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XTRO – 6

Director – Harry Bromley Davenport

Cast – Philip Sayer, Bernice Stegers, Danny Brainin, Maryam d’Abo, Simon Nash, Peter Mandell, David Cardy, Anna Wing

Release Year – 1983

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I had never heard of XTRO until recently, and after learning that it consisted of sci-fi alien impregnation of humans I knew this was a film I just had to see. After witnessing his father’s alien abduction three years prior, Tony is ecstatic when his father, Sam, returns home. His arrival is a troublesome one, as Tony’s mother has since met and become engaged with another man, but the trouble really begins when Sam begins to affect Tony in frightening ways.

XTRO begins with one of the coolest first acts I have ever seen, one heavy in live creature action that also consists of one of the absolute creepiest scenes I have ever witnessed in a horror film. After the creatures deliver their initial onslaught the remainder of the film follows the young boy and his new life after the return of his father. It is obvious that something is not right about the dad, as if his abduction was not merely to check him for cavities, and as the film progresses it becomes obvious that an ulterior motive is at work. I was saddened to see the creature action basically cease to exist after the first act, with the remaining two acts giving us horror stemming from the father’s condition spreading to those around him and resulting in a few deaths here and there. I will not completely knock the film for going this route, although the end result would have been a much better one had they kept up the awesomeness and intensity of the first act.

Harry Bromley Davenport’s direction was fairly good, although much like the story his direction was absolutely epic during the first act and then slowly faltered with the story. He managed to keep things interesting and gave us good creature action when it did hit the screen, and his atmosphere was also of a positive note. I was very glad to see live-action gore during the kills, and it was his execution of the kills that really kept me engaged during the second and third creature-lacking acts. The acting performances were as expected for an 80s flick, and surprisingly enough there was much less cheese than I expected / hoped for.

Overall, XTRO is a film that comes with an extreme amount of potential that is ultimately never achieved. The first act is tremendous but after that the film falters a bit due to all of its eggs being placed in one basket (the first act). This by no means a bd film and my disappointment is one of personal taste and a drive to see good creature flicks, but the film’s failure to reach potential and its cop-out of “the goods” is something surely to disappoint.

Rating: 6/10

…Additional Stills…

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