THE ALIEN FACTOR Blu Ray Limited SIGNED Edition
Limited Edition of 1000 units Signed by actor, George Stover... Director Don Dohler's homage to the classic sci-fi 1950's creature features, THE ALIEN FACTOR (1978), has endured the passage of time to become the standard "comfort food" for a generation of eager aficionados. Filmed in Baltimore, Maryland by a collection of never-say-die, hardcore fans, the movie boasts a gaggle of monster suits, clever miniatures and even a stop-motion beast brought to life by, then aspiring, animation wizard, Ernest D. Farino (THE TERMINATOR). Local actors Don Leifert, Dick Dyszel, Eleanor Herman and George Stover infuse the film with an enthusiastic zest that belies the film's tiny budget, adding immeasurably to the charm that is THE ALIEN FACTOR. Special Features include New 2K HD 16x9 Wide Screen Scan from the 16mm Negative; Cast and Crew Commentary Track; Behind the Scenes, The Television Years, Meet the Cast & Crew Featurette; THE ALIEN FACTOR Reunion; Alternate LEEMOID Sequence with Commentary Track; Blooper & Out-Take Reel; and the Original "Retromedia Drive-In Theatre" intro.
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THE STORY: An extraterrestrial craft crashlands on the snowy outskirts of the rural New England village of Perry Hill. A trio of antisocial aliens are soon stalking & slaying the hapless locals. A handful of frightened citizens band together to try and fight off the bizarre creatures, with the assistance of an oddball scientist from a nearby observatory, who conveniently shows up to help. Can the deadly menage-a-terror be stopped before everyone in Perry Hill is slaughtered?
THOUGHTS: An cinematic throwback from the 1970's, and do-it-yourself director Don Dohler, who made a side career crafting no budget monster movies with help from his family, friends and other similar-minded film enthusiasts in the Baltimore area. Many kids of a certain age (growing up in the mid-1960's to mid-1980's), with access to their parents' home movie cameras, tried their hand at creating their very own mini-epics. Dohler took his ambitions a few steps further, actually getting his works released theatrically. Armed with his Super 8mm (and later a 16mm) film camera, lots of enthusiasm and no shortage of ideas, one-man-studio Dohler turned his dreams into reality, and gave us some pretty unique movies in the process. Besides ALIEN FACTOR, Dohler also directed the inevitable follow-up, "ALIEN FACTOR 2, as well as "FIEND," "NIGHTBEAST," "THE GALAXY INVADER" and others. While they'll never win any awards, his films are a lot of fun and a charming example of a fast fading period in obscure American independent cinema. Be forewarned however, that like so many films of this type, ALIEN FACTOR is ripe with lousy writing, tepid acting, bad production design, interminable padding (AF is filled with seemingly endless shots of the cast cluelessly wandering around in the snowy woods), and dimestore F/X. But in its defense, ALIEN FACTOR does have a few neat bits in it, and if you have patience, the film isn't without its minimalist rewards.
THE BLU-RAY: Who would have ever dreamed that a zero dollar production like this would ever see legitimate mainstream home video release AND be remastered in the high definition Blu-ray format to boot? Certainly not Dohler. Undoubtedly, he would be tickled to see his works treated so lovingly, getting a whole new lease on life and exposing them to a fresh generation of film goers. The transfer for ALIEN FACTOR is impressive, especially considering that this is a 40 year-old independent film, shot on 16mm. Better than anything I could have imagined. The picture & sound for the film are quite good, all things considered. (The sound level is VERY strong. LOL!) Retromedia & its owner, low budget filmmaker Fred Olen Ray, are to be commended. Being a fellow homebrew cum mainstream director, Fred is obviously a fan of Dohler's works. It's great that he took this project on, and his love for such fare shows here, with a slew of great bonus content that make this Blu-ray a true 5 STAR release. Included are a cast & crew audio commentary track, a behind-the-scenes featurette, gag reel, alternate "Leemoid" alien sequence w/commentary, cast reunion footage, some local TV promos for the film, and more! (Please note however, that there are no SDH subtitles for either the film or bonus content, the only strike against this otherwise A+ release.) Ephemeral cinema fans & Z-flick enthusiasts are in for a real treat with the hi-def release of THE ALIEN FACTOR, and it comes highly recommended.
How the heck did mainstream blockbusters like The Empire Strikes Back and Jaws make it into Michael Weldon's book, The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film (1987), but not Don Dohler's epic low-budget masterpiece, The Alien Factor?
The Alien Factor is a mother lode for fans of low budget b-movie sci-fi and horror. It's got it all (except nudity). There's no nudity in The Alien Factor. Don Dohler was a family man, you drooling, trench coat wearing cretins.
If you're looking for skin and gore, check out his other film, Nightbeast. Lloyd Kaufman of Troma coaxed him into spicing it up, "because it's what the kids want and the audience dictates the market". Blah-Blah-Blah
Yeah, I'm a fan of Nightbeast too, so get off my back.
Anyway, The Alien Factor. It's an ambitious labor of love, full of endearing imperfections. It's a bona fide cult classic (and I don't use that term lightly).
Don Dohler was a guy outside the system who dreamed of making movies. He set his mind and heart to work and made his dreams reality. In that sense, his films are a success. But his movies are also entertaining, maybe not in the exact way he intended, but they are entertaining. This also makes them a success.
Big studios frequently spend hundreds of millions of dollars on films cynically orchestrated to be huge money makers, but they end up being boring flops. Those films are the true failures.
You can keep your Marvel superhero movies and all the other CGI-fests Hollywood excretes on what seems like a weekly basis.
I'll keep watching these quirky old cinematic oddities like The Alien Factor. They have heart and soul that money just can't buy.
Cheers, Don Dohler, wherever you are.
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One of the aliens looked like it had chocolate chip pieces glued to it's shell.Read more