Alien Tornado (PREVIEW)

I never go into a Syfy made for TV movie expecting to have my socks knocked off. These films are B movie, if that, and while they usually don’t strive for blockbuster entertainment they do manage to keep you at least mostly entertained. If it’s not some washed up cameo from a former teen idol or a plot that somehow manages to have some coherency at it’s core, these types of films still have enough of a foot in the door to offer something noteworthy. Unfortunately Alien Tornado is the exception.

When local farmer Judd Walker has his entire livestock slaughtered by a mysterious tornado he realizes that something is amiss. With his college bound daughter upset with him and strange men in black traversing the countryside, all he can do is make his case with the local sheriff who may know more then he’s leading on. Enter celebrity weather tracker Gail Curtis who is hot on the heels of this mysterious tornado story. The two team up and try and find an explanation as to why the tornado’s keep touching down and destroying key locations.

First off, the title of the film. Yup. With that out of the way let’s focus on the cast. The two leads in the film look pretty good on paper. Jeff Fahey, who has starred in the Robert Rodriguez grindhouse homage Planet Terror and then again in Rodriguez’s Machete, has been known to play around in films that push the envelope. Aside from that he has roots in the sci-fi/horror community dating all the way back to 1992 (being his breakout moment in my opinion) in the Stephen King adaptation The Lawnmower Man. Then you have the always beautiful Kari Wurher who made a name for herself as a sexy ass kicking character in the sci-fi hit Sliders. Wurher also has ties with exploitation film having worked on the entertaining Eight Legged Freaks and Anaconda.

Aside from Fahey and Wurher the film is sprinkled with familiar faces. Terry Kiser (Weekend At Bernie’s) plays Wurher’s TV boss, Willard E. Pugh (The Color Purple) plays the local town sheriff, and of course you have David Jensen who has starred in so many sci-fi films from Battle Los Angeles to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as well as the up coming Battleship film and the much hyped Looper starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis. On paper, looking at the cast alone, the film should have at least had some decent acting in it. Nope.

We already know who is causing the tornado’s so the mystery there is gone. Why is even more of a perplexing mess. The adventure of trying to find a way to stop them is about as exciting as watching Twister with Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt. It’s just two people driving all over the place, trying to track down Walker’s elusive angry daughter, attempting to avoid the men in black who prove as much a threat to anyone as a stubbed toe, and tracking tornado after tornado. There’s really just no story here. I watched the whole film and didn’t care one way or another about the characters or their plight. There was no creature feature to put us on edge, no paranormal activity to give us a fright, no physcal presence of an alien invasion other then some funnel clouds. It felt like a bad parody of an exploitation film or even a bad parody of a bad parody of an exploitation film. The acting was bad, the story was bad, the only thing that was halfway decent were the special effects. I’m usually able to watch these films and find something to love but Alien Tornado fails on all levels. As always final judgment is yours.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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