ALIENATOR (1990) Reviews and overview

 

‘An android hunter from outer space is about to create hell on earth.

Alienator is a 1990 science-fiction action film about an alien criminal who escapes from a spaceship into the woods by an American town. The commander of the spaceship dispatches “the Alienator” – a deadly gynoid, to recapture the convict. She relentlessly pursues him, a group of teenagers and the local sheriff.

The film, which was apparently shot in 1988, is a “semi-remake” of The Astounding She-Monster (1957). Robert Clarke, who starred in that film, also appears in Alienator.

Directed by Fred Olen Ray (Glass Trap; Tomb of the Werewolf; Deep Space; Star Slammer; Biohazard; Scalps) from a screenplay written by Paul Garson (Cyclone), the movie stars Jan-Michael Vincent, John Phillip Law, Ross Hagen, P.J. Soles, Robert Clarke and Robert Quarry. Produced by Jeffrey C. Hogue.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“The story itself is actually not bad and it moves along at a decent pace; there’s no denying it’s a lot of fun either. Director Fred Olen Ray (Cyclone) knows the kind of movie he’s making and does the best he can with the limited budget. Overall, Alienator is B movie cheese at its finest with some awful effects and a hilarious villain.” The Action Elite

Alienator is a bad film. There are no two ways around that. Besides the moment with the deer, the film doesn’t really do anything different than the ten or twenty other films out there that are like this one. Sure, the filmmakers did all they could to punch up an otherwise dead script, but the intentions that the filmmakers have just can’t save this film.” The Big Movie House

“It literally feels like everyone that was involved with it was instructed that there are only six days to get the job done and then did as much as possible to come up with some sort of a feature film. Fred mentions in the commentary that some of the pyrotechnics were quite elaborate and I would agree, but there is hardly anything else to generate any excitement.” Blu-ray.com

“When people talk about bad movies, this is the kind of thing they’re talking about. This is like on par with Space Mutiny and Future Wars. Horrible special effects, plot that makes no sense, infinitesimal acting skills: in short, very hard on the eyes. If you finish this one with your soul intact, you feel like you’ve done something big, like hike Mt. Whitney or something.” Direct to Video Connoisseur

“The Alienator is played by female bodybuilder Teagan Clive (billed, as usual, just by first name) and co-stars Jan-Michael Vincent and John Phillip Law make up for her name deficiency, if not acting deficiency. Most of the special effects, such as they are, occur in the first minutes of the film; it looks like the budget ran out and they just made the rest of the film happen on Earth – and not the future – because it’s cheap.” Down Among the “Z” Movies

“This is one where the cast, so bizarre and eclectic, really make it but again, to Olen Ray’s credit, he keeps things moving at a good pace and throws in enough goofy action scenes and head-scratchingly bizarre dialogue that you can’t help but love it. Oh, and lest we forget, the late, great Robert Clarke shows up as an alien named Lund who is out to inspect the prison planet that Kol escapes from.” DVD Talk

“The cast drifts through it all with the good grace to look slightly embarrassed by it all and to their credits they manage not to burst out laughing every time Teagan lumbers into sight, in itself no mean feat. Sound effects seem to have been borrowed from the Star Wars films, which is fitting for a film that hasn’t a single original strand of DNA its steroid-enhanced body. Even by Fred Olen Ray’s extraordinarily low standards, this is terrible.” The EOFFTV Review

“Ray’s lineup of veteran actors is impressive, but one movie can hardly do justice to all of the characters. Robert Quarry of Count Yorga fame is wasted in little more than a cameo — he gets a brief scene talking on the telephone, then is promptly set on fire when he encounters the Alienator. The Alienator herself is either inspired or laughable depending on your taste.” Films From Beyond the Time Barrier

“Lousy special effects, terrible acting by the younger cast members (Wildsmith and Richard Wiley, as the beer-guzzling RV driver, are especially bad), mumbling apathy from Vincent, and plodding pacing kills it, and an irritating score by Chuck Cirino gives it the distinct aura of a bottom end Roger Corman/Concorde release from that era.  The one outright dud in this set, Alienator isn’t even an entertaining bad movie. It’s just bad.” Good Efficient Butchery

“The script seems like it was written on the spot, the forest scenes are boring, the space station scenes look like they were filmed at a power plant, the acting can barely even be defined as acting, the special effects look really cheap, P.J. Soles slumming. From the opening scene to the closing shot Alienator is a massive bore.” Happyotter

“It looks as if B legend director Fred Olen Ray ran out of funds and was desperate to use his leftover space footage. Alternately inept and unintentionally uproarious. And as a bonus: lots of terrible lasers.” Really Awful Movies

“All the actors play it disarmingly straight when by all rights they should be hamming things up, the pacing is dull as toasted rye, and the special effects aren’t good enough to be — well, good — but aren’t bad enough to be hysterical. In short, it’s all an exercise in sleepwalking, “get-it-in-the-can”-style movie-making, and can barely hold your interest despite the fact that by all rights it sure should given its appealingly blatant absurdity.” Through the Shattered Lens

” …Alienator suffers from a lot of padding (the opening credits sequence goes on forever) and too many side characters. The film also goes on about one reel too long. Had it ended at around the 75-minute mark, Alienator could’ve been a mini-camp masterpiece. As it is, it’s an overlong, undercooked, but moderately entertaining Ray opus.” The Video Vacuum

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Cast and characters:

Jan-Michael Vincent … Commander
John Phillip Law … Ward Armstrong
Ross Hagen … Kol
Dyana Ortelli … Orrie
Jesse Dabson … Benny
Dawn Wildsmith … Caroline
P.J. Soles … Tara
Robert Clarke … Lund
Richard Wiley … Rick
Leo Gordon … Col. Coburn (as Leo V. Gordon)
Robert Quarry … Doc Burnside
Fox Harris … Burt
Hoke Howell … Harley
John Henry Richardson … Prison Sergeant Major (as Jay Richardson)
Dan Golden … Electrocuted Prisoner
Joe Zimmerman … Head Guard (as Joseph Zimmerman)
Kathy Brett … Tech #1
Joseph Pilato … Tech #2
Jeffrey C. Hogue … Bug Faced Guard
Grant Austin Waldman … Guard #2
Teagan Clive … The Alienator (as Teagan)
Fred Olen Ray … Tech #3 (uncredited)

Fun facts:

The Japanese title is Alienators 2

Trailer:

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Related:

The Astounding She-Monster (1957)