After a mysterious red flash that envelops the planet, most of the population is paralyzed and unable to defend themselves from an alien invasion. Mysteriously some people went unaffected by this flash; Ral Foster is one of those people and wakes up to find out that during the night his home world had become an all you can eat buffet for the alien horde. Rallying with others who've been able to avoid the paralyzing red flash, Ral must piece together what happened and stop the alien invasion.
Frank Sudol's latest movie is finally here and it is the third and final film of what is called the 'Budget Gore Series' and will also be the last movie using the cut-out style animation. He's gone from zombie to demons and now to menacing aliens which as odd as it may sound, seemed to be the best genre for him go out on as everything seemed to work perfectly with his style.
One of the best things about "City of Rott" was that Frank was able to do what live action films usually cannot and that is to be able to capture the scope of an apocalypse. It's no different with "Shock Invasion"; an end of the world induced by an alien invasion has been done before but here, in all its animated glory, seems to really capture what an end of the world by alien invasion would look like. Of course going by Frank's previous movies, it isn't merely an alien invasion. Instead, the aliens start off by turning the world into an all you can eat buffet of humans by paralyzing everyone. Then has the individual aliens being able to send out that red shock wave themselves to paralyze humans (in case the first wave didn't get 'em). Though that's still not enough; the aliens can retreat into indestructible shells as well as having the aliens come in various forms from floating ghouls, to giant dogs, to even enormous city destroying winged monsters. Ya know, to make sure the situation is nice and bleak.
Not only does it make the situation seem grim by having different alien creatures taking part in the destruction, but it also leaves plenty of room for action between the menace and the protagonists. This is where the movie shines and will be its biggest selling point; "Shock Invasion" in a rather fitting fashion for a final film in a trilogy, goes all out in the action department. Combining Frank's love for video games and taking the best thing from alien genre movies, "Shock Invasion" becomes an action paced alien shoot-em up extravaganza. Only the worst cases of ADD will be bored watching "Shock Invasion" as once it starts it never stops. Only taking a brief hiatus between splattering alien heads and exploding ships to help progress the story or add an additional character or two.
The fast pace and all out action scenes make the movie fun but its Frank's ability to tell a story that helps make the movie work. He has been able to make his movies a light but enjoyable viewing experience through the mayhem that occurs on screen, but deep down all of his movies have had great stories with solid writing. Frank doesn't try to break new ground with his movies but what he does is make them genuine while also making his movies his way. Made all the more apparent with "Shock Invasion" as any of his characters are fair game and is willing to kill them off when you're expecting them to be the surviving heroes at the end. With this movie though I think he may lose some people as the story is more vague and isn't as fleshed out (for lack of a better term) as his previous titles. The plotline works and plays out very well but by the end there are some unanswered questions left and while they don't ruin the movie. It may bother some people that he never says why some people went unaffected by the red flash but only alludes to what may have been.
Frank Sudol goes above and beyond showing what he can do as an animator but what he can do as a filmmaker. He grows and expands with each of his movies, trying new things and improving where parts of his previous movies may have come up short. While I still don't know if I liked "Shock Invasion" more than I like "City of Rott", it is definitely his strongest title so far and goes to show that he will have a lot to offer with future projects. As for "Shock Invasion" itself: it's a fun and exciting movie. It does what genre fans want to see with their horror and sci-fi blended movies of an alien invasion; plenty of action and plenty of alien gore splattering the screen. The movie never becomes dull because as I said earlier, it’s an action paced alien blasting good time. It never slows down, even when it takes time to tell the story, there is still humans being turned into mounds of guts and aliens getting their heads blown off. Whether you’re new to the animated movies of Frank Sudol and BlackArro or an already established fan, you can't lose with "Shock Invasion" if you just sit back and enjoy the ride.