Decoys 2: Alien Seduction


Rating 2½

Directed by Jeffery Scott Lando

Written by Miguel Tejada-Flores from a story by Tom Berry

Starring Corey Sevier, Kailin See, Tyler Johnston,
Dina Meyer and Tobin Bell

I told myself even I wasn’t sad enough to watch this film, but my resolve was slowly but surely broken down. It’s a Dina Meyer film – and I just like Dina Meyer.

This is the synopsis of the film at Wikipedia.

“Sam, a college student in a small Northwestern town, reluctantly joins his roommates in a contest to see who can hook up with the most gorgeous co-eds by the end of the semester. But when men slowly start disappearing around town, he and his friends learn that when it comes to beautiful women, it’s what’s inside that really matters.”

Here is the opening paragraph from a review of the film by Travis Mackenzie Hoover at Film Freak Central.

“Sometimes a symptomatic reading is the only thing keeping a critic from hurling himself out a window in the contemplation of drivel. Frustrating when it’s not simply banal (and often both at once), Decoys 2: Alien Seduction (promotional title: Decoys: The Second Seduction) is one of those times. As with the first Decoys, it’s loaded with revelations about the Canadian fear of sex and the national stereotype of the snivelling, eternally discouraged male. Good thing, too, because it’s almost completely intolerable in every other particular. I defy even the most devoted B-fancier to sit through its tiresome sophomore humour and lame attempts to get the girls’ kits off. That it embodies Canuck cynicism towards male-female relationships is pretty much its only point of interest.”

This is not exactly the best film ever made and in many ways it is exactly as bad as the Wikipedia synopsis and Film Freak review suggests. Having said that, the first thing I noticed was that the acting is much better and the production values are much higher than I had anticipated. This is, after all, a cheap cash-in direct-to-DVD sequel to a 1994 low-budget Canadian horror film that managed a hardly word-shattering gross of just under $85,000 at the box office.

‘Decoys 2’ was filmed in and around Alberta University in Edmonton. I’ve got a bit of a thing about very wintery and snowy settings, which I guess made me just about biased enough to give it more of a chance than perhaps it really deserves.

Dina Meyer’s role in the film is bigger than I had expected, although it is of little real consequence to the events in general. She is not an entirely convincing psychiatrist, especially when she is encumbered with a ham-fisted and half-hearted storyline demanding that her character be somewhat ambiguous –- is she or is she not one of the aliens? Meyer plays the role in full-on “soap opera” mode.

Tobin Bell, famous these days as a result of the ‘Saw’ franchise, is also featured, as a rather splendid professor of evolutionary biology at the university. After a handful of brief scenes, suggesting he could have a role in the film not entirely dissimilar to that of David Duchovny in ‘Evolution’, he simply disappears from the narrative, perhaps indicating that the filmmakers could only afford to hire him for a brief time during the production.

Two actors return from the first film, which I haven’t seen. I am not familiar with either Kim Poirier or Corey Sevier.

As far as I can make out, the first film is a kind of cut-price version of ‘Species’, with a bit of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ thrown into the mix. The sequel is played more for laughs, although it is not clear if this is actually intentional or not. It comes across as a kind of horror version of ‘American Pie’.

A group of male students who share a dorm room have a competition to see how many female students they can sleep with before the end of the semester. There’s the sensitive one who actually has a female friend, making him the odd one in the gang. There’s the geek who’s a computer genius and has therefore probably never actually spoken to a girl. There’s the one who pretends to the others that he’s a “stud” –- and they are naïve enough to believe him. There’s the one who might even have had sex. Finally, there’s the one who will never ever get to sleep with anyone, no matter that he is deluded enough to think he is God’s gift to women.

So far, so stereotyped, although I think we’ve all met (or been) people like this at one time or another in our lives.

And now we come to our first problem. The sensitive one, Sam Compton, is, in many ways, just as frightened of women as the rest of the group. He does, at least, have enough gumption to realise the others are sad, deluded, sexist losers –- and he tries to keep a distance from the game.

As I have already mentioned, Sam has a female friend, Stephanie Baxter. She’s smart and sincere and obviously genuinely likes him. However, we know she isn’t a “hottie” because she has glasses and she’s not a “fashionista”.

Stephanie’s feelings for Sam extend beyond just being friends, because as we all know, men and women can never just be friends. To get him to notice her, she has a major makeover, turning up at an end of semester party in her new guise. The glasses have been discarded and, it would seem, she has borrowed Shirley Temple’s hair! She has also suddenly become aggressive, as opposed to the quiet confidence of her previous persona.

One implication is that all of these characters are, when it comes down to it, only interested in one thing –- sex. This is not an entirely unreasonable suggestion. After all, these are young people experiencing the first flush of adult life and the freedom of having left home. However, the film inhabits a very simplistic universe and I’m not sure what message this actually sends out.

There is also the point that Stephanie is far more interesting and appealing in her original guise than when she gets the glam treatment. These things are, of course, admittedly subjective.

To get back to the plot, the last survivors of a species of alien beings, whose gene pool has been destroyed, assume the visual appearance of teenage boys’ female fantasies in order to ensnare their male victims and impregnate them.

A post-graduate student called Luke Callahan is the sole survivor of the first film. He is now keeping regular appointments with the university hospital psychiatrist and is prescribed medication to control his “hallucinations”. When he spots the leader of the aliens, now posing as a doctor in the hospital, he teams up with Sam, Stephanie and Sam’s surviving friends in a race against time to track down and kill the alien invaders.

In a nutshell, it’s ‘The Faculty’ with a touch of ‘American Pie’ style teenage sex. To be entirely accurate, there is no actual sex. Only the aliens show anything other than contempt in response to the sad attempts by the boys to “get laid” and they do grotesque things to them with lots of flailing tentacles.

It’s a strange film. It starts out as a juvenile teen sex horror flick, but having taken a turn towards more of a traditional sci-fi/horror hybrid, it eventually veers off into almost slapstick comedy.

Had it done this right from the start it could have entered the same kind of territory as ‘Slither’. As it is, for saddos like me with a soft spot for cheapo non-gore horror b-movies it’s not all that bad. Given that parts of it are infantile and tacky, it has some fun moments, although its tedious dead spots are very tedious.


No comments: