Invaders from Proxima B - Poster

Invaders from Proxima B (2023) Review

Opening with an animated chase through deep space, before switching to live action, Invaders from Proxima B, is the story of Howie Jankins (Ward Roberts, Chillerama, The Dead Inside) a session musician who has just gotten home from touring. He’s also about to head out on another gig, much to the dismay of Jane (Samantha Sloyan, The Fall of the House of Usher, Area 407) his wife and their daughter Judy, err Ruby (Bo Roberts, Dust Up).

He’s woken during the night by something crashing into their yard. Jane tells him it’s just a drone, but a trail of green liquid leading away from it convinces him otherwise. He follows it into the basement and hears a strange sound. Looking around, he sees Chuck, who looks like Oscar the Grouch’s cousin, who tells him “Don’t tell me you never farted”. Startled, he bangs his head on a beam and knocks himself out.

Invaders From Proxima B Chuck drinking coffee

Written, directed by, and starring Ward Roberts in two roles, he’s the voice of Chuck as well, Invaders from Proxima B is a family friendly close encounter of the silly kind. If the farting alien gag didn’t convince you of the film’s goofiness, just wait until YouTuber Esther, as in Esther Terrestrial (Sarah Lassez, Mad Cowgirl, Lo), shows up. Or Nathan Droogal (Jeremiah Birkett, Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood!, Project: ALF) an exterminator whose sense of the dramatic is in overdrive, equating his work to casting out demons in a commercial that’s one of the film’s highlights.

It’s rather ironic that Birkett appeared in the ALF spinoff movie, because the two alien puppets have fairly similar snarky personalities, although Chuck doesn’t eat cats, and Alf can’t trade bodies with people. And yes, Howie and Chuck change bodies so he can save Earth from being auctioned off to the highest bidder, while Howie has to try and escape Willie (Richard Riehle, The Invisible Raptor, Bad Apples) and Marvin Felson (Mike C. Nelson, The Mortuary Collection, Black-ish), father and son agents for a dollar store version of Men in Black, we can call Men in Hawaiian Shirts.

Invaders From Proxima B Draconian Spaceship

Actually, dollar store might be a good way to describe Invaders from Proxima B’s budget. Thankfully, there is plenty of creativity at work to help offset that lack of cash. Roberts uses effective, if low tech, effects including masks and basic CGI, for things like body switches, the evil Draconians and their spacecraft. For more complex scenes, such as the opening chase and scenes of Chuck on his home world, the film switches to animation. Better known as a director, cinematographer Travis Betz (Sunday, Little Graves) deserves a mention for showing a fair amount of creativity with the many budget saving shots done from Chuck’s POV to avoid having to show him moving.

As I said, Invaders from Proxima B is family friendly and seems to be aimed at the younger members of the family, who should enjoy it. Some gags, however, like a parody of John Travolta’s strut in Saturday Night Fever, will get more response from their parents. How much of the rest of the film they find amusing will depend on their sense of humour.

Invaders From Proxima B Draconians arrive

That’s because the film frequently resembles an extended episode of a kid’s TV show with slapstick gags, bodies being swapped every which way, and bizarre characters and situations. All presented without anything that could be considered offensive or overly frightening to just about anyone, and top off with a positive message about families. Some will find it funny, some will find it too juvenile. While definitely not the film’s target audience, I did find myself chuckling at Invaders from Proxima B, perhaps because Chuck did remind me of Alf who was always funny enough I could forgive his feline feasting.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable low budget sci-fi film that benefits from some strong performances, especially from Bo Roberts, who shows some real potential as an actress. Kids should enjoy it, and parents who watch along with them should be amused as well. Buffalo 8 will release Invaders from Proxima B exclusively on Fandango at Home, formerly Vudu, on May 31st. I should note that although the press release says that it’s the North American premiere, the service isn’t available in Canada.

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