Xtro (1982)

xtro poster 1982 horror movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Weird tone of the movie, so-bad-it-is-good

Story just seems all over the place and the alien only appears briefly in its natural form

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Xtro

Studio:   Amalgamated Film Enterprises

Genre(s):   Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):   December 6, 1982

MPAA Rating:   R

xtro alien monster 1982

Cool alien…can’t wait to watch a movie where this alien tears stuff up!!!

Tony Phillips (Simon Nash) is a boy who misses his father.  When Sam (Philip Sayer) disappeared in a strange flash of light, no one believed Tony.  Now three years later, Sam has returned, but it isn’t the Sam that Tony remembers.  Sam is now an alien creature and he’s recruited Tony to his side.  Tony’s mother Rachel (Bernice Stegers) and her new boyfriend Joe (Danny Brainin) are about to discover the secret that Tony and his father are hiding…and it could be deadly.

Directed by Harry Bromley Davenport (who also helped pen the screenplay), Xtro is a sci-fi horror B-Movie.  The film was critically panned upon its release but gained a cult following over the years.

xtro toy clown tony simon nash

…wait, what just happened? Where’s the cool monster?

I never saw Xtro growing up but remember the cover with a boy and a wide mouthed alien lurking behind him.  The movie just looked cheesy and I could never “lower” myself to see it (despite seeing tons of other bad horror films).  With a few sequels, I decided to give Xtro a chance…it definitely lived up to its poster, but also has a weird goofy charm to it.

The movie feels like a dubbed foreign film, but it was shot in England.  The whole tone and pacing of the movie feels completely off.  The storyline of the movie also is all over the place.  It isn’t a simple alien invasion or pod people type story, but it has a lot of those similar story feel to all those type movies.  The movie really hits the “weird” wall when the kid is flipped to being an alien and his toys(?) come alive and start to murder people…there doesn’t seem to be much logic to anything that happens.

xtro tony kills babysitter maryam dabo simon nash

She’s a pretty good babysitter…and she tastes good too

The cast is ho-hum.  No one feels completely committed to the movie and that often hurts a film as weird and odd ball as this movie.  The movie is the film premiere of Maryam d’Abo who went on to be a Bond girl in The Living Daylights in 1987.

Despite being low-budget, some of the visuals for the movie work.  The alien monster at the beginning is pretty horrifying (and I wish it had remained in the film).  The movie instead goes for less technical and more gross-out effects with Tony’s toys doing many of the murders which isn’t as fun.

Xtro is an odd film.  It isn’t good, but it does drift into so-bad-it-is-good territory.  If you are fan of horror it is worth checking out (if you’ve gone through all the good stuff).  The popularity of the film did end up leading to a sequel.  Xtro was followed by Xtro 2:  The Second Encounter in 1990.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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