists and sharp tails and inner mouths and…

I really enjoyed Alien vs Predator for what it was: a main event monster match-up.


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