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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Moby Presents: Alien Sex Party
Moby Presents: Alien Sex Party
Music Video Distributors // PG-13 // September 23, 2003
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by David Blair | posted September 10, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

Only techno music superstar Moby could produce a porn comedy that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside, as opposed to hot and sticky on the outside. Even he himself calls Alien Sex Party (formally titled Porn) the most wholesome porno-comedy ever made, which is largely true because there isn't one single sex scene in the entire film. That is unless you count the five seconds of footage showing two kitty cats getting their groove on, a sex scene. Alien Sex Party is harmless, cute, and full of crazy characters. Think of it as Clerks in an adult video store, because that's exactly what this movie is. In fact, director Paul Yates goes out of his way to make sure we all know this movie is similar to Clerks by having a fake cameo of Kevin Smith as Silent Bob, and a jaunt into the immortal convenience store where Dante (Brian O'Halloran) from Clerks is working behind the counter. The convenience store scene even switches to black and white so there's no mistaking the connection.

Like Clerks, there is really nothing here that can be called a plot. It's the day before Christmas, and Joe (Joe Smith) must tend to his newly inherited adult video store. Joe is terrified of his own merchandise, but must make the best of it ever since his sister died, leaving him the legal guardian of her 18-year-old daughter Grace (Grace Creech). The movie follows the day-to-day events of the store leading up to the appearance of the well-known porn star Dyanna Lauren who is coming for a late night autograph and movie signing session. We get to meet interesting characters like the store clerk Tina (Tina Carlucci) , whose sexual promiscuity causes controversy and heated debates with her ex-boyfriend Adam (Adam Sarner). We also meet two singing gay bodyguards who were hired for the guest signing, as well as some nerdy porn obsessed Trekkies, and countless other freaks that enter the store for some much needed KY Jelly. We meet a sexually frustrated suicide bomber who tries to take out the store because he can't become aroused, and a late night traveler who is in desperate need of non-pornographic Christmas gifts for his family.

Much of the script is centered on dialogue, so there's a lot of talking, but not nearly as much as in Clerks. This is a good thing because the jokes and punch lines are not nearly as witty as what's found in Kevin Smith's cult classic. Although the conversations in this move are funny, they're not for the faint hearted or conservative. Some of the topics include; the best way to give oral sex, having sex with animals, family incest isn't that bad, and how much money would you want in order to have sex with William Shatner. Though the conversations end up being much more lighthearted than you might first imagine, they are still intended for adults, so children should not be allowed to watch this movie. As in Clerks, the acting is wooden and lifeless, but that adds to its underground charm. Even though the acting is weak, this isn't a movie where you'll find yourself saying afterwards, "man those actors were horrible" mainly because the content is so funny.

It may come to no surprise that the music is fantastic as this is a Moby production. There are about three songs that will instantly become engraved in your memory, which may or may not be a good thing. Such as the extremely catchy tune of "You Can Have Sex With Anything You Want." But the musical laughs don't stop with the end of the movie, because in the special features section you can access several hilarious music videos that were created by Moby and his several aliases. My favorite was the German techno song "Schaumgummi" which has something to do with loving marshmallows. Funny stuff.

This is a move you'll either love or hate. If you liked Clerks, then you'll most likely like this porno take on the same premise. If you cringe at the sight or sound of certain sexual pleasing devices, then this movie is definitely not for you. But I will say one thing, seeing Moby make a cameo appearance wearing a certain rubber prosthetic cap is absolutely priceless and worth the price of admission right there.


The DVD

Video:
Alien Sex Party is presented in 1.33:1 full screen. This is probably the worst looking DVD I've ever seen. But given its almost assured shoestring budget, I'm not surprised. Pixelation is the biggest foe here, and man is it bad. You can practically count every pixel on the screen during certain scenes. The picture is also extremely grainy and scratchy. To get a taste of the picture quality, all you have to do is look at the back cover of the box and look at the still screenshots. That pretty much depicts an accurate glimpse of what the film looks like. But hey, it's a cheap movie about a porn store, so you can't expect too much out of it right?

