24th Aug2017

‘Alien Reign Of Man’ VOD Review

by Nik Holman

Stars: Deanna Congo, Torrei Hart, Cameron White, Khu | Written and Directed by Justin Price


A flight team becomes stranded on an alien planet while attempting to activate a machine that will restore Earth. Somebody fights an alien monster and there are also space zombies because…reasons?

I would bet a fiver that I have put more thought into those first two sentences than Justin Price put into his entire film. Alien Reign Of Man is as burdensome a title to watch as it is to type. However, I will not shorten the title to just Alien because I would not dare insult the Ridley Scott universe this film so desperately wants to be when it grows up.

I was tricked into enjoying the first five minutes of story. The desolate, alien landscape felt ominous and the explorers’ environmental suits had a cool medieval knight aesthetic to them. The acting is pretty bad from the start, but the movie jumps right into the story, which is a good thing, and I am always willing to forgive a little bad acting in an indie film.

What I would soon learn is that Alien Reign Of Man is not just a little bad acting, but all bad acting. There are gaps between lines so big that at one point a character asked another character a question. I then got up, went into the kitchen, poured a drink, and sat back down in the living room before the other character replied. This type of slow, faux-earnest line delivery is terribly distracting. There are scenes where the actors clearly have no idea what they are saying. Words are commonly mispronounced or stumbled over. It is even obvious when actors are reading lines off camera. I once chuckled uncomfortably at a mistake before as I realized the cast was doing their best but neither their talent or their material were up for the task. Then I just felt sad and embarrassed for these people.

Because that is what I want to feel when I watch a sci-fi action movie, sad and embarrassed.

Much of the problem stems from the scripts’ need to remind us this is a sci-fi movie. Every line is dripping with bizarre terms and phrases that are never explained. What is Terminus and why do we need to repeat the name nine times in one scene? What is phasing? Who is The Order and what is the Spire? After a while you won’t care what they are talking about. The script doesn’t make any sense and the plot isn’t worth the headache.

The CGI alien monster is terrible. The monster doesn’t appear to have any weight in the environment. It simply glides across the rocky caves, kicking up CGI dust in its wake. The sci-fi tech suffers from a terminal case of “bleep-bloop” syndrome, a condition in which the filmmakers so desperately want to, once again, remind us that we are watching a sci-fi movie, that every button press and every devise is accompanied by a distracting chorus of bleeps and bloops. And you will wait, by God, you will wait until every last sound effect is done before anyone says or does anything. The slow pacing is madness.

Sometimes there is charm to a movie that is not very good. Alien Reign Of Man is devoid of charm. Maybe you could play a drinking game where every time a character says ‘Terminus” you take a drink, except instead of taking a drink, you take a sock full of nickels and smack yourself in the head until you decide to watch a better movie. Or you could just take my advice and skip right to watching a better movie.

Alien Reign Of Man is out now on VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment.


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