(director: Jack Sholder; screenwriters: Jim Kouf, Bob Hunt; cinematographer: Jacques Haitkin; editor: Michael Knue; music: Michael Convertino; cast: Michael Nouri (Tom Beck), Kyle MacLachlan (lloyd Gallagher), Ed O’Ross (Cliff Willis), Clu Gulager (Lt. Ed Flynn), Chris Mulkey (Jack DeVries), Richard Brooks (Sanchez), Claudia Christian (Brenda Lee Van Buren), Clarence Felder (Lt. John Masterson), William Boyett (Jonathan P. Miller), John McCann (Senator Holt), Katherine Cannon (Barbara Beck), Larry Cedar (Brem); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Robert Shaye, Gerald T. Olson, Michael Meltzer; New Line Cinema; 1987)
“The illogical story might be hokum but is nevertheless highly entertaining.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A fast-paced thriller that blends together aliens, sci-fi, horror, black humor, car chases and action picture thrills. It’s hokum that’s smartly helmed by Jack Sholder (“12 Days of Terror”/”Beeper”), and is well-written by Jim Kouf and Bob Hunt. In L.A., the cops hunt down the unlikely bank robber and killer of at least 12, the mild-mannered stockbroker Jack DeVries (Chris Mulkey). The police severely wound him in a high-speed chase. Before he dies, Jack orally passes off into the mouth of the accountant hospital patient Jonathan P. Miller (William Boyett) a slug-like alien. The alien lives in the body of humans and can’t be killed till he comes out and then only with a special alien weapon possessed by the alien cop on earth searching for the wanted alien. Whenever in need of another body to possess, the alien finds another human to make the exchange. The alien loves loud rock music, fast women, Ferraris and violence. Posing as an FBI agent from Seattle Washington, Lloyd Gallagher (Kyle MacLachlan), really an alien cop, marches into the LAPD homicide squad and commandeers the ace detective Tom Beck (Michael Nouri) to partner with him. When Miller is gunned down, he passes the alien off to a stripper (Claudia Christian), who fucks a male pickup to death before jumping off the roof of a mannequin factory. The slug then gets passed onto a dog and then to several policemen in Beck’s precinct. Eventually it possess an ambitious senator (John McCann). By this time the strangely behaved Lloyd has confided what’s happening to the confused and wounded Beck and in a gesture of self-sacrifice extinguishes the slug from him so he can live. The unique pic became a cult favorite. It’s well-acted and the illogical story might be hokum but is nevertheless highly entertaining.
REVIEWED ON 1/23/2017 GRADE: B