The world is stunned when aliens attack Earth but only seem to focus on one country – Australia. One person isn’t surprised though and that is wannabe rock star Andi (Rita Artmann) who has been telling people for years that the aliens who gave her ‘powers’ years before would return one day for her.
Well now the attack has happened and Andi’s mother has been abducted. Soon Andi, her documentary film-making friend Cam (Tamara McLaughlin), her hypochondria brother Elliott (Doug Hatch) and her once-nearly-was-famous boxer cousin Keith (Lawrence Silver) find themselves trying to not only find her mother, but stay alive as it soon becomes apparent the aliens are willing to kill anyway that gets in their way.
When a film lover hears the words cult film spoof they are right to be worried, very worried. Aside from the first two Scary Movie films and perhaps Shaun Of The Dead (if you really want to call it a spoof) movies that generally try to parody horror or sci-fi normally fail pretty badly. In fact they normally suck so badly they are a shoe-in to win a few Golden Razzies and make Worst Film Of The Year nominations right across the globe. That plus the fact that Australia rarely makes a good comedy is enough to have alarm bells ringing about new film Australiens. But everybody needs to just take a good deep breath, because this film turns out to be a little gem.
If anything Australiens really shows how creative ideas and talent will always outweigh money when it comes to movies. Director Joe Bauer really was pushing up-hill with this film but he never took a step backwards. Yes some of the special effects don’t look like a Spielberg production but there are plenty of times throughout the film where things look very good indeed. The actually aliens look pretty awesome while the alien robots actually do look like they were pulled straight out of a multi-million dollar production.
Special effects aside though what lifts Australiens up and makes it enjoyable watch is the humor. So often these spoof movies just aren’t funny, that certainly isn’t the case here. There are the odd groan-worthy joke that makes it way through to the final edit of the film but for the most part the comedy works. There are sizzling one liners that will have the audience laughing while the more elaborate jokes such as one of the group becoming obviously infected while nobody notices works efficiently for most of the film. Yes some of the storylines, especially around Andi’s Dad, are implausible but they certainly turn the comedy effect up to the extreme.
One of the other refreshing things about Australiens is the fact that this comes from a fresh cast. There are no seasoned Aussie actors or international blow-ins performing in this film. Instead it is a young cast that certainly has talent that delivers the goods. Led by Rita Artmann who really delivers some comedy gold she is well backed up by Doug Hatch who plays a great lovable loser but it is Joe Bauer who steals the limelight as the ‘infected’ John.
Refreshingly funny Australiens shows that it is possible to make a funny cult spoof film even on a low budget. This movie is enough to show that Joe Bauer and Rita Artmann are a creative team to watch in the future.