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Atomic Brain Invasion

USA 2010
produced by
Ted Marr for Scorpio Film Releasing
directed by Richard Griffin
starring David Lavallee jr, Sarah Nicklin, Michael Reed, Daniel Lee White, Colin Carlton, Ruth Sullivan, Alexandra Cipolla, Alexander Lewis, Rich Tretheway, Brandon Luis Aponte, Alex Aponte, Peter Morse, David Erin Wilson, Mark Fogarty, Gregory Barbon, Andre Boudreau, Gio Castellano, Mary DeBerry, Timmy DeCoff, Ryan Dempsey, Christopher L.Ferreira, Danielle Gelehrter, Aurora Grabill, Cat Hainfeld, Angela Relucio, Jennifer Scharf
story by Richard Griffin, screenplay by Guy Benoit, Richard Griffin, music by Daniel Hildreth, special makeup effects by Alan August, Chris Russell, miniatures by Jeffrey Long, visual effects by John Dusek


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Smalltown USA, circa the 1950's - you know the place, nothing's really going on except for the annual cake competition, nobody's really suspicious that the bicycle repair shop is really an army testing facility or wonders about the frequent atomic tests taking place in the area, there is an unfounded concern that the Russkies will invade any day now ... but until that happens, the local Ladies Guild has nothing to really care about but the fact that Elvis (Brandon Luis Aponte) is going to play in the city tomorrow - because that's of course much more of a worry than a few kids who have gone missing recently and the meteor that has crashed into the earth a few days ago ... actually, it was an alien spaceship, but nobody but O'Brien (Rich Tretheway), the town weirdo, actually gives a shit, and if the town weirdo is worried, why should anyone else be?

In front of this backdrop, nerdy highschool student Sherman (David Lavallee jr) is madly in love with classmate, smart girl Betty (Sarah Nicklin), but he faces fierce competition from picturebook greaser (and origami lover) Lukas (Michael Reed) - whom Betty actually couldn't care about less, but Lukas could still kick Sherman's ass. So when Betty volunteers to head a searchparty to find the missing kids - not knowing that they were killed by aliens that look like brains with eyes though -, Sherman sees his chance and volunteers to go with her. Romance is in the air when another UFO lands on earth, right in front of Sherman and Betty, containing a very humanoid male alien (Alexander Lewis) and two cheerleader-like females (Ruth Sullivan, Alexandra Cipolla). These aliens, it turns out, have only come to see Elvis perform, while the other brain-with-eyes aliens want to kidnap Elvis - and eventually, Sherman, Betty and Lukas find themselves in the thick of it ... and Elvis actually turns up, too. And somehow the army, locally represented by Lukas' dad (David Erin Wilson) is involved too ... and an atom bomb ... and a very small UFO ... and the love of O'Brien's life - and all of this of course leads to utter chaos ...


I think above synopsis already makes it clear that Atomic Brain Invasion is an hommage to 1950's science fiction, alien invasion and monster cinema, and one with its tongue firmly in cheek. But that this film works is mainly due to the fact that it tries (and succeeds) to tell an original story rather than relying too much on the formula of old and fill the rest up with fart jokes. Plus, despite the utter silliness of the plot as such, the film's actual jokes as well as its directorial effort as such are subtle enough to not just kick the film over the top. And some loving sets, costumes, miniatures and the like, as well as hilarious rubber mask aliens make this one great retro fun.



review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
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out now on DVD