Like so many other films before it, Alien Sniperess begins with a meteor shower. And with someone ignoring the warnings of films such as The Blob, Night of the Creeps and Creepshow by getting way too close to one that manages to make it to Earth only to find out it’s not just a chunk of rock.
Elsewhere, Army sniper Chioma (Olivia Okoro, Leap) has just found out her boyfriend was in a car accident on his way to propose to her. He promptly dies after giving her the ring and getting her to take his younger brother Aaron (Sean Laguna, Last American Horror Show, Constitution of the Dead) to his grandparents “up North”. Her friends Kelly (Alaina Laethem, Battlefield 2025, Badland Doves) and Liz (Camille Kerber) offer to come along for support.
Writer/director Joseph Mbah (Expo, Krampus: Origins) sets things up quickly and economically, introducing us to our leads, mentioning reports of strange outbreaks of violence and getting things literally on the road within Alien Sniperess’ first ten minutes. And by fifteen we’re watching a shootout with the alien-possessed guy from the opening scene. Not bad for a low-budget film.
Plot-wise Alien Sniperess, (is “sniperess” actually a word?), isn’t anything new. Some kind of alien parasite in the meteors is taking control of humans and causing them to develop murderous tendencies. And there’s Agent Marks (Mark Speno, The Dead of Night, Spiked) from a “Special Branch” of the FBI who is investigating these aliens along with conspiracy theorist Dr. Clark (Sean Dillingham, The Manson Brothers Midnight Zombie Massacre, Echoes of Violence).
With the possessed humans times Alien Sniperess at times resembles a zombie film, but the alien controlled bodies have intelligence, can use weapons, etc. It’s a lot cheaper than alien makeup or CGI though and leaves some money for some bullet wound effects and extras for the crowd scenes, which makes more difference than you might think. Also adding a touch of realism, as Dr. Clark. Dilligham actually looks a bit like real-life conspiracy nutter Alex Jones.
Alien Sniperess certainly has a few moments that made me question its logic though. Such as moving a hospitalized gunshot victim without any kind of support or medical supplies, or in the midst of this invasion Chioma’s insistance on getting Aaron to his grandparents rather than simply staying safe. And, more to the point, wouldn’t Chioma have had to leave her Army-issue sniper rifle on base? It might have added to the film’s suspense if she had to adjust to a civilian-grade precision shooting rifle.
But Mbah keeps the film moving and punctuates it with enough action that the flaws are more of an annoyance than actual dealbreakers. It also helps that film’s tone is at times grim enough that you’re never sure just who is going to die next. It’s not exactly edge of the seat material, but it will keep your attention.
The parasite and gunshot effects by Danny Takacs (Blood Tulips, Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Hours) are convincing enough and the CGI spaceship and muzzle flashes while not great are a step above an Asylum or Mark Polonia film. The score by Samuel Mizell (Shark Huntress) adds a nice backdrop to the proceedings although I could have done without the songs.
Briskly paced and well made, Alien Sniperess was an unexpected treat among a rather disappointing batch of recent releases. It’ll go well with beer and pizza on the weekend.
While listed as Alien Sniperess on Amazon and other Digital platforms, the DVD has turned up as a “Walmart Exclusive” under the title Alien Sniper. Either way, it’s from Green Apple Entertainment and you can check their website and Facebook page for more. Looking for something a little different, or maybe more of the same? FilmTagger has some suggestions.