Xtro

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Xtro
Xtro-Poster.jpg
Movie poster
Directed by Harry Bromley Davenport
Produced by Mark Forstater
Written by Harry Bromley Davenport
Starring Bernice Stegers
Philip Sayer
Simon Nash
Maryam d'Abo
Danny Brainin
Music by Harry Bromley Davenport
Cinematography John Metcalfe
Edited by Nicolas Gaster
Distributed by New Line Cinema (USA)
Release dates
  • 6 August 1982 (1982-08-06)
Running time 81 minutes
Country UK
Language English
Budget Unknown
Box office Unknown

Xtro is a 1983 British science fiction horror cult movie directed by Harry Bromley Davenport and co-produced by Bob Shaye.

The film was made and completed in February 1982

Plot[edit]

Sam Phillips (Philip Sayer) and his child Tony (Simon Nash) are playing outside their farm. The father is abducted by a strong light.

Three years later, the light returns, and plants a seed. A half-human half-alien creature grows up, and when it moves it is run over by a car. Ben (Robert Pereno) is attacked and killed when he looks for the runaway man. Jane (Katherine Best) is also killed. The creature (Tim Dry) moves to a cottage nearby and attacks a woman (Susie Silvey), leaving her impregnated. When she returns to consciousness, her belly painfully grows to abnormal size and she gives birth, vaginally, to a fully formed and bloody Sam (who is connected to her by an umbilical cord like a baby), dying in the process. Sam (once he washes the blood off) steals Ben's clothes and drives his car, without bothering to get rid of Jane's corpse, which will be found by a lorry-driver (David Cardy)

Sam seeks Tony, who lives in an apartment building in London, with his mother (Bernice Stegers), her new boyfriend Joe Daniels (Danny Brainin), and a French au-pair Analise Mercier (Mariam d'Abo). Rachel and Joe are professional photographers and share a studio in town. Many nights, Tony has nightmares. He wakes up soaked in blood, but it's not his, as the family doctor (Robert Fyfe) discovers. Sam picks Tony up from school, until Rachel finds them. Although Joe doesn't like it -he intends to marry Rachel- Sam goes to live with them, saying he can't remember anything. Tony sees him eating his pet snake's eggs and runs from him. Sam goes after him, talking to him smoothly, and drinks his blood.

Rachel finds Jane's photo in Sam's clothes, but he can't remember her either. Tony discovers he has certain powers now, so he sends a human-size soldier toy (Sean Crawford) to kill their nasty neighbour Mrs Goodman (Anna Wing), in revenge for killing his pet snake. Also, a teddy-clown becomes a human-like clown (Peter Mandell).

Sam and Rachel both decide to visit their former residence, the farm, while leaving Tony in Analise's care. However, she brings Michael (David Cardy), her boyfriend, and they make love. Tony demands to play hide-and-seek with her. She does so, only to be knocked out by the clown and used as a kind of womb for the alien eggs. Tony sends a toy tank to kill Michael. He discovers Analise and runs away, but a puma kills him. The building keeper Mr. Knight (Arthur Whybrow) is also killed when Rachel asks him to watch Tony, as nobody answers the phone at home.

Sam and Rachel make love at the abandoned farm, but she gets afraid because his skin starts to bleed and decompose. Joe has taken Tony there. Sam and Tony go up a hill towards the alien light. Sam has now taken the form of an alien, and his scream kills Joe. Along with Tony, Sam enters the light and returns to the alien world. Rachel, afterwards sits down in the field where Tony and Sam left at. The next day, Rachel returns to her apartment, only to be seen full of eggs. She picks up an egg, only to be killed by the same creature that impregnated the woman in the cottage as her apartment doors slams behind her.

Alternate Ending[edit]

Director Harry Bromley Davenport originally intended the film to end with Rachel coming home to find the apartment filled with clones of Tony, having apparently come from the alien eggs which the real Tony had left in the refrigerator. But executive producer Robert Shaye, not thinking the scenes special effects were convincing enough, edited it out and released it for its New York debut with the film ending when Rachel sits down in the field after Sam and Tony have left. Davenport, however, not wanting to have it end on such an abrupt note, created another one which had Rachel going back to the apartment, picking up one of the eggs and being attacked by a face-grabbing creature similar to the one that attacked the woman in the cottage, and ultimately the film was released with this ending.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

The film was released theatrically in the United States by New Line Cinema in 1983.[1]

The film was released on DVD three times in the United States by Image Entertainment.[2] The first DVD of the film was released in 2005 as a double feature with sequel Xtro II: The Second Encounter. The second DVD was released in 2006 as a standalone release. The third DVD was released in 2007 and was a triple feature alongside Xtro II: The Second Encounter and Skeeter.

In Britain the entire Xtro trilogy was released in box-set, remastered anamorphic widescreen with 5.1 for Xtro II and an interview with director Harry Bromley Davenport covering the production of all three films. It has since then been out of print.

Critical reception[edit]

Allmovie called the movie "pure trash" that was "made to capitalize on public interest in E.T. the Extra Terrestrial" and "basically presents the gory, sexy exploitation-movie take on that film's 'alien visits Earth' premise."[3] RedLetterMedia praised Xtro during their Best of the Worst show after accidentally choosing it from a lineup of B movies they believed would be bad. It was praised for its screenwriting and use of props and special effects. Mike Stoklasa called it "a masterpiece" in the site's video review of the film in the context of many similar movies capitalising on the genre.[4]

Sequels[edit]

Director Harry Bromley Davenport made two sequels to the film, Xtro II: The Second Encounter and Xtro 3: Watch the Skies. Neither films had anything to do with the original film. In March 2011, Davenport confirmed that Xtro 4 was in the works.[5] Speaking to Fangoria.com, he stated:

“I am going to be starting XTRO 4 this summer; you are the first to receive this shattering news,” Davenport tells us. “A script by Daryl Haney is in the works, and my sales guys are salivating. It’s going to be a very odd movie indeed. Sort of back to the roots of the first one, but much stranger and, hopefully, more uncomfortable.”

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Company Credits for Xtro". imdb.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  2. ^ "Xtro". image-entertainment.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  3. ^ Donald Guarisco. "Xtro (1983)". Allmovie. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Best of the Worst: The Killer Eye, They Bite, and Xtro". RedLetterMedia. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Xtra! Xtra! "Xtro 4" is coming!". fangoria.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 

External links[edit]