Alien Showdown: The Day the Old West Stood Still (2013) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Why all the internet hate? I’ve seen plenty worse on SyFy recently than this hodgepodge concoction of Eastwood flicks, Predator and of course the proverbial shout-out to Star Wars. Sure the opening few minutes are so stilled they play like cutting-room footage from a second-year student film, but the film develops a campy style (intentionally?) that makes the minimal running time bearable if not outright enjoyable. If I sound like I’m on the fence regarding Alien Showdown, it’s because the movie plays like a really good demo reel. I have no doubt that director Rene Perez and his special effects team are going to accomplish loftier films in their careers if afforded the opportunities.

The film begins in 1869 as we meet a thick-accented outlaw named Reinhard, wanted for the theft of a religious artifact from a local church. A group of men accost the criminal and attempt to bring him to justice for the 10,000 dollar reward being offered. The outlaw avoids capture at the hands of the cowboys due to a large-scale alien invasion. Narrowly escaping death and the violent assault of a vicious alien being, our outlaw hero stumbles upon an injured alien of different origin. This dying Yoda-like creature uses telekinesis to communicate the dangers that await mankind and earth as a whole, if the other monster is allowed to survive.

Thus setting up the hunted/hiding game played between Reinhard, the creature and the surviving cowboys still intent on bringing the wanted man in. Then the story cuts to a modern-day science facility where a recently canned scientist is offered a job on a top-secret government case. The location is remote and the details scarce but Dr. Marina is interested in the work. Little does she know that it involves the discovery of an alien technology, a 145 year old corpse and a diary. The story flips between the time periods throughout the remainder of the picture.

When the discussion of independently produced cinema arises films like Alien Showdown are overlooked in favor of more prestigious art-house fare. In some cases that is appropriate, but this is an outstanding example of effective indie sci-fi cinema. Rocking a cool score credited to Risto R Muzik Alien Showdown is a fast-moving, and visually impressive action romp.

Director: Rene Perez
Stars: Robert Amstler, Nadia Lanfranconi, Ted Alderman

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