With their Geordie wit, boyish looks and spiky rapport, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have achieved massive success despite no one being sure which is which. Telling them apart proves no easier in sci-fi farce Alien Autopsy, as they both give equally inept performances as a couple of British chancers who make a mint from a bogus Roswell tape. Too banal for adults, too gruesome for kids, Jonny Campbell's film delivers some queasy laughs but ultimately proves as stiff as the titular ET.
Through a tortuous chain of events, video pirate Ray Santilli (Donnelly) comes into possession of top-secret footage of an alien autopsy conducted at a US military base in New Mexico in 1947. No sooner has he promised the print to a psychotic German drug baron (Gotz Otto) however, than it starts to decompose - forcing Ray and best friend Gary (McPartlin) to recreate the material from scratch using a tailor's dummy, some raw sausages and a haggis.
"DRAGS LIKE ONE OF ITS STARS' GAME SHOWS"
With fainting extras, slippery innards and dotty relatives popping in and out of shot, this central sequence is the highpoint of Campbell's movie. The remainder, though - clumsily related in flashback to Bill Pullman's sceptical documentary-maker - drags like one of its stars' game shows, involving much pointless flying across the Atlantic and a romantic subplot that predictably has Ant or Dec competing for the affections of the same woman (Nichole Hiltz). All in all, it's a most peculiar vehicle for the Byker Grove duo that will probably lose them more fans than it gains.