With an ambiguous title like “Attack of the Unknown” I honestly didn’t know what I was in for. What I got was a pleasant surprise. Taking on a full-blown alien invasion as indie filmmakers is no small feat and it is safe to say Michael and Sonny Mahal along with writer/director Brandon Slagle put the extra in extraterrestrial and I definitely enjoyed it.
Attack of the Unknown follows a group of LAPD SWAT led by team leader Maddox (Douglas Tait) as they are attempting to transport high profile crime boss Miguel “Hades” Aguirre (Robert LaSardo). Their transport becomes complicated, not due to cronies trying to break their boss free, but rather a horde of aliens has decided to invade at that very moment. Cue the chaos.
The introduction was a bit slow but the team of SWAT comrades appeared distinct enough while remaining complimentary that I maintained interested as the plot unfolded. It takes a while for the film to ‘get-going’ but once it does it’s a chuckle-fest the whole way, and I mean that in a very positive way.
The special effects were more than what I expected but less than the big blockbuster standard for alien invasion films. The effects are definitely on par with a Syfy original film. So not terrible… but definitely not realistic. The dialogue had its cheesy moments but it did not detract from the overall entertainment value. In fact, I would argue that it enhanced it.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the aliens because this IS an alien invasion after all. Everything from the styling and design to the makeup and the movements of the aliens just screams ‘50’s B-Horror Movie’. These aliens amble with a slow bounce while holding their claw-hand unusually high. So just put a black and white filter on, throw Allison Hayes in there and boom… you got yourself a classic 50’s movie monster.
The cast should definitely be recognized for their wonderful work. The individual characters are likable and you believe they are a close-knit brotherhood. Jolene Andersen (Hannah) delivers an absolutely dynamic performance and she is the glue that holds the film together. Richard Greico (Vernon) gets some serious screen time and he utilizes every minute of it. He is strong and damaged and both of those elements work together beautifully on-screen. Robert LaSardo (Hades) was a stunning villain. He brought an intimidating and sociopathic individual to life while infusing him with humor and wit. Tara Reid (Elizabeth) is billed in a way that suggests she is a major part of this film. Spoiler alert she is not. The grand total of screen time is around 5 minutes but you get to hear her sing.
Attack of the Unknown is VERY dialogue-heavy to start, but once the ol’ bullet-ball gets rolling, it’s guns-a-blazing for the next 80 minutes. The film is action-packed but also contains moments of courage, sadness, and levity. Without giving anything away, the film’s ending is the perfect set-up for a sequel. The end of the film is not an end but rather a beginning and honesty, I wouldn’t mind an Attack of the Unknown 2.
Movie Rating: 7 out of 10
|Attack of the Unknown|
|Runtime:||1hr. 40 Mins.|