ALF Reviews: Project: ALF (Part 3)

Jesus Christ, three weeks later and this movie is still on?

Well, let’s recap the story so far: Martin Sheen’s mom killed herself, so ALF had to leave the Alien Task Force Base. He jumped on a bed, went to a strip club, and rapped.

…did I miss anything? No. I did not.

Let’s continue.

We open the final stretch with ALF sassing a robot and eating a lot and basically being unable to shut the fuck up for two seconds.

He talks to Dexter Moyers about space just enough to make it clear that we aren’t actually going to hear anything about space. Instead ALF sneezes and burps. No joke, this fuckball has burped more often than he ever said “I kill me.”

I don’t know why it took me so long to notice it, but he burped all the fucking time in the show. Every so often I’d point it out in a review because it was positioned as a particularly weird punchline, but it happened way more than I mentioned it. Dickbag here burped and burped and burped. Sometimes when it had something to do with what was happening, usually not. He’d just burp. Once he actually burped over the end credits, when we were just seeing clips of the episode and he wasn’t even “there.”

ALF burps a God damned lot, guys. If you ever get really bored and read over my reviews again, just imagine him burping in every screenshot and you’ll have some small idea of what I’ve gone through.

Anyway burp, burp, burp, burp, burp, burp. Hope that answers your questions about space, guy who’s saving my life.

The conversation quickly shifts to how badly ALF wants to fuck Moyers’ assistant. He even jokes about having violent anal sex with her right there at the table, because that’s what Project: ALF is.

Dexter Moyers reveals that he designed his robot himself, which didn’t really register as a reveal to me at all. Who else would have designed it? Sgt. Rhomboid? The trucker who listens to people fuck at the motel? The ladies at the strip club? There are only so many characters in this movie. Of course it was Moyers.

Jensen Daggett is super impressed by this…and also the fact that he cooks and cleans. That’s not that impressive, is it? I guess all the men she meets on Tinder just live in vats of their own filth.

Anyway, the guy sitting next to her is like, “Dexter Moyers ain’t so great,” so she snaps at him. And she really sells that snap.

Project: ALF

Damn. Mess with the Jensen and you get the Daggett.

This guy, whoever he is, wants to know why NASA shitcanned Dexter Moyers if he’s such a hotshot who can build robots and do laundry.

So Dexter Moyers spills some backstory. I don’t think it’s supposed to be a joke, though, because it’s not about his mother hanging herself. He talks about how he saw a UFO once while he was on the job, and NASA wanted to cover it up. So, y’know, they fired him.

Well, that’s a disappointingly unjuicy story. It doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t know already, so why the recap? Did Paul Fusco know I’d eventually be covering this in three separate parts? And, man, judging from his massive house and robot slave he got a fat pension out of the deal, too. Now he just gets to sit around being rich, studying what he loves, and never having to work a day in his life, so what exactly was the problem here?

Anyway, ALF is bored of that story, so he asks the Russian girl if she’d ever date outside of her species. She replies, “It wouldn’t be the first time,” which I guess implies that she fucked her dog or something. Because this is what Project: ALF is.

Dexter Moyers says they should totally “go public” with ALF, and there are some meta jokes about how there could be ALF dolls in toystores and merchandise everywhere. Well, they’re supposed to be meta jokes. In actuality I can assure you that there was jack shit with ALF’s face on it by 1996.

This whole bit is supposed to be some kind of cheeky nod to the fact that you could go out and buy that great merchandise right now. Which, clearly, you couldn’t, and it just shows that Paul Fusco’s mind really is stuck in 1988.

Project: ALF

That night ALF sneaks into this guy’s room and beats him off under the covers for a while. In return the guy teaches ALF to use a computer, because his expansive knowledge of using it for video production (“Don’t it Make Your Brown Eyes Blue?”), ratings fraud (“Prime Time”), and stock trading (“We’re in the Money”) apparently didn’t prepare him for sending an email.

ALF needs to contact his Alien Task Force connection over the internet to ask for more supplies, which is weird because he’s with four adults who can come and go at will and pick him up anything he needs, but Project: ALF retains the sitcom’s commitment to first drafts. Also, why isn’t this guy saying no? The last time ALF contacted the Alien Task Force they had to flee and get Ray Walston shanked in a prison shower. Why is he helping him do it now?

Anyway, most of the stuff on his shopping list is sexy clothing he wants the Russian woman to wear and food he wants to lick off of her, because this is what Project: ALF is.

Whoever this guy is dicks around on the computer for a while, and he finds MyEvilPlanToExposeAndFuckOverALF.docx on the desktop. As soon as he opens it, though, Dexter Moyers appears and presses the Enter key, which, as you all know, immediately closes all active windows.

Project: ALF

Dexter Moyers is like, “Don’t worry about that document.” But unfortunately they do, so the movie doesn’t end right here. Whoever the other guy is gets up and leaves. I envy him.

Then ALF and Dexter Moyers sit around talking about ALF’s shopping list. Seriously, think about all the kids in 1996 who were excited to see ALF back on TV, and they tuned in just to see him talking to some guy they’ve never seen before about what he wants to buy on Amazon. What a waste of everyone’s time this movie was.

ALF jokes for a while longer about wanting to fuck that Russian lady. Dexter Moyers is cool with that because he’s got cameras anywhere and Slutload would go wild for that shit.

While they fritter away the rest of their lives in that pointless scene, the other guy sneaks into Jensen Daggett’s room to ask for a sock he can sniff or anything because, man, he just needs something tonight.

Project: ALF

Dexter Moyers pops in because this is the only stretch of the movie he’s in, so he might as well make it count.

This pisses off the other guy, whoever he is. Then he and Dexter Moyers just kind of stand there in the middle of her room and stare at each other for a while.

It’s…weird, and staged really oddly.

Like, I honestly do think the movie was short so they just spliced in some raw footage of these two standing around. It feels less like they’re acting than it does like they’re waiting for the scene to be re-blocked.

Jensen Daggett kicks the guy who isn’t Dexter Moyers out of the room. She says, “Since you clearly can’t take a hint, go back to your own bed. I’m about to be plowed by the guy you hate.”

Then he makes the exact face that every guy makes when he realizes he’s whiffed his one shot with Jensen Daggett.

Project: ALF

Dexter Moyers says, “Can you believe that jerk? What a jerk, that jerk.”

Then Jensen Daggett asks for reassurance that they’re doing the right thing, but she means with ALF, not anal.

Dexter Moyers replies in a way that makes it very clear that he’s a lame villain in a TV movie and not anything resembling a human being. He stops just short of saying, “Of course we’re not. Why would I ever do the right thing? Pay attention to the music cues. I’m the bad guy, and we’re going down in flames.”

Project: ALF

The next morning, Martin Sheen sniffs a tuft of ALF’s pubes.

That’s it. That’s literally all that happens.

Great scene, guys.

Like, come on. They have a legitimate star in their movie but they can’t think of anything to give him to do. They really can’t tell Sheen from shinola.

