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High Plains Invaders: Maneater Series
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Danville's hanging is interrupted by interstellar miners that resemble mechanical scorpions, referred to as "bugs" by the only people left in town. The movie takes a page from Tremors with respect to how the band of survivors deals with the deadly bugs.
The SyFy Channel film was shot in Romania, and stars James Marsters, better known as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The majority of the cast has worked almost entirely in television, and only Marsters demonstrates much screen presence. Certain elements of the film such as who gets a dose of karma, as well as the movie's conclusion, are a bit predictable.
Handgun aficionados and true Wild West fans might be a little disappointed with the director's abandonment of authenticity. Several characters carry double-action Smith & Wesson revolvers that hadn't even been invented by 1892. A number of revolvers used in the film (King Cobra, etc) aren't in sync with the time period, most of townsmen and bounty hunters alike would have been carrying a single-action Colt Peacemaker.
Overall, the film's concept itself is off the beaten path, which is why it makes for a halfway interesting movie. Watch the movie once and decide if owning the DVD is for you.
If writers are liberated by the change of scenery, prop designers are not. Historical accuracy is thrown out the window in the interest of telling a good story. In High Plains Invaders, firearms - which are central to any Western - are woefully inaccurate.
For fans of monster movies, perhaps the most important element to get right is the monster. The High Plains Invaders are a doozy - steampunk-style aliens that combine elements of War of the Worlds-style saucers, scorpions, and crayfish. They are magnificently detailed in CGI and suitably bizarre enough to intimidate a bunch of pistol-wielding cowboys.
Speaking of cowboys, the invasion happens just as Sam Danville (James Marsters of Spike fame) is about to hang for an accidental murder. This criminal with a heart of gold has a love interest in nurse Abigail Pixley (Cindy Sampson), who watches helplessly as Danville is about to hang and then watches helplessly as he is nearly skewered by alien robobugs. Balancing out the damsel in distress is Rose Hilridge (Sanny Van Heteren), the prettiest and fastest gun in the West.
No amount of gunslinging will save our heroes. It turns out that the aliens are after uranium mined by Jules Arning (Sebastian Knapp). When a glittering spherical mothership descends to drop dozens of the alien bugs, the end results are destined to be explosive.
High Plains Invaders isn't fancy.Read more ›
James Marsters stars as a convicted killer who is spared the noose when the monsters attack and becomes the town's savior.
The effects are pretty good, but the movie never really takes off and the ending just happens without any real fanfare.
A good concept haphazardly executed.
The CGI for the monsters was well done and the half mechanical/half biological icky bugs looked and acted great.
I liked the cast, especially the female bounty hunter (a German actress named Sanny van Heteren) and the main character, James Marsters.
My only beef is with the pitchblende, raw and/or supposedly refined. First off, just crushing it isn't refining it. Second, unless it was super-weak, it would've cooked the scientist, Jules Arning (played by Sebastian Knapp) to a crisp long before the icky bugs came to town, not to mention contaminating most if not all of the town. However, I don't watch these movies for science lessons and have no problem suspending my disbelief. As long as the ending makes at least half sense, I'm okay. In this case, a stick of dynamite plays the pivotal role in repelling the invaders. In a more modern version of this tale, the invaders would be eating dynamite for breakfast, but given the time period (and lack of technology), there was not much else they could have used against them.
There are other reality issues but not worth worrying about. From the scenery and some of the names of minor cast members and crew, I can assume this movie was filmed in Romania where production costs are much cheaper than here in the states.
Overall, a good Saturday evening icky bug. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty cool looking "bugs".Decent enough CG. Wish there had been a few more townspeople. Inaccuracy in firearms used for that time period but overall,this one will not be... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mike McWilliams
Good thing I only bought it to see James Marsters, otherwise I would have given it 1 star.Published 10 months ago by J Stuckey
a very good movie. was delivered properly and was in good shape.Published 13 months ago by Kasondra Anne Strand