ALIEN EXPEDITION is a "space opera" in its purest, traditional sense. Replace the alien planet with frontier land, replace the space alien monsters with the now politically incorrect "Indians on the warpath", swap out space explorers for settlers, change some dialogue terms and voilà, the same script can make a passable horse opera.
It's cheap 'n cheesy, low-budget, uncomfortably under-acted or gloriously overacted in turns and full of enthusiasm for itself. That alone was enough to make me like it.
Naturally, the plot line couldn't be simpler. Exploration spaceship lands on alien planet to investigate its viability for colonization. Everybody walks around a little bit, discover the local water is poison, some space alien creatures come on stage to provide a continuous threat on through to the end. People get chomped and die in an inexorable progression. And we wrap it all up with an open-ended confrontation between a monster and the last remaining crew member. We fade to black as her android eyes flash with grim determination; did she survive or didn't she? The end.
All the characters are paper doll cutouts: the wise old space dog with the eyepatch and bottomless flask of alcohol in his back pocket who has seen it all, the young and brash Capt.-esque character, the emotionless but extra sexy-looking android who gets pretty dern emotional by the end of the picture, the tough ethnic warrior chick resplendent in face paint, and the extra well-built teched-up armed-to-the-teeth black guy in the extra-large economy size with the cool shades.
There's a small smorgasbord of monsters to make it interesting, but by far the primary troublemakers are these velociraptor looking things of various sizes with large fin-like ear flaps that look like swim fins flapping in and out on either side of their heads. Oh, and they also have the ability to turn themselves invisible at will. And lots of teeth.
The music? Extra loud and banging generic (and eminently forgettable) rock 'n' roll music to go with all the scenes where anyone is being "tough and spacey" or "meeting tough challenges head-on" or "facing the unknown" or "battling merciless alien creatures with bravery against all odds".
The "weapons" are clearly doctored up from spare parts from somebody's garage workbench. The double-barreled "big Bertha" rapidfire job I think was a repurposed electric leaf blower from Home Depot with a makeover involving glued-on bits and some plastic paint.
No one could say, with a straight face, that this is a genuinely excellent movie. But it did hit its target and it's a movie that is what it set out to be. Most of the low-budget sci-fi potboilers that slouch across my screens are just unwatchable. I found this one to be tolerable because it was obviously making its best effort on its $37.42 budget. The special-effects were, of course, uneven, some of which were terrible (the android blasting away with her big gun in slow motion and you can see the barrel of this devastating weapon wiggling back and forth like it's made of rubber) and some of which weren't half bad (the alien landscape and skies and the obligatory meteor strikes that fell with great regularity).
Review by S. Soma from the Internet Movie Database.