DVD Review: “Inalienable”
Released By: Anchor Bay
Release Date: January 26, 2010
Number of Discs: 1
Approximate Running Time: 106 Minutes
Special Features: Trailer
Suggested Price: $19.97
A male research scientist is impregnated with an alien embryo and gives “birth” to a human / alien hybrid. The US government imprisons the pair for testing until a lawyer who specializes in eccentric cases brings the matter to trial. Now a court must decide if the creature is human and what rights it possesses under the law.
The Fanboy Factor:
Science fiction conventions can be a dangerous thing! Put a group of genre actors together who are past their collective primes and almost anything can happen. Sometimes the results can be moderately entertaining and other times, well you get films like this one.
Inalienable stars a haggard looking Richard (Battlestar Galactica) Hatch as the unlucky scientist. His boss, played by a haggard looking Walter (Star Trek) Koenig, is a complete jerk. He feels responsible for the deaths of his wife and son in an automobile accident where he was driving. Now, he somehow gets impregnated by some kind of alien that crash lands on Earth in a meteor fragment (all this takes place off screen with alien being represented by two spider-like legs sticking out of a duffle bag!).
On the plus side, Hatch has an attractive young co-worker, Courtney Peldon, with the hots for him. He barely notices her until after his close encounter but then they manage to pack three months worth of dating all into one night. Fortunately for Hatch, Peldon’s character is that rare woman with brains, beauty, a strong stomach and the ability to carry on a relationship with only minimal participation from the other party.
Once the intergalactic stork delivers his little bundle of joy, Hatch is immediately set upon by the evil government and he and junior are locked away for study. To help progress the plot, Peldon, who knows everything up to this point, is merely kicked to the curb and Koenig is brought in to supervise the testing even though his exact skill set, aside from being a major pain, is never made clear. After word leaks out about the existence of an actual alien and the ensuing government cover-up is exposed, the stage shifts to the court room for the final portion of the film.
A haggard looking Marina (Star Trek: The Next Generation) Sirtis tries to liven up the last act as a scenery chewing, and eventually bible spewing, attorney for the government. The trial centers on whether a creature with 12% human DNA is actually a human being or not and if it has any civil rights. While Hatch pleads valiantly for the release of his “son”, no one ever seems to question if he is capable, after his previous emotional damage, of being a parent at all, let alone raising a child that is physiologically unlike anything else on Earth. A last minute wrap-up courtesy of an underdeveloped wacko character gives the film a convenient end without ever having to actually hash out any answers to the difficult questions.
Like most modern productions, Inalienable looks and sounds fine. The majority of the action is set bound and takes place in dark areas but most of the detail is still evident. Anchor Bay provides almost no extras on this disc aside from a lonely trailer that makes the film look more promising than what is actually delivered. A feature length commentary by Walter Koenig, who also wrote the screenplay, is conspicuously absent.
The Bottom Line:
Aside from the novelty of actors who haven’t been up to much in a while and a story written by a cast member from the original Star Trek television series, Inalienable has little to offer. The tag line on the DVD box states this is “From the mind of Walter Koenig”. Actually this is from an amalgamation of several other science fiction plots, including Larry Cohen’s Island of the Alive, to which this film owes a tremendous debt. Unless you enjoy the feeling of being in the guest area of a large science fiction convention, save your money on Inalienable.