If there’s such a thing as “universal humor,” it’s got to be toilet-based.
Planet to planet, galaxy by galaxy — excrement, poop, caca, dung — no matter how you polish it, a turd’s a turd. And talking about it, showing it, finding new ways to goof on the most basic of bodily functions is always going to be funny, no matter the means of communication.
“Alien Addition” is a stoner comedy from New Zealand about Kiwi potheads visited by aliens who seem to be searching the tractless void of space for their next high.
And what these hemorrhoid-headed saucer-steering voyagers are REALLY into is “beautiful, chunky texture” and “spicey,” and shouldn’t be wasted in septic tanks. Oh no.
Music video veteran Shae Sterling tells this story through the eyes, subtitle-worthy accents, slang and values of rural North Islanders, Maori mostly.
They like their pot, sure. But they’re hooked on the board game “Galaxy Gods,” each one quick to play the “alien” card. The only excitement in their lives is racing, by SUV, dirt bike and tuner car, to the local pool hall and pub where there’s always the chance that some cute backpacking tourist from South America will fall for a pickup line.
“If you were a banana, I’d SPLIT you…or um, if you were a banana, I’d find you APPEALING!”
But when Riko’s daft auntie (Veronica Edwards) claims “I seen an eyeball in the toilet,” nobody takes her seriously. She mixes up salt for sugar in her biscuits and can’t remember how to make a decent pot of tea. She’s lost it.
Riko (Jimi Jackson) soon finds out he and his mates were wrong. And after the shock of stumbling into the beeping, bleeping, burping swaybacked space travelers, whom he calls Gurgus and Jeff (Mel Price and Steven Samuel Johnston), he’s even more shocked by their priorities — getting a buzz on.
And what suits their atomizing alien bong best? Poop.
Sterling sets up a more interesting comedy than he delivers. The gang of aimless 20somethings Riko hangs with (Tane Huata, Tukairangi Maxwell and Harry Summerfield) are hilarious, their profane banter the basis of many a goofy boy-bonding tale in a place and in a culture (Maori, mostly) we never see on the screen.
This is just his jumping off point, though, as Riko — after an in-the-shower freak-out of discovery — proceeds to bond with his “visitors,” who even have a voice decoder so that they can speak the same language.
“Could you change your voice? Cuz you sound Australian.”
Can’t have that.
A rugby lesson, a thrift-store makeover, stumbling on stage at a strip club, gambling, clubbing, all this stuff is crammed into a ditzy and dizzying first 40 minutes or so.
That “Precious”-sized “Flaming Red River Burger” joint waitress (JoJo Waaka) with the outrageously libidinous come-ons? She’ll play a big part in how things play out. So will the rest of the lads. Eventually.
The villain here is a hoax-pushing “science blogger” (Thomas Sainsbury) who, with his more ethical assistant (Ayham Ghalayini), predicted these aliens’ arrival and is convinced his reputation will be made if he can capture and autopsy them.
In its earliest, giddiest scenes, you really have no idea where any of this is going. The colorful cast reminds you of a dozen classic films about aimless youth set in the world’s out-of-the-way places.
And then the blue hemorrhoids show up, and the generic blogger-villain, and Sterling scrambles to find something novel and funny to do with them.
Sometimes he does. Sometimes he doesn’t.
Still, Jackson makes a great tour guide for local life — in BFE, NZ — with a trip to the big city of Auckland in a stolen hearse as a bonus. The stoner humor works, the “bum hole” stuff runs out of gas (ahem) quicker than all involved seem to realize.
MPAA Rating: unrated, sex, nudity, drug use, scatological humor
Cast: Jimi Jackson, Thomas Sainsbury, JoJo Waaka, Harry Summerfield, Ayham Ghalayini, Tane Huata, Tukairangi Maxwell and Veronica Edwards.
Credits: Written and directed by Shae Sterling. A Sept.29 Zonic TV release (available on various streaming platforms, Amazon, etc).
Running time: 1:36