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The P.A.C.K.

P.A.C.K., The (1997) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  88m  •    •  Directed by: Bryan Todd.  •  Starring: Sandahl Bergman, Ted Prior, Red West, Dave Scott, Earl Jarrett, Kevon Kane, John West, Jimi Petulla, Bryan Todd, Jack Vogel, Mark Krasnoff, G. Blake Savell, Douglas Harter.  •  Music by: Alan Pasqua.
     A UFO expert, a local sheriff, and an FBI agent are forced to team up with an alien warrior to track down and destroy a lethal extraterrestrial robot killing people in a remote forest in Alabama.

Review:

Image from: P.A.C.K., The (1997)
Image from: P.A.C.K., The (1997)
Image from: P.A.C.K., The (1997)
Image from: P.A.C.K., The (1997)
Image from: P.A.C.K., The (1997)
Image from: P.A.C.K., The (1997)
Image from: P.A.C.K., The (1997)
During my time-honored quest to see every movie David A. Prior was involved with, I stumbled across this science fiction film that Prior wrote but did not direct. The other time he wrote a script but did not direct it was with `Born Killer,' which I enjoyed due to brother Ted Prior's comical yet creepy portrayal of a psycho. I figured buying this film would be as fun as that one was. Needless to say, my return on investment was not up to snuff.

Somewhere in the backwoods of Alabama, an alien craft has crashed on the planet. It carried a killer cyborg, the P.A.C.K. (Prefabricated Animalistic Cybernetic Killer). It gets out of its holding and immediately starts annihilating everyone it sees, starting with a curious bunch of bikers (including Prior favorite Douglas Harter). The next morning, the remains of the gang are discovered and hard-nosed sheriff Red West is beside himself. Some special agents, led by Sandahl Bergman, also come to town to find out what entered Earth's atmosphere. Also hot on the heels of the P.A.C.K. is an alien in the form of Ted Prior. Prior later explains to Bergman that the P.A.C.K. is a war machine that was damaged and accidentally escaped to Earth. If it is not disabled in a matter of days, it will explode and take most of Alabama with it. The three factions spend the rest of the movie trying to find the cyborg and shoot at it.

A movie like this requires good writing coupled with either good action or good special effects. Alas, it has none of these. The script is mostly bland with the exception of Red West's character. David Prior must have had a lot of fun writing West's dialogue because I had a lot of fun listening to it. West barks out orders and snaps at his men and a UFO expert in such an over-the-top manner that you can't help but like him. In a bigger movie, this type of character would be downright hateful to the point that you desire his comeuppance, but not here. Sadly, he is the only good character. Ted Prior's alien isn't interesting at all, and Bergman fares far worse. I think Dave Prior was trying to make chemistry between their characters, but this didn't really come to my attention until the last scene in the movie---not the time to reveal these things. Strangely enough, Bergman's entourage are each given an introduction by another character, making you think we will be bonding with them soon. But no, the P.A.C.K. makes sure this is not so a few minutes later. So what about the action? The special effects? Apparently, director Bryan Todd didn't know how to handle the action. The fight scenes between Ted Prior and the P.A.C.K. are sleep-inducing and there isn't a whole lot else in this department. With a budget like this, you can't expect many special effects. I was lenient on the alien's laser, though, since there wasn't much to work with in terms of cash. And I did like the opening scene with the bikers. The scene was tense and fun. Similarly, the fate of Jack Vogel being yanked through a wooden porch is a good scene. But the rest of the stuff is a letdown. Still, it isn't the worst thing you can find from David A. Prior, but it is a far cry from some of his best. Zantara's score: 4 out of 10.


Review by Zantara Xenophobe from the Internet Movie Database.