"...the script is clever and the effects are very impressive for what they must have cost."

--Leonard Maltin, Movie & Video Guide


"This energetic direct-to-video effort rises above its severely limited budget thanks to a fairly enthusiastic script, fraught with the kind of goofy paranoia that would later propel The X-Files to cult status. The later years of the Cold War set the stage for a plot involving a diabolical, far-reaching government conspiracy, linked to the testing of new high-tech defense equipment that uses technology cannibalized from a downed alien spacecraft. It seems there's a ghost in the machine -- an artificial alien intelligence has come to life in the circuitry of the central defense computer A.S.M.O.D.S. (Automatic Systems Monitoring Offensive/Defensive Strategy), through which it manipulates much of the Defense Department's equipment and personnel. It's ultimately up to a conspiracy-hungry tabloid reporter (Hans Bachmann) to convince Pentagon officials of the impending danger and stop A.S.M.O.D.S. from ordering a massive nuclear strike."

--The New York Times -- All Movie Guide


"INVADER…has some knock-out model effects and stop motion animation. The saucer, elevator and jet fighter sequences are some of the best you'll ever see in a low budget film. There is also plenty of humor...the funniest bit of dialogue comes at the end, when the giant robot ASMODS delivers a patriotic monologue that must be heard to be believed! Special effects veteran Cook turns in a good directorial effort here (his first). This is a good way to spend 95 minutes of your life."


"one of the most overlooked b-movie greats of the past 15 years - 1991's INVADER. The brainchild of micro-filmmaker Philip J. Cook, INVADER is a genuinely good movie in addition to being a fun b-movie."


"[INVADER] It's an imaginative story with a strong streak of humor, often tongue in cheek."

--VideoHound's Sci-Fi Experience, 1997


"No matter how you cut it, INVADER is an amazing movie, given the infusion of imagination and creativity in what is really a low budget production. Filmmaker Philip J. Cook has scored again and provided another entertaining and exciting indie flick for genre fans. Cook has successfully updated the special effects and technical work for the film's re-release on DVD by Lions Gate. As a result, an already enjoyable movie is presently even more fun to watch."

--Craig Hamann, Cultcuts Magazine


"While horror's decline is depressing, it has been somewhat offset by the newfound popularity of another fantastic genre standard, science-fiction. This year's best DTV example, Philip J. Cook's INVADER (Vidmark), is not only a highly entertaining effort, but one that may mark the advent of a major new genre talent. The film is basically a loving tribute to sci-fi of the '50s, updated with '90s concepts, then filtered through gentle parody and given just a dash of DR. STRANGELOVE. The basic tale revolves around a reporter for a national tabloid who follows up an article on killer mutant goats by jetting off to research a UFO sighting in Virginia. There he finds a military base commander who has cannibalized a downed UFO, trying to create new super weapons. Instead, he has unleashed an alien computer virus that has reprogrammed everything of an electronic nature on the base, including the minds of the soldiers. The film skirts around too many styles, without ever settling on one, and a few of the numerous effects sequences are more impressive for ambition than effectiveness. But Cook has made INVADER consistently fun; and its effects, in spite of their quantity, are used to enhance the story without ever becoming the tail that wags the dog. INVADER shows that low-budget doesn't always have to mean low-concept and low-talent."

--John Thonen, "Videophile, 1993 in Review," Imagi-movies.

"Invader is a triumph in low budget filmmaking - make that ultra low budget of those movies where the gaffs just add to the fun, because you sense the makers of the movie were really trying, and they were having fun themselves. It's a fun movie."



"Despite the UFO angle, this film is a much action thriller as sci-fi with most of the villains being brainwashed humans brandishing guns. As such, it has cross-over appeal beyond sci-fi fans. The action is plentiful, the pace is brisk, the special effects are good, and the performances are energetic with particularly good wise-guy interplay between Bachman and Smith."

--Video Business Magazine, April 9, 1993.

"INVADER is a fast-paced sci-fi cheapie with admirable ambitions. Nevertheless, the picture is impressive for its high spirits and imagination ....The Virginia-based filmmakers, who also did 1991's STAR QUEST specialize in grandiose, effects-laden features on budgets that wouldn't cover three minutes in JURASSIC PARK. Certainly the stop-motion jet sequences are as good as similar stuff seen in Hollywood blockbusters like FIREFOX ...."


"...Philip J. Cook, has produced one of the best low-budget "B"movies in a long, long time. The movie starring competent unknowns (Hans Bachmann, A. Thomas Smith, and Rick Foucheaux) consistently rises above and beyond the limitations of low-budget movie-making by letting creativity, imagination, and competence rule...and the script is intelligent and involving. The effects are stunning for such a limited budget production. The plot steamrolls along at a brisk pace pausing just long enough to further the plot or to add a dash of humor."

--Midnight Marquee, Issue 44, Summer 1992


"Cook has channeled the directing sensibilities of Howard Hawks and John Carpenter. Despite the fast-paced testosterone storytelling style, Cook keeps things light thanks primarily to his clever script and witty dialog. Even when characters are at odds, they still come across likable and good-natured. I'd go far as to say that even when at their worst, the human characters never come across as anything other then deeply flawed. There is only one bad guy in INVADER, and that's ASMODS ... a living, thinking UFO, flying around the military base. During the final moments of the movie, it has grown into a giant mechanized biped Mechwarrior. It's in these final moments where Cook won me over. An old-school filmmaker, Cook and his partners handcraft all the miniatures for their stop motion effects. One could call it nostalgia, but I prefer bad stop motion to mediocre CGI. Please don't interpret that as me stating that the stop motion here is bad, far from it. You might be wondering why in today's day in age would Cook even be using stop motion when desktop programs can animate far more economically, especially considering that Cook is widely held as one of the best computer animators that D.C. has to offer. The answer is simple; INVADER isn't a new production. It's a re-mastered re-release of a 1992 film."



"Director-scripter-cameraman Philip Cook is in sure control as he tells his tale of mysterious goings-on at an Air Force base. Despite a lowish budget, he pulls of some effective edge-of-the-seat sequences. Lighting and photography are consistently thoughtful and excellent, making the film look stylish and a lot more expensive than it is."

--The Stop-Motion Filmography By Neil Pettigrew




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Picture Gallery

The Making of INVADER


INVADER DVD Introduction