A mercenary spaceship ferrying a convict is attacked by a horde of unidentified fighter craft. Forced to abandon their crippled ship the survivors land on "The Planet". Soon they discover that they are not alone, as they battle to survive they begin to fall prey to a malevolent force. A force which turns the souls of their fallen comrades against them. Forming a rescue plan the survivors race to carry it out while they still can. Unknown to the team, the prisoner is also on the planet and his presence there could change the universe as they know it, forever.
Directed by: Mark Stirton
. Starring: Mike Mitchell
, Patrick Wight
, Scott Ironside
, Shawn Paul Hastings
, Steve Campbell
, Tim Branston
, Ashley Branston
, Michael Grant Clark
, Graham Robertson
, Colin Morrison
, Mark Wyness
, Alexander Allan
, Nicky Fraser
. Music by: Nicky Fraser
Every once in a while you stumble across a movie that takes you by surprise and this is one of them. On the surprise scale this would rate as sharing a hot tub with Jessica Alba whilst a band consisting of Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Phil Lynott and Keith Moon play you music for the night. The reason why this film will surprise you is that for the meagre budget they had (£8,000) and that this was done by a bunch of mates who just wanted to try it out they have produced something very slick and looks easily 100 times more than its budget.
The plot is simple a crew of mercenaries carrying a dangerous prisoner through space come under attack and are forced to crash land on a nearby desolate planet. After some checks not only does the planet not exist according to star charts but they are not alone as it seems and something very unfriendly begins to pick them of one by one. It sounds like very standard Sci-Fi fare mixing elements of Aliens. Predator and Pitch Black but it takes all these and makes them into something that feels fresh and original.
The Location shooting in this is fantastic, utilising Balmeddie beach in Aberdeen to the maximum and you genuinely feel that you are one an alien world. The seemingly never ending sand dunes and clever lighting effects give it a very bleak feel, you truly think the crew are stranded on an alien world. Also the action sequences are superb, the opening assault on the freighter a great showcase of what special effects can be achieved on a budget and the firefights as well as the stunning finale all showcase the inventiveness of the film.
As for the team of mercenaries the cast excels themselves. For a low budget independent movie the casting here was done via local media outlets and they seem to have picked some possible stars for the future. Local body builder Mike Mitchell whilst not a natural actor slots into his role as the Arnie-Esq leader of the mercenaries. From the rest of the cast there are two stand out performances Patrick Wright as second in command McNeal and Scott Ironside as the rough and ready engineer Vince. Both have some the best lines in the movie and Scott injects a good bit of humour into the movie with his performance. Patrick gives a well rounded performance as the cool as ice second in command.
Director Mark Stirton can be very proud of what he has achieved and shows that Scottish cinema need not all be 'Kilts and Ceilidhs' or 'Slums and Drugs' Scottish films can be fresh, inventive and most of all a lot of god damn fun. This film is Scottish (with a north east flavour) to the core and praise to the actors and directors for keeping the accents intact which adds to the charm of the piece. Although the budget limitations show from time to time (the only fault i could find) that is to be expected. This film, its cast and crew deserve all the success they get and then some more. I for one wish Mark and his crew every success and theirs is a career to keep a very close eye on.
Rating - 910 The first Scottish sci-fi is bold, fresh and inventive a real triumph.
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Review by fightrunner from the Internet Movie Database.