Advertised as XTRO: WATCH THE SKIES, this cross between an alien horror film and a government cover-up thriller remains Earthbound in more ways than one.
Lt. Kirn (Sal Landi) meets with a reporter in a motel room and relates his story: He and a small group of soldiers were recently assigned to dispose of live ammo stored on a remote island that is now being used as a refueling station. There the team discovers human bones, an aged, raving wildman
(Virgil Frye), and a large concrete bunker. Investigating the structure, one of the soldiers disappears, and is later found dead.
More members of the group are found murdered, and the source is soon discovered: a dangerous alien creature. The surviving soldiers manage to imprison the alien in a cave. They then hear start hearing confusing reports of their "deaths" on a radio. Another group of soldiers arrive. Their mission
is to silence Kirn's team.
The remaining soldiers from both teams pool their resources and try to leave the island, only to find that their boat is gone. The old man then reveals to them that the bunker was once an operational lab in which an alien being, which had crashlanded on Earth in 1955, was vivisected. Its mate
lived on, and is the very creature imprisoned in the cave. The alien eventually escapes, killing more of the soldiers before leaving Earth in its spacecraft.
Kirn tells the reporter that only he and the old man got off the island alive. The latter disappeared as soon as they arrived home. Shortly thereafter, Kirn is grabbed from his room by military police, who frame him for the deaths of his comrades.
As an exercise in suspense, XTRO3 is lacking on a number of levels. The film never resolves its central implausibility: If the team has to be killed in order to keep the discovery of the alien a secret (a decision that itself is never explained), why doesn't the government just destroy the
evidence itself, namely the alien and its spaceship? And if said ship is still operational, as is revealed at the end, why hasn't the alien already used it to leave the Earth? These unanswered questions dilute the film's tension level, as does the fact that it takes over half an hour for the alien
to make its first appearance.
The opening sequence, featuring a newsreel about a 1955 sighting of the spaceship, is nicely done, but budgetary restrictions are evident throughout, especially in an uninspiring scene where military bigwig Robert Culp gives orders from a desk located in a dank, empty hangar. XTRO3 bears no story
relation to the previous two films, though all three were the work of the same director, Harry Bromley-Davenport.(Graphic violence, extreme profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: Advertised as XTRO: WATCH THE SKIES, this cross between an alien horror film and a government cover-up thriller remains Earthbound in more ways than one. Lt. Kirn (Sal Landi) meets with a reporter in a motel room and relates his story: He and a small grou… (more)