Terminal Invasion (2002)

It’s almost enough to make you want to cry.

Here’s a SciFi Network movie from the days when they were still orthographically correct, which is as entertaining a “B” movie as you could ask for.  What’s more, it was even made specifically for the network and wasn’t — like some of their better offerings — a rebadged Indie film (after all, it does have commercial breaks edited right into it!).

…And then you stop and look at the dull, uninspired schlock they’re churning out now.


What makes this one so much better than Crocosaurus Meets Shartopus?  Well, for starters, we’ve got Bruce Campbell, who can liven up any “B” movie.  He’s a convicted murderer on his way to Death Row when the car carrying him slides off the road and the officers transporting him take shelter in the terminal of a local air charter service.

A lot of people have been stranded there by the storm.  Unfortunately, they aren’t all people

It’s a classic situation.  We have fear, hostility and suspicion as the passengers and staff get picked off one by one.

Innocent people get killed, unexpected characters turn out to be aliens, and who has the guns — and gets to give the orders — keeps changing.  All the while, the storm rages outside, the planes can’t fly, the radios won’t work, and the storm is too fierce for anyone without some serious training to make the fourteen mile trek to get help.

As I said, it’s a classic situation.

Let’s face it, the digital effects are so-so.  After all, it’s a TV movie.  But the creatures are still moderately good and we don’t see enough of them that we really get to see how bad they actually are.

That would help almost any “B” Movie.

There is also some rather strange editing effects which are quite jarring if you think of Terminal Invasion as a movie, but wouldn’t be quite so out of place in a TV show.

But I’m willing to ignore that, particularly in a film which turns moments of exposition into jokes; has the original discovery of the invasion hinge on a question of religious practice; gives us a startling John Carpenter moment which ends in a disaster portrayed in  the most absurdly minimal computer animation imaginable; and throws in an epically unexpected revelation which should have been obvious and yet is played so well that we accept it without question.

There is even a satisfying ending, complete with a redemptive arc for one of the characters.

It’s solid “B” entertainment as good as the TV movies  that SciFi’s parent corporation, USA, made once in a while (like High Desert Kill (1989)).  It’s a forgotten slice of Science Fiction goodness from the days when the SciFi Network still made good movies once in a while.


They don’t make them like that anymore.

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The Rivets Zone:  The Best SF Movies You’ve Never Seen!

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