Alien Apocalypse Josh Becker

Were it not for the striking talents of the always-watchable Bruce Campbell, this made-for-TV movie wouldn't be much to talk about. A cheesy premise — humans have been enslaved by wood-loving aliens who fire their guns with less accuracy than a Stormtrooper high on ether — is held back by obvious, simple errors in its scripting, such as a 35-year-old man remembering events from his childhood, which occurred 40 years ago. Simple mistakes like this, and there are several, serve to distance the viewer even further from an already hard-to-swallow film. Then, of course, there is Campbell. Able to make even the blandest dialogue seem subtly witty and sarcastic, this skill is put to good use with Becker's uninspired script. Campbell's cocky astronaut doctor, part of a team who return to earth after 40 years of cryogenic sleep only to discover cities in ruin and the human race enslaved, is much like the other cocky hero types he has played during his career, and it is a character he has down pat. Attempting to stir up a rebellion amongst the down-trodden humans, Campbell is given the opportunity to deliver the film's only truly great line as he fires a crossbow into the heart of a bad guy: "Your stupidity is terminal. Now you're cured." Aside from this one moment of brilliance, the film is generally slow-paced, with a lot of wandering through woods and awkward sexual tension between Campbell and Renee O'Connor, better known as Gabrielle on Xena. The included commentary track, which features Becker and Campbell, is more interesting than the film, with the two discussing the aspects of making a low-budget sci-fi flick. The "making of" featurette is skimpy, however, and leaves something to be desired. (Anchor Bay)