FROM OUTER SPACE II
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. . .
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
one wishes that the obnoxious brat in that movie will get torn
from limb to limb by velociraptors.
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).
Spock type child-rearing issues aside, It Came From Outer
Space II suffers from more than unsympathetic characters.
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.
Came from Outer Space II was originally made for the Sci-Fi
Channel, but is available on video as well.