After that we’re back at stately Moyer Manor, where it’s revealed that that other guy ran away in the middle of the night. Everyone else sits around saying, “Damn, we never even found out why he was in this movie.”

Then Dexter Moyers is in a tizzy, because the plan is to reveal ALF to the public on live television today…on, for some reason I’ll never understand, a station based in London.

You’d think this was just some excuse to get ALF to England for the movie, as that might have led to a fun plot and convenient misunderstandings and a new environment for ALF to kick around in, but it would also take effort, so fuck that; they’re interviewing him via satellite.

So, from a narrative standpoint, why not just have ALF be interviewed on a TV station based out of Arizona or wherever the shit they are? I don’t understand why it’s some unnamed British broadcasting corporation. Literally any outlet based anywhere would have worked for the sake of the plot, and logistically there’s no reason not to film this locally.

I guess the whole thing needs to be a satellite hookup so that things can go wrong when ALF has to take a gigantic shit — spoiler alert, I guess — so this is what we’re stuck with. If it were me I probably would have written a second draft that addressed these issues, but what do I know.

Anyway, whoever that other guy is calls the Alien Task Force from a diner and Martin Sheen traces it. Who cares.

Project: ALF

A bunch of production guys run around the house getting ALF ready to appear on TV. Since we’re doing the whole “last-minute preparations” thing, I have even less of an idea why they’re not in a news studio somewhere. This satellite linkup thing…I don’t get it.

Seriously, it’s odd. Dexter Moyers has TV-quality production and broadcasting equipment, and a fucking soundstage with studio lighting rigs, in his house. Why? Because narratively speaking, ALF is about to appear on TV. I get that.

But then why isn’t this taking place in Local Channel 6 studios? Why are we still in Moyers’ own fucking house? You’re telling a story about ALF being in a TV studio, so why is he not in a TV studio?

I can’t express how odd this is. Yes, Moyers has a big house, but he doesn’t live in The Situation Room. Why is this all happening here?

All these assholes bumbling around fixing ALF’s hair and makeup also makes me…miss the sitcom?

Nah…no…that can’t be. But the sitcom was smarter about this, at least.

See, one thing I liked about the show (one of…two things?) was that when people met ALF, they by and large had believable reactions. After all, he’s a hideous space beast, the likes of which they’ve never imagined. So the show had characters faint, scream, flee, doubt their vision, go insane, stop dead in their tracks, try to kill him, fall over dead…

…no two reactions were exactly the same. Okay, sometimes characters just shrugged and got on with their lives, so I don’t want to give the show too much credit, but in Project: ALF we keep meeting people who immediately engage with the alien and don’t seem to be fazed at all.

Which is weird. And kind of dumb. It’s like Paul Fusco remembered that ALF was supposed to be kept secret — hence the entire plot of this movie — but somehow didn’t remember why.

Anyway, we pad out the scene a lot more by having ALF make jokes about Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Bill Cosby, and Gerard Depardieu. If the thing you enjoy most about ALF is hearing him say the names of people you recognize, boy howdy is this the film for you.

Project: ALF

Then this other guy is in the diner and declines a coffee refill. Riveting stuff. I was totally convinced he was going to let the waitress top him off. Then Martin Sheen and his assistant come in and arrest him.

There’s actually a good physical moment here when this guy salutes Martin Sheen, and Martin Sheen instead offers his hand to shake. It gives you the sense that he’s going to pretend he’s friendly so that he can manipulate the guy into turning ALF over or something…but once they clasp hands the assistant cuffs him.

It’s not funny or anything, and I’m not sure it’s even trying to be, but it’s a nice physical bit, and they make it look pretty natural. Also nobody talks, so it’s instantly the best scene in Project: ALF.

Project: ALF

Back at Moyerton Abbey, Jensen Daggett wears an open shirt that made men out of many boys in the audience that day.

It turns out she confronted Dexter Moyers because she overheard his goons talking about Project: Ruin ALF’s Life, and wants to know if it’s a good or an evil thing that he’s planning.

He grabs her by the arm and walks her down the hallway, presumably toward his underground pit of smoking acid. She then, finally, suspects that Dexter Moyers’ motives might not be pure, after she finds a stack of drawings Dexter did of himself murdering ALF, a manuscript entitled How I Intend to Destroy ALF, the Alien, Who is in the Other Room: a Completely True Confession by Dexter Moyers, and an inspirational poster of a kitten hanging from a branch that says OPEN YOUR EYES BIMBO.

But by this point it’s too late!

Dexter Moyers has one of his goons toss Jensen Daggett in a room. Then he walks away, secure in the knowledge that the bad guy always succeeds after turning his back on whoever just learned of his nefarious plan in the last 15 minutes of a shitty film.

Project: ALF

Outside Cadillac Jack’s diner (slogan: “I’m Cadillac Jack!”) we get a twist.

This guy, whoever he is, knew Martin Sheen was listening in on every line in every city in every country. He placed that call so that he would be found and arrested and tazed and humiliated and have his genitals pounded into mush by military truncheons.

See, he has his own plan: he wants to use Martin Sheen to stop Dexter Moyers!

So whoever this guy is promises to tell Martin Sheen where ALF is, if he promises not to hurt Jensen Daggett and also tell her that he’s really cool and handsome and they’re a lot alike actually and should totally hang out sometime.

Boy, things are sure building to a head, aren’t they?

Oh…they’re not?

Well, fuck you, the movie’s ending anyway.

Project: ALF

Back at Moyers’ place, ALF gets ready for his English audience debut with the most legal pipe any ALF cast member has ever smoked.

Moyers says, “What do you think this is? A comedy? I don’t hear any laughing dead people. Do you?” He then takes the props away because that will kill another few seconds of screentime.

ALF makes some jokes about people wiping their asses on their shower curtains and how gross it is when women bleed out of their hoo-haws. Gee…how could anyone think his shtick got old?

Also at some point he says, “Just walk away, Renee,” which is the name of a song and has nothing to do with anything that’s happening, and that’s close enough to a joke for Paul Fusco.

Through this whole thing the Russian lady keeps acting like she can’t wait to get his alien dick in her mouth…and, you know what?

I believe it.

I guess they cast the right woman for this role after all. She literally cannot speak a word of English without having to re-dub it later, but she looks at ALF with genuine lust, so we see exactly where the casting director’s priorities were.

Project: ALF

Then Dexter Moyers gets ready for his interview, and the host is dressed like Larry King. Like…so much so that I assume it’s deliberate. Which at last explains the English connection. Yes. Famous British icon Larry King.

Sir Larry asks Dexter Moyers what the fuck they’re going to talk about in the interview.

He doesn’t know? They’re going on the air in like 15 seconds. This guy really needs to fire whomever screens his fucking guests.

Dexter Moyers says it’s a surprise, which is exactly how live television works always.

After that we cut to Jensen Daggett sitting on the bed watching TV, and it’s almost as exciting as that time that guy almost got his coffee refilled but didn’t.

