Dr. Alien [Grindhouse Collection] review

Retro sci-fi sex comedy proves a bitter pill to swallow on DVD

Director David DeCoteau throws together elements from Porky’s, Meatballs 2 and Weird Science with this uneven sex comedy about a nerdy freshman (Billy Jacoby) who is transformed into a babe magnet after being injected with ‘alien vitamins’ by mysterious new biology teacher Ms Zenobia (Judy Landers). The film’s first act - all pratfalls and comedy sound effects – feels more like a sit-com than a film - but things do get a little bit more interesting when the sci-fi elements start to kick in and it all ends up with a very silly shoot-out in a hideous New Wave nightclub.

Picture: The 1.37:1 transfer isn’t one of 88 Films’ best, being fairly soft and subject to some obvious colour bleed throughout. But, unless somebody ever invests in a thorough restoration of the source material (which would no doubt cost many times more than the film itself did to make) it’s also pretty difficult to imagine that we’ll ever see a better presentation.
Picture rating: 2/5

Audio: The accompanying Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack isn’t particularly noteworthy, being fairly limited in its ambitions. That said, the separation in the track is fairly good and ensures a reasonable clarity throughout – even when it all really heats up at the nightclub showdown.
Audio rating: 2.5/5

Extras: In addition to the usual collection of trailers and gallery of cover art, the DVD also includes an extra ‘bonus’ film. Auditions is a 1978 softcore exploitation flick masquerading as documentary that purports to show what happened when a bunch of people auditioned for a role in a fictional porn movie (hint: they get naked and have sex). It’s not exactly what you’d call a good film, but is notable for featuring a young Linnea Quigley in only her second big-screen role.
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: This awkward 1980s mix of sex and sci-fi is simply dumb and not much fun

88 Films, R0 DVD, £15 Approx, On sale now