WARNING! SPOILERS WITHIN!
I saw a trailer for Australiens back in 2013, and I’m not sure why it’s this long for it to hit DVD. Just the nature of independent film making I assume. Even in its home country of Australia it isn’t hitting disc until July. We here in the states get it a month early though. Regardless, the first thing I thought about when I saw that trailer was Mars Attacks! (1996), and now that I’ve finally seen the movie, Australiens feels like the wacky, borderline retarded third cousin removed of Tim Burton’s movie, so much so they should have titled it Uranus Attacks! I can’t tell you exactly in what way, since both movies are like night and day, there’s just that vibe.
If there’s a moral to Australiens it’s be careful what you do around thin skinned motherfuckers, and the inhabitants of Uranus are indeed thin-skinned motherfuckers, who once slighted (even unintentionally) will travel light years to exact revenge on the poor bastard(s) that mocked them. So, when and in what form did this “perceived” slight take place? It happened when 10-year old Andrea “Andi” Gibson was visited one night by a UFO. She had a green balloon with her that had an alien face drawn on it, but what she didn’t know was her cousin, Keith, had written on the back of it ‘Aliens Suck Balls.’ She lost he balloon when the UFO hovered over her and it floated up and into the ship.
Cut to 17-years later when Andi (Rita Artmann), Keith (Lawrence Silver), her brother, Elliot (Doug Hatch), and friend, Cam (Tamara McLaughlin), are all grown up. Andi is now a wanna-be rock star, but she can’t sing and her band can’t play. And she likes to say ‘otherworldly cognitive powers’ a lot because she believes that UFO encounter left her with otherworldly cognitive powers, which isn’t necessarily true, but she does have otherworldly cognitive powers, just not in the way she thinks.
Keith works as a bouncer at her shows, Cam is a wanna-be documentarian, and Elliot is a hypochondriac who is deathly afraid and obsessed with getting rabies. Andi doesn’t like her father, Dennis (Paul Adams), but she adores her mother, so you can imagine her horror when aliens invade Brisbane, and I mean seriously invade the city, and she gets a text from her father saying aliens have kidnapped her mother. Because of that she believes the aliens have come back for her and since they couldn’t find her they took her mom. Obviously we don’t learn the real reason they’re only annihilating Australia until the end, but that’s the working theory for a while.
There’s another dude that tags along with them as they try and make it to Andi’s house and that’s friend and booze hound, Jon (Director Joe Bauer). Things get real fuckin’ interesting when Andi thinks she brought down one of the UFOs with her otherworldly cognitive powers. Now we meet the aliens, and they’re described as being somewhat like our earthy slugs, except their humanoid and look nothing like our earthly slug, but you can torture and kill them real good with salt. They also come with the game-changing ability to shape-shift, which, as that ability was fleshed out, reminded me of Strange Invaders (1983) and a tame version of The Thing (1982). Jon takes the brunt of that ability as the alien survivor of that crashed UFO decides to copy his appearance and shove the real Jon in the car’s trunk (if you’re Australian reading this that would be the car’s boot).
This is primarily a comedy/sci-fi outing where the slapstick comedy is ratcheted up to a big ass ten! Jokes and sight gags are flung at you right, left, up, down and center, and even though I liked the movie, all that slapstick could have been dialed down a few notches. Case in point, once the aliens assume a human form they are pathetically easy to spot. They are green, gesticulate and walk oddly and speak in a manner that would suggest the person is either tripping on something or is an alien from Uranus. But, the gang has no fuckin’ clue the “Jon” that’s traveling with them is an alien. Even the green skin didn’t tip them off. The more polished alien changers can in fact look and act exactly like humans as long as they moisturize and practice their human voices.
The gang gets a hold of some alien weapons and the comedy that ensued was fun to watch. Oh, and this is the kind of movie where none of the main characters are killed. There are some close calls, but if you’re not the kind of person to watch end credits then, well, they all live happily ever after. If, like me, you do tend to sit through closing credits, and nowadays you really have to since filmmakers’ just love to throw in that one final scene either in the middle of right after, poor Jon ends up buying the farm.
I was pleasantly surprised the CGI was better than I thought it was going to be. It’s obviously not on par with a multi-million dollar Lord Of The Rings Gollum type CG, but it was a lot more polished than I thought it would be for a low-budget film like this.
The ending reminded me of the ending of Freaks Of Nature (2016) in that the situation kept getting more and more comically absurd. I liked that a lot.
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1.78:1 widescreen—5.1 English Dolby Digital—English subs
Extras included on the U.S. disc . . .
- Cast/Crew Commentary
- Photo Gallery (16:39)
- Bloopers (25:05)
Not all the extras from the Aussie release were ported over. If you get that one you’ll also get additional features like:
- Behind The Scenes Featurette
- Visual Effects Featurette
- Monsterfest 2015 Q&A