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Choker: Confused SciFi Clunker (Review)

Choker (2005) Alternate Titles: B.E.I.N.G. (UK); Disturbance Director: Nick Vallelonga Writer: Nick Vallelonga Stars: Paul Sloan, Colleen Porch, Anthony John Denison Studio: Choker Films / Vallelonga/Quattrochi Productions Rating: R


When it comes to the sci-fi genre, low budgets can be the death of any script – even when it is an innovative or interesting concept, with well-written and clever dialogue. This is exactly what happened with Choker, a film written and directed by Nick Vallelonga and estimated to have had a budget of $35,000 or less. In the long run, Choker seems to be more or less a failure to cast and budget properly, damning a decent concept to schlock sci-fi fare that probably won’t even make it to a SyFy Channel broadcast. Shot in a mere two-week period, haste definitely made waste of what could have been an interesting sci-fi alien invaon thriller.

Paul Sloan stars as Hud Masters, a convicted serial killer and rapist who was “executed” by the forced introduction of an alien being into his body. The purpose: to track down a small army of other alien beings inhabiting human bodies. At his de is Logan (Colleen Porch, who appeared in I Know Who Killed Me), a woman who works for a mysterious government agency that orchestrated the use of Hud’s body in hopes to stop the alien invaon.

Sloan does a decent job, moving from flashback scenes of interviews with the real Hud, a gruff and unrepentant killer, and the more docile (personality-wise, at least) persona of the alien that now inhabits his body. Altruistic to the end, the alien-Hud seeks to stop its own brother, the Leader of the paratic aliens, from perpetuating the killing of human hosts, as many of the aliens are forced to jump from one host to another, taking another human life with each jump. Yet still lurking beneath the surface is the real Hud, a psychologically damaged man, product of an abuve home, always ready to break through. The struggle between the altruistic alien and the maniacal host might have made for an interesting film, but rather than play up this concept, the film instead follows a more convoluted path, focung on eye candy and badly choreographed action scenes.

Sadly, the other actors in this sci-fi melodrama just are not up to par. Colleen Porch takes on the role of Logan, Hud’s handler and supposedly an agent who excelled in all aspects of phycal and intellectual prowess. However, for such a star-athlete, she runs and handles a gun much like a third-grader playing Cops and Robbers at recess.

Casting problems plague the film. Witty dialogue between stereotypical condescending cop Clark, played by Bobby Ray Schafer, known for his role in Psycho Cop, and medical examiner Santo (Katrina Law) falls flat; the actors just don’t interpret the scripting as well as they could, making the exchanges seem hollow. As the Leader, Hayley Dumond delivers another flat performance, until the ending scenes of the film when she is able to evoke a good degree of sympathy from viewers in spite of her character’s overall evil nature.

Apart from the acting, problems abound. It seems as though a good deal of the film’s budget went to leang the Blue Oyster Cult clasc “Don’t Fear the Reaper”; it stands out as the only piece of muc with lyric and manages to overshadow the scene it is featured in. Another large portion of the money on this film seems to have gone to pay for an ever changing line-up of scantily clad women, whose purposes all fall in parroting out a few brief, soulless lines before either shrieking in horror or fighting (badly) for their lives. Throw in an over the top fight scene between alien-Hud and a karate master (yes, you read that right) and the film just becomes laughable, just another example of bad budgeting and cliché.

It does begin to make one wonder how any of this film escaped the cutting room floor.
dew Thursday 3/01/2012 at 12:31 AM | 90951