Exactly the sort of amateurish, boring, derivative, insipid junk that high-school sci-fi fans might throw together over the course of a weekend—and yet billed as legitimate work by grown-ups and given a tiny theatrical release, as well as an afterlife on home video—The Alien Factor lacks any recognizable redeeming values, except perhaps for the can-do spirit of incompetent Maryland filmmaker Don Dohler. Cobbling together family and friends, some of whom had gained meager skills in the realm of old-school special effects, Dohler managed to accrue enough terrible footage to assemble 90 minutes of sci-fi pabulum. Most of the familiar clichés are here. A monster makes its first appearance by interrupting young lovers who are making out in a car that’s parked out in the boonies. Police investigate bloody crimes, little suspecting that an alien from outer space is the culprit. A dogged reporter is the only person who figures out the truth. All the while, a short-sighted city official prevents the issuance of public warnings about the deadly menace, because he’s afraid that panic will impede his plans for commercial development. Employing visual tricks that already felt dated 20 years before The Alien Factor was made, Dohler and his collaborators depict monsters with cheap costumes, shoddy superimpositions, and stop-motion animation. Are the movie’s acting, dialogue, direction, and storytelling completely abysmal? Yes on all four counts. And does the movie conclude with an alien giving an endless speech about its motivations before the inevitable oh-the-humanity tragic ending? Once, again, the answer is yes. As to the question of whether The Alien Factor is worth anyone’s time, the response is the opposite.
The Alien Factor: SQUARE