Had there never been a “Mad Max” or “Alien” movie, or John Carpenter’s unfortunate “Ghosts of Mars” for that matter, “The Osiris Child” would have been hailed as a true original.
Even with its many obvious influences, Shane Abbess’ indie sci-fi thriller, subtitled “Science Fiction Volume One,” serves as a handy example of how not to allow budget limitations to curb some truly imaginative production design.
Set on a newly colonized floating planet built by a considerable convict work force, the American-accented Australian film concerns the efforts of military contractor Kane Sommerville (Daniel MacPherson), who joins forces with somber prison riot escapee Sy Lombrok (Kellan Lutz) to save Kane’s daughter Indi (Teagan Croft) from an impending crisis of global proportions.
Turns out the apocalyptic threat in question involves nasty monsters called Raggeds that have mutated from the prisoners themselves in an experiment gone horribly awry.
While the storytelling, by Abbess and co-writer Brian Cachia, might lack novelty and, occasionally, coherence, visually the film consistently impresses with creative art direction and costume choices, effectively captured by cinematographer Carl Robertson, that make the most of the tight spending allowance.
Factor in a couple of steely turns by seasoned pros Temuera Morrison and Rachel Griffiths and you’ve got a perfectly serviceable B-movie.
Here’s hoping Abbess finds his own voice by the time “Volume Two” rolls around.
‘The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One’
Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills