No amount of bald effrontery I could lather up is gonna permit me to claim that OUTPOST EARTH is a great, or even good, movie, at least in terms of what we would usually mean by claiming such a thing.
But wait! There's more!
I CAN legitimately and confidently assert that this movie DOES have a certain je ne sais quoi that seems to stem from the amount of enthusiastic effort that obviously went into it. It's just an unfortunate reality that all that significant effort was put forth by mostly rank amateurs. And no, in case you're wondering, I don't take in strays or always stick up for the underdog. It's simply a fact that, in spite of its zits, warts, and the occasional bouts of gas, this movie does have flashes of something worthwhile. I believe in giving credit where credit is due.
Contrary to what you'll see in OUTPOST EARTH, viewers should make a strong effort to keep in mind that what makes a TRULY crap movie is when the people making it absolutely do not give a %@$#! about the movie they're making and it's irritatingly obvious in every single frame. In such movies, you can actually see that they've gone through the motions of making a movie because if you can make it for $10 and get it released at all, you'll make a tidy profit just by running through the mechanism of a release. If you want to know what that actually looks like in a concrete example, check out the movie JURASSIC GALAXY. If you want to save yourself the pain of watching a movie so bad it can make your eyes bleed, you can also check out my review of it to avoid looking at the gorgon directly.
Unequivocally and truthfully, there is some very awful, amateurish workmanship that happens in OUTPOST EARTH. But there's also some really good stuff mixed in there, too. There are some actors that do a pretty decent job. And the juxtaposition of decent actors in the same scene with the really bad ones is a very jarring experience. Some of the special-effects are cringe worthy. Lighting is uneven at best and sometimes it's hard to see what's going on at all.
In short, name a particular facet about moviemaking and there are examples of very clumsy workmanship in those areas in OUTPOST EARTH.
At the same time some quality workmanship and tremendous effort is clearly visible throughout the movie. As examples, starting from scratch, they obviously made some great, legitimate props. We've got inventive and original space alien rayguns. There are some wonderfully flamboyant space monsters with model work that would compare favorably to the great Harryhausen himself and given life by genuine, old school stop-motion animation and blended with the live-action actors with what looks like good ol' "dynamation". Oh yes, I kid you not.
In short, a huge amount of effort, creativity and even skill (in those accidental places where the people doing the work just happened to be naturally talented) is on regular display all through OUTPOST EARTH and then painfully blended with all the clumsy, amateur bits. And rubber masks and rubber alien body parts.
If you like science fiction and can stand the rough-and-tumble roller-coaster-ride of quality intrinsic in such a movie, and can enjoy a movie where everyone involved sincerely and enthusiastically gave it their best even if they didn't always have the talent to pull it off, you really should watch this movie. I did. I choose not to mock moviemakers who actually care about their movie and give it their all.
I gave the movie a 7/10 because, again, I rate movies on a relativistic scale based upon how good the movie is within its own genre and how the final movie managed to BE the movie its makers intended. OUTPOST EARTH is not quite the movie its makers intended because they weren't quite skillful enough to entirely carry it off and so, consequently, there is room for improvement.
Still in all, within its limitations and with the above provisos, codicils and warnings, I DEFINITELY contend that OUTPOST EARTH is worth a watch by those with the appropriate mindset and a willingness to show a little love to the people that cared about the movie they made. Tough your way through it; there is some good stuff here.
P.S.(Here's a bit of fun trivia for you. OUTPOST EARTH has a bit of a throwback-to-the-50s feel to it which is probably a function of its old-school techniques, mixed-quality acting and plot flow. Somewhere around 18 minutes into the movie there is a scene where the "Nobel prize-winning scientist" shows the "thief" his makeshift "la-bor-a-tory". If you listen very carefully, and underscoring the old-school feel, you can just make out "laboratory sounds" going on in the background during the scene. Those sounds are a direct lift of the "chemistry happening" sounds from THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT, 1951, starring Sir Alec Guinness. If you KEEP listening carefully through the whole movie, you can pick up sounds from EARTH vs. THE FLYING SAUCERS, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS and 1953's WAR OF THE WORLDS, too!)