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‘Crawlspace’

by Kaori Shoji

Good news for sci-fi/horror geeks with big and generous hearts who have nothing to do on a spring Sunday but to check out this “Alien”-meets-”28 Days Later”-meets-”Species”-and-they-decide-to-move-in-together-to-save-on-rent kind of movie. And not so good news for the rest of us.

“Crawlspace” is brought to us by Australian special-effects maestro Justin Dix, whose company Wicked of Oz specializes in CGI stuff, prosthetic makeup and animatronics. This time Dix kept it in the family, so to speak, by tailoring his own in-house tale of sci-fi gore — but the result doesn’t quite match up to the movies on which he’s worked with big-name directors such as George Lucas and Roger Donaldson. Not that its minuscule budget matches up to those movies either, mind you.

Surely it’s not the fault of the leading lady (Amber Clayton: superbly cute), who plays Eve, an amnesia-suffering babe stuck in a brightly lit air duct in a top-secret underground military facility that has become a testing ground for some monstrously sinister experimenting, but that of the sheer lameness of the soldiers who are supposedly there to help her. Most guilty of the offence of dumb leadership is Romeo (Ditch Davey), who is convinced Eve is actually his dead girlfriend, come back to life for his personal benefit. In your dreams, mate.