" Should only be watched by a group of friends in the mood to make fun of a really bad movie. Make sure one of you knows how to use the fast forward button. "
Director: Turi Meyer
Studio: Sci Fi Pictures
Tagline: America's newest bullet train just got on the fast track to disaster.
Release Date: August 1, 2005
Barry Corbin is running for President, and he's on a new super train heading to Las Vegas for a campaign stop. A meteorite crashes into a car near the tracks, causing the train to stop and survey the damage. Corbin doesn't have time for this nonsense and insists that the train move along. Move along it does, but Lou Diamond Phillips, a cop called to the scene, decides to find a way onto the train to see if this is more than just a meteorite. Of course it is; aliens are involved! And to make matters worse, there's a terrorist on the train! Do I really have to tell you that another really bad Sci Fi Original movie ensues?MY TAKE
Does anybody remember when Lou Diamond Phillips was cool? No? Well, that’s understandable considering the fact that it was more than 15 years ago. If you’ve ever wondered what La Bamba was doing these days, well, Alien Express provides us with an answer of, “Anything to collect a paycheck.”
“Are you saying Alien Express is a bad movie?”
Did you not see Todd Bridges’ name in the credits? There is plenty for me to make fun of here, but before I go any further I just have to draw attention to one thing. Once La Bamba is on the train he makes contact with a woman at some sort of train switchboard. She informs him that there’s another train on the tracks that is carrying explosives of some sort. Yes, I know I used “some sort” twice in this paragraph. Deal with it. I’m not wasting any fancy words and phrasing on a movie of this caliber. Anyway, here is their actual conversation, word for word:
Bad Actress: Train A is moving at 70 mph in one direction. And train B is moving at 15 mph in the same direction. And trains A and B are currently 100 miles apart, then…
La Bamba: How long before train A demolishes train B at point C killing everyone on board?
OK, so this is a little cheesy. I shook my head and chuckled, but I thought, “Well, maybe this is at least an attempt to appear smart.” But then the bad actress responded with her answer…
Bad Actress: You have 58 minutes.
*stares blankly at the computer monitor and lets out a Tim Allen-esque “Huuuuuuuuuuuuh?”*
Folks, this is quite simply one of the most inexplicable things I’ve witnessed in a movie. Ever. They’re 100 miles apart and train A is only going 70 mph. Even if train B was standing still there’s NO WAY TRAIN A WOULD REACH IT IN 58 MINUTES!!!!! Who was behind this math? Do the writers not understand what “miles per hour” means? Hey writers, I’ll type this really slowly so that you can try to understand…
If a train is going 70 miles per hour then that means after an hour has passed it will have gone 70 miles. Comprende (oops, I doubt you know what that means)? Furthermore, there are 60 minutes in an hour. Thus, if the train has 100 miles to cover it IS IMPOSSIBLE TO COVER IT IN 58 MINUTES! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?! My goodness, you could’ve just found a real Algebra problem on the Internet in a couple of minutes and plugged that into the movie. I DEMAND AN EXPLANATION FOR THIS!
I know that there are about 100 nits to pick in this poor excuse of a movie, but this nit is wearing a shirt that has “pick me” written on the back. There’s just no excuse for this. I don’t know if my intelligence has ever been this insulted by a movie. And I’ve seen multiple Cedric the Entertainer movies. Much to my chagrin. If I ever meet Lou Diamond Phillips then I’m going to straight up ask him for an explanation. Hey Chavez, here’s a formula for you:
If the Lou Diamond Phillips career train is “starring” in one bad movie going awful miles per hour, and Todd Bridges is “starring” in the same bad movie also going awful miles per hour, then how long before the Lou Diamond Phillips career train veers off track and explodes in a fiery mess? The answer? Ah, it’s a trick question. It’s already happened and that career train is now extra crispy.
What else can you expect from this stench-fest? Just about every bad movie cliché you can think of. Naturally, La Bamba is a cop who doesn’t follow the rules and punches out the Captain when he disagrees with him. I’m sure someone on the writing staff must’ve thought it’d sound really cool if Mr. Rogue Cop would spit out lines like, “Then young lady, we’ve got a whole lot of unlikely,” but all I could do was shake my head and resist the temptation to stop watching.
I dare you to not say, “Whatchoo talkin’ bout, Senator?” whenever Todd Bridges is on screen. Well, I’d have to dare you to watch this movie first, but I’m not that cruel. I will give ol’ Willis credit – he delivers a couple of horrendous one-liners with flawless ineptitude. During one scene when he’s fighting the fake-looking puppet aliens with a makeshift blowtorch in the kitchen area of the train, he yells out, “You can’t stand the heat, get out da kitchen!” And then right before he throws a Molotov cocktail at the hand puppets he yells, “How bout a cocktail, you ugly SUCKAS!” His kids must be proud.
As for how bad the aliens look, well, little more than $10 and a trip to Wal-Mart could produce better results. They look like baby alligator hand puppets. If that’s the best the aliens have to throw at us then bring ‘em on.
I could go on and on about Barry Corbin’s toupee looking worse than William Shatner’s, about the fake fire, the fake explosions, the continual usage of stock footage, the inanity of using a stun gun to defeat aliens, the across-the-board bad acting, the implausibility of the train stopping on a dime, and the ridiculous “sub plot” involving La Bamba being on the track team in college and how that ends up saving his life, but I’d end up writing a book if I tried to cover everything.
I did indeed laugh at a lot of the unintentional humor, but things aren’t quite as funny when you stop and realize that quite a bit of money is spent on movies like this. Who on earth does this movie benefit? It certainly won’t help anybody’s career, and it most definitely won’t enrich or enlighten the lives of anybody who watches it, so what was the point? There are charities out there that could’ve found better ways to use the money that was put behind this disaster.
ODDS & ENDS
- Lou Diamond Phillips needs a new agent.
- The working title was Dead Rail. Sewage by any other name…
- Lou Diamond Phillips is in Wolf Lake with Graham Greene who is in an episode of Mister Sterling with Josh Brolin who is in Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon.
Since this debuted on the Sci Fi Channel the content isn't really that bad. There's some made-for-TV gore and slime but nothing out of the ordinary.