Saturday, October 16, 2010

XTRO: I'm Haunted By Clown Midgets.

Where has XTRO been all my life? I'm not sure. It seems as though my life was one way before watching XTRO and now it's a completely new and exciting adventure, where I look at strangers on the street and wonder if perhaps they emerged from a vagina merely minutes before. It also makes me wonder if I had only concentrated a little more--could I have made my toys come to life? The answer is of course no, as I did not possess the alien super powers necessary. Oooh XTRO, you make me wonder just how I survived before you. What was I doing? How was I viewing movies without first being exposed to this amazing assortment of glee?

Surprising though it may seem, XTRO is a low budget film made in the 80s. Oh and it's British. I love British people. And tea. Where was I? Oh yes, XTRO chronicles the story of a man who was abducted when he and his son were playing fetch with the family dog. After a bright white light,

the boy wakes up and his mother tells him that his father has left. 3 years go by, and the father returns. He seems like the same Dad the son once knew...until he finds his father eating his pet snake's eggs! That's right, the father has returned an alien and his plans are soon to be unveiled.

The less one knows about XTRO the more amazing the film becomes. For example, I first knew about the film after watching a clip where a car was driving slowly though the woods.

Here it comes, just a lovely drive through the woods lalala.

And then......


What is that?! The way that the creature appears and how it eerily crab walks back into the forest is one of the most unnatural, inexplicably terrifying things I have ever witnessed. I've replayed this scene no less than 20 times and every time it fills me with the most insane case of the willies I've ever experienced. I want to believe that horror films coming out today can pack the same kind of punch with a scene as quick as this but I know deep down that it's not possible. Yes, from the moment I saw this scene I knew that XTRO was what my life was missing. But what did I know about it? Nothing, other than the fact that there was a scary dog/alien creature loose in the woods. As it turns out--the movie is so much more.

As I was quite pleased to find out, the entirety of XTRO is equally mind blowing. I still can't get over how outstanding these creature effects are. After watching this, I refuse to take the excuse that films use so much CGI because it is cheaper. XTRO was low budget and look what it did!

Every single thing that happened with the alien creature made my eyes widen. Not only that, but I said OUT LOUD I should point out, "Oh my god", every single frickin' time. This rarely happens to me, except for maybe when I watched the Blob remake. The ultimate scene of intrigue, disgust, and wow factor however comes in the form of a birth scene. Now, if you caught me Tweeting last night I was busy exclaiming how this scene really should be in more people's lists of disturbing moments. Perhaps it's really only disturbing if you are woman and if you can imagine what giving birth to a 30 year old man would be like.

Yes. You saw that stomach correctly. That stomach puts Kate Gosselins 8 baby blob to shame. And then....we get the actual birth. The disgusting plop of all the gooey bloody grossness spewing out, a man's head emerging, and after he comes out he bites his own umbilical cord. Bad ass. I really could not believe this scene with my own eyes and hopefully neither will you. I mean, if we're talking disturbing scenes--not entire movies, this one definitely shoots to the top of my list. Or at least maybe number 2.

Aside from all the creature effects there is something else that happens that is almost too terrifying to handle. I don't think this is a SPOILER because it happens pretty quickly, but after the son catches Daddy eating snake eggs the Dad tells him the truth and that he's different now and then he comforts him. He gives him a fatherly hug but then...he puts his mouth on the kid's shoulder....then he starts sucking......

And.....yeah. Long story short, the kid is a weird alien thing now too. Not only that, but he develops some pretty neat alien super powers. He can look at toys and make them come to life. In what is perhaps one of the more frightening things I've seen lately, the boy stares at this..

and it turns into this.

Why have I stumbled upon two movies with clown midgets within a week of each other? Why do I do this to myself? This clown midget is fucking scary. His scary clown shoes are 10 times scarier than normal clown shoes because they are outrageously long.

He also smiles weird, and does this trippy thing where he spins tops that light up and... I don't even know what he does but he terrifies me. I don't know if this is midget racist or what but he looks exactly like the midget son on Little People, Big World. And don't tell me all midget's look the same because THAT is racist. And anyways they don't because the Mom and the Dad on that show look completely different. Anyways...the clown also helps a brother out and delivers some eggs into a bucket and keeps them cool in the refrigerator. Let's not forget that he helps the little boy kill people while he's at it.

Aside from the clown midget, the boy also makes an army man come to life and exact some pretty sweet revenge on the mean old lady downstairs. And for reasons unknown, he brings a black panther to life,

which just is pretty awesome---because black panthers, are awesome--no complaints there.

These scenes where the toys come to life are especially thrilling to me. They are perfect examples of why XTRO is the coolest movie on the block. I didn't expect anything like that to happen in a movie largely about an alien, but these moments really give the film a very creepy vibe. These kinds of moments where you can't really pin point why they are freaking you out are my absolute favorite.

So through it all, XTRO is pretty damn entertaining. Sure it has its low points, with obvious fake snakes turning into real ones, and annoying nannies being topless and irresponsible--but I think it's a damn fascinating movie. I just can't over how cool it is. It's pretty much, put a poster in your bedroom cool. Please watch this and join the cool club.

Watch this if you dare...


Jessica Penot said...

You've sold me. I'll definately give this one a watch. It looks bizarre beyond reason, which is a good thing.

Dod said...


I must see this movie. The screencaps alone will give me nightmares, which actually might be better than the one I had of bird people last night.

I used to see Xtro on the VHS shelves, but never picked it up. Now I definitely should after another of your fine recommendations!

Christine Hadden said...

Strangely, I watched this one night as a teenager... while I was making Ortega tacos from a box mix. And now every time I smell homemade tacos, I think of this film.
Yep, that's seriously the weirdest thing I can say about myself.

And btw, I love Xtro!

Johnny Marvéll said...

pffft lol that scene is pretty docile compared to the 'birth' scene in "Warlock" and "Warlock: The Armageddon"

kindertrauma said...

I can't decide which I adore more, this review or Christine Hadden's taco comment. -Unk

Grey @ thedarkhours said...

not knowing how odd and disturbing this film was I started watching it with dear old mom. BIG mistake when the birthing scene came. The moovie is definitley a hidden gem. You wont be disappointed!

highwayknees said...

I watched this finally last night after seeing stills from it forever! It was genuinely something. Cheapo, cheeseball, gooey fun! But he's a dwarf clown NOT a midget. And yeah cool fx too. Can't beat a growling in yer grill black panther for exotic thrills- especially in drab ole England. Also that creepy GI Joe doll come to life-size was a great gimmick!