An infamous British cult classic made in 1982 directed by Harry Bromley-Davenport and produced by New Line Cinema, notable for being one of the strangest British horror movies ever made on account of its bizarre plot involving gruesome mutilations, nonsensical imagery and family drama.note
The plot is not that complex - Sam Phillips, a family man, is playing with his son in a field when the sky opens up and he is whisked away by a bright light. Three years later, his son Tony is still trying to cope, and Sam's former wife, Rachel, has a new American boyfriend. But then a light appears in the sky and something lands. Sam's back, and he's none too happy about the new family situation...
The film is a bit of divider - its bizarre mash-up of a plot is the very same thing that people either love or loathe about the film. The film's bizarre synthesizer soundtrack, done by the director himself, also contributes to the off-kilter tone of the film.
Spawned two sequels, the only connection between being that they have the same director and involve evil aliens.
This film has examples of:
- Alien Blood: Sam's quadruped alien form appears to have orange and thick, almost gelatinous blood, most evident when he is accidentally hit by the couple's car, and the driver examines his wound. His second alien form has black blood.
- All There in the Manual: Sam was a former scientist. This doesn't get mentioned in the final cut of the movie, however it appears on the home video synopsis.
- And I Must Scream: Analise after she is "impregnated" by Tony. She transforms into a completely immobile egg-factory and is implied to be conscious the full time.
- Asshole Victim: Mrs. Goodman - she horribly killed Tony's pet snake, after all!
- Attack of the Killer Whatever: The Xtro's powers allow them to turn toys into various monstrosities, including a clown, tank, panther and commando.
- Balloon Belly: The poor woman in the cottage, after she wakes up from the first alien's encounter, suddenly begins to feel pain in her belly, which then outgrows to a gigantic size that it tears her dress apart, showing it in full size.
- Bittersweet Ending: The original ending (for Rachel at least), which has Rachel return to the flat to find a host of Tony clones - it's creepy, but a bit happier as opposed to the final ending.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Both of Sam's alien forms qualify, but especially the first one. It is a quadruped creature that resembles a human scuttling backwards, with it's....ehh, "reproductive tentacle" emerging from the slit right below the neck. Also, as above mentioned under Alien Blood, it's blood is orange and gelatinous. It also can't seem to survive in Earth's atmosphere for long, or had a very short lifespan, as it died and quickly decomposed overnight after impregnating the woman in the cottage. His final form is a black, alien skeleton with little in way of tissue and skin, pincers for hands, and with it's heart located in the stomach.
- Blue and Orange Morality:
- While he doesn't go out of his way to harm anyone, Sam still causes deaths of several people throughout the film. His first victims are a couple who struck him with their car by accident while he was in his alien form. His second victim is a lady living in a cottage, which he impregnated because his alien form, as evident post-impregnation, had a limited lifespan so he needed someone to quickly use as a host until he is ready to emerge as fully grown human. Once he is reunited with his family, he is seemingly happy to finally be with his son again, and apparently tries to rekindle his relationship with Rachel, despite her having a boyfriend. Once they get to the cottage however...
- Arguably, the unseen aliens that originally kidnapped Sam could qualify as well. They separated Sam from his family and caused his son severe trauma that gave him nightmares for three years, took him to their world and genetically altered him in order to be able to live there, and then allowed him to return to Earth so he can bring back his son with him. After all the things Sam does in the movie as soon as he lands on Earth, it's safe to say these aliens, the major culprits behind his new personality, have very warped sets of morals, if any.
- Body Horror: Where to begin? Sam's first alien form, a quadruped, deformed creature that seemingly moves backwards. The cottage lady which alien-Sam impregnates, and as result she later gives birth to fully grown Sam and dies. Analise once Tony infects her with alien DNA and turns her into a living egg-dispensing cocoon. Sam as he slowly rots and falls apart after having sex with Rachel, and becomes a skeletal alien with a beating heart visible in his chest and pincers for hands.
- Creepy Child: Tony, after the "hickey" scene.
