Every once in a while, somebody tries to recapture the genie in a bottle that was “Sci-Fi Movies in the 50s”. It’s not an easy task. Ask today’s “sophisticated” audiences, and they’ll tell you that one of the reasons “campy” movies like Forbidden Planet and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers worked so well in the 50s is that people simply didn’t know any better. They didn’t know what would one day be possible in a post-CGI world, and therefore embraced the best they could get.
As we sit and wait for the visual extravaganza that will be Terminator: Salvation this year, it’s easy to dismiss a movie like the original The Day the Earth Stood Still as simple and unexciting by comparison. After all, it’s in black and white, and the special effects are so OBVIOUS, and the alien looks like a normal man. And yet, while I haven’t seen it yet, by most accounts the 2008 remake starring Keanu Reeves was a huge letdown … despite being in color and having a multi-million dollar special effects budget. Likewise, I personally wasn’t all that impressed with Spielberg’s CGI-laden 2005 retelling of The War of the Worlds. Bigger and fancier doesn’t always equate to better.
All of which is my pretense for talking about an independent flick due out later this year, called Alien Trespass, produced and directed by X-Files alum R.W. Goodwin.