STARRING: Brian Kerwin, Elizabeth Peña, Jonathan Carrasco, Adrian Sparks, Bill McKinney, Dean Norris

1996, 84 Minutes, Directed by: Roger Duchowny

Why do the Americans insist upon populating their movies with obnoxious, unlikable brats? And why do they insist on treating their holy terrors like holy treasures?

There is a scene in which the kid in It Came From Outer Space II breaks the lead character's windows. What does the lead character do? Give the little shit a decent hiding, send him to bed without dessert? After all, windows are rather expensive to replace. Oh no, he gives him an expensive camera to play with and takes him along on an exciting photo session. I kid you not. . .

Not that the other people in this movie are any better. Not a single sympathetic figure in sight. Whether this has anything to do with the film's ultimate message - that human emotions are difficult to understand or control - is dubious. But It Came From Outer Space II isn't the only recent movie to have a cast of unsympathetic characters. Actually there are a lot of them: the most recent example is probably The Lost World, where one wishes that the obnoxious brat in that movie will get torn from limb to limb by velociraptors.

Having likeable, or at least interesting characters is the first step towards the audience caring about what is happening in a movie. Not so in It Came From Outer Space II. One actually wishes that something terrible would happen to them and are disappointed when it doesn't (kids and dogs never come to any harm in American movies alas).

Dr Spock type child-rearing issues aside, It Came From Outer Space II suffers from more than unsympathetic characters.

It also suffers from some bad special effects, bad acting, editing, music, low-budget, etc. It isn't a sequel (as the name would imply) of the old 1950s sci-fi movie but rather a remake of it as far as I can make out. (Unfortunately, I haven't seen the black & white original.) Which is rather sad since it is a good story (based on one by Ray Bradbury) and deserves better than the treatment it gets here. One can only imagine what a more talented director (John Carpenter perhaps) could have done with a slightly bigger budget with the same material.

It Came from Outer Space II was originally made for the Sci-Fi Channel, but is available on video as well.



blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Most Popular

Copyright © 1997-forward James O'Ehley/The Sci-Fi Movie Page (unless where indicated otherwise).