Indie satire mixes droll cubicle comedics with a patently absurd alien-invasion scenario.

Billed as “Close Encounters of the Office Kind,” indie satire “Drones” mixes droll cubicle comedics a la “The Office” and “Office Space” with a patently absurd alien-invasion scenario. Never leaving its nondescript corporate-branch floor, the pic may be a little too small and low-key to attract theatrical bidders. But its deft farcical performances, witty script and sure-footed handling (by two thesps-turned-helmers) could attract a cult following via fest, DVD and possible cable sales.

Encouraged to hit on polite but chilly co-worker Amy (Angela Bettis, taking a break from B-horror pics), guileless type Brian (Jonathan W. Woodward) takes her on a date that leads to instant coupledom. But Brian has already learned that fellow mouse-pusher Clark (Samm Levine) hails from another planet. He’s even more taken aback to discover Amy does, too. Just how many aliens posing as humans are employed here, anyway? Will they enslave, destroy or make peace? (All of the above, it turns out, depending on which planet they’re from.) The usual office romancing and gossip thus interwoven with intergalactic intrigue, “Drones” achieves a deadpan silliness that’s often delightful. Perfs are pitch-perfect, assembly sharp within modest means.

Drones

Production

A Finish Films presentation. Produced by Todd Gilbert, James Bruce, Adam Busch. Executive producer, Jordan Kessler. Directed by Amber Benson, Adam Busch. Screenplay, Ben Acker, Ben Blacker.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), David McFarland; editor, Peter Lindo; music, Jonathan Dinerstein, Dan Bern; production designer, Lea Anna Drown. Reviewed on DVD, Jan. 27, 2010, Park City, Utah. (In Slamdance Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Jonathan W. Woodward, Angela Bettis, Samm Levine, James Urbaniak, Dave "Gruber" Allen, Tangi Miller, Marc Evan Jackson, Paul F. Tompkins.
With: Jonathan W. Woodward, Angela Bettis, Samm Levine, James Urbaniak, Dave "Gruber" Allen, Tangi Miller, Marc Evan Jackson, Paul F. Tompkins.

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