Alien Addiction

Riko (Jimi Jackson) is what you might generously call a man-child. He’s fully grown but lives with his Auntie (Veronica Edwards), plays role playing game Galaxy Gods with his friends in her basement, gets high and generally fucks about.

Throughout the history of science fiction, we have sent many fictional scientists and doctors to make first contact with aliens, but writer-director Shae Sterling tries a different approach with good-for-nothing stoner, Riko. That turns out to be quite fortuitous as the aliens, Jeff (Steven Samuel Johnston) and Gurgus (Mel Price), are just here to party. Meanwhile, alien blogger Pete (Thomas Sainsbury) thinks he’s finally hit pay dirt. Aliens have touched down in New Zealand and he’s going to be the one to introduce them to the world. Huzzah!

Will you like this film? Not everyone will. It serves a niche market at the intersection of crude humour and science fiction. I was totally up for the stoner humour, and didn’t flinch too much at the scatological stuff although that’s largely not my bag, and I allowed for more “probing” comments than I normally tolerate. I draw the line, however, at the fat jokes, and this movie doesn’t just make fat jokes, it makes Jacinta (JoJo Waaka) the joke, and I felt bad being complicit as au audience member.

It’s too bad because this film truly does have its moments, not to mention a certain New Zealand charm. But in 2020, such mean-spirited pot shots just feel unfair and out of place. Alien Addiction was doing fine without them.

Jimi Jackson is…well, he’s exactly what the character demands. He’s loose, he’s chuckle-heavy, he is surprisingly cool with his new alien friends. This movie was never going to win any awards, it’s here to make you laugh, and to subvert some of the common sci-fi tropes. If it had done that without needing to fat-shame anyone, I could have endorsed that.

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