Looking at the artwork for Ombis: Alien Invasion you might expect another of the many dollar store knock-offs of Independence Day or Battle: Los Angeles. Something hopefully at least as good as Fighting the Sky or, if you’re lucky, Occupation. But you would defiantly be expecting spacecraft and battle scenes. And that has probably led to more than a few disappointed viewers. Because while director Adam R. Steigert (Fang, STAR [Space Traveling Alien Reject]) has crafted a fun microbudget mashup of The Blob, 28 Days Later, The Crazies and a Spaghetti Western, there’s no invasion or many aliens to be found.
Sheriff Thomas Bracket’s (Richard Satterwhite, Battledogs, Widow’s Point) day is not off to a good start. Taking a little girl home turns into a confrontation with Blake (Daniel George) the abusive husband of the sheriff’s ex Sarah (Brenda Rickert, Attack of the Killer Shrews!). Then his breakfast is interrupted by Glen (Bob Bozek, Crossbreed). Both men’s day is about to get a lot worse, however.
A meteor crashes outside of town and Glen stumbles across it, only to be contaminated by alien microbes. He’s found by Mark (Jason John Beebe, WrestleMassacre, Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast) and Lucy (Sara Manzella, Prisoners of the Dead) who bring him to the doctor. By this point however they need a scientist, not the local general practitioner.
Admittedly, Ombis: Alien Invasion gets off to a slow start as we get introduced to the surprisingly large cast of characters and the town of Metzburgh itself. Thankfully it’s done well enough that it pays off by letting us care about them. It also makes some later in the film actions and decisions more believable.
Once the alien ooze starts to spread through the town Ombis: Alien Invasion becomes a much faster-paced film. Its victims eventually become fast zombie-like creatures adding to the chaos. As if this wasn’t enough both black suit and sunglasses government containment team and a cowboy hat and duster clad alien, The Nemesis (Rich Winiatowski, A Grim Becoming), are descending on the town.
Steigert gets as much production value as he can out of the film’s budget. Shot in Hamburg, a suburb of Buffalo NY, the same kind of dying town as the fictional Metzburg. Their empty factories and grain silos give the film a convincing look. He’s populated it with convincing local actors, as well as crowd scenes with actual crowds. Watch for veteran scream queen Lynn Lowry (Sky Sharks, Shivers) as a TV news anchor.
The effects are plentiful if not always top of the line. The Nemesis looks like a guy in a costume and depending on the scene the alien goo looks either like lime Jello or the slime you bought at the toy store. The practical effects on the infected townsfolk range from good to fairly obvious green latex. The CGI similarly ranges in quality but frequently looks off. The alien craft that show up in the film’s final seconds do look convincing as does the post-credits sequence.
If you’re familiar with the films of Don Dohler (Alien Factor, Nightbeast) or Bill Rebane (Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake, The Capture of Bigfoot) then you have an idea what to expect here. Ombis: Alien Invasion may be rough around the edges but the enthusiasm and love of the genre that went into making it shows. For those that don’t mind the low budget, this is a fun diversion.