Exile (2009) is a fantastic independent feature from Mike Conway and his Midnight Sun Entertainment studios. The reason for this review is not only to just comment on my thoughts on the film but also (since he was so kind to give me a free copy) to help him promote the film and get it noticed. If we, as true blooded fans of horror and science fiction, want to keep GOOD movies alive then we need to stand together and get the word out there.
So with that being said, here's a little bit about the movie itself. The story is solid. At first glance the 'movie summary' is a little off putting because it is so outlandish. But for me that makes it all the better and besides it's sci-fi. So what happens is in the beginning we are introduced into the world (well worlds) of Exile. Three planets. One is populated with people and rich with resources, one is desolate but populated with a strong people, and the third is in the middle as a neutral planet that is really just a big piece of nothing. The no fly zone. After the introduction the action begins. A ship is flying through space and is attacked by the opposite side. Well unfortunately it crashes on the barrain planet and the pilot is blinded in the crash. (Wonderful twist) The rest of the story unfolds from there. Alien creatures that call this planet home come out of their homes to eat every soldier they come into contact with. The blind pilot stumbles upon a female android. The beautiful thing here is that she must have human contact in order for her cells to recharge. With this they build a symbiotic relationship with one another. She sees for him and he's there for her to recharge.
When you watch this (I know you will because its so awesome) you want to keep in mind that this guy's budget was only something in the $35,000 range. And he makes very good use with it. I was especially blown away with the alien creature. That thing looked really hideous and hungry. There's also a good blend of CGI and practical effects to really give it life. And speaking of CGI, this movie can give the Sci-Fi (oops sorry, SyFy) channel a run for its money. The space effects were fantastic. I was all set on this having bad effects but I was really surprised at how well done they were. There were a couple of times that I really wish there wasn't so much CGI (mostly the planet scenes) but it wasn't horrible. And it wasn't for a long time.
What makes this movie different from a lot of movies these days is that this movie has a lot of HEART. You can really tell that a lot of blood and sweat (probably some guts too) went into making this movie. He took out a loan on his house, he did a lot of the post production himself (editing and after effects), the entire musical score was done himself. I really admire that in a filmmaker. It's something that's lost with movies today. It really does show and its something that makes you look past the cheesy effects and (really not so) bad acting.