Enjoyably Sexy Sci-Fi Trash

Old Baywatch viewers may remember the name of one Donna D’errico. The Playboy Playmate starred on Baywatch for a few years during its peak back in the 1990s. Playing a sexy alien warrior in the cheeky sci-fi spoof Escape From Area 51, the former wife of Nikki Sixx still looks amazing in skin-tight spandex. The low-budget romp embraces the premise with goofy fun and a carefree attitude, channeling the spirit of Andy Sidaris.

Escape From Area 51 has a cheesy, lo-fi vibe with all the production values of an adult movie made for late night cable

Escape From Area 51 has a cheesy, lo-fi vibe with all the production values of an adult movie made for late night cable on Cinemax. If you go in expecting rampant sex and nudity, you’ll come away disappointed. Virtually nothing like that happens in the sci-fi comedy. The campy action and ridiculous characters are not taken seriously. This is a film made to be laughed at with friends in on the joke. A surprisingly sly wit underlines much of the story and frequent gags.

The fresh-faced cast isn’t recognizable outside of Donna D’errico. Most of her younger co-stars look like they’ve been chosen for how they appear in skimpy costumes. It’s pure cheesecake designed around the alien Sheera (Donna D’errico), having escaped captivity from Area 51, looking to rescue fellow warrior Kyra from villains such as the alien bounty hunter Sklarr (Chris Browning) and government investigators. A group of true believers in their 20s are actively looking for aliens in the infamous Area 51 when they meet Sheera.

The main reason anyone will check out Escape From Area 51 is Donna D’errico and she doesn’t disappoint in her starring role. The Baywatch star has fun with the part, providing a strong presence for an actress mostly known as eye candy in prior roles. This isn’t master filmmaking by any stretch but the campy sci-fi spoof provides twisted humor and sexy, goofy fun. Trashy but entertaining, especially if you remember who Donna D’errico was on Baywatch.

Video

The 1.78:1 presentation resembles many other new, indie productions on Blu-ray made cheaply and quickly. The digital cinematography is sharp with bright clarity. Escape From Area 51 doesn’t possess the depth and dimension of studio fare. It’s flat, glossy video often seen on cable news and indie productions. Falls short of being eye candy but offers tantalizingly crisp picture quality most of the time.

The main feature runs 76 minutes on a BD-25. Courtesy of Cleopatra Entertainment, their MPEG-2 encode offers terrible macroblocking in several scenes. They really need to switch authoring houses for their BDs because almost no one uses MPEG-2 anymore. The problem is limited to a handful of scenes but artifacts like these shouldn’t exist in 2021.

Audio

Cleopatra Entertainment is more of a music label than a film studio. That is reflected by the diverse array of newer bands they pile on Escape From Area 51’s delirious and eclectic soundtrack. What they don’t believe in apparently is lossless audio, as the disc only includes 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital choices. If you want to hear the soundtrack’s tunes in better quality, check out the included bonus CD.

The mix is basic but serviceable for the low-budget sci-fi spoof. The sound design is often over the top with campy sounding noises for lasers and other effects. There’s not a crazy amount of LFE and the soundstage is shockingly sparse at times. Dialogue is cleanly intelligible. This is adequate audio for a cheap b-movie spoof.

Unfortunately, Cleopatra Entertainment never includes subtitles on their discs.

Extras

Cleopatra Entertainment still includes CDs in many of their Blu-ray releases and I love that about them. Besides the original motion picture soundtrack on CD, a smattering of inconsequential bonus features are on the BD. And yes, that is the William Shatner of Star Trek fame on one of the songs. He doesn’t appear in the movie.

Behind The Scenes (00:49 in HD) – In actuality this is a short interview piece with Frankie Sixx, Donna D’errico’s daughter who has a small part.

Escape From Area 51 Slideshow (02:48 in HD)

Escape From Area 51 Theatrical Trailer (01:30 in HD)

Cleopatra Entertainment Trailers (All in HD) – Six different movie trailers from the label.

CD Soundtrack Song Listing –

XYNN – C’est Comme Moi
GURU FREAKOUT – Elektrolurch-Mutation
ARMONITE – The March of The Stars
HAWKESTRAL – Biometrics
PROG COLLECTIVE featuring Rick Wakeman – Are We To Believe
DIE KLUTE – It’s All In Vain
NIK TURNER – Interstellar Clouds
PROG COLLECTIVE featuring Chris Squire; Patrick Moraz; Alan Parsons; Steve Stevens – Shining Diamonds
XYNN – Radioactive Raindrops
PROG COLLECTIVE featuring Todd Rundgren – Worlds On Hold
TRANS X – Living On Video
A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS – Space Age Love Song
PROG COLLECTIVE featuring William Shatner – Epilogue

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Escape from Area 51
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
3

Movie

Donna D’errico has fun as a sexy alien babe in this outrageous and campy sci-fi comedy.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 61 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray: