By Phil Hall | February 22, 2006

“Borrowing Time” wants to be a cult movie, but it only gets halfway to its goal. The tale of two aliens (who look suspiciously like contemporary humans in “Plan 9″ costumes) arriving in post-apocalyptic Seattle to make sense of what caused the destruction of the Earth certainly has the look for cult worthiness. Filmmaker Webster Crowell envisions a creepy black-and-white landscape with imaginative stop action animation and intentionally cheesy special effects to create a production that is equal parts retro, camp and Lynchian-worthy surrealism.

What the film lacks, though, is a satisfying story and good actors. The plot is incoherent and much of the time one gets the feeling of viewing a home movie rather than the real thing: actors run around empty streets, yell at each other, pose in funny angles and behave in exaggerated emotions, yet ultimately achieve nothing for their efforts. The real pity is that the lead actors (Jared Vandergrift and Susannah Anderson) look good but cannot recite lines with any degree of talent.

Rich in style but bankrupt in substance, the film deserves some notice but ultimately doesn’t earn respect. About half-way through, it is easy to think of “Borrowing Time” as wasting time.

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