Alien on Stage Movie Review
If there’s any movie deserving of a stage adaptation, it is Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Alien. Lin-Manuel Miranda? Too scared to try. Andrew Lloyd Webber? Unable to capture the raw emotion of it all. If William Shakespeare were alive, he’d tremble at the very thought of the honor of putting such a movie on the small stage.
But a group of bus drivers in Dorset county, England? Fucking fearless.
Alien on Stage follows the preparation by a small group of amateur performers to bring the film to stage, using home-built special effects and props and relying on not-quite-polished actors. The documentary, co-directed by Danielle Kummer and Lucy Harvey, is an entertaining display of devotion to your subject matter, even if the final product doesn’t work out exactly as envisioned.
The great thing about this doc is that it starts out amusing, relying heavily on footage of the actors in rehearsal and interviews with various individuals, but turns into full spectacle once the actual play gets underway. Funny, creative, and awe-inspiring for a variety of reasons, it’ll bring warmth to your heart, even if it’ll rip your stomach out.
Kummer and Harvey wisely sits back and lets their subjects do their part; it feels as if you’re a member of the audience, laughing and hollering along with them.
This movie was reviewed as part of coverage for the 2021 SXSW Film Festival
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.