And, man, where can you possibly go after that? I can’t imagine anything that would live up to the sights we’ve seen. I mean, not unless it’s a Russian lady pouring orange juice while ALF burps, but how could…

Project: ALF



The Russian lady pours orange juice while ALF burps. Then ALF remembers that other really gross thing he does a lot, and tells her he needs to take a gigantic shit.

And, yes, the climax of the film does actually hinge on the severity of ALF’s bowel movement. Did you really expect anything less by this point?

The Russian lady tells him he can’t go take a shit (…for…some reason?) and chases him, but he runs into the bathroom anyway. Which is by far the most polite thing ALF’s ever done when he had to take a shit, so she shouldn’t really get mad at him.

Project: ALF

Larry King’s Cross cuts to commercial — which narrows down a bit which channel they’re on, unless Fusco & co. didn’t realize that British programs are financed differently from American onces — just in time for Dexter Moyers to be informed that ALF is taking the mother of all shits and isn’t ready to be on the show.

Oh, ALF! Will you never learn to control your sphincter?

Dexter Moyers yells at the guy who told him this. But what was Dexter Moyers doing this whole time? Sitting in a chair assuming everything would go perfectly during a live television broadcast? For someone with a plan of monumental evil, he sure didn’t put any effort into executing it whatsoever.

It would be like if I ordered some idiots to conquer the world for me or something, and then I sat in a lawnchair all weekend and was surprised when it didn’t happen. Like…I don’t care how high up the chain you think you are. You do need to do something as a villain.

I dunno. Maybe his villainous plan is just to waste some British audience’s time. It seemed to work pretty well for Paul Fusco and American audiences.

Anyway the guy Dexter Moyers yelled at runs to the bathroom ALF is in. He shoves the Russian lady out of the way so he can yell at ALF through the bathroom door and be casually violent toward a woman in the same scene.

Project: ALF

After the commercial break, Dexter Moyers has to stall for time and say ALF is in the studio, but not ready to appear. And, man, I bet you sure wish you filmed some footage ahead of time for this feature instead of just hoping everything would work out perfectly on live television. Or at least taken some pictures to show.

Like, don’t get me wrong, this guy is trying to ruin ALF’s life forever and profit from it, which was kind of my intention with this whole review series, so I’m on his side. But he really did not plan for this at all. He could at least have chained ALF to the chair.

Why do all the people who hate ALF as much as I do have to be incompetent bozos?

Project: ALF

Then Martin Sheen shows up. He shuts down the production and arrests Dexter Moyers. (Dead air is a crime.)

But that’s not all! He arrests Jensen Daggett, too. And that other guy specifically told him not to arrest Jensen Daggett! The fucker.

So this is…kind of odd. How many films have dual villains? Not in the sense that there’s a main villain and some other villain who works with him, or betrays him or something…but two villains that want two different things (arresting ALF / revealing ALF) that are in direct conflict?

It’s kind of weird. I can’t think of a real precedent for that. Superhero films often have more than one villain, but (in the good ones, at least) they’re either working together, or their stories intersect and comment upon each other. This is more like spending a movie with Lex Luthor until The Joker shows up toward the end and says, “What are you doing here? I’m the antagonist. Shove off.” And then…Luthor actually does just shove off. What kind of movie would that be?

I guess it’d be Project: ALF.

On the bright side, you can see ALF getting carried away in that screenshot, and it’s hilarious, because I finally get the scene I imagined happened in “Consider Me Gone” as a kid: ALF getting hauled off screaming by government agents.

God loves me after all.

Anyway, Martin Sheen gloats about how he’s really a big piece of shit and he’s going to hurt lots of people and kill ALF and blah blah blah, so this other guy, whoever he is, leans back and presses Tab and Caps Lock at the same time, which, as you all know, immediately activates all of the video cameras and microphones in the house.

Project: ALF

This other guy tricks Martin Sheen into confessing all the awful shit he did. The cameras capture him doing this, and no secret is made about that. It’s treated as an artful reveal later, but we already saw it happening, so any and all tension immediately evaporates. Well done, guys.

The bad guy giving his big speech is supposed to be scary or intimidating or worrying, but here we actually see the resolution before the movie gets there.

We know Martin Sheen is fucked in advance of hoping he’ll be fucked. As a result, we don’t care about any of this shit he’s saying. It’s just a waste of our time, because we already know precisely where it’s going.

Fuck almighty. It’s like Project: ALF is actively striving for incompetence.

Then the other guy does a fake salute but really scratches his neck, like when you trick somebody into thinking you’re going to shake their hand. Which I guess ties back to the scene when Martin Sheen tricked him into thinking that same thing before…but back then he really did shake his hand; he just also arrested him, so who the fuck knows.

Then ALF is in ALF jail.

Project: ALF

Martin Sheen comes in and says, “Didn’t you lead us on a merry little chase?”


…no. Not really.

You went to a hotel, and then a diner. If he had led you on a merry little chase it might actually have made for a good movie, and it certainly would have led you to more interesting locations than that.

Martin Sheen tells ALF that they’re going to kill him, in order to send a message to aliens everywhere. Which…okay. Unless aliens are watching you do it I’m not sure what message they’d get out of it, but okay.

Then he tells ALF about how his mother committed suicide, which as you’ll recall is this film’s most hilarious running gag.

Speaking of which…man, literally nothing funny happens in this stretch of the movie. In the previous two reviews I was able to spotlight some decent jokes or moments, but the homestretch is such an awful slog. Maybe the point of Project: ALF was just to make sure nobody would miss the character when he disappeared again.

Martin Sheen tells ALF he’s as good as dead, but he doesn’t kill him. He just leaves and goes to his office for no reason that I can fathom except that the next scene is supposed to take place there.

Project: ALF

Then Martin Sheen talks to his superior — the very model of a modern major-general — about how awesome he is, but Martin Sheen’s assistant comes in with the video tape of his confession. Which might have qualified as a surprise if we passed out from boredom during the scene in which we were explicitly told this would happen.

It turns out the young, dumb sidekick was a good guy all along. That’s a great twist if you’ve never seen a movie before, and I might even care about it if I cared about literally anything involved with Project: ALF.

We then see the confession scene play out. Again. In its entirety.

Yes, we saw the whole thing damned thing literally one minute ago, but this is a movie! We need to waste even more time than an ALF production usually does.

This video ruins Martin Sheen’s clout with his boss, and his assistant is hailed as a big hero instead of being dishonorably discharged for knowingly fucking over a superior officer.

Why did we bother giving Martin Sheen a sympathetic, cloying backstory about his mother killing herself if we’re just going to offhandedly dismiss him from the film like this? I honestly thought the end of the movie would involve him warming up to ALF, because he learned the #notallaliens lesson that seemed to be hardwired into his character arc.

But no. His mother’s suicide was just…there. Why give him that backstory then? Either give him an emotional conclusion that justifies in any way the choice to toss tragic suicide into his backstory, or don’t put it in the movie in the first place.