Audio:
I was surprised to see that this movie came with a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. It's almost kind of a waste since most of the movie is composed of dialogue, but it does come in handy when the music kicks in. Naturally most of the audio stays up at the front three speakers, but the surrounds do get some attention for the many musical numbers. But I still didn't hear much of a difference between the 2.0 track and 5.1 tracks, so the 5.1 track really isn't as necessary as you might think. Dialogue can be heard easily most, but not all of the time. And the dialogue during the making of featurette in the special features section is atrociously hard to hear. But granted, it was still a huge improvement over the video transfer, so that's a positive.

Extras:
For a low budget independent release, Alien Sex Party actually has some fun extra features included with it, along with three Easter eggs that can be discovered in at least two different ways. Let's begin.

Director Commentary: This commentary is given by director/cinemetographer Paul Yates and actress Tina Carlucci. They cover a lot of the same topics in the Making of "Plain Brown Wrapper" featurette, and don't do as many scene by scene breakdowns as I like to see, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Bonus audio & slideshow: This feature allows you to listen to all the wonderful songs featured throughout the movie via a slow moving slideshow of behind the scene movie stills. Being able to choose which song you want to hear is a nice touch, but the limited slide show makes for some boring watching. They should have included more varying slides to include for the visual element of this special feature.

Making of "Plain Brown Wrapper": This is basically a making-of featurette for Alien Sex Party. This is the oddest making-of segment I've ever seen. The editing is all over the place as it makes bizarre jumps from one subject to the next, and back again to the last, but never finishing a conversation. The interviews with the actors are also strange. For instance director Paul Yates does a majority of his talking in the bubble filled bathtub then moves on to shaving, and Tina Carlucci is lying on the ground around sprawled Christmas lights in an American Beauty sort of way. The information is interesting but it does a lot of double coverage of what was already said in the director commentary. But I liked its weird fresh look, despite the fact that the audio was very hard to hear at times.

"Space Water Onion" by Paul Yates: This is an early short film by Paul Yates. He made this film in remembrance of his friends who drowned. The film is very artistic and strange. Shot entirely with scratchy black and white film and no audio, the movie pulls off a freaky Hitchcock style of scariness. The visuals are interesting on their own, but when they're joined with Moby's hypnotic score, it really takes on new meaning. Along with his music, Moby offers a small acting role in the films as well.

Music Videos: Here are several music videos made by Moby and friends. All of these are hilarious and worth a look. Some are so funny and catchy, they'll probably get frequent views, like the Germaneque "Schaumgummi" that is as funny to watch as it is to hear.

Easter eggs: With one quick run-through of the menus, I was able to find three Easter eggs. The first can be found on the main menu on the "24" calendar page posted on the back wall. Here you'll "Gerenuim 1986." This is another short film by Paul Yates that looks a lot like "Space Water Onion" in terms of presentation and feel.

The second Easter egg can be found in the music videos menu on the tip of Moby's rubber hat. This is a very short interview sequence where Moby describes a weird dream of his.

The third Easter egg can be found on the Bonus Audio menu on the "24" on the back wall. The feature is called "Shopwell: Live at the Yale Lock Factory Building 1987." This is a really strange early video make by Yates and his friends. Moby, along with everyone else, makes a lasting impression by smacking metal drums and various objects like strung out drug addicts on the roof of a building. The piece is extremely bizarre, and ends with a high-speed Moby going "pee pee" in the toilet. Odd, but strangely funny.

Just letting other features run their course after they're done can also access the Easter eggs. This could be a design flaw in the DVD, and might confuse those who were not expecting it to be there. They would then most likely be annoyed when they couldn't find it again when they actually went looking for it the second time.

Final Thoughts:
I liked this movie. It may not be as witty or groundbreaking as Clerks, but it has unusual charm that's all its own. If you can stand to see and hear conversations about the mass content that is found in an adult video store, than you should check this movie out. The abnormal collection of special features is also a selling point since it will either make you laugh out loud or scratch your head in bewilderment. Recommended

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