Directed by: John Suits
Written by: Edward Drake & Corey Large
Starring: Cody Kearsley, Rachel Nichols, Thomas Jane, Johnny Messner & Bruce Willis
Running time: 92mins
BBFC Classification: 15
Well this was a lot of gory, barmy, sci-fi, horror fun!
No one could be blamed for giving up on Bruce Willis in recent years as he’s descended into churning our B-movie after B-movie (nothing wrong with B-movies but he’s presumably just racking up the paycheques!), barely even in many of these movies for 15 minutes and barely bothering to even phone in a performance. So, this latest effort, featuring him all over the trailer and artwork doesn’t exactly inspire hope but hang on, this is a fun flick and Willis is actually in it, in a substantial role, and even (mostly) tries! Kind of!
Opening with some eerily relevant footage of riots and a virus ravaging the earth but set in 2242, Anti-Life sees the surviving humans boarding huge transport ships to traverse the galaxy in order to set up home on New Earth. On these interstellar arks, thousands of humans are stored in cryo to make the journey across space while a few mechanics, janitors and security personal remain awake to make sure the ship reaches its destination. Noah (Kersley) has sneaked aboard to be with his cryo frozen wife and falls in with the janitor crew to pay his way. Yet, no sooner has the ship taken off and Noah has got used to working with the cantankerous, moonshine-swilling Clay (Willis) than an alien parasite begins infesting the crew, turning them into rabid space-zombies, resulting in all hell breaking loose in space.
Feeling like it’s been beamed straight from the 90s VHS video heyday of when schlocky sci-fiers about mutant aliens pestering space-ship crews were a dime-a-dozen, Anti-Life (which also goes by the title Breach) is a welcome reminder of those fun, unpretentious, B-movie flicks. A sort of blue-collar worker sci-fi flick mixed with a gory alien horror, Anti-Life (despite its limited budget and what looks like the repeat use of the same few hallways to give the impression of a giant spaceship!) delivers plenty of action, gory-gooey effects and even a few laughs. While Willis is far from his former screen presence (and seems to be cashing in on his old personas and one-liners! Ugh!), he’s at least actually in this one and seems to be having fun as the booze swilling, flame-thrower wielding loudmouth. He’s backed by up genre stalwarts Johnny Messner, Callan Mulvey, the ace Rachel Nichols (who really should have been the lead!) and the always welcome Thomas Jane (though his part is barely more than a cameo!).
Sure, it’s a little rough around the edges, the pacing could have been a bit tighter and it’s all fairly derivative but with a game cast, some great gooey practical effects and come the finale, full on monster madness, Anti-Life is a lot of sci-fi horror fun.
Signature Entertainment releases Anti-Life in the UK on Digital Platforms 12th February and DVD 15th February.