Alien from LA Review - Vinegar Syndrome

Alien from LA Review - Vinegar Syndrome

The people at the center of the Earth are about to get a visitor... and you'd better hope they've got ear plugs...




After recieving a traumatic letter that her archaeologist father has died, Wanda (Kathy Ireland), alone and lost, embarks on a quest to uncover the daunting mystery surrounding her dad's disappearance. What proceeds is a descent into a new world, which swathes with gritty lunacy and opens gateways to an exciting way of living for Wanda's mediocre existence.


Alien from L.A. flourishes into a mixture aesthetics ranging from remarkable to unforgiving. The films world is grown and sprouted out into vibrance from excellent craftsmanship by visionary director Albert Pyun, however it's the obvious flaws in the decision making part of production that severley brings this title falling in on it's self.


The worldbuilding in Alien from L.A. is staggering. The Mad Max/Bladerunner distopia is without question the inspiration for the 'cyberpunkish' city we see in this film, yet its colours, 'visual rock and roll civilisation' and conglomoration of futuristic skyscrapers really identify Wanda as the 'Alien' in the story, and is executed brilliantly with astonishing set design that pull you into the world and make certain shots look gargantuan in value.


The choices of casting are very diverse. Slasher fans will be pleased to see the shock horror hero Thom Mathews play the role of Charmin', though not a major role, his influence and reputation make for a great cameo appearance from the horror legend and pays off beautifully. While Kathy Ireland's looks compliment well onto film, her acting is in Alien from L.A is awful. Wanda's voice throughout the picture is incredibly distracting to the point where it's laughable and tends to remove you from the world that is so enjoyable to look at. An actress is only as good as her writing and it is very clear that some of the dialogue written for Wanda was very careless and as a result ended up with line delivery that in almost every sense makes you cringe or just laugh. 




directed by: Albert Pyun
starring: Kathy Ireland, Linda Kerridge, William R. Moses
1988 / 87 min / 1.85:1 / English Stereo

Additional info:
• Region A Blu-ray
• Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm interpositive
• “Making a Fairytale” - an interview with director Albert Pyun
• “Putting the puzzle together” - an interview with actor Thom Mathews
• Audio interview with actress Linda Kerridge
• Reversible cover artwork
• English SDH subtitles




From Cannon films, Alien from L.A, with its gorgeous sets, costumes and visual effects, definitely fits into the tier of their higher budgeted productions during the companys prime, and the excellent restoration work from Vinegar Syndrome accents this exquisitely. Derived from it's 35mm interpositive, the new scan and 2k restoration is once again outstanding, and is definitely one of if not Vinegar Syndromes best work. Kathy Ireland pops off the screen, the sets and makeup shine and the distopia looks incredible on screen. 81 minutes of visual poetry.




Every VS release isn't without it's features, and with this title comes with "Making a Fairytale" - an interview with director Albert Pyun, "Putting the puzzle together" - an interview with Horror Hero Thom Mathews, Audio interview with actress Linda Kerridge as well as Reversable cover artwork that spills the films clasic 80's presence from the clear case.


Reviewed and edited by William Tozer

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