Xtro (1983)

When Tony grows up, he's going to be just like Daddy!
Posted on by

Xtro - When Tony grows up, he's going to be just like Daddy!

As a Video Nasty that only paid a brief visit to the UK's DPP List, Xtro is a confusing choice of movie to be banned and an even more confusing early re-release considering some of the movies on the list that are only just making it back on to Britain's shelves. Undoubtedly the reason for the initial blip on the BBFC's radar is the infamous birthing scene and also possibly the reason for the cinematic popularity and the 1992 re-release. The rest of the movie is a confusing disharmony of sci-fi, badly executed and unintentional overacting and bizarre sequences verging on the ridiculous. But come on... there's a distraught Susie Silvey alien raped (with not an anal probe in sight) who proceeds to give birth to a man sized alien humanoid. Xtro is worth seeing just to imagine the reactions of a mainstream cinema goer observing a male adult emerging from Gabriele Falloppio's greatest discovery amid a superfluity of blood and torn lady tissue. Another reason that the BBFC was relatively quick to withdraw it's banning of Xtro is probably that it is one of the few British made movies banned among the hysteria making it the shortest lived British visitor on the infamous British naughty list, which isn't a great feat as Expose (aka The House on Straw Hill) is the only other indigenous inhabitant.

Despite being cheesier than a hobo's helmet, confusing and occasionally slow moving it is a compelling watch, possibly due to wanting more white-on-alien interspacial porn or maybe just to see where the fuck the story is going. The story does go somewhere but often gets lost on the way. The culling of the players in this bizarre game of cat and crablike-thing is often amusing and enables a reinvestment of attention after the British soap-like lulls in the story.

Sam Phillips (Philip Sayer) and his annoyingly stereotypically 1980's "Oliver Twist rehearsal reject" child, Tony, are having a fun game of tease the dog with a stick when the sky goes black and is then lit up by a blindingly brilliant light. Obviously daunted by the prospect of anal-probing someone in such tight shorts they decide to kidnap Sam and let Tony off lightly with a potentially lifelong mental scarring.

A few years later Sam's seed (the seed containing Sam... not The Drunken Master) returns to earth, hatches a crabby (both crab looking and slightly pissed off) humanoid who skipped the "coping with traffic on Earth" tutorial and promptly gets run over by a car. Having learnt a valuable lesson about the code of the highway and undeterred by the vehicular injuries, the alien visitor tidies up a few loose ends and proceeds to skip onto part two of the"Fitting in among Humans" lesson... "Getting Laid in England when you are Slimy and Ugly". Obviously having been educated by outdated textbooks that were written before the invention of the Alco-pops, the alien rapes "Woman in Cottage" (Susie Silvey) and impregnates her with a fully grown Sam Philips doppelganger. After a painful and maternally deadly birth, Sam proceeds to murder his way back into his loving family unit and tries to teach his son the ways of the homicidal alien. Tony uses his powers to exact childlike revenge on mean adults in various toy and clown related ways until the time is right to start world domination plans with his Pa.

Despite obvious flaws, Xtro manages to be a very original chunk of film even over twenty years later. The peculiar change of pace near the middle of the movie, taking it from a fairly disturbing yet mostly uneventful story to a bad acid trip where toy soldiers become a threat to humanity and clowns become a force to be reckoned with, would be totally acceptable in anything directed by Takashi Miike or other directors known for totally spazzing out somewhere in a film... so I'm going to summarize this as a budgetary and technologically constricted movie ahead of its time. Look for this movie in the dollar bin or the pound shop... worth seeing in its entirety once and worth watching the birthing scene over and over again.
This review was posted on by

Xtro: Movie Information

Xtro: Related Images

Xtro: External Links