Robin Cook's Invasion

Rating 2

Directed by Armand Mastroianni

Written by Rockne S O’Bannon, from a story by Robin Cook

Starring Luke Perry, Kim Cattrall, Rebecca Gayheart, Christopher Orr, Jon Polito and Rosana DeSoto

An extraterrestrial virus crashes through the atmosphere in the form of tiny rocks that survive the intense heat and fall to earth. The virus spreads through the population of Earth at a rapid pace, changing people into an alien life form intent on colonising the planet. A small band of human dissidents, immune to the virus, fight against time to find an antidote to it.

This made-for-television sci-fi mini-series was first broadcast in three one-hour episodes, including advertising breaks, in 1997, although the version I watched on DVD has a running time of 122 minutes, which suggests some cuts have been made.

Blatantly ripped-off from ‘Invasion Of The Body Snatchers’, this really is hilariously bad on so many levels, not least the hysterical performance of Luke Perry, who is in ultra-smug mode throughout (I say this as someone who harbours a soft-spot for Perry). The other actors fare little better. Rebecca Gayheart seems defeated by the mediocre material she is given to work with, although I am too fond of her to be overly critical. The worst performance of the lot comes from Rosana DeSoto (of ‘La Bamba’ fame), who still received an ALMA Award nomination.

Having said this, it is still fun to watch if you like this sort of thing, which I certainly do, even if the climax carries all the drama and excitement of a wet weekend in a caravan.

Robin Cook wrote the novel ‘Coma’, which was turned into a screenplay by Michael Crichton for the 1978 film of the same name.

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