Whack a Mole or Bee
I watched Xtro last night, which I found on Youtube. I remember the cover of it back in the days of VHS, and being a SF fan was always a bit curious about it. As the cover implies, it's a SF horror film in the mold of the Ridley Scott film, Alien, but with their own take on the genre. It's also an alien abduction type story. To be sure, it's a B-grade, low budget film, but as the same time I thought had a few things that were interesting about it.
For one, at least the film kept me thinking or at least wondering what and where the plot was headed. I also liked that it was a British production. I'm a monster fan, so they had a pretty interesting take on the alien, and also it used lighting to good effect in some scenes. Much like Alien, the creature that they created goes through a metamorphosis, and though less clear in some of the alien's changes or even motives, I thought that was okay. I made it seem more alien-like. There's a weirdness or unsettling nature to the film, that reminded me at times of something like Hellraiser or something along that line. Also though the score was lean and sparse, and I enjoyed the old analog synthesizer soundtrack and the atmosphere it added. There's a bit of gore here and there, and the story is a bit inconsistent at times, but overall for a B-film, it held my attention.
It's one of those films that within a few minutes sets up a whole new world, wherein my attention was drawn right into it. It's basically about a wandering Neanderthal tribe in search of a cave as winter is coming on, and they need a home for the cold weather. On their journey they find a young abandoned blonde child called Ayla, a Cro-Magnon, that is adopted by one of their women. She's not totally accepted into their tribe due to looking different, and perhaps other reasons, but over time we go along with her journey into adulthood. One of the questions I had about the film is the woman that adopts the child is pregnant at the time, but the movie doesn't address what happens to that woman's child. Maybe they did, but it wasn't clear to me, or I just didn't catch it.
At any rate, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It had great scenery shot up in Canada, which really gave it the atmosphere it needed, and the score to the film worked really well too--reminding me of some of the music Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells, Ommadawn, etc.) did many years ago or maybe something along the lines of Vangelis. Perhaps, the film is oriented more towards fantasy, but I think Jean Auel did extensive research on her series of books, so that it's grounded in scientific findings as well. It really made me more curious about her books, which I'll have to keep an eye out for at book sales. It would be nice to find the second book in the series, The Valley of the Horses.
If interested I found this older, short interview with Mrs. Auel. I thought it was interesting to hear her talk about her work. You can find it here. Click on the bottom link that says 1985, mp3 file.