Time for some crazy creature features as I take a look at the Decoys movies and Useless Humans.
It’s a Christmas teen alien horror romp. Yay! Another one for the holiday horror page.
It feels so good to travel back to the early 00s, which in retrospect is a time that now feels as innocent and comforting to me as the 80s.
Our cute leading man is a college boy who quickly notices there are a group of blonde girls that have a condition…big alien tentacles burst from their bellies when they have sex!
But not even his best buddy believes him, mostly because the dude is a virgin and girls with tentacles would really put him at even more of a disadvantage of getting laid.
After a big party, young college guys begin turning up dead. Actually they turn up frozen and looking all Ringed out like they got it on with Samara.
It’s up to our main cutie to outsmart all the blonde alien babes and figure out a way to kill them.
The tentacles men are forced to deep throat during sex are cool, the eventual reveal of the aliens is even cooler, and there’s plenty of humor here in this fun, comic take on Species. My only complaint is that considering it’s about alien babes taking over college boys’ bodies during sex, it should have been sexier with some nudity! And by that I mean male nudity, of course.
DECOYS 2 (2007)
Decoys 2 is one of those rare sequels that rehashes the simple plot of the original yet is a better movie. Amazingly, it was made three years later by a different director and still manages to bring back two of the leads from the first film.
The main guy is now a graduate student at the college, and assistant to his professor, played by Tobin Bell. And there’s a mini Saw reunion, with Dina Meyer as the main guy’s therapist.
He’s messed up because he’s suffering PTSD from the invasion…and he keeps seeing one of the original blonde alien girls around.
He knows his work is not done, but no one believes him.
This time the girls are targeting geeky horny dudes. There’s more sex and more boobs, yet still no male nudity).
There are also more girls in alien form, there’s a better college party feel with twangy sci-fi guitar rock, the action and pace are quicker, and the fact that a pack of geeks and babes forms to take on the alien babes is more fun.
USELESS HUMANS (2020)
There’s so much potential for this to be an infectious cabin in the woods alien comedy, but the humor somehow manages to be so on beat that it rarely works effectively.
The main dude gathers with his longtime friends at a cabin in the woods for his birthday. After we get to know them a bit, they encounter an alien and then spend the rest of the movie trying to avoid and/or defeat it.
I think kids might find this movie funny because they haven’t yet experienced this style of humor done better. It just feels very affected, almost as if it’s way too thought out and perfectly timed in its attempt to imitate other successful, quick-witted comedies (there’s even a That 70s Show pot circle scene). The comic rhythm ends up feeling oddly stiff and predictable, without any surprises to tickle your funny bone.
It’s almost like everyone tries too hard to hit the mark rather than just allow the shtick to come naturally. Comic pauses are exact. Music cues come in right on cue. And many jokes are instant overkill—for instance, a comic reaction that should be just one quick word or utterance is instead two, which immediately negates the “quick” in quick wit, causing the punch line to die a quick death.
It’s unfortunate, because Useless Human is well made and the silly alien action and playful alien costumes are fun. The dedicated cast is likable if not a bit too self-aware of being charismatic for the camera. I also felt the characters weren’t unique enough for any of them to stand out or add complementary contrast. In fact, the only character that could have done that is the first to die. Bummer.