The SciFi Channel has come out with some real winners lately in its programming, especially the new “Battlestar Galactica” series. While I typically don’t enjoy “menancing aliens invading the Earth” types of movies, I wanted to give SciFi’s original movie, “Alien Siege” a chance.
I admit that I watched the first 30-40 minutes before falling asleep on the couch. I dozed off and on for the remainder of the movie, but even that was a waste of time. Although I was tired and grumpy when I wrote the review below, it still describes my reaction to the movie. It was highly disappointing, because The Sci-Fi Channel knows better than this.
The premise of “Alien Siege” is that an alien race, dying of a lethal virus, takes the Earth hostage. “Give us 8 million humans, whose blood we need for vaccines,” they say, “or we’ll blow you all up with our menacing death ray orbiter.” The biggest hole in this idea — and it’s a HUGE one — is quite simply: ever hear of blood banks? Really easy concept: get everyone on the planet to donate a pint or two of blood to the aliens, no one has to die, the whole movie takes twenty minutes, and everyone goes home happy.
The reason why they need whole, live humans instead of just donated blood — an explanation that could have been dispensed with in about 12-15 seconds — is not addressed and is never questioned by any of the characters, and so becomes the first albatross around this movie’s neck.
The “aliens” have white eyebrows, which is the only thing distinguishing them from humans. Oh, and they each have a blue disc on the right side of the jaw; it closely resembles a playdough pancake, and I think it is supposed to be a communication device.
“Alien Siege” is another one of these original, science fiction productions that suffers from bad math. (“Taken” had a similar problem, but with chronology.) At the top of the program, an official declares that the United States’ “share” of the 8 million people that the planet owes to the aliens comes to 800,000. About two minutes later, someone mentions that even though over 650,000 Americans have sacrificed themselves for the cause, the U.S. still owes over 300,000 to the aliens. Huh? 650K + 300K = way more than 800K. I even replayed the beginning to make sure I’d not heard this wrong. Later in the show, the American share is quoted as 900K, with no explanation for the jump of 100K. (I suspect that this was either sloppy writing or the continuity folks falling down on the job. “Was it 800K or 900K? Who cares? No one’s going to be paying attention to such a minor detail.”)
It was pretty funny to hear — made as a passing comment at the top of the program — that all of the other nations simply offered up their prison populations. But not the United States! We have a lottery system, because we’re so democratic, and because the rest of the world obviously doesn’t give a damn about human rights.
Also, the United States is the only nation on Earth in which there are rebels refusing to cooperate with the scheme of turning over people to be killed (though the U.S. government is only too happy to comply), and they manage to defeat the aliens. Everyone else on the planet is apparently a complacent, alien-bait idiot.
Not to mention that the writing was bad, and the acting was worse.
I’m hoping that when the next one of these “original events” comes along that either a) it’s a far sight better than this one, or b) I have enough sense not to watch it. In the meantime, I’ll go back to watching “Medium,” “The West Wing,” and “Battlestar Galactica.”