And now he’s getting a villain’s comeuppance, but really all he did was his job. ALF escaped from the base. As head of security, he had to track ALF down and bring him back, which he did. Alive.

Yeah, he talked about killing ALF, but he was in an urgent, high stress, emergency situation. He could easily have written off his comments as having been made in the heat of the moment.

In fact, when he had the chance to kill ALF he turned around and walked away, so it’s not like he was out of control. He was still working through official channels and protocol, so what does it matter what he says on the tape?

Ultimately the only thing the guy did was the job he was hired to do, but fuck him. We needed a villain. Other than, y’know, the other villain.

Eat it, Sheen.

Project: ALF

Then the movie’s over, because it hit the minimum length you must meet in order to legally market your project as a film.

It really does stop exactly that abruptly.

We’re told that all the good guys get a promotion, and ALF will be safe forever. Also the Air Force hired that drink-serving robot from before. So…that’s cool.

Whoever this guy is also gets the courage to ask out Jensen Daggett in front of this official tribunal or whatever the fuck it’s supposed to be, because that’s certainly appropriate and not coercive in any way.

She says yes, secure in the knowledge that the movie’s over and she won’t have to go to bed with him in the next scene.

Project: ALF

We end with ALF banging the gavel, only he hits this other guy’s hand, and the guy forgets to react for a couple of seconds.

Man, this is the last scene in the movie. Fucking reshoot it if he didn’t hit his cue. Are you really in that much of a rush to go home? I love that nobody seems like they enjoy making Project: ALF any more than I enjoy watching it.

They ask ALF where he got the gavel and he says, “Judge Ito.”

So literally the entire movie ends with an O.J. joke. And that’s, of course, if you consider one character saying somebody else’s name to be a joke.

That’s…come the fuck on, Fusco. It wasn’t even timely. By the time this aired the trial had been over for about half a year. Maybe it was timely while they were writing the script, but that’s sort of the problem with timely jokes; by the time you get to tell them, everyone’s moved on. That’s why Saturday Night Live and late-night talkshows can get away with them, while shows like The Simpsons and (especially) American Dad! have to be very careful about mining current events for their comedy. No matter how perfect a target may present itself, standard programs take so long to make it to air that a topical joke, ironically, ends up feeling behind the times.

It’s even worse that this is the single joke that punctuates the entire movie. It makes the whole thing feel embarrassing and dated in retrospect. Even if you enjoyed Project: ALF there’s no way that hearing an alien say “Judge Ito” enhanced the experience.

So, yeah, that’s the end of Project: ALF. Why so damned abrupt? Last week commenter RaikoLives said this:

I fully expect the writing process on this movie consisted of Fusco handing in script after script saying “Is that long enough?” and the producer telling him no, so he just scribbled out “the end” and wrote “and then…”, gradually filling pages until he padded it out enough.

The actual end of the film sure feels a lot like the producer finally said “yes” and he stopped writing right there. For a project six years in the waiting, it sure feels like it was dashed off in a week. You’d think Fusco would have invested more creative energy into this thing, since it was his one big chance to get ALF back on our screens. Instead he used the opportunity to give us probably the worst ALF experience yet.

I will go on record as saying that “Consider Me Gone” was actually a better finale than this. That may be a controversial opinion, but damn was this awful. At least that episode felt like the end of a story we’d been watching. A hilariously botched ending to a monumentally stupid story, yes, but “alien is captured by the government agents looking for him” is not too much of a stretch.

Project: ALF brought the character back to give him a better send-off, but “alien hangs out with people we don’t know and wants to fuck a Russian lady but instead takes a big poo” is not exactly an improvement on what we already had.

I don’t think I’ve heard many kind words about this movie, even from the biggest ALF fans. Did anyone out there actually enjoy it? By all means, let me know if you did. I’d love to hear what you thought worked and what didn’t about the film.

For me, though? Project: ALF‘s biggest achievement was making the sitcom look good.

Oh, crap. It’s the end of the review and I forgot to write a concluding joke.


White Bronco chase?

(Nailed it.)

MELMAC FACTS: At some point on Melmac, ALF was an underwear model. Aren’t you glad that’s the Melmac Fact you’ll carry with you as we part?

Review: Prime Cuts

Philip’s note: I was approached to review volumes one and two of the Prime Cuts graphic novel. And, frankly, I would have done a great job with that. But, in fairness, my comic experience is pretty thin, so I am proud to feature a much more educated and reliable review from Scott Gregson, who posts here often as RaikoLives. Thanks, Scott. Also, thumbnails are for clickin’. Enjoy!

Prime Cuts, John Franklin & Tim Sulka

Alright, look, I’m not gonna say I hated it. I know, I know, spoiler alert for my own review and all that, but yeah. I didn’t hate it. As such.

“It” in this case is a pair of graphic novels; Prime Cuts: Volumes 1 and 2, written by John Franklin and Tim Sulka. Art for Volume 1 is by Rob Gutman, while Stan Maksun did the art for Volume 2. And in case you’re wondering, “graphic novel” is really just a fancy way of saying comic book.

Prime Cuts starts off with our main character’s past unfurled as an incoherent vision of ugly people doing ugly things in an ugly way and, really, doesn’t go much further than that. Even by the end of its second volume our hero, a young man by the name of Todd Sweeny, has accomplished very little, and beyond his most recent past we know almost nothing about him. We know a little about Electra, the other main character, and some details about the dark and gruesome world they live in, but much of the story’s momentum is lost whenever Todd becomes the focus.

If his name seems familiar, yes, Prime Cuts is a dark, modern take on the legend of Sweeney Todd, and while I’m only loosely familiar with the original story, I can already tell it isn’t straying too far. At least not yet. Our hero, Todd, is a hairdresser by trade, and the death of a man leads to the same cannibalistic fate as so famously defines the original story. Most of where Prime Cuts seeks to differentiate itself is in the tone it sets. A blend of the vile and the gross. With a healthy dose of sex, swearing and gore. And that’s great, if you’re into that kind of thing. But when it becomes the sole focus of your story you may need to rethink your project.

Prime Cuts, John Franklin & Tim SulkaArtistically, Prime Cuts is a mixed bag. The first volume’s art by Rob Gutman would be easy to dismiss as amateurish (at best) or just terrible (at worst). It’s not great, but Gutman’s line work in places is surprisingly strong. Closeups of faces look good, and he manages to keep his characters details looking consistent, which is something a lot of artists struggle with. It’s when his characters interact physically, either with each other or the environment, that the problems begin to show, as his figures lose themselves within the panels, floating weightlessly. It’s the nature of drawing sequential art, as opposed to simple figure drawing, that your figures need to reside within a picture, within a story, and while Gutman’s work isn’t entirely without merit, often this aspect escapes him.

