- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Image Entertainment
- Release Date: August 11, 2009
- List Price: $35.98
[amazon-product align="right"]B002AF4Y9Q[/amazon-product] Purchase Alien Trespass on Blu-ray from CD Universe Purchase Alien Trespass on Blu-ray From Best BuyOverall The Film Video Quality Audio Quality Supplemental Materials
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R.W. Goodwin, one of the technical people behind the scenes at The X-Files, put together this homage to the 1950’s B-movie horror films. If you’ve ever seen films such as It Came from Outer Space, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and The Blob, then you know exactly where Alien Trespass is coming from.
In a small Southern California town in 1957, strange occurrences begin taking place one night when an unidentified object crashes to Earth. It turns out it’s a flying saucer carrying an intergalactic marshal carrying a deadly creature that gets loose and threatens to destroy life on Earth. The marshal, named Urp, borrows the body of a scientist, Dr. Ted Lewis (Eric McCormack) to hunt the creature known as the Ghota. He comes across a waitress-cum-artist, Tammy (Jenni Baird), whom he enlists to help him.
I’ve heard Alien Trespass described as a spoof, but that it is not. Alien Trespass is an authentic reproduction of the 50’s horror genre. It is a direct mash-up of the camp and cheese of films like The Blob and The Day the Earth Stood Still, with nods to those films placed throughout, like on a poster or one scene in a movie theatre when people are watching The Blob.
Right down to the lush, saturated look of Alien Trespass, which imitates the hyper realistic color palette of Technicolor. Granted, most B-movie horror films of the era were not filmed in color, so there was obviously some license taken.
The problem is that Alien Trespass gets so caught up in worshiping at the alter of the genre and trying to get everything right, which it doesn’t, that it fails to add anything new. Watching Alien Trespass is like having a very strong case of déjà vu. At first, the novelty of Alien Trespass is rather enjoyable and it is without a doubt a visually fascinating film to watch. But, that novelty quickly wears thin and one is left with a boring film that rips large chunks from the authentic B-movies that have gone long before it. So, one must then ask, what’s the point?
Alien Trespass comes with a beautiful AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encoding from Image Entertainment. The film’s lush color palette, copying the Technicolor of the 1950’s era, is captured in vivid detail. Alien Trespass is rendered with unsullied detail, delicate delineation of various shadings, deep black levels and perfect contrast. Apart from some obvious and purposely bad visual effects made all the more obvious by the high resolution of this transfer, Alien Trespass looks flawless and captures the filmmakers’ intent without any issues.
Alien Trespass‘ English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is quite strong for only a 16-bit encoding. Neither overtly aggressive nor too reserved, it strikes a pleasant balance between discrete sound effects panning into the surround channels, frequent directional panning of sounds across the front and quieter moments supported by ambience in the rears. The appropriately tense, paranoid and atmospheric score from Louis Febre, which hardly lets up, sounds smooth and airy, adding all the right amount of eeriness to Alien Trespass. Things like explosions have a good amount of “thump” from the subwoofer and high frequencies are not fatiguing. Dialogue is also clear and intelligible over the course of Alien Trespass’ eighty-four minutes.
Even Alien Trespass’ supplements stay in character, so to speak, on this release, with faux news reports of a “recently discovered” unreleased horror film from the fifties (read: Alien Trespass), mock interview segments with Eric McCormack as his “grandfather” M. Eric McCormack, or “Meric,” speaking of his role in Alien Trespass and more.
The supplements available on this release are:
- “Watch the Skies” Alien Trespass Featurette (1.33:1; 480i/60) — faux historical news reel about the making of Alien Trespass.
- “Meet the Person” with Edwin R. Burroughs (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:10.34) — Eric McCormack dons the persona of his grandfather M. Eric McCormack in this faux 1950’s “interview” segment.
- Breaking News (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:01.53) — A Faux news report about the recently uncovered print of the “lost” 1950’s horror film Alien Trespass
- Live News Update (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:00.36) — More faux new reports on the “discovered” film.
- Interviews with (1.78:1; 480i/60):
- R.W. Goodwin (0:06.27)
- Eric McCormack (0:01.56)
- Theatrical Trailer #1 (1.78:1; 480i/60)
- Theatrical Trailer #2 (1.33:1; 480i/60)
The Definitive Word
Alien Trespass is well intentioned and probably seemed like a good idea when it was in development. Its retro production and script is nearly note perfect, though some obvious flaws exist, such as the use of Technicolor-like palettes, which, though beautiful, were not common for this genre. It is an artfully crafted, but ultimately unoriginal homage that still looks and sounds wonderful on Blu-ray. It may not be a great film, but it may be a worthy weekend popcorn flick to pass some time with.