Back of the box...
“Sam Phillips, an ordinary family man, disappears from home one night without a trace. Only his young son, Tony, witnesses the strange and terrifying departure amidst brilliant white lights. Rachel, Sam’s young wife, struggles to restore their once tranquil life, but her efforts are plagued by Tony’s recurring nightmares about his father’s mysterious disappearance. Lately, Tony has been dreaming something else—that his father has come home.
Suddenly Sam appears on their doorstep, with no explanation and seemingly no memory of where he has been. But Sam’s family knows that he has changed. His secret is soon revealed as his once human body begins to deteriorate revealing a hideous alien form within. Sam has returned from a distant galaxy to claim his son for his new homeland. He must act quickly before he is discovered. His mission is to implant the millions of microscopic larvae within his blood into living hosts on Earth, thus spreading the seed of his new planet.
As those around him gradually discover his horrifying secret, they make every effort to stop him, but it is too late.”
Director: Harry Bromley Davenport
Starring: Philip Sayer, Bernice Stegers, Danny Braini
Watch the Trailer
After throwing a stick and tearing a hole in the sky, Sam is sucked through a portal while his son, Tony, watches. This is the opening scene of Xtro and it only gets weirder. We then skip to three years later when Sam returns home but he’s not the Sam we all came to know and love in those 20 character-developing seconds prior. He’s back with otherworldly powers and may or may not have sinister plans, but his estranged wife is going to get to the bottom of it. Xtro features lots of unique gore effects throughout a surprisingly interesting story with toys that come to life, a teenage girl who lays eggs, and a woman that gives birth to a full grown man.
From what we’ve read about it, Xtro was panned upon its release with reviews criticizing it’s nihilistic tone and grotesque effects. Roger Ebert referred to Xtro as “an ugly, mean-spirited and despairing thriller that left me thoroughly depressed.” Despite such a terrible reception, the movie still managed to get two sequels and now enjoys a much deserved cult status. That’s right Xtro, those reviews can’t hurt you anymore.
We first learned of this movie from an episode of Red Letter Media’s Best of the Worst where they apparently enjoyed it so much that in later episodes a framed Xtro poster can be seen in the background. We also learned that Cinema Snob had reviewed the movie but his is less praise and more ripping the movie apart, which is also fun. In our opinion, whether you’re by yourself with the lights out or throwing popcorn at the screen with friends, you’ll have a great time watching Xtro.
Siskel probably liked it.