by Curt Holman
Since I volunteered to review Alien vs. Predator: Requiem for this week, I felt obligated to see 2004âs original Alien vs. Predator, a combined sequel to the four Alien films and two Predator movies. The fact that Iâd never seen the first AVP is a testament to its rock-bottom reputation, especially considering that Iâm a movie critic and a huge fan of the first two Alien flicks.
So I rented it from a Blockbuster franchise (which, believe it or not, also carried Atlanta filmmaker Bret Woodâs kinky indie flick Psychopathia Sexualis). And yeah, AVP was terrible, like a production made for the Sci Fi channel, only with (marginally) more money. Part of the problem is that itâs complicated and contrived, but not gracefully so, and its attempts to create an Alien/Predator âmythosâ fall flat. Requiem at least doesnât bother with complications; it just hits the ground running and doesnât stop. Itâs not that Requiem is a good movie, but itâs a lot better at being a bad movie.
Of the films that have involved the otherworldly hunter, the best Predator movie may not even be a ârealâ movie. âBatman: Dead End,â despite being only eight minutes long (including the credits), is a slam-bang action film that pits the Caped Crusader against the Predator, with cameos from the Alien and the Joker. (I learned about it when researching this article on fan films.) Sandy Corollaâs fan film debuted in 2003 at San Diegoâs Comic-Con, although "unauthorized film" may be a better term than âfan film," with its connotations of Star Wars kids and basement special effects. Corolla spent $30,000 and used professional-quality sets, stunts and photography (on actual film, not video) to create a kind of calling card to show off his cinematic talents, which appear to be considerable. Itâs ironic that an unauthorized film of the material can feel far more legitimate than Hollywoodâs real thing.
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