Xtro (1983)

Genres - Horror, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Alien Film, Creature Film, Sci-Fi Horror  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Make no mistake, Xtro is pure trash. It was made to capitalize on public interest in E.T. and basically presents the gory, sexy exploitation-movie take on that film's "alien visits Earth" premise. The end result is packed with slimy effects, some violent set pieces, and a bit of bare flesh to spice it all up. Thus, Xtro isn't tasteful in the least -- but it is surprisingly watchable, at least on a B-movie level. Director and co-writer Harry Bromley Davenport lacks finesse but manages to turn his crude technique into an asset, pacing the film well and piling up all the cut-rate gruesome spectacle that he can wring from the modest budget. He also gets an excellent performance from Simon Nash as the alien-possessed father: Nash exudes a chilly, subtle sort of menace and convincingly evokes the character's feel of "Jekyll and Hyde" confusion. Even some of the film's flaws are appealing in a bad-movie kind of way: the most notable element in this area is the chintzy, oddly flowery synthesizer score that is likely to provoke chuckles instead of chills. In short, Xtro is best left to fans of trashy horror flicks, but they will find it offers plenty to keep them amused.