Sci-Fi Channel Original: Alien Siege Review

Some directors have a great idea in their heads; they just can't find someone to finance them. In the case of Robert Stadd, a special effects producer for some great films, he has "Alien Siege." This is a film that wants to be large in scale and scope. In some areas he was able to realize what he wanted, but it's obvious the budget just doesn't allow it.

An alien species called the Kulku have invaded Earth. They are in desperate need of human blood to fend off a virus that has literally destroyed their race. They need 8 million people to meet their quota, the US providing 800,000 alone. Things become personal for scientist Stephen Chase (Brad Johnson) when his daughter is one to be sacrificed. Along with a group of rebels, he plans on rescuing his daughter and stopping the aliens from killing a substantial number of citizens.

The Kulku look a lot like normal humans. Actually, they are humans. The only difference is that they seem to have some sort of communication device implanted into their cheeks. It's a bit different that they don't have any odd traits beyond that (maybe even a little refreshing actually). Actually, it just seems like it's another way to trim that budget to its bare minimum.

With what he had however, Stadd has pulled off a really solid movie, filled with some great action and a different premise from the expected alien invasion plot. It gives the characters something else to do other than just blow enemy ships apart (they do that too) while adding a little political drama to the mix.

Filled with CG effects, this one actually looks pretty solid. There are explosions everywhere (done with both CG and traditional effects), and the ship designs are quite unique. A few shots do fail miserably as expected, mostly those that require interaction with the cast. It's all very forgivable given the number of shots that actually do work, a rarity for anything on the Sci-Fi Channel.

The few leads do some decent work and it's great to see Carl Weathers take a role, this time as an army general. Nathan Anderson, playing an alien sympathetic to the human plight, is the only actor who really doesn't come across well. A few others recite some nasty dialogue in cardboard fashion, though their roles are brief enough to make it excusable.

Ignoring all those little grievances, what "Alien Siege" does so well is pace itself. So many of these little low budget films get into a rut and bore their audiences. Here, something is constantly blowing up, someone is always firing a gun, and the plot still manages to keep you intrigued.

Though it doesn't really break any new ground, a film like this shows that someone at the Sci-Fi Channel does have a few unique ideas. How rare is it that the audience can actually feel sympathetic to the bad guys? This is well worth checking out. Using a little imagination to get you through it is all that's required.

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