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  Dr. Alien She Came From Outer Space
Year: 1989
Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Billy Jayne, Judy Landers, Olivia Barash, Stuart Fratkin, Raymond O'Connor, Arlene Golonka, Jim Hackett, Robert Jayne, Julie Gray, Scott Morris, Troy Donahue, Tom DeFranco, Ginger Lynn, Linnea Quigley, Laura Albert, Edy Williams, Michelle Bauer
Genre: Comedy, Trash, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dr Ackerman (Troy Donahue) is working in the lab late one night when he decides to take a drive; leaving the college's research department behind as he travels through the streets the news on the radio tells him a woman has seen a U.F.O. that sounded like a hairdryer only louder. This makes the scientist laugh until he notices that self-same flying object buzzing his car and he manages to crash it, overturning the transport and possibly ending his life to boot. The next day the college science department has a replacement for him as he has apparently gone missing, but for dedicated student Wesley Littlejohn (Billy Jayne under the name Billy Jacoby) this is the beginning of a ker-ayzee adventure...

Well, it was crazy up to a point, and as a film directed by David DeCoteau (here billed informally as Dave) it had the reputation of being one of his better efforts, which to be fair was not saying a tremendous amount. As trained by Roger Corman, he was known for getting work done quickly and cheaply, with over a hundred credits to his name because of that. Then again, he also was known for making some of the least impressive and most impoverished works you would ever watch no matter what genre he was dabbling in, though he was most often indulging in horror and science fiction, with a touch of fantasy here and there. Another element he was often including, however, was sleaze.

And so it was with Dr. Alien, one of the flicks he rounded off the eighties with which at least, unlike the material to come, was bright and breezy enough not to be boring. One curious aspect was DeCoteau's homosexuality, which he would bring to the fore in various no-budget thrillers where young, attractive men wandered around in their underwear to the frustration and boredom of even the gay audiences, but he had made his name by delivering female nudity to the haunters of the world's video rental stores - you would be lucky to watch an opus of his in a cinema. Perhaps "lucky" is the wrong word. Anyway, here in this modest but goofy effort there were a number of eighties scream queens appearing.

Names like Linnea Quigley, Ginger Lynn and Michelle Bauer who would be recognisable from countless low ambition and campy shockers during this decade and into the next where disrobing would be much of the reason they showed up. They each had a small legion of fans who would lap up everything they appeared in, and sure enough in Dr. Alien they may not have the leads but they did show up in glorified cameos to get 'em orf and provide much of the reason for the target audience to rent this. It wouldn't have been for the jokes or special effects, which were equally unimaginative, or thanks to the narrative being so absorbing and engrossing that you simply had to keep watching to find out how it all resolved itself - no matter how goodnatured, this was not quality cinema.

But then, sometimes quality cinema isn't what you want, sometimes you prefer to relax and disengage the thought processes and see something stoopid, and Dr. Alien was a prime candidate for that. Let's take a look at that plot where Wesley cannot speak to Leeanne (Olivia Barash), the girl he admires from afar, because he's a shy, nerdy type, so what the film believes he needs is a space formula injection which will grow an appendage from his head that renders him irresistable to attractive women - ah, that old chestnut. Don't go looking for logic here, it was all in the service of keeping things frothy, fun and idiotic as the replacement scientist is Dr. Xenobia (Judy Landers, not taking her clothes off, not all of them at any rate) who with her assistant is actually a space alien sent to harvest Earthmen for her planet's dwindling population. So far, so nineteen-fifties, but instead of rock 'n' roll we get a transformed Wesley singing in a weak metal band with a guy called Slash (not that one) for a finale, with laser beams for garnish. Silly, but inoffensive overall. Music by Reg Powell and Sam Winans.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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