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This spot-on homage to '50s sci-fi flicks brilliantly reconstructs the scares and laughs of a bygone era. Set in 1957, Alien Trespass chronicles a fiery object from outer space that crashes into a mountaintop in the California desert, bringing chaos to a small town and the threat of disaster to Earth. Out of the flying saucer escapes a murderous creature—the Ghota—which is bent on destroying all life forms on the planet. A benevolent alien from the spaceship, Urp, inhabits the body of local astronomer Ted Lewis (Eric McCormack), and with the help of Tammy (Jenni Baird), a waitress from the local diner, sets out to save mankind. Directed by R.W. Goodwin, who worked on more than 100 episodes of the sci-fi series "X-Files."

 

 

 

Alien Trespass by director R.W. Goodwin

One day, a few years ago, my friend Jim Swift told me his secret—for years he’d dreamed of making a 1957 sci-fi movie. Over a couple of decades, he’d conceived the idea, made up a story and worked with a first-time writer he met in Seattle named Steven Fisher to create an elaborate outline. There were a few scripts, which had their challenges. But the story idea was great. Jim took three classic ’50s sci-fi movies—War of the Worlds, It Came From Outer Space and The Day the Earth Stood Still—cut a little here, then pasted a little there. He culled some of the best scenes, characters and storylines, gave them some sly, funny twists, and came up with a charming original story that truly resonated of that decade.

He asked me to get involved, to help with the script, and if the movie ever got made, to direct and to co-produce with him.

I asked for some time to think about it and spent the next several days revisiting those great ’50s sci-fi films I’d seen in wide-eyed terror as a kid. What I saw was wonderful. In the  ’50s, the filmmakers—directors, writers, producers, actors, staff and crew—were as serious as they could be about making the best, scariest science fiction films they could. But styles and technologies have changed so much over the last 50 years, that now just about all of those films are really funny...inadvertently funny.

I thought if we could make a film that stayed true to everything about 1957—the acting style, the camerawork, the special effects, the rubber monsters—we could potentially make a film that was intentionally inadvertently funny.

It took Jim, Steven and I about a year to craft a script we were happy with, and unbelievable to us the script quickly attracted our first choice for leading man—the amazing Eric McCormack, and soon a very talented group of people joined together with us to make the movie.

Alien Trespass is not a spoof or a parody of a 1957 sci-fi film, it is a 1957 sci-fi film. We just made it more recently. All of us—actors, crew, producers, writers, director—placed ourselves firmly in 1957 and were earnestly intent on making the best, scariest sci-fi film we could, while adhering to the styles and technologies of the time.

It was a great challenge and even more fun. We think we’ve crafted a movie that is sweet, funny, scary, suspenseful and full of wonderful characters portrayed by an incredibly talented and delightful cast, led by Eric along with Jenni Baird, Dan Lauria, Robert Patrick, Jody Thompson, and a bunch of other gifted actors. Everyone behind the scenes, including cinematographer David (“Moxy”) Moxness, production designer Ian Thomas, costume designer Jenni Gullett, editors Michael Jablow and Vaune Kirby, composer Louis Febre and many others, have brought forth a truly flawless depiction of the ‘50s—a time that was gentler, more optimistic and when life was simpler. The only thing you really had to worry about then was instant nuclear holocaust. But fortunately the Red Scare got sublimated into some pretty fantastic movies.

So picture yourself with your boyfriend or girlfriend at the drive-in in your ’56 Chevy. Turn up the volume on your speaker...and enjoy your escape to the past.