Alien From Darkness (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Saturday, September 06, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, May 27, 2003



What They Say
The all female crew of the transport ship Muse is on a mission in deep space. They pick up an SOS signal and discover a derelict space cruiser where all the women have died mysteriously. They take the only survivor, a young woman named Flair, and detonate the ghost ship. However, the danger is just beginning. With Flair on the Muse, the romances between the women begin to take a new turn. One by one, the crewmembers are attacked by a mysterious alien presence, desperate to find a way to reproduce with human women!

The Review!
With a title like Alien from the Darkness, I am so appreciative that they avoided any kind of �In space, they can�t hear you moan� kind of tagline.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show features a standard stereo mix with most dialogue being center channel based. Action sequences and the minimal amount of music use the stereo channel somewhat lightly. We spot checked the English track and had no issues there, at least nothing outside of the added dialogue into quiet scenes.

Video:
Originally released in 1996, the show features a good-looking transfer but really shows off some of the problems of older shows. The most noticeable area comes in scenes where there�s a window into space behind the characters and you can see the dirt and dust from each cell laid upon each other and moving around. Colors are good though lack much vibrancy but manage to avoid both a lot of aliasing and any cross coloration.

Packaging:
The front cover goes for a nice shot of the lead character done up in her space suit, though you can still see her through the helmet and the reflection of stars (a nice touch) as well as a non-spacesuit version of her along the bottom in go-go boots. The back cover has a number of shots from the show as well as headshots from most of the women. The summary covers the premise nicely and the technical information is all clearly listed. The insert provides another shot of the front cover while the reverse side is just boxart advertisements.

Menu:
The menu is a simple but effective static piece with the backdrop of the starry sky while to the left of the selections is the nice image of the lead character running along from the front cover. With little on the disc besides the show, the layout is easy to navigate and menus load quickly.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Alien from the Darkness is another in the long line of traditional space hentai series that deal with certain formulaic points. This one manages to hit most of them pretty nicely, especially considering it�s all in one episode.

We get introduced to the sizeable crew of an all female spaceship that�s apparently on some important mission. The captain follows up on the rules of being in the position she�s in and checking out a stranded spaceship they�ve come across. With part of the crew going over, they can�t find anyone alive at all outside of one young woman that�s in a medical containment. Everyone else originally on board the ship is found dead, their bodies either covered in green goo or their bodies being dark brown husks of their former selves.

Upon the discovery of a banned substance on board the ship, the captain gets everyone out of there and informs them that they�ll leave in an hour to board it again but with the purpose of planting bombs throughout it. Before they do that though, the crew spends time getting naughty with each other.

The plans to bomb the ship into oblivion goes poorly though when they find out that the one living person they took from the dead ship has woken up but has chosen to reveal her true nature by attacking the new crew. From there, it turns into a series of chases and some quiet moments as we watch the revived creature transform into a space tentacle beast that requires their energy to keep going. It quickly turns into a small-scale horror show as bodies get damaged, taken advantage of by tentacles or being blown into space. It mixes the action and tentacle sex well, but each suffers from being a bit too familiar, a bit too clich�d. With the sizeable cast, you�re not able to really get into one of the characters and just go with that.

There hasn�t been as much space themed hentai lately so it�s a nice change of pace, but there�s nothing really new or original with it. Alien from the Darkness suffers mostly from just being really mediocre and unoriginal.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: C
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Kitty Media
MSRP: 29.95
Running time: 45
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Alien From Darkness