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Xtro (1983)


Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Harry Bromley Davenport
Written by: Harry Bromley Davenport/Iain Cassie/Michel Parry/Robert Smith

After an hour and a half, I had no clue what the fuck was going on in this movie. Luckily, neither did the director.

The basic rundown is this: A young boy is out playing with his dad. Dad throws a stick in the air. The stick explodes and, in that flash of light, Dad disappears for three years.

Cut to the end of those three years. Boy hasn’t grown up at all. Alien crash lands on Earth, bursts out of pod, gets hit by car and kills the occupants of the car. It lays an egg that, eventually, impregnates another woman. She wakes up and gives birth to Dad, fully grown. (She dies, of course.) Dad runs out, steals dead man in car’s clothes, and drives to see his son.

Mom, meanwhile, has met an American kid and is doing him constantly. She has Miriam D’Abo around to take care of Boy, but she’s more interested in having sex with her boyfriend who looks like a really young Robert DeNiro. (Cue breast flashes from Miriam. And there was much rejoicing.)

Dad comes back into all of their lives, much to the chagrin of American kid. Dad is also giving his crazy alien powers to Boy. Now boy goes a bit crazy and starts wielding those powers as if he can just start wishing people into the cornfield, willy nilly.

Honestly, though, it would be MUCH cooler if he could wish people into the cornfield. Instead, he has to conjure up a dwarf-clown, who runs around killing the people that Boy doesn’t like.

There’s also a panther.

And an army man.

There’s also no way in hell that you could ever make any fucking sense of this movie without a fucking road map. The interview with the director (Harry Bromley Davenport) didn’t help at all. He knew that the movie was shit. He actually gave a great interview because of his knowledge of how shitty his movie was. He just said, “We were kids and we didn’t really know what we were doing. Oh, and the panther? I didn’t want that. Bob Shaye of New Line kept bugging me to put a panther in there…so I did. It cost a fortune, but there it is.”

He also talked about how everyone kept trying to make sense of the film, in some sort of psychological way, putting symbolism on everything. To that, he said, “Fuck that! This movie means nothing! There was nothing behind any decision made in the story except, ‘Let’s see how gross we can be.’” I love this guy.

Just like Harry, I can’t say that this is a good film. Not at all. The acting is kinda awful and the story is…um…yeah. Whatever.

BUT, if you’ve got a group of friends who want to sit down and watch a crazy-ass movie that you can pick apart and laugh at, there really isn’t one that’s better. Xtro has become a cult classic for a reason. It’s gross. It’s hilarious. And it makes no goddamn sense. And that’s all part of its charm.

LOW POINT—So many to choose from. It could be the exploding stick right at the beginning. Or maybe the birth of Dad. Maybe the entire last 15 minutes. Or maybe even the alternate ending with 6 Boys crowding Mom (most of them obviously wearing “Boy” masks), and her looking on like she’s so proud. I’ll probably go with that stick. It made us all laugh the loudest.

Whatever you choose as the Low Point, I’m going to seek out Harry’s other films. Even the two sequels (in name only) to Xtro. He hated the second, but kind of loves the third. We’ll see.