Alien Outlaw (1985) — The greatest collection of pointless scenes ever

“I’ve always thought that gun shows and things of that sort are about as exciting as a bowel movement.”

Justin’s rating: Did I fire 345 bullets or only 344?

Justin’s review: Wrapping one’s head around Alien Outlaw will invariably produce a headache due to the lack of sense involved. It’s hard to imagine what the filmmakers were going for with this flick or the logic behind its many characters and pointless scenes. The end result is puddle of various genres through which the plot splashes around before calling it a day.

An alien spaceship breaks down and crashes somewhere in the American west, sending two to three extra-terrestrials roaming the countryside looking for easy prey. And they’re going to need to be VERY easy prey, as the aliens don’t have any weapons themselves. So pretty much every early confrontation is the alien somehow grabbing people’s guns and then murdering them while posturing like gunslingers. And even though the aliens never grab any ammo, they never run out of bullets, so let that be a small distraction as you watch this.

While the above paragraph may give you the impression that this film is wall-to-wall alien slaughter, the truth is that it’s about 2% alien anything and 98% the life and times of a bunch of random backwater people stringing out scenes far past their expiration date. We’ll see extended telephone conversations with a topless super-hairy guy in bed, lengthy moments of guys spying on a girl who’s working in a field, a job interview scene that is so long it’s actually broken up into two scenes, a couple at a gas station arguing about who’s going to buy a map, and so on. Alien Outlaw dares you to make it to the end credits before tapping out due to meandering toward nowhere in particular.

And since the movie can’t decide if it’s trying to be a nail-biting scifi thriller, a kooky western, a slasher flick, or an ad for an entertainment company, there’s zero tension involved. At the heart of this non-conflict is Jesse Jamison, a gunslinger entertainer who ends up being the first and last line of defense against this bumbling alien invasion. Everyone acts with this sort of exaggerated, I-don’t-remember-how-humans-actually-talk sincerity, which I suppose is the mark of a bad director — here, a guy named Phil Smoot — more than anything else.

Alien Outlaw really doesn’t deserve another paragraph for me. It may be fine MST3K fodder, but aside from that, it’s a limp failure of a performance.

Didja notice?

  • That’s one huge gun holster
  • THRILL at someone banging away on a synthesizer for the main theme!
  • Aliens like to fire super-slowly for maximum suspense
  • This is way more chest, back, and armpit hair that I need to see in any movie
  • The operator has the best part of the film
  • At some point this woman’s got to obtain a pair of pants. And this guy a shirt.
  • Shooting open motel rooms to get to your manager is OK
  • Fishing for expansive butts
  • “A momentous event?” “A momentous event!” “A momentous event?”
  • “Loosen up a bit” = stripping to your boxers and firing a rifle randomly across a creek
  • Alien get a rock to the face. I kind of think that the actor actually got hit here.
  • No wiener dog left behind!
  • Alien outlaws really like kicking stuff in anger
  • Fishing poles can be mildly irritating weapons
  • That’s a goofy alarm system

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