Writer-director Peter Stray’s Alien Party Crashers comes on more ambitious than one would expect given its movie within a movie-like title. The film jumps through time and across the globe, showing the viewer a slew of strange occurrences which appear to be connected. The nature of these occurrences consists of ufo sightings and bodies falling from the sky. If this wasn’t weird enough, the bodies appear to bend the laws of time, some coming from the past and others from the future. On the case is a government agency, so secret its level of visibility makes the CIA look like McDonald’s, and they’re very worried. Stray’s film moves through what is essentially exposition briskly and makes the act of connecting the dots a fun mystery for the viewer. Oh, did I mention this only the first 10 minutes of Alien Party Crashers?
What follows the film’s ambitious opening is a likable and well-paced slice of horror comedy in which a morally questionable DJ, Steve (Craig Russell), returns to his Welsh hometown to throw a New Year’s Eve party only to have it spoiled by, you guessed it, ALIEN PARTY CRASHERS. It really does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? I’ll be honest, with a title like that, this film didn’t have to do much to have me on board.
“…a morally questionable DJ…returns to his Welsh hometown to throw a New Year’s Eve party only to have it spoiled by…”
Title aside, Stray’s film does a nice job of balancing character and action, laughs and horror, as a horde of zombie-like aliens in raincoats descends on Steve’s party and the surrounding town. The partygoers must fight back in violent fashion, as they attempt to figure out who these creatures are and where the hell they came from.
The production shows it seems at points with lackluster gore FX and some clunky cutting and camerawork, but it’s never enough to spoil the fun of a simple B-movie premise executed with verve. Solid performances and sustained atmosphere help smooth out the film’s rougher patches. There are moments of genuine suspense as partygoers evade their alien attackers, and the script stays funny while also fleshing out characters and they’re charming, if somewhat cliched, relationships.
“…Alien Party Crashers shows Stray has a knack for likable characters and quippy dialogue”
There’s enough to recommend the film to B-movie fans, but its lack of impressive gore FX might leave fans of more cartoonish, graphic horror nonplussed. This isn’t to say we need gore for gore’s sake, but with structural DNA clearly borrowed from films such as Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste, the simplicity of the form begs for color…and that color should be red.
Lackluster gore aside, Alien Party Crashers shows Stray has a knack for likable characters and quippy dialogue. The film presents an interesting dance of ambitious sci-fi storytelling and backyard zombie horror. Maybe most importantly, though, it lives up to its name.
Alien Party Crashers Written and Directed by Peter Stray. Starring Craig Russell, Sheena Bhattessa, and Rob Karma Robinson.
6 ½ out of 10 stars