Tuesday, 27 October 2009

"V" (1983)


Writer/Dir: Kenneth Johnson ("Alien Nation", "JAG")
Cast: Marc Singer, Faye Grant, Jane Badler, Michael Wright, Evan Kim, Richard Herd, Robert Englund
USA, 1983 (TV)

Originally Seen: At home, sometime in the 80's
Revisited: October 24, 2009 on VHS! (197 minute Miniseries Part I & II)

Reason to see: Revisiting it for It Used to Scare Me Tuesdays

Whelp, I'm kinda cheating on this one as for the first time ever this is review of a TV Miniseries (197 minutes for Part I & II) and not an actual film. And, yes, I also wanted to revisit it for the upcoming TV series remake. BUT! It did used to scare me. And it is Tuesday. And I re-watched it just to review it. So.. that's enough, no?

Memories of the first viewing of "V" is a little foggy, and no doubt mixed in with the 80's TV series as well. I know it's foggy as I clearly remember some scenes and actors (Michael Ironside!) that weren't in this 2 Part Miniseries. But, putting that aside I still got a total kick out of revisiting it because now especially when I saw the obvious historical comments which I'm sure flew over my head the first time. I also loved it because it made me feel so nostalgic, as it was something that at home we all watched together. Yes, that is when the family would come together to sit down and watch TV together - for science fiction. Love that!

Seeing it this time round I was surprized at how few of the actors I recognized, except of course Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer) in a small but memorable role, but that added some mystery to it not knowing who would end up with who, or even who would make it to the end. Although we are bombarded by 80s fashion and technology, it isn't so distracting to stand out like a sore thumb as much as it can in other films. It actually gave it quite a cohesive feel in many respects as it was commented on and the differences between the two groups were often pointed out.

Although on the surface the film is a tale of aliens coming to Earth, the heart of the miniseries is really in examining freedom and the human spirit, which is a great theme for science fiction. It also questions morals, looks at the the pursuit of power and greed along with giving us great characters to latch onto along the way.

But, was it scary? Yes. What I remember previously that scared me was definitely the effects and they for the most part these practical effects hold up the test of time. But the effects are paired well with the idea behind the effects that strengthen the story and our perception, which makes them even better. Even moreso than the effects this time round, and like Dune, it was the ideas and concepts that are presented in general that are scary.

Now I'm all revved up to see the new miniseries started in November 2009!

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it to SciFi fans, especially if you enjoy aliens-among-us stories

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009


Francisco Gonzalez said...

I remember watching this one when it originally aired way back in 1984! It was such an event!

And its true, I remember my family gathering to see this series, everyone wanted to know how it was going to end. I remember it glueing everybody to their seats!

I wouldnt mind revisiting this one now...Im gonna check if its on DVD!

Suzie Ridler said...

Interesting! So you still found it kind of scary Shannon? Because of its ideas. Fascinating. I am impressed you remembered it at all, I have a hard time remembering the details but do remember us all gathering to watch it which is one of the reasons I remember V fondly. Very cool.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I would hope they've re-released it on DVD especially with the new series coming up! And yes - I do remember it being quite the nailbiter in the wait to find out what would happen next!

I did still find it scary Suzie, even the effects... It's one of those ones where it's the concept behind the effect freaked me out. And we did all watch it together, which was totally cool :)

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