The Day The Earth Stopped review

The Asylum's homage to The Day The Earth Stood Still. Just with a much, much lower budget...

Seeing that Fox has fairly recently released a certain Keanu Reeves film on DV, it seems only fair to look at The Asylum’s take on ‘the alien coming to earth’ genre and see if it’s any good.

Large robots are appearing around the earth and governments are obviously alarmed and confused by their intentions. A crack unit is assembled in Los Angeles to combat this, then suddenly two pods land just outside the LA area. Terminator style, both aliens are naked and are soon picked up by the unit. Now the nakedness of actress Sinead McCaffety and Bug Hall is not really a plot point but an excuse to see McCafferty topless and bum shots of Hall. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your point of view, this is the last ‘nudey’ shots and we are returned to familiar but fun sci-fi territory.

The female alien (Sky) bonds with C Thomas Howell’s character Josh and reveals to him the human race are finished unless they can prove to her otherwise. Typically, the establishment want to blow up the robots and torture the aliens. This is obviously not the greatest of ideas and the more time they waste, the less time earth has left.

For a sci-fi film, the film is fairly subtle on the effects and in my humble opinion works better for it. It has a nice but familiar message where the aliens want us to prove we are worthy and show our humanity. There are a couple of nice chase sequences, London and Paris biting the dust (love the London Eye getting it!) and some atmospheric camerawork in the California woods.

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This in my opinion the best Asylum film for quite a while, in fact I found it better than last year’s 100 Million BC which I enjoyed immensely. Internet reports have said that a certain film studio is unhappy with the similarities to their recently released big budget spectacular, but if you can’t tell the difference between the two, there is really no hope for you.

The film’s robot CGI is good, the deserted LA streets look impressive (probably filmed early in the morning) and as with most of low budget movies the cast look like they are enjoying themselves, in particular Howell and co-writer Darren Dalton as his commanding officer. As in my reviews for previous Asylum films, you will either love them or hate them. With Woolies going under, it may prove difficult getting hold of them as they were regulars in their budget chart. Please however make the effort to search some of them out as they are some real undiscovered gems out there. They have their own official site at where you can order their entire back catalogue.

Extras As per usual, we have trailers of forthcoming and recently released titles including the The 18 Year Old Virgin which looks extremely smutty. A short featurette detailing the making of the film showing that C. Thomas Howell works just as hard behind the camera as he does in front. Also included are some bloopers, a clapperboard shows the film was shot during August 2008…. talk about fast film-making!!


3 stars


3 out of 5