His panel layout, too, is somewhat lacking inspiration, with borderless squares and grids the order of the day. This hinders the pace of the story, as often the nine-panel grid format fails to capture a sense of movement or tone, leaving the story feeling dull. Lifeless. One particular full page panel gifts us with a character’s passage through it, and I enjoy the way Gutman plays with the panel, relishing the concept of a panel being at once a specific moment in time, as well as depicting a specific passage of time or moment. The page, though, uses large arrows to frame the character’s journey throughout the scene, as neither the art nor the positioning, or flow, of the dialogue are enough to sell exactly how it plays out otherwise. It’s a tough trick to pull off, for sure, and a neat exercise, but when you’re forced to use arrows within your splash maybe it’s time to rethink your use of the device entirely.

Sadly, Gutman’s art is further hampered by his colours. Flat, almost pastel colours with very little shading is an interesting way to go, but it doesn’t work here, with the tone of the story and characters utterly hamstrung by the art being both bright and bland, colourful and boring. It may have worked better as black and white, allowing Gutman’s delicate linework to be more visible, with his major strengths being details, the flat colours just wash everything out.

Prime Cuts, John Franklin & Tim SulkaIn the second volume Gutman is replaced by Stan Maksun, who brings an entirely new feel to Prime Cuts. His ugly, ungainly figures sacrifice a lot of detail but he tells his story much more coherently. His faces look largely the same as each other and much of the posing may not be much stronger than in the previous volume, but his bright, lurid colours go beyond a sense of reality to heighten the extreme nature of the story which, after all, is about murder, cannibalism and a flagrant disregard for health and safety in both the food service and hairdressing industry.

While his figures lack consistency Maksun succeeds at filling his panels with actual backgrounds, and filling his pages with panels of all shapes and sizes. He guides our view, putting horizontal action in long, rectangular panels, short sharp actions in stark relief against them and generally shaping a world that keeps us off balance as we witness horrible people doing horrible things in horrible ways. It helps the audience see the world the way the writers intended; as a sort of carnival freak show narrated by a gleeful, deranged ringmaster, though that could be the book’s biggest flaw.

The overarching voice of Prime Cuts comes not from any one character but from the person telling us the story. The writers have positioned themselves as storytellers, supplying us with this narrative wholesale as spectacle, leaving us uninvested in any of the characters or their particular journey. When Todd Sweeney is sexually assaulted early in the book, it isn’t someone we care about being preyed upon. We simply watch a fat trucker trying to get sexual favours from a hitchhiker. We side with Todd partly because we have spent a few pages with him so far (and because what the truck driver does is obviously wrong) but the scene plays out more to gross us out than gain any kind of insight into the story or our characters. We are being told a story, we aren’t experiencing it, and like most tall tales the reason it is being told is moreso that we pay attention to the storyteller than the tale itself.

Prime Cuts, John Franklin & Tim SulkaAnd it comes through time and time again. Our narrator, omniscient, tells us how gross things are, or how awesome something is, beckoning us to take their word over that of the characters. Much of it could be fixed with that age old writing advice “show don’t tell” but that would take the focus off the narrator, which would be the opposite of the book’s main goal. Much like most horror, especially the more sensational and explicit stuff, the audience’s reactions are more important than telling a story about characters, about people, and a failure to connect with that leaves the narrator sounding shrill, egotistical, subjecting people to a story they don’t want to hear.

Part of this problem might be our writers reliance on Sweeney Todd for the narrative structure, as well as breaking the story up into such episodic chunks, but framing this story as something akin to a Crypt Keeper tale needs a stronger hand on the story’s rudder. John Franklin and Tim Sulka’s book reads as a teenager telling a gross story he overheard, lacking the dramatic weight an experienced storyteller can weave into a tale designed to both shock and amuse. As it stands the book simply paints everything as gross, making nothing particularly stand out, and giving rise to some rather off-putting humour about one particular character’s weight, looks and gender. In a sea of tasteless jokes, unambiguously making sport of a fat person by not being able to determine their sex is quite possibly crossing the line. As an overweight, straight, white, unambiguously male guy, I can shrug it off and move on, but it makes it hard to tell which gross things are gross and which are not, when the whole comic is gross.

There are jokes about drug addicts not knowing who their kids are. There are jokes about spoiled rich people. There are jokes about a large group of people but they are all horrible within the book itself. This character does nothing beyond look unconventional, unattractive in the eyes of a woman who we’re specifically told has no conscience, and who is doing her job to the best of her ability. Fat shaming her (to say the least) seems more crass than even the random junkie with a syringe still protruding from his skin.

Prime Cuts isn’t for me, but I don’t think it was ever really meant for me. I love comics and the storytelling they can provide, and on that level I didn’t love Prime Cuts. If you’re a fan of being grossed out, enjoy being uncomfortable and love awful people doing awful things, this might well be your thing. Gutman and Maksun do some good work, even if the two of them do it in almost directly opposite area, and the results are patchy at best. Franklin and Sulka’s story will need to become more sensational, more explicit, more and more and more, in order to keep readers coming back. I don’t doubt they can do it. I don’t even doubt they will. But I do doubt anyone will be coming back specifically for the further adventures of Todd Sweeney.

ALF Reviews: Project: ALF (Part 2)

Welcome back! For some reason you decided to tune in for more of Project: ALF, which I think legally classifies you as a minority. President Trump will be in touch.

So, yeah, Project: ALF. If you’re looking for a recap of part one, that last sentence was my recap of part one. Nothing happens in this shit, so don’t get your hopes up.

We open act two with ALF crammed miserably into a burlap sack. Some guy drives him to an undisclosed destination, which certainly gets my hopes up. All he needs to do is make it to the Pine Barrens and start digging for this to become the greatest movie ever made.

ALF bleats at this guy and we can see on his face that he’s really starting to wonder if all this is worth it just for a blowjob from Jensen Daggett. Either way, he’s determined to find out.

Jensen Daggett talks for a while about this guy named Dexter Moyers, who was some government bigshot who got blackballed for his ideas that UFO sightings should be matters of public record, instead of covered up. They canned his ass and now he lives wherever they’re going. Obviously it’s pretty far away, because if he lived nearby it would mean the movie might end in a reasonable amount of time and we can’t have that, can we?

And, again, I’m sorry, but fucking hell, this movie makes me ask this question over and over: how can the Alien Task Force operate publicly, funded by tax-payer dollars, in a world that doesn’t believe in aliens? Yes, in the ALF universe they obviously exist, but we were reminded last week that people who believed in aliens were hounded and ridiculed relentlessly, and this week we learn that somebody was drummed out of the organization because he wanted to speak openly about UFOs while everyone else wanted to cover them up.

So…what the fuck? If UFOs aren’t officially confirmed as existing, you can’t have this national organization operating for decades to study them. Period. If someone discovered a unicorn colony tomorrow, I can understand wanting to study what we’ve found. But I can’t understand opening a new branch of the military called the Unicorn-Dedicated Investigation and Examination Squad (UnDIES) if the official line is that there are no such things as unicorns.

It’s insane to me. I don’t understand the logic here at all. What is the Alien Task Force in the public mind if not an organization that studies…y’know…aliens?

Operate in secret, or admit that the thing you already say you’re studying exists. ALF and its offshoot here literally found the least believable intersection of visibility and public sentiment and stuck with it.

