Hey kid, want to see a guy in a helmet shotgun marijuana to an alien and other such shenanigans? Then venture into writer/director Shea Sterling’s world of best friends and “f*cking aliens” in his 2018 Kiwi comedy Alien Addiction. A screwball science-fiction treat, this film dumps humor, extraterrestrials, and drug experimentation into a toilet and then gives the audience a big wet swirly. While I personally do not typically go for the toilet humor romps, it was difficult not to fall in love with Alien Addiction‘s many eccentric characters and the gorgeous shots of New Zealand peppered throughout the film.
Alien Addiction follows Riko (Jimi Jackson), a stoner who lives with his auntie and enjoys hanging out with his best mates. Riko’s auntie is thought of as crazy for–among many things–warning people about aliens but to Riko’s surprise aliens appear in a nearby forest one day, having hidden their spacecraft’s descent behind a falling meteor. After meeting the two aliens who originally came to study Earth objects for nutrients, Riko discovers that the aliens have stumbled upon an unlikely source capable of causing mind-altering experiences for the aliens–human feces. Having bonded over their love of getting high (Riko off of marijuana and the aliens off of poop), Riko helps the aliens stay well-stocked on the good shi*t as well as helping them to escape the clutches of a nefarious Alientologist determined to expose the aliens’ existence.
Alien Addiction has the vibe of a film done by a group of old friends just having a laugh and inviting everyone along for the ride; their high energy comedy is truly infectious, led by comedian Jimi Jackson’s obnoxiously endearing performance in the role of Riko. Alien Addiction is similar to the comedies produced by Seth Rogen’s crew, only somehow less mature while aesthetically being more refined. Shea Sterling’s bong-tastic sense of humor might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but at least you can’t knock the production value on this indie movie.
For having a low budget the UFO prop, the aliens’ costuming, and the special effects weren’t half bad even though the practical makeup for the aliens could have used more attention to cover up the mask closures when shot from the back. Reminiscent in mannerism and design to the Thermian aliens from Galaxy Quest (1999) and the Coneheads of ’90s fame, the aliens created by Mr. Sterling were delightfully funny and charming despite their dangerous and absurd pursuit of human poo. Furthermore, Mr. Sterling made excellent use of New Zealand’s beauty by showcasing stunning aerial drone shots to establish the setting as this wacky adventure unfolded. The attention to cinematography was a pleasant surprise for a film with such a low-brow premise, giving legitimacy to a film that is otherwise laughing at itself from start to finish.
For a very adult (by content) but childish (in sensibilities) version of E.T. (1982), or for something like Paul (2011) but dirtier in every sense of the word, look no further than Alien Addiction, due to be released to U.S. audiences on Blu-ray September 29th, 2020. I felt the film overstayed its welcome about 10 minutes and 1 too many poop gags, but otherwise this is a solid film with a narrative truly as silly as it sounds. A little bit gross and a lot a bit funny, Alien Addiction is some funny sh*t worth taking a whiff of and is an impressive feature film debut from bold and hilariously brash director Shea Sterling.
MOVIE RATING — 6 out of 10
|Runtime:||1 Hr. 35 Mins.|