In the year 2021 an alien invasion of Earth left destruction, death, and chaos among the world as humans were unprepared for a response. Disbanding the United Nations the United Services Defense Force (USDF) was formed and after some time successfully forcing the majority of the alien army from the planet, but leaving behind thousands of their troops. In 2033 two journalists join new recruits and battle seasoned soldiers at Outpost 37, one of the last USDF outposts demilitarized zone between Pakistan and Afghanistan, to capture on film the lives of the soldiers and the constant attacks that have been happening from the aliens known as “Heavies” and mysteriously local villagers.
This is the premise behind the 2014 film ‘Alien Outpost’, written by Blake Clifton and Jabbar Raisani, who also directs, which can be viewed now on Netflix. The science fiction action drama does a well enough job putting viewers into the middle of attacks but seems like it loses a lot with the limited budget. Rarely do we see the aliens called “Heavies”, instead we get mostly locals as the immediate threat. When we do see the aliens, it’s usually one at a time which takes away the view of them being as threatening as they have been perceived. Sure their weapons are more powerful, and their armor tough to penetrate, but they seem more disorganized than the humans. After all the talk about the aliens, when the soldiers spend more time fighting humans, feels cheap and ripped off. Once the truth of why the locals are attacking the outpost, viewers won’t be able to feel a little disappointed. It’s as if Raisani and Cifton were working making two different films, one being an alien sci-fi, the other a look at our current war on terror, but not having the guts to come out and say what they think. So instead they slammed the two films together and ‘Alien Outpost’ is the result. The hand held camera, documentary style approach of filming works most of the time, but often the shots are too clear and on point for it to be believable, especially in the middle of battles.
While most of the relatively new actors do a well enough as soldiers struggling to do their jobs while fighting back fear, others are a little over the top and stereotypical, as is most of the military actions of the film. When requesting back up, viewers immediately know what the answer will be. In an attempt to make sure everyone’s face is seen, hardly anyone wears helmets which makes no sense. Viewers get a good enough sense about nearly all the soldiers and when some are killed in combat it is shocking and depressing, when others are killed you feel kind of meh. The film makers could have done better as far as picking locations. Most of the filming doesn’t make you feel like you’re in Pakistan, it almost feels like the action is is actually taking place at the local state park or the closest desert.
While overall ‘Alien Outpost’ is far from being a great movie, it’s still as better than most of the films that currently play on Syfy Channel. Everyone in the film tries very hard and it shows, from the actors playing the soldiers, to the writing and directing, to the choreography of battle scenes. Even the design of the alien technology and the “Heavies” themselves is quite impressive, it’s just a shame we don’t see enough of them. ‘Alien Outpost’ isn’t something you’ll remember a few weeks after you view it, and you may never watch it again, but you won’t absolutely hate yourself for watching it either. You’ll actually have a relatively fun time watching it, on a day when you have nothing else to do.