Project: ALF

They stop at a motel and ALF really sticks it to whoever that guy is by sending him out for food and fucking Jensen Daggett while he’s away.

The entire scene is more padding. Are you surprised? ALF just bitches about how hungry he is, and lists all the food he wants. The guy goes out in the middle of the night to get it. By way of saying thanks, ALF reveals that he took a massive shit in the burlap sack.

Then the guy gets back. ALF eats and makes noise until 3 a.m., and tells the people who just saved his life to go fuck themselves when they complain. It’s actually a great meta joke, as this was beat for beat Paul Fusco’s management style.

What the hell is ALF’s problem here? Is this supposed to be funny? Okay, yes, it is supposed to be…I understand that. But it’s really just annoying.

Watching ALF torment these two people who are just trying to help him is like being tormented by ALF yourself. It’s not funny at all, and it’s not even like ALF is saying or doing anything clever. He just keeps turning the TV back on when they shut it off and acting like an asshole.

As kim pointed out last week, ALF’s behavior is confusing. On the show he wanted his freedom. He couldn’t have it, because he’d be found and killed by the government, but he wanted to live a life of his own; that much was clear. Then he spent years in Alien Task Force custody with even less freedom, but now that two characters are working their asses off to give him what he wants, he fights them, insults them, and generally tries to ensure they’ll regret ever getting involved in the first place.

So what does ALF want? This is his movie, so we should have some idea of his motivation…right? Does he want to be free, or does he want to hang out in a jail cell playing poker for the rest of his life? What is the point of any of this?

Then we all learn that they didn’t write quite enough dialogue for the scene and ALF just jumps on the bed for a while.

Project: ALF

This is a movie, people. This is a movie. Can I please remind you readers out there that this is a movie? And if you had the misfortune to be born in Germany, it was a movie that you had to pay to see.


This is really what Paul Fusco does with his bigger budget and creative control and hand-picked cast? He has a puppet jump on the bed and scream for fuck knows how long?

This is what he does with his big return to television?

This is what he gives fans who wanted more of his most famous creation?

No wonder no networks wanted more ALF. Project: ALF shows what that would have looked like, and you can’t fault anyone for saying, “No, that’s quite alright.”

Project: ALF is quite likely the worst film I’ve ever seen, if only because nothing of any significance happens at any point. None of the jokes are significantly funny. None of the emotional moments are significantly dramatic. There’s no significantly impressive puppetry. None of the twists are significantly surprising. None of the scenes significantly affect anything that happens in another scenes. None of the characters are significant. None of the writing is significant. None of the plot is significant.

What’s more, I’ve watched this movie at least three times now, and I still couldn’t tell you what happens in it. It’s all just so much shit.

Has anyone out there ever seen a film worse than Project: ALF? Tell me about this mythical cinematic nightmare, please, if only so I can focus on something else.

Then someone knocks at the door. For Project: ALF I think that counts as an action sequence.

Jensen Daggett and the male scientist hide ALF in the bathroom. Turns out it’s some guy dressed as Beetlejuice.

Project: ALF

My favorite part about this exchange is that when we see this guy, he’s leaning on the doorjamb with his arm angled into the room, but when we see the reverse shots his arm isn’t there, so it looks like he disappears whenever he’s not talking. Incredible continuity.

This guy looked familiar but I couldn’t place him. He’s played by someone named W. Earl Brown, and he’s been in loads of things so, again, I can’t possibly pin down what I actually know him from. But since Project: ALF he’s worked pretty regularly, including recurring roles in shows like Deadwood and True Detective, which I’ve heard some people like. I dunno. If it doesn’t star a sassy puppet I am simply not interested.

Anyway, he’s a trucker who looks like Dr. Sanchez from Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and he’s pissed off because of all that bed bangin’ sound until he realizes what’s going on.

Project: ALF

He says, “Damn, son, I didn’t realize you bagged Jensen Daggett. Carry on.”

Then he leaves and they go to get ALF out of the bathroom…but he’s gone!

Project: ALF

And holy shit is that the most melodramatic screengrab imaginable.

Anyway, whoever this guy is, he realizes that it’s going to be at least another 24 hours before he can cup Jensen Daggett’s sleeping hand over his cock, so they set out to find ALF.

And this, I have to admit, is a serious complication.

It took a while for the film to find any, but now there are some actual stakes: ALF is all alone. Jensen Daggett and this other guy have no idea where he is. Thanks to that distraction at the door he could be anywhere, and there’s no guarantee they’ll ever…

Project: ALF

Oh. Nevermind. He’s 20 yards away, in the manager’s office.

So much for that.

Why is he there? Who fucking knows. He’s not even hiding.

Well, he is hiding, but only as a joke…I think. It’s not clear.

ALF rings the bell a few times and then pops up and scares the old man who runs the place. So he was technically hiding when he was crouching below the counter, ringing the bell, but it wasn’t for the purposes of going undetected as, again, he was ringing the bell. And he pops up anyway, knowing full well he’ll be seen then, so I guess he just saw an old man and decided to be a fuckbag? It sure seems that way.

The manager is played by Ray Walston, who is best known for his work as the title character in My Favorite Martian. That’s a nice little bit of stunt casting, and lord knows the guy tries his damnedest here.

At this phase in his career, Walston also had a regular role in Picket Fences, and he worked more or less regularly for his entire life, so it’s nice to know that this poor guy wasn’t slumming for a paycheck.

I actually remember him best from the 1992 version of Of Mice and Men, with Gary Sinise and John Malkovich. It’s been many years since I’ve seen it, but I remember it being better than it had any right to be. That might be a good candidate for Fiction Into Film, when you guys let me write about good things again.

ALF demands a hat and coat from Ray Walston, because if there’s anything we missed about ALF it’s the way he bullied the elderly out of their possessions. He also asks for a quarter for the pay phone, and Ray Walston hesitates as he hands it over: “You’re not going to bite me, are you?” ALF says, “Not for a quarter.”

And, hey, a second laugh!

What’s more, it’s the first laugh at an actual joke. Bev Archer was funny, but her line wasn’t. She found room for comedy in the delivery; as written she was just introducing herself.

Here, though, we have an actual humorous exchange. I should have it stuffed.

Project: ALF

Anyway, ALF dresses as Holden Caulfield and places a call to one of the guards back at the Alien Task Force base. They somehow avoid making a “phone home” joke, and I honestly don’t know if I’m relieved or frustrated by that. Instead he extensively quotes “Take it Easy” by The Eagles so, yeah, I’m going to go with “frustrated.”

ALF bitches to the guard that Jensen Daggett and the guy with her aren’t even fucking, so he has nothing to listen to. At least Willie tried to get it up. Anyway, he’s sick of hanging out with these two if he’s not even going to see tits, so he tells the guard to bring him money and credit cards.

The guard doesn’t know where ALF is or how to reach him, though, so ALF says, “Leave a message on the internet,” and I honestly don’t know if that’s a joke or if that’s actually how Paul Fusco thought the internet worked in 1996.

