A while back, we covered a film called OUTLANDER. Our coverage ultimately waned because, well, the film itself actually went away (in a sense).
See, OUTLANDER was (erroneously) deemed to be little more than straight-to-video fodder by The Weinstein Company here in The States, where it's already seen a highly limited theatrical distribution (backed by an almost non existent promotional campaign). Many people were/are simply unaware of the film. Statistically, those who know about it probably couldn't find it. OUTLANDER deserves better than this.
Such banishment is particularly odd given that the movie has performed reasonably well, if not quite nicely, when released to theaters overseas (by different distributors) - Spain, France, and India being examples.
The next leg of OUTLANDER's journey begins on UK screens this weekend. Accordingly, we thought we'd give our readers across the pond a heads up. Apparently the film is enjoying a fully realized advertising blitz in UK, so chances are you may've already learned a bit about it. But in case you haven't...
OUTLANDER is the tale of a dude in a spaceship (Jim Caviezel) who crashes on Earth - bringing a gnarly extraterrestrial bioluminescent hell beast with him. This thing looks kinda like a Balrog cross-bred with FORBIDDEN PLANET's ID monster. Space Guy ends up in a town of Vikings...takes 'em a while to figure each other out & navigate treacherous inter-tribal politics. Space Guy helps Vikings destroy the "dragon" (space monster) that's bent on eating them. Pretty simple, pretty straight forward. AND, it has John Hurt, Ron Perlman, and Sophia Miles.
This said, OUTLANDER's B-movie concept is often overshadowed by A-caliber sensibilities. Director Howard McCain isn't afraid to take on character development of sometimes surprising dimension; our hero cries at one point, and isn't as squeaky clean as he'd like to be. He's...done things. Things for which he, and others, are paying a very high price.
People behave like people here, usually manifesting nobility, uncertainty, illogic (or all of the above) in very believable ways.
The evil space monster's actions have specific motivation and provocation - it's not just a CGI retread hopping around, looking for snacks.
One of the film's most memorable moments? Spaceman (Caviezel) is tied up in the middle of the Viking village. Nobody cares and most are ignoring him. A Viking boy wanders along - stands there staring at him. And there's this interesting tension. About what? Whether that kid is gonna flake off a piece of the bread he's carrying & toss it to Caviezel as if he's a stray dog. A simple, quiet moment that works on many different levels - told primarily through eye contact and reaction shots. OUTLANDER works nicely as an adventure, but its heart and soul are what many may recall most vividly when all is said and done.
We'll be taking a much closer look at this film as it approaches DVD release here in the U.S. next month, which might be the beginning of a healthy video afterlife for OUTLANDER. Or perhaps even a complete rebirth?