- Creepy Circus Music: Plays when Tony's clown toy is brought to life. Also plays in segments during various scenes that also involve said clown.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Sam comes back, Tony finds him eating his pet snake's eggs, leading Sam to chase him down a dark alleyway, where he consoles him before leaning in and sucking on his shoulder, Tony moaning during the process. Later Sam refers to it as "our little secret", they comment that the nanny is "perfect" and Tony knocks Analise out and performs a similar process, sucking on her midriff. Sexual abuse metaphor, much?
- Death by Sex: Not so much "death", but Sam's human form only starts to gruesomely rot and fall apart whilst in the process of having sex with his estranged wife.
- Disappears into Light: Not caused by death, but Sam and Tony, changed into aliens, are taken back to the alien world by the same triangular shaped light which kidnapped Sam three years ago, and later brought him back.
- Downer Ending: The revised ending has Rachel getting assaulted by the Xtro eggs in a similar manner to the cottage lady.
- Dysfunction Junction: The 'family' is already tense before Sam comes back to ruin everything
- Eldritch Starship: The strange, triangular glowing energy-ship which kidnaps Sam, then brings him back to Earth three years later. It can also apparently change size and shape, as it's seen towering above Sam and Tony during the film's climax, awkwardly lying on the side before shrinking and disappearing in a flash of light. It's even debatable whether it's a ship or just a portal to the alien world, as Tony simply walks into it and disappears.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Even though he has been changed into an alien that operates on Blue and Orange Morality and who has killed several people who meant him no harm, Sam genuinely loves Tony and even as he says, he only returned so he can take his son to live with him on the alien world.
- Express Delivery: Happens to the woman in the cottage, after the first alien impregnates her.
- Fanservice: Bond girl Maryam d'Abo plays the nanny and even strips off in quite few scenes...
- Fan Disservice: ...only to get infested with alien DNA and turn into a living egg-dispensing cocoon. Talk about becoming a "sex object".
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Alas poor "Woman in Cottage". And Rachel too, in the revised ending.
- In Name Only: Xtro II has little to do with the first movie aside from it being about aliens. Director Harry Bromley Davenport admits that it was basically a standalone movie that he threw the Xtro name on, mainly because he had the rights to the series name but not the first movie itself.
- Jump Scare: The first alien creature suddenly reaches his arm from beneath a table and trips the cottage lady. Since she locked all of the doors in the house previously, it's a mystery how he got inside.
- Mind Screw: Once Sam returns from his abduction, things get strange to say the least.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Near the end of the film, half-changed Sam uses his horrifying alien scream aimed at Joe, whose ears erupt in a bloody gush before he collapses dead.
- Monster Clown: Armed with a razor-bladed yo-yo no less.
- Murderous Mannequin: The life-sized Action Man that kills Mrs. Goodman.
- Reality Warper: Sam, after turning Tony into an alien, gives him the power to "If you think really hard about something, it will happen." Afterwards, Tony manifests a creepy clown, a jaguar, and causes his toys to attack.
- Trailer for the film even states that the titular alien bears "powers of black magic from deep space."
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Perhaps the best choice to accompany gruesome birthing scenes isn't sappy synth music.
- Spoiler Cover: The trope image of the VHS cover shows Sam's final form.
- Surreal Horror: Whether it was deliberate or not is another question.
- Take That!: Xtro's whole purpose is to give the middle finger to ET as well as Close Encounters of the Third Kind - not only is Xtro's ending a parody of how the aforementioned two films concluded, but the first thing Sam does after he is reborn is... phone home!
- Too Dumb to Live: The driver in the forest, after accidentally bumping into Alien-Sam with his car, decides the best thing to do is to stop the car, go out and see what was that creature he just hit. Alien-Sam kills him for it, and the driver's girlfriend suffers the same fate shortly afterward.
- Transhuman Treachery: Once Sam becomes an alien, he embraces Blue and Orange Morality and feels no qualms about exploiting every Earthling he comes across, even after he turns back into a human. Once Tony begins the transformation process, he too adopts the same attitude, feeling little remorse about killing his neighbor and turning his babysitter into a seed-producing husk.
- Was Once a Man: Upon being abducted, Sam has been altered by the aliens to survive on their homeworld. After returning to Earth, he seemingly looks human but as the plot goes on, it becomes increasingly obvious that he is anything but human.