Then ALF sees…oh for fuck’s sake.

Project: ALF

The Kitty Kat Lounge. The strip club so nice they put its name on the building twice.

He sees this place across the street and gets a huge boner, so there’s the erectile dysfunction arc nice and resolved.

As you probably remember, ALF swore off eating cats in “Live and Let Die,” the ninth episode of season four. After that I was on the lookout for cat-eating jokes to undo that development…but they never came. Shockingly, season four let ALF’s change of heart stick.

Then Project: ALF realized it’d be too difficult to write a second joke for him, and it went right back to this one.


Project: ALF

…yep. ALF goes to a strip club.

Like…ALF really does go to an actual strip club.

This is Project: ALF.

In which ALF goes to a strip club.

He goes in there because he expects cat to be on the menu, of course, because, again, fuck writing a second joke.

But the…I mean…it can’t just be me, can it?

The “eating pussy” confusion never comes up, but…I mean…this…it can’t just be me thinking that the movie sidles right up to that line, can it?

Like…he really does go in there to eat pussy…

Are we supposed to be drawing that connection? It can’t just be me…can it?!

Project: ALF

Whoever this guy is comes in and drags ALF out. There’s some bullshit about a two-drink minimum and ALF wanting to bite the bartender and the strip club not serving food and holy Christ on a stick is this movie padded. Still, here, around the midway point of the whole fucking thing, nothing’s happened.

Don’t get me wrong, you can do a really funny movie in which the stakes are low and it’s built around a series of fun setpieces, but Project: ALF is less Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure than it is Gordon Crosses the Street.

You know, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (like the more recent Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday) is a great point of comparison, actually. That film and this one each take eccentric, odd protagonists and shove them quickly out of their comfort zone, sending them on a wild, zany adventure that sees them interacting with colorful folks along the way. In literature we refer to this as a picaresque, but I think films just refer to them as road movies.

The idea of these kinds of stories is that things happen in relative isolation. One event or conflict may stem naturally from the last (though it’s not necessary, and lurching past travel logistics in order to get to the next big scene is common) but they’re episodic by design. Pee-Wee hitches a ride with an escaped convict, Pee-Wee wins over some bikers by dancing to “Tequila,” Pee-Wee gets chased around a big dinosaur by a guy who wants to bash his brains in. Those are all setpieces, with our only true connective tissue being Pee-Wee himself. The hunt for the stolen bicycle really just serves to kick everything into motion; it may be Pee-Wee’s motivation, but it’s not the film’s.

Project: ALF seems to be reaching for something similar, but it fails on two levels (well…at least two levels).

The first is that it’s simply not as funny. If you’re going to throw a bunch of comedy skits at an audience, they need to actually be humorous. If they’re not, there’s no reason for anyone to keep watching. (See: me, in 1996.) You can have a few stinkers, and you can have a few quieter moments amongst the mania (in fact, you probably should), but the audience has to be able to rely on the fact that if they stick around, something funny enough will happen to justify the missteps.

Project: ALF hasn’t had a single worthwhile joke yet, and we’ve given it more than enough time to produce one. Both Pee-Wee movies mentioned above will have had at least a dozen big laughs by now, and countless smaller chuckles and smiles. (Can’t vouch for Big Top Pee-Wee, though. That’s another one I couldn’t get through as a kid…is it worth reappraising as an adult?)

But then there’s another, more instructive comparison: Spending time with Pee-Wee is fun.

I’m not saying Pee-Wee is a better character than ALF. I think he is, by a fucking landslide, but that’s not my point. What I’m saying is that they’re both deeply flawed, irritating nuisances. But while that’s the case, there’s a giddy, childish thrill that comes from spending time with Pee-Wee. With ALF, however…

…well, you read this blog.

Time with ALF grates. It drains. It takes its toll. You get sick of him quickly, and while Pee-Wee has his regular flashes of wonderment or invention or silliness to keep him on the right side of our hearts, ALF just shits and screams and rapes a lot. It gets old. Hell, it got old 99 episodes ago.

Project: ALF could easily have been a loose collection of comic setpieces, and I hope that’s what it was aiming for. (If it wasn’t, I have no clue what this shit was supposed to be.) It’s not a bad idea. An alien and his former captors hit the road and get into crazy scrapes at every stop. An Alien Task Farce, if you will.

But the problem is ALF himself. Even with hypothetically better jokes, ALF is too annoying. He needs softening. He needs the rough edges sanded off now and again so that we can like spending time with him.

When Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday premiered, I saw folks on Facebook commenting on what an asshole Pee-Wee sometimes was in that movie. But here’s the thing: they weren’t all complaints. These people were just puzzled.

And here’s why they were puzzled: they were too young to notice when Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse came out that the guy was always an asshole.

The character is a bit of a dick…but he was so likeable in spite of that fact that we never picked up on it. Pee-Wee was able to be flawed as a human being and a welcome presence on our screens. We were enjoying the things we liked about him, so we didn’t pick up on what others might not like about him.

With ALF, it’s impossible to pick up on anything otherwise.

Project: ALF

Anyway, there’s a police car at the motel, because Ray Walston NARCed.

Then we cut inside for another big waste of time as the police grill him about the little creature he saw. Ray Walston says it was a wolverine…but not the animal. He means a Wolverine, like the sports team, because ALF said he came from Michigan. Sounds hilarious, doesn’t it?

In the hotel room Jensen Daggett and this other guy yell at him for going outside, and then yell at him more when they find out he placed a call to the Alien Task Force.

ALF says they shouldn’t be too mad since he admitted to his misbehavior, and they’re getting it “straight from the wolverine’s mouth,” which is odd since ALF wasn’t in the room for that conversation between Ray Walston and the police so it’s not like he’s doing a callback or anything.

I don’t get this. I don’t get this.

I don’t get this.

There is a decently funny bit here, though. This guy, whoever he is, listens to ALF talking about calling the Alien Task Force and then he shouts, “Why!?”

ALF replies, “Because I need my things.”

Then the guy says, “I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to Him!” and points up, toward God.

Project: ALF

And you know what? That was pretty okay. Not worth sitting through forty-four minutes of horse shit to get to, but I liked that joke. It was a funny idea executed well. You know. The sort of thing you usually see about a hundred times in a comedy that knows what it’s doing.

In fairness to the actors, Project: ALF really does have a better cast than the TV show. Somehow, though, their roles are even more thankless.

Jensen Daggett says, “Dickheads, let’s go somewhere else.” But then this other guy says, “In what? A military van? They’ve probably got an APB out on it.”

And, man, this guy just picked up Willie’s mantle of being the biggest asshole imaginable at the worst of times, didn’t he? Jensen Daggett just said they need to get moving; that’s all. She doesn’t need this bullshit. (Jensen call me.)

Also: APB? That stands for All-Points Bulletin, in case anyone out there doesn’t know. That means every agent of law enforcement (“all points”) has been told to be on the active lookout for something (that’s the “bulletin”). Since the police were just here, parked next to the cunting van, and they didn’t bat an eye, I think it’s safe to say there’s not an APB out on it. You fuckshit.

