Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Movie Review: The Falling (1987)

Ugh, what a letdown. Never before have I seen such a boring alien invasion movie. For all the excitement that happens in The Falling, you may as well just watch an episode of Three's Company. Plus, way too many other good movies came out in 1987 - The Lost Boys, Near Dark, Dirty Dancing... hell, even Mannequin is a more sophisticated and interesting movie than The Falling. Alright, let's see if I can write a review without boring myself to tears.

Years ago, the Skylab from the Apollo 14 moon mission crashed and brought some aliens with it (or something like that). Scientists from a NASA lab in the tiny town of Duarte, Spain don't really do anything to stop the aliens from infecting people and I guess it's a big problem even though it never really seems to be. Meanwhile, three friends traveling to Madrid end up in Duarte and get caught up in the alien mess... and then nothing happens.

My goodness, I am already exhausted trying to come up with something to say about a movie that doesn't deserve to have anything written about it. It's really quite a turd. The plot could have been a lot better but I don't think they were really trying all that hard to make it any good. And it shows. The transitions between scenes and new characters are very abrupt and it made it hard to follow what was going on. Plus weird people just show up wherever the main characters happen to be to screw around with them, and all these scenes are shot on the same two streets in the town. A little variety is not that much to ask.

The characters are actually okay and though they do a bit of the overacting, they were the most enjoyable thing about the movie. Damon and Michael have been friends for a long time and they both have a crush on the girl, Samantha, and continuously act like dorks trying to impress her. Lynn Holly Johnson, who plays Samantha (and is a former Bond girl), is a very beautiful woman whose looks are wasted here. I can't say much about her acting talent except that she's very good at flipping out at the boys for no reason, which she does several times.

A big problem I had with The Falling is that even though it's about an alien organism that enters people's bodies, they never made it seem like that much of a threat. The scientist that the kids meet tells them that the whole world could be taken over in a matter of weeks by this alien, but I don't believe it. From what the audience sees, there are only about five people in the whole town of Duarte (I don't know, maybe everyone else was already dead) so it's hard to see how the infection could really spread that fast. Our main characters only run into a few infected people and they never seem to be in any danger of infection themselves, mostly because it is never explained just how the freaking aliens infect people.

What also makes this scenario a bit unbelievable is that the audience doesn't get to see the alien until the very end. How are we supposed to be threatened by something that we've never seen? The alien makes its appearance in one of the only good gore gags in the movie, when it explodes out of a gas station attendant's head. Otherwise, the makeup and gore are almost nonexistent, which is very sad and disappointing for an alien movie. There's one scene at the beginning that was quite yucky when two dogs are feeding on the innards of a dead cow by the side of the road. The organs and stuff looked so real in this scene that I'm pretty sure the filmmakers just said "Screw it" and really slaughtered a cow and pulled its guts out. There was also a nice makeup job on the dead infected guy that the scientist checks out. He's got a huge bulbous prosthetic on the side of his face and his neck - quite nasty and uncomfortable looking.

What's maybe the most annoying about this movie is that it has way too many alternate titles, so searching the net for stuff (I think I was pretty lucky to get those two pictures up there) is freaking impossible. I'm just calling it The Falling because that's how it's listed in Netflix but it is also known as Alien Predator, Alien Predators, and Mutant 2. But you know, it doesn't even matter what it's really called because the movie sucks. It is a cheese-tastic 80s movie, for sure, but even the bad ones are better than this. The characters are funny at times, but with the lack of any real alien action, The Falling is just not cool enough for me.


  1. Yet again you're stealing my films, although this one was one that I did about 18 months ago.

    All kidding aside, this movie is as bad as you say. I do like this lady's hair though- http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_QKvShm7j1pE/TQju4Yui2jI/AAAAAAAAEcs/PzkTHxVA3h8/s1600/alienpredators_05.jpg

    Fun fact: this movie has many things in common with 'Albino Farm,' a 2009 film about killer inbreds. It has the barren town, the mutated waitress and the Diner scene.

    Odd coincidence, right?

  2. Oh my goodness.... I just read a description for Albino Farm and it says that they're in the Ozark Mountains... which means it takes place in Missouri.... which is where I live. Can I watch the movie just for that reason alone???

    Yes, that lady's hair was awesome! Definitely one of those moments where you're laughing and saying "WTF??!" at the same time. Can't believe I forgot to mention that.

    Don't worry: I'll be sure to look through all your past reviews from now on to make sure that I totally do all the same ones for my blog. :)

  3. I remember seeing this under the title Alien Predator back in 1988 if I recall correctly. I enjoyed the film, but it is very forgettable.

  4. Excellent review, Michelle! I'm just surprised this fairly obscure flick from the 80's keeps finding new blogs to get reviewed on! Here's mine, by the by...



  5. Thanks for the warning, the make up effects work looks decent, to bad the film that goes with them isnt, I hate it when that happens.

  6. 'Albino Farm' has Chris Jericho playing a Redneck. That will either make it or break it for you.

    As for doing all the films I've done, be sure to do 'Hobgoblins 2,' 'Skeleton Key 2,' 'Day of the Dead 2,' 'Creepshow 3, 'Cthulhu (2007),' 'Pocahauntus' and 'Feeders 2.'

    That said, if you do 'Ghoulies III,' you'll be my new hero.