Australiens (2014) is an Australian sci-fi/action/comedy written and directed by Joe Bauer for ArtSpear Entertainment. Starring Rita Artmann, Doug Hatch, Tamara McLaughlin, Lawrence Silver, and Paul Adams.
Released in the US by Midnight Releasing.
At the age of 10, Australian-born Andi Gibson had what she describes as a close encounter with a flying saucer. 17 years later, an airborne extra-terrestrial armada launches a nation-wide assault on Andi’s home country. Bloody hell, this is gonna be a long night.
Not rated. 111 minutes. Watch the original trailer here …
Watch the 2016 release trailer (here).
My thoughts… Australiens is an “extraordinarily awesome” sci-fi/action/comedy! It’s like Jake West’s Evil Aliens, Aussie style, with unashamed nods to Independence Day, Mars Attacks, Men In Black, Aliens, and more! “It’s aliens versus Australians. Guess who’s gonna win?” You will! In fact, skip Independence Day: Resurgence in the theater and watch Australiens in your living room instead – you definitely won’t be disappointed!
10-year-old Andrea “Andi” Gibson believes in aliens. One night, she is visited by a flying saucer outside her house. 17 years later, Andi (Rita Artmann) is the singer of a struggling punk rock band called Titanium Turtle. One night, after a Titanium Turtle gig, flying saucers attack Australia. Only mainland Australia. Not even Tasmania. The aliens also kidnap Andi’s mum. Andi believes the aliens kidnapped her mum to get to her because, when Andi was 10, she was given “otherworldly cognitive powers” which the aliens now see as the biggest threat to their invasion. So Andi, her geeky extremely hypochondriac brother Elliot (Doug Hatch), her aspiring documentary filmmaker friend Cam (Tamara McLaughlin), her lunky dim-witted cousin Keith (Lawrence Silver), and her band’s drunken flute player John (Joe Bauer) set out to save Andi’s mum and, well, save Australia, too, since not even the Congo is offering to help the country stave off the alien invasion!
Australiens is fun. “Oodles and oodles” of fun. It’s an insanely entertaining B-movie with a funny script, wonderfully likable characters, exciting action sequences, and cool low-budget special effects! Australiens is all that despite being 20 minutes too long! However, those extra 20 minutes are needed for all the plot twists that are revealed, one after another, in the film’s climax! “Not so fast!”
Australiens, above all else, is funny. The film delivers an abundance of great lines as well as numerous running gags that never get tired. Those gags include Andi’s obsessive belief that she has been given “otherworldly cognitive powers” by an encounter with a flying saucer, Andi’s disdain for the island state of Tasmania which is partly because rival punk band Tasmaniax was recently named “best new band” even though “they’ve been around for 17 freaking years!”, Keith’s boast about being a successful boxer in his youth with “6 consecutive titles over a period of 14 years!”, Keith’s problem of puking on Cam whenever he gets disgusted, John’s near-deaths, and more. However, the best running gag is Andi, Elliot, Cam, and Keith’s inability to see that John, early on, has clearly been replaced by an alien!
Australiens works, despite the excessive run time, because of its delightful cast of characters portrayed with zest by talented actors. Andi, played by Rita Artmann, is my favorite! Andi is feisty, fearless, a little bit crazy, and a whole lot of adorable! Andi’s smile, adorned by her perpetually glistening red lips, is amazing! Cam, played by Tamara McLaughlin, is adorable, too! Oh, and is it just me or does Caroline Bell, who plays Andi’s mum Kylie, look like the long lost Aussie sister of American actress Gena Gershon? Oh yeah, the guys are terrific as well!
Finally, I love the songs “Tasmania Nobrainia” and “Mainland of Oz” that are used on the soundtrack! “Tasmania Nobrainia”, a punk rocker, is played over the “suiting-up” montage. Andi asks her dad Dennis (Paul Adams) if he has any adrenaline-pumping music. “I have some… Tasmaniax,” he replies much to her dismay as he pulls a CD out of nowhere. “You’re not my father,” she adds, bitterly. “Mainland of Oz”, a catchy power popper, is played over the end credits. Both songs are performed by Claire Seabrook and director/writer Joe Bauer.
Australiens is easily the best movie I’ve seen this year (this week)! I watched it for free on Amazon Prime but, if I see the DVD on the shelves at my local Wal-Mart, I’m buying it – whatever the price! Then, I’ll watch it again, followed by fellow Aussie Daniel Armstrong’s equally awesome MurderDrome!
Next up, I must find Joe Bauer’s slasher parody The Killage!