Anyway, ALF says he’ll get them a new vehicle, and this guy lets him leave alone, unsupervised, without even asking him what his plan is, because that’s the kind of writing you get when you only have six fucking years to finish your script, I guess.

ALF then goes to the manager’s office and swindles Ray Walston out of his car. Just in case you thought the character got off too easy earlier.

Project: ALF

Then Colonel Martin Sheen…oh, yeah, that’s right. Martin Sheen is in this. I must have been blinded by the raw starpower of Jensen Daggett and whoever that other guy is.

Anyway, he walks around ALF’s cell, complaining about all the amenities the alien had as a prisoner. Which, fine, fair enough, but holy shitnuts look at this camera angle. How fucking tall is this room? It’s…not even a big room. It’s just a tall room. I guess that’s the reason you usually don’t shoot sets this way, unless the characters are supposed to be in a cathedral or something.

He finds out that his assistant used to gamble with ALF and he gets pissed off and Jesus Christ, is anything going to happen in this movie? I mean, again, if this is just a series of setpieces, fine. But Project: ALF‘s idea of a setpiece seems to be people standing quietly around while somebody talks about something we never get to see.

Project: ALF

And then ALF raps.

Like…ALF really does rap.

This is Project: ALF.

In which ALF raps.

Readers who truly hate themselves will remember that ALF has rapped twice before. Once in “It Isn’t Easy…Bein’ Green” and again in “Hail to the Chief,” so Project: ALF proves conclusively that tragedies come in threes. Anyway, this is his longest sustained performance yet, so be sure to track down the DVD if that for some reason appeals to you.

Anyway, they ride around in the car ALF stole from that poor old man, and he raps for no reason like he’s seen those colored people do on the TV.

It was almost impossible to get a screengrab of all three of these characters together, by the way. Whenever we see ALF’s face straight on, we see Jensen Daggett’s and this other guy’s shoulders, but not their faces. It’s as though nobody could share the frame in a way that might detract attention from ALF. Of course, we know THERE’S NO WAY THAT WAS INTENTIONAL

When he runs out of rap ALF talks shit about Carl Sagan for a while. Okay. Not sure why, but evidently he thinks Sagan is a piece of shit, so we hear about that. It’s like getting stuck next to your uncle at a family gathering and he just wants to talk about how much damage Obama has done to the country without ever giving a reason. He just wants you to know the guy’s a lump of crap, over and over again. Spoiler: I wouldn’t watch your dumbass uncle in a movie, either.

Jensen Daggett and this other guy just have to sit there and listen to it, because when you’re a human in an ALF production god forbid you get to say or do anything yourself. Then he runs out of Carl Sagan jokes and does a routine about the pronunciation of Uranus.

Fucking hell. I’ll ride with Pee-Wee any day.

Project: ALF

Then a song kicks in and from the way it sounded I thought for sure we’d be treated to some shitty cover of “The Wanderer,” but it turned to be a shitty original instead. IMDB doesn’t list any soundtrack credits, which means this particular track must have been pulled from Free Garbage Music for Your Awful Movie, Vol. 4.

It sucks, and we hear a hell of a lot of it because we get all these damned helicopter shots of the car driving around.

Like, way too many of them. Just helicopter shot after helicopter shot.

Nothing’s happening. There’s no dialogue. No visual jokes on the road signs or anything. Just the car driving from a lot of different helicopter angles.

I guess if you paid to have a helicopter for the day, you’re going to use it as much as you can, but, damn, imagine if they had invested this money in a script editor instead.

There is one joke toward the end. Whoever the guy driving is says that it’s odd they haven’t seen another car on the highway. Which is a lie because we saw a truck go the other way while ALF was rapping. God dammit, Project: ALF.

But then Jensen Dagget says, “Bro, this is no highway. It’s Dexter Moyers’ driveway.” Which is a lie because there are clearly two lanes on this clearly tarmacked and clearly maintained road with clear DOT markings. GOD DAMMIT PROJECT: ALF

Project: ALF

They get to Dexter Moyers’ house and ALF throws empty booze bottles out of the car, smashing them everywhere because he is a fucking dick. Jensen Daggett goes to the intercom and there’s some robot voice that greets her. She tells it who she is, and the robot voice says, “Processing…” before the door opens, and we see some hot Russian lady.

I honestly thought the joke would be that the Russian lady would open her mouth and we’d find out that the robot voice was her natural voice, but, no, she has a normal voice, and I have no idea why she’s even in the movie.

In fact, she’s fucking terrible. Her lines are clearly overdubbed. It’s like watching Tommy Wiseau in The Room; her mouth moves and then you hear her line, not quite in sync, at a higher volume than everyone else.

You spent all that money on a fucking helicopter to film an unnecessary driving sequence, but couldn’t be arsed to hire better actors or editors? Dudes, this is one awful movie.

Anyway, some robot comes in, but I think it’s a different robot voice this time, so he wasn’t the one talking through the intercom as far as I can tell. My question will never be resolved!

The robot offers Jensen Daggett a drink, but she declines. (We’ve all been there, robot.) Then he says, “Wasted trip…” and turns around and rolls away. That wasn’t hilarious or anything, but the timing of the delivery was actually pretty funny. So, okay, there’s another joke I didn’t hate.

Project: ALF

…but then she meets up with Dexter Moyers and the robot does the same thing again with hors-d’oeuvres, and it’s a lot less funny the second time.

The whole reason Jensen Daggett left ALF and that other guy in the car was so that she could prepare Moyers for what he was about to see…but she doesn’t actually say anything to him about ALF.

Like, literally at all.

They say hello, he tells her that her father used to call her Porkchop, and then she cockblocks the robot again.

That’s it. She then says she’s going to bring the other two assholes into this guy’s house, without doing the one thing she said she was going to do.

I have absolutely no clue why this scene happened at all.

Project: ALF

So they let ALF and that other guy come in, and ALF immediately chases the cat around to eat it because he is ALF and ALF eats cats.

But hey, we get a glimpse of the midget!


Actually, it’s probably not the midget, but it’s a midget and holy shit did my enjoyment of this movie skyrocket for the three frames he’s visible through that doorway.

Anyway, ALF waddles in. Dexter Moyers says he’s thrilled to meet an alien life form. ALF says he really wants to fuck that Russian lady who can’t deliver a line to save her life.

We’re cookin’ now, huh?

Project: ALF

Then we cut to Ray Walston getting arrested because he has the government van ALF coerced him into taking in exchange for his car. Good to see our lovable hero is still irreparably fucking up the lives of everyone he meets.

Anyway, Walston died in federal prison without a friend or anybody to hear his final sobs, and that’s as good a place to stop watching as any.

Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion to…


Tune in next week, for the resolution of…


Well, tune in next week for the part where Project: ALF stops.

MELMAC FACTS: Melmacian Martinis use fresh cat juice. If you don’t have it, you can substitute ferret.

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