Project: Alf

Voiced by co-creator Paul Fusco, ALF has been separated from his former Earthling host family, the Tanners, and has spent the past several years under observation at an Air Force base. As "Project: ALF" begins, the experiments are finished, and the furry creature is about to be set free.

With:
Cast: Miguel Ferrer, William O'Leary, Jensen Daggett, Scott Michael Campbell, Beverly Archer, Charlie Robinson, John Schuck, Gregalan Williams, Liz Coke, Dell Yount, Dennis Creaghan, Lenny Wolpe, Michael Weatherred, Markus Redmond, Ed Begley Jr., Ray Walston, Martin Sheen, Michael Laskin, Ann Gee Byrd, Jeremiah Birkett, P.J. Rio, Willem Keane, Ahmet Zappa, Lin Shaye, Lynn Tufeld, Randy Oglesby, Lee Arenberg, W. Earl Brown, Erick Avari, John Dunbar, Kim Strauss. That irascible, wisecracking alien life form known as ALF is back from the land of permanent hiatus, in an ABC movie that, while preserving the flavor of the long-running NBC series (September '86 to June '90), is even funnier.

Voiced by co-creator Paul Fusco, ALF has been separated from his former Earthling host family, the Tanners, and has spent the past several years under observation at an Air Force base. As “Project: ALF” begins, the experiments are finished, and the furry creature is about to be set free.

TX: TX:Filmed in Los Angeles by Patchett Kaufman Entertainment and Paul Fusco Prods. in association with UFA Filmproduktion Berlin. Executive producers, Paul Fusco, Kenneth Kaufman; producer, Tom Patchett; supervising producer, Ann Kindberg; associate producer, Debbie Smith; director, Dick Lowry; writers, Patchett, Fusco; Or is he? Not if Col. Milfoil (Martin Sheen) has anything to say about it: With a dark secret in his own past involving aliens, Milfoil wants ALF “incinerated.”

Remainder of film is devoted to Milfoil’s pursuit of ALF, who has been abducted — for his own good — by Lt. Rick Mullican (William O’Leary) and Capt. Melissa Hill (Jensen Daggett). Their cross-country trip leads to the lair of Dr. Dexter Moyers (Miguel Ferrer) –“the world’s leading authority on UFOs”– and an ending that leaves the door open for sequels.

Numerous “name” performers make cameos; outstanding bit finds Ray Walston as the drunken night manager of a motel where the fleeing trio spend the night. Principals O’Leary, Daggett, Ferrer and Sheen turn in solid perfs, with Sheen underplaying to particularly good effect.

But, as usual, main appeal of ALF is the gags. He’s plugged into ’90s culture , with references to the Internet, “Baywatch,” rap, psychic hotlines and even Jeffrey Katzenberg’s departure from Disney. But best cracks come from further than left field. Prepping for a television interview, ALF notes, “If you’re not lit right, the camera can add 20 pounds to your nose — we learned that from the Gerard Depardieu movies.” Even weirder bit finds ALF identifying his current location as “standing on a corner, somewhere in Arizona, not a fine sight to see …”

Tech credits are fine, with interesting locations and a fine score by Mark Snow.

Project: Alf

Production: Project: ALF (Sat. (17), 9-11 p.m., ABC)

Crew: Camera, Henry Lebo; editor, William B. Stich; production designer, Guy Barnes; art director, Chip Radaelli; sound, Brian Bidder; music, Mark Snow.

With: Cast: Miguel Ferrer, William O'Leary, Jensen Daggett, Scott Michael Campbell, Beverly Archer, Charlie Robinson, John Schuck, Gregalan Williams, Liz Coke, Dell Yount, Dennis Creaghan, Lenny Wolpe, Michael Weatherred, Markus Redmond, Ed Begley Jr., Ray Walston, Martin Sheen, Michael Laskin, Ann Gee Byrd, Jeremiah Birkett, P.J. Rio, Willem Keane, Ahmet Zappa, Lin Shaye, Lynn Tufeld, Randy Oglesby, Lee Arenberg, W. Earl Brown, Erick Avari, John Dunbar, Kim Strauss. That irascible, wisecracking alien life form known as ALF is back from the land of permanent hiatus, in an ABC movie that, while preserving the flavor of the long-running NBC series (September '86 to June '90), is even funnier.

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