Xtro 3: Watch the Skies (1995) reviews and overview

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[Total: 14   Average: 2.4/5]

Xtro 3 is a 1995 British-American science fiction horror feature film about US marines being terrorised by an alien on a seemingly deserted island. The film was promoted as Xtro 3: Watch the Skies

Directed and co-produced by Harry Bromley Davenport (Haunted Echoes; Whispers of Fear) from a screenplay written by Daryl Haney (Masque of the Red Death; Lords of the Deep; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood), the movie stars J. Marvin Campbell, Douglas Cavanaugh, Robert Culp (Santa’s Slay; Spectre, 1977) and Andrew Divoff (The Hatred; Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation; Wishmaster franchise). It is sequel-in-name-only to Bromley Davenport’s Xtro (1982) and Xtro II: The Second Encounter (1990).

Plot:

A group of military personnel have been assembled to, they believe, locate and disarm old active explosives which have been left unattended at a former army testing site on a remote island. However, when they arrive at the deserted island, they soon discover that something doesn’t seem quite right about their mission.

Soon enough, they uncover a strange concrete block which, after accidentally blowing up, unleashes an indestructible, bloodthirsty alien being which will stop at nothing to kill them. As the survivors band together in order to stay alive and try and find a way to outwit the diabolical creature, they realize that their entire mission might have been a trap and that the military is using them as pawns in their own vicious plan…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“When it comes to the special effects, though they looked dated by today’s standards. They’re never less very effective. Standout moments include the scene where the military dissect the alien’s mate and a scene where one of the soldiers gets trapped in a web-like substance and the alien slowly tortures them.” 10K Bullets

“The special effects are particularly bad; when there’s a flashback to the 1950s, it’s so bad they had to be doing it intentionally badly. There’s a soundtrack that works against the action. There’s plenty of bad acting, though it’s nice to see Robert Culp get some work.”  Down Among the Z Movies

“The only actor in the bunch any good at their craft is Andrew Divoff, who always brings fierce intensity to his performances. I suppose Robert Culp is fine in a role that he clearly shot over the course of a single day, maybe two. As for the rest, I can’t say a single actor in the bunch is capable of delivering a line with any sense of conviction.” Dread Central

“The biggest hurdle that handicaps this film is its ultra-low budget, which results in some terrible early CGI and a goofy-looking alien. The rubbery creature can camouflage itself with a cloaking device to sneak up on victims and it has a long serpentine tongue as a weapon. The cinematography by Irv Goodnoff (Evilspeak) helps the picture look bigger than it is, but it still appears pretty cheap.” Horror DNA

“The movie takes a bit to really get going but is sort of fun when it does. The effects range from stupid to amusing. The alien occasionally looks good, although people like me can distinguish real blinking from ‘puppet blinking.’ Less jaded people may actually be able to deal with the stupidity and forgive this movie for its ambitiousness.” Mondo Bizarro

“Basically a ’50s monster movie at heart and a lot less perverse than the original film, this one doesn’t even try to be more than a  pulpy time killer and succeeds on that front. The characters aren’t terribly developed and are mostly interchangeable […] The alien itself is quite a fun design in a low-budget practical effects sort of way, and it all moves along quickly with little muss or fuss.” Mondo Digital

” …it is hampered by slow pacing at the beginning as well as during the alien vs. human scenes on the island which become repetitive as you realize all the running around isn’t actually advancing the story. Still, it is an occasionally entertaining and unexpected end to a weird and not very good film franchise.” Monster Hunter

“Any time the alien is on screen and wreaking havoc the movie is gold and the movie winds up an interesting mix of action, sci-fi and horror tropes. The acting is rarely amazing but all involved are at least enthusiastic and Andrew Divoff is pretty fun to watch (though to be fair, Andrew Divoff is always fun to watch, he just has that quality about him). This isn’t as legitimately weird as the first Xtro movie, it’s too Predator influenced…” Rock! Shock! Pop!

“It’s hard to keep up with this script, and the dialogue isn’t helping. Also, these aren’t your typical 1990’s special effects. They’re undoubtedly the most interesting aspect of Xtro 3. It’s like half the cast and crew were passionate about this project, and half couldn’t care less.” Tales of Terror

Release:

Vinegar Syndrome released Xtro 3 as a limited edition Blu-ray on March 31st 2020. Order via Amazon.com

Bonus Features:

  • Region Free Blu-ray + DVD combo
  • Newly scanned & restored in 2K from its 35mm camera negative
  • “Winning and Losing” – an interview with director Harry Bromley Davenport
  • “Acting like a Writer” – an interview with writer/actor Daryl Haney
  • Original trailer
  • Reversible cover artwork
  • English SDH subtitles

Cast and characters:

  • J. Marvin Campbell … Biber
  • Douglas Cavanaugh … Wolf
  • Robert Culp … Major Guardino
  • Andrew Divoff … Captain Fetterman
  • Virgil Frye … Survivor
  • Nigel Gibbs … Smythe
  • Daryl Haney … Private Hendricks
  • Jim Hanks … Private Friedman
  • Paul Hayes … Mr Atkins
  • Andrea Lauren Herz … Corporal Banta
  • Bridget Hoffman … Waitress
  • Sal Landi … Lt. Martin Kirn
  • Lisa London … Melissa Meed
  • Robert Madrid … Shaye
  • Karen Moncrieff … J.G. Watkins
  • Jeanne Mori … Erica Stern
  • David M. Parker … Private Dermot Reilly
  • Al Ruscio … The General (1955)
  • Martin Schienle … Biff Atkins
  • James Spinelli … Johnson
  • David Weininger … Segall

Technical details:

97 minutes

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