Xtro (1983): United Kingdom – Directed by Harry Bromley Davenport
Rated R by the MPAA – contains plenty of bad stuff, including non-sensicalness, gore, violence, sex
Note: This review discusses some plot points that are gross and disgusting, and if you would rather not read about such things, please do not read the review.
Xtro, another movie often thought to be on the list of Video Nasties (though not officially on the list), sure is a nasty piece of work. More in the “What on earth?” category than the disgusting category, but still worthy of a review.
It starts with one of the most mind boggling scenes ever. I struggled to keep up with the plot developments. There’s a young family. They live in a farm. The mother drives off as the young boy and the father play fetch with the dog. The dog starts looking up, as if something bad is happening (or something is waving a stick above his head). The father throws the stick toward the roof of their farmhouse, and it explodes into a white light. Suddenly it is nighttime and there is a strong wind, pulling the father in. He yells for the boy to stay away, but eventually the vortex grabs him.
After this not-so-brilliant beginning, the movie remains stale for a short period, but then ramps up again toward the end of its 83 minutes. I actually quite enjoyed most of the movie. The rest of the plot involves the father (who actually did get abducted by aliens) coming back three years later, after the mother has another guy. He kills a couple people, endears himself to his son and wife (and by endearing himself to his wife again I mean sex).
Things eventually get weird, which is really good. The boy gets some powers, like the ability to make his GI Joe real, and have it awkwardly attack someone, and a midget shows up and a black panther (the animal, not the social club).
It all is quite hilarious, and with good special effects and gore effects. There is a fair bit of nudity, as well, mostly from the French lady who for some reason lives with the family after the abduction. For these reasons I suspect the movie would be fairly fun to watch with a group of horror-loving friends. There are enough dull quiet moments for people to chat, and enough gross and hilarious moments for people to laugh at. There is also a good scare, toward the beginning. It’s no masterpiece of storytelling, but with a name like Xtro, who would expect it to be?
P.S. This is also one of the earliest movies in which a fully grown man crawls out of a woman, much like he is being birthed, and bites off his own umbilical cord. Sure, it happens in lots of movies, but movies from before 1983? Not so sure about that.