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Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Xtro II: The Second Encounter" review

Xtro II: The Second Encounter (1990)

Director: Harry Bromley Davenport
Writers: John A. Curtis Edward Kovach

Jan-Michael Vincent ... Dr. Ron Shepherd
Paul Koslo ... Dr. Alex Summerfield
Tara Buckman ... Dr. Julie Casserly
Jano Frandsen ... McShane
Nicholas Lea ... Baines

A couple of B-movie scientists send three human guinea pigs into another dimension to see what horrible trouble they can get into. One doomed soul returns with an alien gestating in her womb. Xtro comes out to play as it bursts out of her stomach and makes a run for the air duct. Xtro plays hide and seek with the idiots in the lab as it pops its head out just long enough so that he can kill them.

Another exciting video box cover. Another crash landing once you hit play. Maybe I should just stare at the box cover and imagine my own movie from now on. "Xtro II" is a typical B-movie rip-off. It's video box cover proudly tells you that it's a hybrid of "Alien" and "Predator". There is no better marketing for a B-movie than to bombard your brain with thoughts of better movies so that you can be suckered into renting it. "Xtro II" exists to steal every Sci-Fi monster movie idea from the 80's and then recycle them for your supposed viewing pleasure.

"Xtro II" is a harmless monster movie that will flash before your eyes and leave no trace of its existence in your memories. It doesn't need to be seen because you've probably already seen it. If you've seen "Alien" and "Aliens" you've already witnessed the best ideas "Xtro II" has going for it.

One last thought, what is it about secret labs that drives monsters crazy? I'm not sure. The producers love labs because that allows them to save money by keeping the action on one or two sets. That leaves more money for the inevitable sequel: "Xtro III: The Third Lab Encounter". Then you can reuse the set from that movie for "Slither Critters: Lab Armageddon". The B-lab massacre must live on.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 alien predator critters

4 comments:

Michael Whiteacre said...

This is from around the time that Jan-Michael Vincent started looking a lot like Lon Chaney Jr. in his booze-soaked later years. Fortunately for Mr. Vincent, "Airwolf" was still in first run in so many international territories that he still had impressive market value.

Dr. Gore (drgore@hotmail.com) said...

Never was much of a Jan Michael Vincent fan so his appeal is lost on me. Actually, I barely remember him in this movie. Of course, "Xtro II" wasn't very memorable for lots of reasons, not just a slurring Vincent.

Mr.WIll said...

I have seen this and also the first Xtro - they both seem like two different films completely, nothing to relate them at all - am I right in thinking this or is there something that I've missed?

Dr. Gore said...

You are correct. The first "Xtro" was about a dad who comes back from outer space. "Xtro II" a sequel in name only. It's a cheap knock-off of every sci-fi movie ever made except the original "Xtro".