There’s an endearing quality to a film that has no shame or hesitation in going for the gold with juvenile humor. Some would even call it a charm. Shea Sterling’s Alien Addiction is certainly a film that leans heavily into lowbrow comedy, and does so with such dedication and such a sense of “fuck it dude, whatever” that you can’t help but get sucked in. I don’t mean that in a car wreck rubbernecking, “so bad it’s good” way. Alien Addiction has less in common with deliberately schlocky nonsense like Sharknado or any of the other billion or so movies with “shark” in the title that are made by people who, in 2020, think saying “I’m Rick James, bitch!” when they’re drunk is funny, and more in common with the kid selling candy bars outside of a Target who talks you into giving him five bucks for a 75-cent Hershey bar.
It’s so overwhelmingly stupid and loud, and clearly doesn’t give a shit if you take it seriously, and still somehow manages to win you over. I say this without a trace of irony. I hated this movie for the first hour and then in the last act suddenly felt like I was being hypnotized by its incessant and unrelenting charming nonsense.
Alien Addiction is, objectively, not a good movie. The plot sounds like a blacked-out drunk 37 year old trying to think of a third wish for the genie he released and saying, “fuck it, make me a movie out of the blacklight poster I had as a kid of an alien in a Dr. Seuss hat juggling mushrooms in front of a giant weed leaf” and somehow the genie makes it even dumber. Imagine Coneheads but with copious amounts of drugs and toilet humor. Riko (Jimi Jackson) is a dull but lovable slacker who lives with his eccentric aunt in rural New Zealand. One day, Gurgus and Jeff, two blue skinned aliens cruising the galaxy looking for fun, encounter Riko and find out that smoking human feces gets them incredibly high. The three have a series of zany adventures while the aliens hide from a UFO researcher hell-bent on revealing the truth to the world. The film is one prolonged dick and fart joke that feels like something a robot would make after watching 48 consecutive hours of American Pie films and episodes of The Tom Green Show. The visual FX would’ve been wince-inducing in 1993, the acting is absolutely abominable, and the comedy of the film is tropey and straight out of a frat party, hinging on a skinny guy having sex with a large woman..
All that being said somehow I went from “this is the last time I’m writing a review without watching the trailer first” to “oh wow that…actually ended up pretty good.” Weirdly, the film excels at a dramatic core; there’s a scene towards the end that is surprisingly effective at tugging on the heart strings, and for a film that bills itself as a “horror comedy” but has mostly lackluster humor and no horror as far as I could see, that is impressive. The aliens are almost too, well, alien for the viewer to connect with and yet you can’t help but find them oddly adorable. While there’s never any real sense of growth for Riko as a character, at the end who really gives a shit? This is a movie in which an alien wears a toilet seat as a necklace. It’s never winking and nodding at the audience but it’s clearly in on the joke and knows how ridiculous it is. In Riko’s words, the aliens want one thing: they simply want to have fun. Honestly, I think that summation can apply to the film as a whole. It just wants us to have fun.
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